Mentally ill homeless on the rise

HOMELESS people with mental health issues have become the fastest growing group seeking homelessness services.

An Australian Institute of Health and Welfare report released on Friday showed that of people seeking support, the homeless with current mental health issues had grown at 12% a year since 2011-12.

The report said some 25% of all homelessness service clients - 63,000 - had a mental health issue, compared to 19%, or 44,800, in 2011-12.

It showed those with a mental health issue needed more support for a longer period than those without.

More than one-third of clients seeking help were fleeing domestic or family violence.

"In 2014-15, this was 92,000 people, including 31,000 children and 56,000 women," AIHW spokesman Geoff Neideck said.

"Domestic violence continues to be a significant issue for the clients of homelessness services and their children."

The report showed 255,500 Australians sought support from homelessness services in 2014-15.

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