• homelessness;
  • mental health problem;
  • service engagement;
  • young people


The present qualitative study describes and discusses the perspectives and experiences of young homeless people with mental health problems in relation to their interactions with health and social care services. Working in partnership with Streetlink, a supported accommodation assistance programme in Adelaide, Australia, the authors interviewed 10 homeless young people, aged from 16 to 24 years of age, who had experienced mental health problems. In-depth interviews elicited accounts of the best and worst of the participants’ experiences of health and social care services. Access to services was not identified as being a significant problem in comparison with the participants’ concerns regarding the quality of the services encountered. The central findings stress the importance of a respectful and supportive climate in relation to the qualities of service provision that the young people identified as valuable for their continuing treatment or consultation.