Many youth experiencing homelessness have mental health challenges as both a cause and consequence of homelessness. Homelessness devastates youth and young adults’ physical, behavioral, and psychosocial health. The longer young people experience homelessness, the more they are exposed to the risks of sexual and economic exploitation, the more likely they are to experience trauma, declining health, and addictions, and the greater the difficulty they will have breaking the cycle of homelessness.

Key Takeaways

• Young Adults Experiencing Homelessness worry that mental health providers will not believe them or that they may not receive the best care without health insurance.
• Embedding prevention services within organizations, such as drop-in centers and shelters, can help to overcome barriers in access to mental health treatment and identify and engage youth who might otherwise not seek help.
• Given that suicide is the leading cause of death among Young Adults Experiencing Homelessness understanding factors that predict treatment attendance is paramount to preventing death by suicide.
• When young adults experiencing homelessness engage in mental health services, it tends to be short-term. Therefore, youth service providers must ensure prevention and treatment are tailored and flexible.

Learn more by downloading the full report.