Mental Illness In The Homeless

1336 Words 6 Pages
Compendium: Mental Illness in the Homeless
Capus P. Barnett
Valdosta State University

Homelessness is a social issue that has been a continual problem for the United States. Mental illness is a major contributor to the homeless problem. In a 2008 survey conducted by the U.S Conference of Mayors, 25 cities were asked for the three main reasons for homelessness in their populations. Mental illness was found to be the third leading cause of homelessness for single adults. The only other leading factors that came before mental illness was lack of affordable housing and poverty (The U.S. Conference of Mayors, 2015). There have been policies put in place to help alieve the homelessness population with mental illness such as the Projects for Assistance
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1.1% of adults in the United States suffer from schizophrenia (National Institute of Mental Health, n.d.). According to 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, nearly forty percent of adults with severe mental illness such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder have not received any treatment. Sixty-percent of adults were left untreated (U.S Department of Health and Human Services, 2013). Approximately 90,000 citizens suffering schizophrenia or manic-depressive illness are in hospitals receiving treatment for their ailment. Fifty percent of children aged 8 – 15 received mental health services in a single year (NAMI, 2016). African Americans and Hispanic Americans received mental health treatment at one-half the rate of Caucasian Americans in a single year and Asian Americans at about the one-third the rate (NAMI, 2016). It is a common misconception that those that suffer from mental health issues does not have an effect on the rest of the United States citizens. However, severe mental health issues cost Americans nearly $193.2 billion in lost earnings per year (NAMI, 2016). In 2001, a University of Pennsylvania study found that 5,000 homeless people with mental disorders in New York City cost taxpayers an average of $40,500 a year due to their use of emergency rooms, …show more content…
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