Mental Illness and Homelessness
The debate over mental illness and homelessness has been around for years. Everyone has a view or an opinion about whether or not mental illness is related to homelessness. The fact is that most people who are mentally ill cannot do the basic things that are needed to be able to maintain a balanced life, therefore they find themselves out on the streets. Statistics show that most people who are living on the streets suffer from some type of mental illness. Some people may say that this is a life that they chose for themselves and some people may say that the mentally ill have no choice. And this is why we must do something about the problem because whether you agree or disagree the fact is every time you drive down the street or go into a store the face of the homeless is there. Mental Illness and Homelessness
The amount of people who are suffering from mental illness in America has risen leading up to drug addiction and homelessness. Mental illness is defined as a medical condition that disrupts a person's thinking, feeling, mood, ability to relate to others and daily functioning, serious mental illnesses include major depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), panic disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and borderline personality disorder. ("," p. 1) People who have this disease often find themselves without ant support and nowhere to go. It has been said that schizophrenia and bipolar are the two most popular mental illnesses among homeless people. I first learned of these illnesses while dealing with a family member who had recently been diagnosed, he was always a person who was able to deal with others and he was always able to incorporate himself into society. Since being diagnosed he has had a constant battle with his disease, he has had to face homelessness and even jail. Most of the people who are ill cannot function in the everyday world, they cannot maintain a steady job which means that they are unable to pay their bills or adequately take care of themselves. People who are mentally ill often will find it very hard to uphold and type of stable life and rarely to they trust anyone because in their minds people are out to harm them. It is estimated that 25-25% of homeless people, compared to 6% of the non-homeless, have some type of severe mental illness. (National Coalition for The Homeless, 2009, para. 1) Some of the biggest problems that the mentally ill face is a lack of support not only from their families but from their friends and from the government itself. Society thinks that the answer to the problem is to just continue to medicate them or to just simply lock them away so that no one has to deal with them. The homeless population, especially homeless persons with serious mental illness, has increased steadily since the 1970s. (, para. 3) Statistics prove that this is not the answer once we decide to just look the other way the numbers begin to rise. It has also been proven that most programs for the mentally ill do not have the adequate medical staff that is needed to make sure that each one of these people are properly treated. Most of the state run programs are cutting back on resources so there is not enough money to train and pay doctors and nurses to work with the people. () () http://www.nationalhomeless.org/factsheets/Mental_Illness.pdf It is estimated that approximately 200,000 people are homeless today. Some of these people who are homeless do not chose to be in this situation most of them cannot afford the medication they need to keep them balanced enough to where they can maintain jobs and relationships. Most people who are homeless today also deal with addiction and crime, being forced to live on the streets some of them turn to crime in order to feed themselves or get the money they need in order to buy their medication....
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