Mission Australia releases Youth Mental Health and Homelessness Report

Mission Australia’s Youth Mental Health and Homelessness Report found poor family functioning and serious mental illness were factors that impacted on the risks of homelessness for young Australians aged 15-19 years.

The report highlighted that young people with a probable serious mental illness were three and a half times more likely to have spent time away from their home because they felt they couldn’t go back, and nearly twice as likely to have spent time away from home on six or more occasions compared to their peers.

Nearly half of all young people who said they had spent time away from home reported high levels of concern about family conflict.

The report considered the 17,145 responses to the 2015 Youth Survey to determine the factors which may increase a young person’s vulnerability to homelessness.

Key findings of the report included:

  • Those with a probable serious mental illness are three and a half times more likely to have spent time away from home than those without a probable serious mental illness (32.2 per cent versus 8.6 per cent);
  • the likelihood that a young person would spend more occasions away from home increased if they had a probable serious mental illness. Of the young people who spent time away from home, nearly half (45.6 per cent) of those with a probable serious mental illness had done so on six or more occasions in their lifetime. In contrast, one third (33.3 per cent) of those without a probable serious mental illness who had spent time away from home had done so on six or more occasions;
  • an alarming 57.7 per cent of those with a probable serious mental illness who rated their family functioning as poor had spent time away from home as compared to 37 per cent without a probable serious mental illness;
  • of those with a probable serious mental illness females were more likely than males to not spend time away from home if they had a probable serious mental illness (1 in 5 compared to 1 in 10).
  • compared to young people who had not spent time away from home, many more young people who had spent time away from home reported high levels of concern about family conflict (48.9 per cent), depression (46 per cent), coping with stress (58.6 per cent) or suicide (28.8 per cent).

Download the full report below.