Like any other chronic condition, mental illness might affect your ability to manage aspects of everyday life, such as finding a place to live and maintaining it. People who have a serious mental illness or more than one condition (a 'dual diagnosis') are more at risk of experiencing homelessness.
Homelessness means you are not living in a safe and stable place. If you have a mental illness and are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless, there are residential services available to help you find short- and long-term accommodation.
Choose the right housing and accommodation service for you
There are several services that help people with mental illness to get back on their feet while recovering, or find a place to live that supports their needs.
Community rehabilitation centres
Community rehabilitation centres
are a short-term option to help you get back on your feet after a stay in hospital or to help you to live independently at home. You can stay at a rehabilitation centre or in your own home, if appropriate.
There are different types of supported residential services in Victoria delivered by non-government agencies.
For example, Mind Australia provides four types of supported residential services in Victoria.
Doorway is the Mental Illness Fellowship's housing program for people with serious mental illness who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. It can help you with your recovery, and help you focus on getting a safe and stable home and job.
A housing and recovery worker will support you to:
- find (and keep) suitable, affordable housing in the private rental market
- pay your rent independently
- manage your mental illness and plan for the future, including finding a job
- make connections and get involved in your local community.
Call the Mental Illness Fellowship on (03) 8486 4222 to talk to a trained volunteer (Monday to Friday, 9 am – 5 pm).
Support at home
To find what services are available in your area that will help you with extra support at home, you can contact:
Extra support for older Victorians
If you are:
- over 65 years old, or
- over 50 and identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander
and are still living at home, the Home and Community Care (HACC) program can help you to continue to live independently.
HACC services help with cleaning, cooking, home maintenance and minor repairs, as well as personal care like showering, dressing, going to the toilet, eating and exercising. To learn more about HACC, visit or call 1800 200 422 (Monday to Friday, 8 am – 8 pm, and Saturday from 10 am – 2 pm).
You can also type your postcode into the search engine on the My Aged Care website to find your nearest HACC services.
Where to get help
This page has been produced in consultation with and approved by:
Better Health Channel - (need new cp)
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