Homelessness and Mental Illness
By: Rojo Martinez
DISCLAIMER- THE TOPIC OF HOMELESSNESS IS VERY SERIOUS AND COMPLEX. THIS STUDY OF MENTAL ILLNESS AND ITS ASSOCIATION TO THE HOMELESS POPULATION IS IN NO WAY IMPLYING CAUSATION. THIS IS SIMPLY A CULMINATION OF STUDIES TO BRING AWARENESS TO A LARGER MESSAGE. THANK YOU.
Hope is a sense of trust in the future; a feeling of excitement for what is yet to come. Hope is the vital driving force to success and the reason to wake up every morning. However, there exists a large population of people with little to look forward to. This state of mind can be detrimental to the human psyche.
The association between Homelessness and Mental Illness is highly complex with many different intricacies and exceptions. Most researchers concluded a bivariate relationship of many causations. Mental illness could make it difficult for an individual to earn a steady outcome, but in many cases poverty is the ultimate factor that leads to homelessness.
A study conducted in South Carolina by the group Thrive compared the health centers available to those in need to the mental health crisis occurring in the state.SCTHRIVE.ORG
The Study concluded that 1 in every 5 adults in the state are suffering from Mental Illnesses. In addition, only 40% of those with Mental Illness are receiving prescribed treatment.
Psychologists in the metropolitan area of Barcelona, Spain conducted an experiment, in which they tracked the lives of 20 individuals. The people selected for the study had all been homeless in a relatively recent time in their life. The methodology used by the psychologists during the interview process was designed to allow for deepening connections and trust.
The project revealed that after confronting circumstantial issues such as substance abuse and alcoholism the most crucial quality to getting off of the streets were deep and meaningful connections. In other words, without a system of support around you to help you it is less likely for an individual to find success in abandoning the streets.
The mission behind my project was to connect a group of individuals through the practices of Positive Psychology. I did so by creating a website that can easily be transformed to a QR Code for easier accessibility.
There is ample research in support of meaningful connections creating a healthier mental state. Veterans are a great example of the crucial role that relationships with others play in recovery from PTSD. This is also similar with those who suffer from other mental illnesses or even poverty. With my project there will be hour long group therapy sessions which will aim to make tight knit communities for people who have been forgotten by society.
When humans are allowed to interact on a deep and trustworthy level is when the most growth within us can happen. With the 1-on-1 consultations with Positive Psychology experts participants can receive complete attention. The research behind meaningful connections dates back to many studies that have found the link between chronic depression and homelessness. A study conducted in 2013 by Psychologists in Brazil saw the connection between all angles of education, poverty, family structure and mental health. The results demonstrated the importance of strong connections with others and tackling mental health issues such as depression.
The last of the great services that my project will offer is a 24-Hour Shelter open to anyone who may need a place to stay or a meal. Given that Psychology has been turned into a luxury by modern society and those unfortunate enough to not have the basics to survive, will likely never seek the proper mental health attention that they need, I wanted to ensure that every participant had their basics. Of course, like any other shelter, we may not be able to accomodate the specific needs of every individual. However, we can ensure that we will do our best to create the spark in someone’s life that will help them take control