The Link Between Homelessness And Mental Health

983 Words Dec 12th, 2015 4 Pages
What’s the issue?
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.
A study completed by Folsom (2005), shows a correlation between homelessness and untreated mental health issues in the United States. The research suggests that approximately one-third of the homeless population has a significant mental health diagnosis such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or major depression. Mental health issues can impact anyone. However, those who remain untreated and have additional risk factors such as lower socioeconomic conditions or substance abuse issues are more likely to become homeless. The research also suggests that men have a higher rate of homelessness than women. In particular, African American men have a higher rate of homelessness than those from other ethnic backgrounds. Veterans are also at-risk for mental health issues that may lead to…
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