Poor housing means poor mental health

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During Mental Health Awareness Week, we look at how poor mental health is prevalent in low-income urban communities globally

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Devastating mental health issues can result from living in inadequate housing. Quality affordable housing offers a way out.

Studies reveal five of the main issues

  • According to the UN World Health Organisation (WHO), living in low quality housing conditions – with structural defects and poor maintenance – is directly linked to greater psychological distress and poor development in children and adults
  • Poorer communities in informal settlements often have sub-standard infrastructure, inadequate sanitation, overcrowding, joblessness and crime – which negatively impact on wellbeing
  • Children living in crowded and cramped conditions are significantly more likely to develop poor mental health conditions and overcrowded living conditions lead to delayed cognitive development
  • Widespread stress and psychosocial distress are reported by the majority of residents living in slums and informal settlements
  • Lack of privacy, sense of control and autonomy in one’s home can lead to anxiety and depression

How Reall’s affordable housing is the solution

Studies also show that wellbeing and happiness among people living in slums is substantially higher after receiving improved housing. Having decent housing helps people feel more secure and peaceful, which in turn leads to better social interactions, daily routines and sleep quality.

Better houses – stronger building structures and indoor amenities – give families privacy, security, control and a sense of identity.

For the 2 billion people around the world without somewhere decent to call home, Reall’s housing projects can drastically improve mental health.

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