Mental health problems of the Edinburgh 'roofless'.
Newton JR., Geddes JR., Bailey S., Freeman CP., McAleavy A., Young GC.
BACKGROUND: The roofless have not been previously surveyed in detail looking specifically at their psychiatric status. METHOD: All roofless people in a discrete area were interviewed in their 'skippers' using a semi-structured interview. Other roofless people helped in case finding and diagnostic validity was confirmed using a computerised case register. RESULTS: Sixty-five people were interviewed. High rates of substance abuse (n = 48, 75%), and very low rates of psychotic illness (n = 2, 3%) were found. High rates of serious physical morbidity, of imprisonment and of being the victim of a crime were found. CONCLUSION: The roofless have multiple severe medical, social, and psychiatric problems. These all must be addressed when considering the provision of services.