Mental Health and the Homeless Community Essay

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Introduction The Center for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC] used the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ definition of mental illness as “health conditions that are characterized by alterations in thinking, mood, or behavior (or some combination thereof) associated with distress and/or impaired functioning” (2011). Our community is exposed to a large number of individuals with mental illness. Among those individuals are the widespread homeless populations. The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development reported “twenty-five percent of the sheltered homeless report a severe mental illness (as cited in Allender, Rector and Warner 2014 p. 907).” This author found the target population to be predominantly …show more content…
199-200). The concept of aiding the recipient who is unable to follow the proper directions of a prescribed medication is a contributing factor to the successful treatment of mental illness. This is especially true with the homeless population. Most homeless people lack insurance and healthcare services, which necessitate the use of the emergency room as their primary venue of medical assistance. When people do not have the access that they need to meet the medical demands for their illness, then that illness will remain stagnant. Because most homeless people do not have health insurance, this limits their access to the necessary doctors, or hospitals in which they can receive the proper care. Due to this flourishing issue, many communities have instituted services that operate specifically to help the homeless population with mental illness.
Individual
While the environmental factors place a significant role on identifying the variables that impact a community, the individual factors are what define the problem more closely. This author has discovered that the individual factors that influence the mental health of the homeless are grouped in the single, non- hispanic, Caucasian, males that are thirty one years and older category. In addition, substance abuse is a factor that greatly affects a person’s mental illness. Harris and Edlund’s research show that “the prevalence of a serious mental illness was more than three times as