Homelessness and Mental Illness
Intervening in the lives of the homeless could help save their lives. Many of the homeless population have some sort of mental illness or disorder. This could be anything from PTSD to Schizophrenia to Bipolar disorder. These people are without their regular medication, which can cause their diseases to take over. Without any family support, many of these people turn to robberies to get their medication. Some even turn to suicide when they can take no more. Even if the person refuses the help, at least help was offered. Not many homeless people get the chance for help, without institutions. They are shy to acknowledge that they have an illness, which means not reaching out for help. They are afraid that people will look down on them and put them into mental institutions. “The Housing First (HF) approach for homeless adults with serious mental illness has gained support as an alternative to the mainstream “Treatment First” (TF) approach.” (Padgett, Stanhope, Henwood & Stefancic, 2009) The difference between Treatment First and Housing First is that Housing First focuses on a stable place for the person/people to stay before focusing on the drug problems that the homeless may have, whereas Treatment First focuses more on the sobriety of the homeless than they do on the housing stability. It has been found through studies that, according to (Padgett, Stanhope, Henwood & Stefancic, 2009), “Housing First significantly reduces the rate of substance use and substance abuse treatment utilization; they were also less likely to leave their program.” This could be good news for people who want to help the homeless assimilate into society. By knowing that a stable house is more beneficial than solving their drug problems, you can get more of these poor mentally diseased people off of the street and into a safe shelter. If we can get even one person off of the streets, that is 1 less person who is at risk. If we can get all willing...
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