The lack of mental health services available to the mentally-ill and the deinstitutionalization of mental health hospitals have created a public health concern. These issues along with a failed continuum of care plans and a lack of community mental health services have been major contributing factors to homelessness. In addition, the strict guidelines for psychiatric hospitalization are critical when analyzing homelessness. In many cases, only the critically ill are meeting clinical criteria for hospitalization, leaving those who have significant mental health problems to fend for themselves. The link between homelessness and mental health is acknowledged but requires reform.
Homelessness has been a problem in the United States for well over a hundred years. Major economic downturns have always had a large role in effecting the homeless population. However, the deinstitutionalization of the psychiatric hospitals in America has greatly increased the size of the mentally ill homeless population, particularly in large urban areas. This increase in homelessness among people with
How many people are homeless in the United States, why are they homeless, and what percentage of homeless people are negatively impacted by mental illness? These issues will be presented in this paper.
Mental illness alone can be devastating to anyone who has it, but when it is also paired with being homeless, the results are catastrophic. “According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 20 to 25% of the homeless population in the United States suffers from some form of severe mental illness. In comparison, only 6% of Americans are severely mentally ill” (“Mental Illness and Homelessness”). If the early symptoms of a mental illness are discovered quick enough, the effects can drastically be minimized and controlled through medication, therapy, and knowledge of the illness. Since most Americans are fortunate to already have this outlet of medical services readily available at their disposal, their mental illness
While 22% of the American population suffers from a mental illness, a small percentage of the 44 million people who have a serious mental illness are homeless any given point in time (National Institute of Mental Health, 2005). Despite the disproportionate number of mentally ill people among the homeless population, the growth in homelessness is not attributable to the release of seriously mentally ill people from institutions. Most patients were released from mental hospitals in the 1950s and 1960s, yet vast increases in homelessness did not occur until the 1980s, when incomes and housing options for those living on the margins began to diminish rapidly (see "Why Are People Homeless?," NCH Fact Sheet #1). However, a new wave of deinstitutionalization and the denial of services or premature and unplanned discharge brought about by managed care arrangements may be contributing to the continued presence of seriously mentally ill persons within the homeless population.
People with mental illnesses are at greater risk of homelessness. This is particularly true for people with serious mental illnesses, particularly those that might impact their reality testing, such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or major depression (National Coalition for the Homeless, 2009). California, like other areas of the country, sees a relationship between mental illness and homelessness. In fact, mental illness may be one of the most significant risk factors for homelessness. Of people with serious mental illness seen by California's public mental health system, approximately 15% of them experienced at least one bout of homelessness in a one-year period (Folsom et al., 2005). Furthermore, "According to the Substance Abuse and Mental
As known the increase of homelessness in America is increasing. Not only that, mental illness within the homeless communities and the homeless in general is around one-third of the percentage of the homeless population. The mental illnesses one can have, has severe consequences. People who are homeless and have a mental illness are not able to carry out daily routines. They may also have trouble building or maintaining stable relationships. The mental illness causes people to misunderstand others guidance which causes them to react mentally. This results in pushing away anyone that cares for them; including family, friends, or even care givers. Mental health could result in poor physical health, especially for homeless people. The mental illness can cause people to neglect necessary precautions against disease. When improper hygiene is added to this, respiratory problems, skin disease, and exposer to tuberculosis or HIV can occur. Half of the homeless who are mentally ill, abuse
There are many social problems that are prevalent here in Los Angeles County. Three of the most prevalent social problems experienced by Angelenos would be homelessness, unemployment, and chemical dependency. Though our agency offers many resources to our clients, issues maybe beyond our scope. So to better help serve our clients I have put together this coordination of services plan to help us in referring our clients to the appropriate services offered by other agencies.
Fewer people are being institutionalized and treated for their illnesses, meaning they are often unable to work or take adequate care of themselves. These individuals are left with one viable option: to live on the streets. Not only does neglect to receive care contribute to the “chronic” homeless issue in America, but the tighter housing markets add to the inability to afford low-income housing (Quigley and Steven 333). Often times these individuals are on a government supplemented income or no income at all. Even with the aid, low-income housing is either unavailable or still unaffordable. Quigley and Steven believe that “homelessness can be reduced by attention to the better functioning of housing markets.” In order to get Americans off the streets, there will need to be a drive for more institutionalization of mentally-ill individuals and additional lower income housing
Homelessness and substance abuse are often two problems that continue to be linked together. However, homelessness can be an effect of substance abuse and vice versa. Addiction problems disrupt family organization and job performance resulting in loss of housing. While homeless, recovering from an addiction can be hard with lack of resources and the ability to access the appropriate care. In the following sections of this paper we will look at interventions and its effectiveness in the helping process, a multi-cultural analysis on the effects of homelessness, social and
As rates of homelessness continue to rise across the United States, the overall quality of life for this population is in question as many are victimized on a daily basis (Martin, 2015). Homelessness is a growing problem in nearly every city across the United States and yet it is often overlooked. One of the primary causes of homelessness across the United States is the result of chronic mental health disorders followed by increasing rates of poverty (Martin, 2015). The harmful effects of long-term homelessness are well known and documented as incidents of violence and sexual abuse increase among
All new housing developments should have a clear and accessible link to supportive services, such as mental health and substance abuse programs, in order to prevent future homelessness. This concept is often referred to as the Housing First model, which is an approach that centers around providing stable housing to individuals before providing supportive services (“What is Housing First,” 2006). Substance abuse is often an obstacle in mental health recovery and the ability to maintain stable housing. It is estimated that approximately 50–70% of homeless individuals with severe mental illness also abuse substances (Padgett, Stanhope, Henwood, & Stefancic, 2011). Padgett et al. (2011) compared the Housing First approach to the Treatment First approach
Anthropology is critical in order to understand many pressing contemporary issues such as social inequality, homelessness, drug addiction, structural, symbolic and interpersonal violence, and illicit economies. While all of these issues are important to understand, the public concern that is of the utmost importance is homelessness as well as the issues that correspond with this public concern. Homelessness is a very serious and pressing contemporary issue and it is strongly linked to another very serious contemporary issue, that being, drug addiction. Through the conduction of ethnographic research such as that found in Bourgois and Schonberg’s Righteous Dopefiend as well as Shandy’s “The Road to Refugee Resettlement,” it is possible to
Even though substance abuse can be a cause of homelessness by being an addict who uses all their finances to support their unhealthy habits, it can also be an effect. Often times it is a way for the homeless to cope with their struggles. It is possible that they might consume these liquids as a way to ignore their misfortunes and blocking out their reality. (Gomez, Thompson, et.al, 2010, Para 2), states that, “Drug use is a common approach to numbing the daily experiences of life on the street and alleviating the stress of street life and the negative emotional effects of traumatic experiences. The stress resulting from sleeping outdoors and in public places may be alleviated or eased by using drugs and alcohol to keep warm and suppress hunger”
Substance abuse impacts the society on multiple levels and it is a major and complex public health problem. The total overall costs of substance abuse in the United States exceeds $600 billion per year. Substance abuse is often a cause of homelessness and homeless people report that drugs and/or alcohol were a major reason for them becoming homeless. Drug overdose is a new epidemic and it is the leading cause of death among homeless. At a state level, California accounted for more than 22% of the nation’s homeless population in 2013. Several determinants of health can be addressed to the high prevalence of substance abuse in homeless people. A fish bone diagram will be used to illustrate six determinants of health: Stress, Poverty, Discrimination, Housing, Access to Health Care and Social Support. Homeless people face stressful situations related to violence and danger and emotional dysfunctions. The access to health care has several barriers for homeless people. Poverty is also related to all the factors to contribute to drug use. At last, lack of social support from family and friends and for recovery. Discrimination that leads to marginalization, stigma and increase of emotional distress.