Monday, June 25, 2012

A choice to live

There are two sides to homelessness, one positive, having an abode, a home or an apartment you can call home, a place where you can relax and the elements of the world cannot cause dismay; a place where you can remain without a doubt-healthier. The second side to homelessness is homelessness itself. Many people seek shelters that are without homes or apartments, without dwellings they have no choice except to take to the streets, this includes the mentally ill. People released from jail or prison stand a slightened chance at securing a place to live more than someone who is mentally ill, yet it is the mentally ill who must struggle unkindly being without a source of income or the help of the mental health system itself; because they are new to the system, just released from the state psychiatric hospital or must wait until they are accepted by the necessary state social services office.
Last year, “according to the National Association of Psychiatric Health Systems, there were 42,385 patients in U.S state mental health hospitals and that is down from 559,000 in 1955. There are 14 state and psychiatric beds in the U.S for every 100,000 people.” “Experts were polled by a Treatment Advocacy Center in Arlington Virginia and recommended 50. In Vermont where a hurricane and floods destroyed the last of a state operated hospital the odds for the mentally ill were not so good for the mentally ill being somewhere secured. Since the hurricane in Vermont, private hospital emergency rooms have been overflowing with mentally ill patients, going so far as to hand cuffing the mentally ill to emergency room beds for untold days. People have been turned away without admittance and in the city of Burlington, Vermont issues of mental health have raised over 32 percent since the last year”.
With closures of Psychiatric treatment facilities happening in many states, there has been a close connection between violence, homelessness, and the stabilization of mentally ill patients and this stabilization cannot happen if patients are not kept in an inpatient or hospital setting with supervision. People want to see others live, no matter who or what the diagnosis or the kind of criminal record they may have, and without private or community funding the problem of stabilization of the mentally ill especially, tends to decrease and with funding, hope remains. This hope in attaining supervision and security through the offices of the state is much like a training session, where a patient may gain their sanity or sobriety or their willingness to live again with very little supervision, yet without a guiding light, how may they see beyond without time to think within a space they may see as their own without guidance, without a helping hand.

Written by Donald S.

1 comment:

  1. You seem to have a glitch in your comments. I posted here on the 25th.
    I work as a case worker to high-risk prisoners on probation with mental health challenges. We are contracted out by the county to serve this population in securing housing, medication, and SSI benefits. Unfortunately we only have about six month with them and many do not have any documents. That takes many months to secure. When their probation ends our services end, which means they have no place to live.