Au Psy492 M7 A2 Power Point Semirdzhyan T.

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Homelessness in America

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Au Psy492 M7 A2 Power Point Semirdzhyan T.

  1. 1. Homelessness in America Taguhi Semirdzhyan PSY492 December 14, 2009
  2. 2. The Link Between Homelessness, Drug Abuse & Mental Illness Which comes first? <ul><li>Homeless -------------------> Drug Abuse ---------------------> Mental Illness </li></ul><ul><li>OR </li></ul><ul><li>Drug Abuse -----------------> Mental Illness ------------------> Homeless </li></ul><ul><li>Dual conditions exist in the case of homelessness. In one condition the individual who has become homeless is likely to turn to drug abuse (due to environmental factors) which can then lead to mental illness. In the other condition the drug abuse and/or mental illness are the precursors to homelessness. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Drug Abuse <ul><li>Individuals with a history of sexual abuse, assault and violence are more likely to become drug abusers. </li></ul><ul><li>Individuals who have been exposed to harsh living conditions such as poverty and neglect are more likely to abuse drugs. </li></ul><ul><li>Over 60% of people in drug rehabilitation centers report being abused or neglected as children (National Institute on Drug Abuse, 2000). </li></ul><ul><li>Children who have been sexually abused are 2.5 times more likely to develop alcohol abuse (National Institute on Drug Abuse, 2000). </li></ul><ul><li>Children who have been sexually abused are 3.8 times more likely to develop drug addiction (National Institute on Drug Abuse, 2000). </li></ul>
  4. 4. Mental Illness <ul><li>Though mental illnesses are sometimes genetic, having the gene for a particular mental illness does not mean it will develop within the individual. </li></ul><ul><li>The link between drug abuse and mental illness remains strong. Drug abuse may cause a mental illness to develop or may exasperate an already existing mental illness. </li></ul><ul><li>Nearly 80% of 21 year old individuals that were abused as children met criteria for at least one psychological disorder (National Center on Child Abuse and Prevention, 1997). </li></ul>
  5. 5. The Faces of Homelessness
  6. 6. Incidence of Homelessness and Associated Diseases and Conditions <ul><li>The homeless have high rates of unmet need for healthcare; poverty is associated with higher risk and rates of illness, particularly mental illnesses including substance abuse (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services). </li></ul><ul><li>Homeless individuals experience disproportionate rates and symptoms of mental health disorders including substance abuse disorders and dual diagnoses (U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development). </li></ul><ul><li>Studies researching the incidence, distribution and control of disease in a population find that between 1/3 and ½ of homeless people have mental health disorders (Center for Disease Control and Prevention). </li></ul><ul><li>Approximately 2/3 have either a mental health or substance use disorder (Center for Disease Control and Prevention). </li></ul><ul><li>Individuals with severe mental illness are more likely to become homeless, particularly when the disorder co-occurs with substance abuse (Center for Disease Control and Prevention). </li></ul>
  7. 7. What does it mean to be Homeless? <ul><li>The Stewart McKinney Homeless Assistance Act of 1987 defines a homeless person as any individual who lacks housing, including an individual whose primary residence during the night is a supervised public or private facility that provides temporary living accommodations or an individual who is a resident in transitional housing. </li></ul><ul><li>An individual who lacks fixed, regular and adequate nighttime residence, and an individual who has a primary nighttime residence that is either: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A supervised temporary living shelter (including transitional housing for the mentally ill) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>An institution that provides temporary residence for individuals intended to be institutionalized </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A place not designed for or ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. What does it mean to be Homeless? (continued) <ul><li>The word homeless is also used to describe individuals who are at risk of losing housing through eviction or institutional discharge. </li></ul><ul><li>Broadly speaking, homelessness is a heightened version of residential instability. </li></ul>
  9. 9. What does it mean to be Homeless? (continued) <ul><li>Recent cases of homelessness have been on the rise primarily due to the economic recession. </li></ul><ul><li>Foreclosures are now </li></ul><ul><li>a contributing factor </li></ul><ul><li>towards homelessness. </li></ul><ul><li>The sub-prime </li></ul><ul><li>mortgage lending crisis </li></ul><ul><li>has Created a wave of </li></ul><ul><li>foreclosures and evictions </li></ul><ul><li>in the United States. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Homelessness in America <ul><li>Though the increase in homelessness within the past several years have much to do with the economic crash, the individuals who have suffered from this unfortunate circumstance have a higher chance of breaking out of homelessness than the previously mentioned population: the mentally ill and substance abusers. </li></ul>
  11. 11. The Mentally Ill & Drug Abusers <ul><li>For the large population of homeless who are mentally ill and/or drug abusers, it is a vicious cycle not only leading up to homelessness but the struggle to get out of it as well. </li></ul><ul><li>It is difficult for the homeless who have mental conditions and substance abuse problems to end homelessness for a number of reasons… </li></ul>
  12. 12. A vicious cycle <ul><li>For those who became homeless due to mental illness or alcohol and drug abuse, they already lacked the ability to sustain stability in their everyday lives which led to ‘losing everything’. The inability to continue going to work, school, paying bills, and sustaining relationships among other things are all a result of some forms of mental illness (without any treatment) as well as substance abuse (sometimes a combination of both). </li></ul><ul><li>A tragic history, particularly of forms of abuse and neglect, often lead individuals to drugs which can enflame mental illnesses or altogether bring them about. This can then lead to loss of relationships, employment, possessions…and the arrival into homelessness. </li></ul><ul><li>Once homeless, individuals with such conditions are unable to escape the firm grasp of homelessness. </li></ul>
  13. 13. Hope for the future <ul><li>The homeless have commonly been victims prior to homelessness and remain victims after the onset of homelessness. </li></ul><ul><li>In order to break the stereotypes of the homeless, we need to understand the complex nature of homelessness and its victims. </li></ul>
  14. 14. Hope for the future <ul><li>In order to begin making significant improvements towards ending homelessness, all individuals working within fields in contact with the homeless population must understand and consider in order to provide the most effective treatment- whether it be physical aid, social services, mental health, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Understanding how to help the homeless and how to avoid homelessness can go one step further by decreasing the number of mentally ill individuals and drug abusers, as well as decreasing the number of violent crimes in the United States (which is yet another result of the combination of mental illness and drug abuse). </li></ul>
  15. 15. References <ul><li>Center for Disease Control and Prevention </li></ul><ul><li>National Center on Child Abuse and Prevention </li></ul><ul><li>National Institute on Drug Abuse </li></ul><ul><li>U.S. Department of Health and Human Services </li></ul><ul><li>U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development </li></ul>

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