Why it is important to tackle the mental health of Australians
Mental health has been such an important matter that needs to be constantly discussed. In the past, conversations about it are mostly casual, without the actual intent to do something about it. But now, it seems like people are starting to be more open and concerned.
The COVID-19 pandemic revealed more of the nation’s weaknesses – mainly in aspects related to social-economic, health-care. While the government has yet to do work on more policies that will further prioritize the needs of the homeless, the thing that we should all really take time to analyze to make lasting changes.
Anyone who is living on the streets or without a permanent place would obviously find it very difficult to practice isolation and proper hygiene. This puts them at a much higher risk of catching the disease. All these efforts to put rough sleepers to hotel accommodations during the lockdown was a huge success. However, these temporary measures need to be more permanent to prevent homeless individuals to go back to the streets when all of this is over.
One of the biggest factors that affect a person’s ability to find more suitable housing is their mental state. A person’s mental health is also one of the most affected during the pandemic, and frankly, if we are really trying to solve the homelessness problem in this nation, mental health must be prioritized and taken very seriously.
According to recent studies, at least one in three homeless individuals suffer from some mental illness. It has been stated in the past that apart from housing unaffordability, homelessness is a result of mental illness. Factors such as emotional stress, depression, exposure to crime, and drugs may result in unemployment which would eventually cause them to experience poverty.
In Australia, purchasing a home – let alone keeping may not be as easy to some people because of how expensive it is. While affordability is another issue, it’s the mental health aspect that may need to be focused on so much more. Homelessness has impacts that go far beyond what is seen by the naked eye. Every human being has the right to have access to safe and secure housing. Those who are experiencing homelessness are also facing human rights violations such as the right to having an adequate standard of living, education, security, privacy, and many more.
The pandemic has allowed the government to become more aware of the severity of the situation and actually do lengths to house homeless people. It is, in simpler terms, will act as a band-aid to a national emergency. What happens when the virus is no longer here? How will the mental health problem be solved?
Right now, more programs are needed to help those suffering from mental illnesses and those who need a decent place to stay. A wider conversation is necessary to be able to do these things. Affordable social housing, plus government payments such as pensions as well as disability payment may need to be improved to meet basic living costs. This way, mental health improvements may be seen.
Xotel is always open to working with organizations to provide affordable housing to Australians. Check out our website and social media pages for more information.