Needs assessed by psychiatric health care and social services in a defined cohort of clients with mental disabilities
A study of the extent of homelessness among 1581 psychiatric patients in Copenhagen found that 342 patients (22%) in contact with the psychiatric services had serious housing problems. A total of 112 (7%) were long-stay patients without a home address, 134 (8%) were in an unstable housing situation and 96 (6%) were actually homeless. The homeless among the psychiatric patients were characteristically single, on disability pension or general public assistance, most often under 45 years of age, often schizophrenic and, among the men, almost one third were alcohol abusers. The majority of the homeless preferred separate apartments, and the psychiatrists also considered this form of housing to be the most appropriate for them. Approximately one fifth were estimated to need staff-supported housing, and the number of places in psychiatric group homes or halfway houses should therefore be increased.