St. Paul's doctors work on mental health study

John Lehmann/The Globe and Mail

For every $1 spent providing housing and support for a homeless person with severe mental illness, $2.17 in savings are reaped because they spend less time in hospital, in prison and in shelters.

That is the most striking conclusion of a study, obtained by The Globe and Mail, that tested the so-called Housing First approach to providing social services.

Beyond the cost savings, the new research shows that placing an emphasis on housing gets people off the streets and improves their physical and mental health.

“A house is so much more than a roof over one’s head. It represents dignity, security and, above all, hope,” said Louise Bradley, president and CEO of the Mental Health Commission of Canada.

Andre Picard Reports

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