Family in front of their home.Housing Stability and Mental Health

Can you imagine anything more stressful than not knowing where you’re going to sleep tonight? Unfortunately, this is the reality confronting far too many members of our community.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month.  So, we are raising awareness about the connection between housing instability and mental health. Numerous studies have shown that a safe and stable home environment is essential for mental well-being and that housing instability causes stress, anxiety, and other mental health challenges.

For low-income people, housing instability is a constant reality, and it is often difficult to know where to turn for help. That’s why we’ve put together a list of tips and resources to help our neighbors stay in their homes and prioritize their mental health.

Tip #1: Know Your Rights as a Tenant

It’s important to understand your rights as a tenant, including your right to a safe and habitable living environment, protection against discrimination, and the right to a fair eviction process. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has a wealth of resources to help you understand your rights and navigate any issues that may arise.

Resource: HUD Tenant Rights and Responsibilities

Tip #2: Build a Support Network

Having a strong support network can help you stay connected and cope with the stress of housing instability. Reach out to friends, family, and community organizations for support and resources.

Resource: Arlington County Resource for Mental Health

Tip #3: Seek Financial Assistance

If you’re struggling to make rent or facing eviction, there are resources available to help you get back on track. Look for financial assistance programs in your community, such as emergency rental assistance or utility assistance programs.

Resource: Arlington County Emergency Assistance Program

Tip #4: Take Care of Your Physical Health

Physical health and mental health are closely intertwined, and taking care of your body can have a positive impact on your mental well-being. Make sure to eat a healthy diet, get enough sleep, and exercise regularly.

Resource: National Institute of Mental Health – Caring for Your Mental Health

Tip #5: Create a Calming Home Environment

Your home environment can have a big impact on your mental well-being. Try to create a calming space by decluttering, adding plants or other natural elements, and keeping your living space clean and organized.

Resource: Apartment Therapy – Four Ways to Achieve an Anxiety-Friendly Home

Tip #6: Advocate for Housing Stability in Your Community

By speaking out about the importance of housing stability and advocating for policies that support affordable housing, you can make a difference in your community and help others in need.

Resource: National Low Income Housing Coalition – Advocate’s Guide

Tip #7: Take Time for Self-Care

Finally, it’s important to prioritize self-care and take time for activities that help you relax and recharge. Whether it’s meditation, yoga, or spending time outdoors, find activities that bring you joy and make them a regular part of your routine.

Resource: Headspace – Self-Care Tips for Mental Health

At Arlington Thrive, we believe everyone deserves a safe and stable home environment, and are determined to help low-income individuals and families achieve housing stability and mental well-being. By following these tips and using the resources, you can take control of your surroundings, advocate for healthy communities, and prioritize your own mental health.

Your generous contributions to Arlington Thrive enable us to provide emergency financial assistance to those who are at risk of eviction and homelessness. Donate today to make a difference in the lives of those in need.