Mental Illness and Homelessness: A Value Based Approace

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Mental Illness and Homelessness: A Values Based Approach The term "downward drift" is used by sociologists to describe what can happen when a person's mental illness is left un-treated and becomes chronic. Imagine this chain of events, a common set of consequences for a person with mental illness. Bob is married and has a job that offers quality health care. He develops a mental illness and does not receive treatment. As the illness exhibits more symptoms the functional impairment increases. With this increased strain Bob's relationships at home and work suffer. Eventually the strain leads to a break-up of the home. This impacts Bob's work performance and leads to the loss of his job. He loses his access to healthcare and in a few short months of finical strain he ends up homeless. This situation is far too common. Mental illness remains one of the most stigmatized of all medical disorders, contributing to this cycle (Mental Health Policy Analysis Collaborative, 2009). The lack of adequate care for the mentally ill starts this downward drift, ending with homelessness and frequently jail time. Jail inmate populations have an inflated percentage of inmates with serious mental illness. 31% of the women's population and 14.5% of the men's population suffer from serious mental illness, however only one-third in state jails, and less than one-sixth in local jails are treated for their mental illnesses (International Association of Chiefs of Police, 2010). Define Mental Illness and Homelessness Homelessness nationwide is on the rise, and the mentally ill play a larger role more than we realize. It is no secret that homelessness can be a controversial issue, however what is clear is that mental illness places people at a ... ... middle of paper ... ...n help treat mental illness. Retrieved from: Rawls, J. (1999). A Theory of Justice (Rev. ed.). Cambridge, Mass: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press. Rowe, M., & Baranoski, M. (2000). Mental illness, criminality, and citizenship. Journal Of The American Academy Of Psychiatry And The Law, 28(3), 262-264. Swenson C. R. (1998). Clinical Social Work's Contribution to a Social Justice Perspective. Social Work (1998) 43 (6): 527-537 doi:10.1093/sw/43.6.527 United States Interagency Council on Homelessness. (2013). Individuals in Need. Retrieved from World Health Organization. (2003). Investing In Mental Health. Retrieved from World Health Organization website:

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