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WOHIN-Study (Homelessness among people with mental disorders)

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'Wohin' (Whereto) is a cross-sectional study to investigate parameters influencing the path into homelessness among people with mental disorders.

According to numbers of Berlin’s senate, more than 14.000 people are currently homeless in the city of Berlin. The majority of homeless people is accommodated in special transition facilities for the homeless. Accurate numbers of homeless people living directly on the street are not available, but the number is estimated between 600 and 3.000 people.  

National as well as international studies estimated the number of homeless people suffering from mental disorder up to 90%. Substance use disorders are hereby the most common disorders (80%). Despite high numbers of mental disorders among this vulnerable group as well as the following challenges for healthcare and social services, the interrelation between the development of homelessness and psychiatric illness remains unclear.

The goal of this study is to investigate parameters influencing the path into homelessness among people with mental disorders and thereby develop an action plan to prevent social marginalization.

In a meta-analytic approach we were able to show high prevalence rates of mental disorders among homeless people in Germany compared to the general population. The development and implementation of specific care models for this vulnerable group is essential to address the high morbidity and mortality. We are currently working on an update of an international meta-analysis regarding the prevalence of mental disorders among the homeless in western countries together with Prof. Fazel from the University of Oxford.


Principal Investigators
Dr. Stefan Gutwinski
Dr. Stefanie Schreiter

Doctoral Candidates
Karl Deutscher
Stefan Heidrich
Jamie Eichmann
Anne Brückner
Ute Saathoff