Mental health and housing

Find out how we can help you with mental health and housing issues.

Housing and mental health are often linked. Poor mental health can make it harder to cope with housing problems, while being homeless or having problems in your home can make your mental health worse.

It can feel really hard to ask for help with housing problems but there are lots of people you can turn to. 

Get support and treatment for your health problems

Homelessness and housing problems can trigger mental health problems including depression, anxiety, panic attacks, psychosis, self-harm or suicidal feelings. They can also make existing problems worse or make it harder to cope.

To access support and treatment for your mental health, try these options: 

If you are experiencing a mental health crisis, ring First Response, an NHS service, on 01274 221181

Problems with drugs or alcohol

If you have a mental health problem, and also have problems with drug or alcohol use, you will probably be described as having dual diagnosis, meaning both problems are diagnosed together. This can make finding somewhere suitable to live more complicated.

If your drug use is affecting your mental health, you could:

  • contact a drug organisation
  • see your local NHS drug and alcohol service
  • see your GP

They can discuss your drug use and how it is affecting you, explain your options for treatment and refer you to a specialist if necessary.

Managing hospital stays

It is understandable to worry about what will happen to your home if you have to go into hospital. Making some plans in advance could help. You could make plans for:

  • benefits - if you are receiving benefits you will need to tell the Department for Work and Pensions that you are in hospital as this may affect your entitlement
  • money, bills and debts - you will need to think about how your money is managed while you are in hospital
  • children - if you have children who live with you, being admitted to hospital can cause you lots of extra worries
  • pets - if you have a pet and are going into hospital, your local authority may arrange care for your pet but you might need to pay for any costs involved

If you are unwell and must spend time in hospital, one of your biggest worries might be about what will happen to your home. This is especially the case if you have to go into hospital suddenly or have been admitted under a section of the Mental Health Act. 

You might find that the level of support you need to manage your mental health is a significant factor in finding a housing situation that works for you. For example, you might feel you need regular support with shopping, budgeting or housework. Speak to hospital staff as soon as possible about your worries - they can arrange for social care to visit and talk to you.  

How we can support you

We can offer support in various ways. 

Housing advice

If you find it very difficult to look after yourself, you may be entitled to get help in your home. 

We have a duty to assess anyone who appears to have care and support needs under the Care Act 2014. We will:

  • assess your needs and give you advice - this assessment should determine what type of accommodation is suitable for you or what adaptations might be necessary to allow you to return to your own home
  • provide information about services and support options available to you in your area
  • give you a carer's assessment if you are an unpaid or family carer - the assessment is important because it will help you work out what your difficulties are and consider what support options, including housing arrangement, you might have

Living Well service

Living Well aims to improve the health, wellbeing and independence of adults. They can support adults who are currently not eligible for on-going social care support and who:

  • are lonely and / or socially isolated
  • have had a recent loss of a support network, including bereavement
  • have had a loss of confidence due to a recent change or event
  • require face to face information, advice and guidance

They help you to access your local community and support you to meet your health and wellbeing goals.

Build your support network

Housing problems can affect your relationships and leave you without a support network. You might lose touch with people or feel like you do not know where to turn. Even if you do have supportive friends or family in your life, it can be hard to open up about housing problems. But it could be a relief to share your worries.

Here are some options for getting support or making new connections: 

  • Foundation Housing offer a mental heath floating support service which would include help to form a support network
  • telephone support - there are many helplines you can call to talk to someone, for example, you can call Samaritans any time of day or night for free on 116 123
  • peer support groups - bring people together who have had similar experiences to support each other
  • free or low cost classes and groups - these are a good way to meet people who share your interests (even if you do not find it easy to make friends, it can be helpful to have a fixed time each week to forget about your housing problems and focus on something you enjoy) - many local libraries, community centres and sports clubs run clubs, classes and groups which you could join

Housing options

There are various housing options open to you. 

Applying for social housing

You can complete a housing application for social housing. Paper applications are also available.

If your current accommodation is impacting on your mental health, you can apply for health and wellbeing priority although there is no guarantee that this would be awarded.

Private renting

The main advantage of private rented accommodation is that you will have more choice in terms of location and type of property. We may also be able to give you advice about what is available in your local area and how you can get help with paying the rent bonds and rent in advance. 

You may also wish to start looking at suitable private renting options on websites such as Right Move or Spare Room.

Help with housing costs

If you are receiving a state benefit or on a low income, you can apply for help towards your rent. 

If you are looking to rent a private rented property, the maximum amount of help you can get is set by the local housing allowance. You can find out more on the local housing allowance page on the Government website. If you are under 35, you will only be able to get rent to cover you for a room in a shared house. Further details can be found in our housing benefit section.

How you access mental health support is different depending on where you live in North Yorkshire.

Support in the Craven area

Contact us. We can discuss your housing options with you. 

Support in the Richmondshire area

Contact us. We can discuss your housing options with you. 

Support in the Scarborough area

Contact us. We can discuss your housing options with you. 

Support in the Selby area

Contact us. We can discuss your housing options with you. 

Help from other organisations


The Mind website can help you find support and information. They can also look for your local Mind organisation and give details of other local support. 

North Yorkshire Horizons

North Yorkshire Horizons is a service delivering specialist drug and alcohol support. The service provides treatment and recovery support to adults with drug and alcohol dependency. Their aim is to help as many people as possible to recover from drug and alcohol dependency in North Yorkshire and to reduce the harms caused by drug and alcohol use to both individuals and communities.

For more information, visit the North Yorkshire Horizons website

Citizens Advice

You can find a range of support on the North Yorkshire Citizens Advice and Law website