Report Suggests Guideline to Help the Homeless

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Sarah Peddie

A clinical guideline has been released to help the homeless population of Canada to connect with the necessary health services. 

The Homeless Health Research Network carried out research into the homeless in Canada and the new guidelines are based on the evidence given in the report. 

Dr. Anne Andermann was one of the researchers behind the paper and she said that the guideline is aimed towards physicians. She continued to say that the healthcare specialists can work together and create better services for the homeless.

There are five intervention services that have been suggested in the guideline that front-line physicians can look at when dealing with homeless or vulnerable citizens. 

  1. Housing Support: Help homeless or vulnerably housed people and connect them to a local housing coordinator or case manager who will provide links to housing options. 
  2. Income Assistance: Assist people with income insecurity and access income-support resources.
  3. Case Management: Ensure that people with mental health and substance use disorders can access local mental health programmes and services.
  4. Opioid Agonist Therapy: Give access to opioid agonist therapy in primary care or refer to an addiction specialist.
  5. Harm Reduction: Identify management for people with substance abuse or refer them to a local addiction and harm-reduction services.

According to census data, around two million Canadians have experienced hidden homelessness in their lifetime and health workers may be able to identify them more easily. 

The guideline was released on Monday 9 March and it will be updated every five years. 

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