Historically, mental health issues and homelessness have been viewed as separate issues which have been individually funded by states and cities. As more is learned about the statistical link and the apparent connection between the lack of mental health services and homelessness, more attention is being commanded to address this issue as one.
House Bill 1293, also known as the Services for Ending Long-Term Homelessness Act, is a Bill that hopes to systematically end homelessness by providing grants to community based agencies to work with those who have mental health issues and substance abuse with an emphasis on treatment, health, and education. The ultimate goal is to assist family’s progress to their own self sufficiency in an effort to eradicate homelessness (Library of Congress, 2015).
A macro focus is being recommended to deal with the various issues that impact ones mental health by House Bill 1293. The Bill is currently emphasizing the need for a collaborative approach to this area of need and is looking to fund therapeutic treatment for those who need it. There is also a component of the bill that will work to uplift individuals and assist in their own self-determination. There is a social and ethical responsibility for the government to have policies in place to meet the needs of the most vulnerable citizens of society. Those with unmet mental health issues need advocacy and support from the government. Mental health services should be a priority and government proposals should be geared towards generating more funding to address this issue. If more attention and funding are focused on mental health services, homelessness is likely to decrease (Library of Congress, 2015).
Furthermore, the National Center o...
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...e enforcement of the Mental Health Parity Law, enhance collaboration across federal agencies, progress the integration of mental and physical health care services, eradicate discriminatory barriers to treatment, improve the use of technology in mental health care, and remove Medicare’s 190 day limit of inpatient psychiatric treatment (NAMI: National Alliance on Mental Illness | Mental Health Reform, 2015).” The Mental Health Reform Act of 2015 (S 1945) is currently in the Introduction and Referral phase. The Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act of 2015 (HR 2646) was sent to Committee Consideration on November 16, 2015 (Congress.gov, 2015). If passed, these acts could provide the necessary resources to sustain mental health services and address the barriers to treatment. Consequently, the likelihood for homelessness among the mentally-ill could be reduced.
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