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Scottish Charity Register No. SC043760

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Good health guide for the homeless

May 18 2009
Advice on everything from depression to healthy eating and getting a good night‘s sleep - and your rights West Lothian Community Health and Care Partnership has launched a Guide to Good Health for homeless people. The 72-page guide, published in August, provides health information and advice for homeless people and those who work with them. Available in a variety of languages, it includes advice on everything from depression and self-harm to healthy eating and getting a good night's sleep. There is also more practical information, such as details of local support services, advice on oral health, with special tips for methadone users, and a guide to registering with a GP or health centre. It ends with a list of homeless 'rights' such as the right "to be treated with care, considerations, respect and dignity". It is hoped the guide will tackle inequalities in health provision, making homeless people aware of what services they're entitled to. The guide was written by the Health and Homeless Interest Group, which is made up of people from voluntary and statutory organisations involved or interested in homelessness and other issues such as health and domestic abuse. Brenda Kane, team leader on the CHCP's Moving into Health programme, said: "We are hoping every homeless tenancy in the area will stock copies of the guide so people can take one with them when they leave." Ms Kane, one of team's three mental health nurses, said mental health was a major issue among many of the homeless they met: "People may be feeling quite worthless and won't identify that they have certain symptoms."