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mental health among the homeless

You're taking your opinionated brother-in-law from the U.K., Larry, to the WalMart when he spots a homeless person gesturing wildly and talking to himself. "I don't get it," he says. "Why would anyone want to live like that? That guy needs to get on some medications and go to work and contribute to society like the rest of us!" You're contemplating how Larry contributes to society when he says, "I guess I should pick up a toothbrush while we're here. I've been using yours and it's getting nasty!"

Do you feel that those homeless people suffering from serious mental illness are treated fairly in our society? For example, do you feel that they have adequate access to treatment for their illnesses? If not, what changes would you recommend?

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Yes, I strongly feel that homeless people who are suffering from serious mental illnesses are treated extremely unfairly and inhumanely in our society. They are often feared, mocked, scorned, 'Othered,' stigmatized, and ostracized unfairly. The book and movie, The Soloist, is an excellent example for you to consider.

Based on the homeless populations' impoverished lifestyles, I firmly believe that they lack adequate access to equitable treatment for their illnesses. The article shows how lack of medical access is often financially based:

Amato, F., & MacDonald, J. (2011). Examining Risk Factors for Homeless Men: Gender Role Conflict, Help-Seeking Behaviors, Substance Abuse and Violence. Journal Of Men's Studies, 19(3), 227-235.

The article shows how disparities occur in health care since "Despite drastic and severe fiscal cuts in services to the homeless, their need continues to remain very high" (227).

The article also shows how according to Liu, Stinson, Hernandez, Shepard, and Haag (2009), homeless people are "understudied and underserved by psychological professionals" (p. 131). In an era of fiscal restraint and financial cutbacks, the homeless are losing valuable resources even though they remain some of the neediest people in our society" (227).

Here is another source to validate:

Patel, V., Saraceno, B., & Kleinman, A. (2006). Beyond Evidence: The Moral Case for International Mental Health. American Journal Of Psychiatry, 163(8), 1312-1315.

The authors correlate how there are "socioeconomic determinants of many disorders" (1312), which definitely coincides with ...

Solution Summary

This solution analyzes some issues regarding mental health among the homelessness populations. References are also infused.