Homelessness can cause stress, anxiety, inflammation and chronic diseases in the body. For people who experience homelessness, most health needs are related to substance use and mental health - dual diagnosis is frequent in these cases. In 2021, there were an estimated 250 homeless deaths in Scotland - 81% males and 19% female18Homeless Deaths 2021.

Homelessness is associated with poorer physical and mental health, and higher mortality rates than the general population. People experiencing homelessness can have lifestyles with constant upheaval which means being unable to register with a GP due to the lack of a permanent address which results in limited access to services. Exclusion from necessities, such as having a regular doctor, increases feelings of isolation, marginalisation and social exclusion19Public Health Scotland – Homelessness and Health Inequalities .

Click below to find out more about each of the health harms.