38 per cent of homeless children have 'significant' mental health or behavioural disorders, study finds
38 per cent of homeless children have "significant” mental health or behavioural disorders, a new study has found.
The report, the Impact of Homelessness and Inadequate Housing on Children’s Health, was conducted by the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland.
The Irish Times report the study found homeless children were twice as likely to need hospitalisation compared to their peers.
It also found that those in emergency accommodation or unsafe accommodation were more likely to be bullied, and less likely to see their friends.
The RCPI said that there are more than 20 actions which must be immediately taken to alleviate the worst impacts of homelessness on children.
Among these are access to adequate mental health services - for both their children and parents - as early as possible; as well as the prioritisation of homeless children and pregnant women in health services.
“We know that the impact on a person’s health and wellbeing of adverse experiences in childhood lasts well beyond childhood and becomes apparent in adult life as mental health problems, such as depression, anxiety and relationship difficulties, as well as physical disease, such as cardiovascular disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes," Dr Julie Heslin, lead author, said.
The study was published on Wednesday, November 20, on World Children's Day.