Find your subject
in our database of
Spark your creativity...
an impressive essay!
Jesse was a psychotic man whose crazed, robotic appearances rendered his age and national origin difficult to identify (this also served as protection from predators). Over several years of observation he scarcely spoke when others were present. He ignored all outreach overtures with the same robotic indifference. People cleared a path whenever he entered a drop-in center because of his odor and appearance. He came only to collect day-old doughnuts and loaves of bread that was regularly donated in large quantities by area bakeries. No one knew where he spent his nights. Just before the onset of winter, the heavy coat the Jesse wore all year round had progressed to a state of severe disrepair. Most of its lining and insulation material dangled outside of the coat and remained attached to it by mere threads. Drop-in staff feared Jesse's survival in the cold but he refused to acknowledge their offers of a replacement coat. Subsequently he was offered a plastic bag with holes cut into it for his arms and head. It was hoped that he would use this to keep the coat's lining against his body. He would not acknowledge this offer either. Eventually he dropped out of sight; later it was learned that he had been committed to the state hospital after being found on the night of winter's first freeze. A police sweep of abandoned buildings had discovered him still wearing the favored coat with its dangling lining. (Kuhlman 120)
People like Jesse continue on a cycle of depravity; moving from shelter to shelter, refusing help and medication, further perpetuating their poverty. What if a loved one was in Jesse's situation, wouldn't a person insist on top-notch care? Sadly, most people do not consider such things, but instead ignore the growing problem of the homeless mentally ill. As an intern working at the local private mental hospital, I unfortunately saw plenty of cases like Jesses'. Countless homeless mentally ill individuals would shuffle through the cycle of depravity, receiving little to no intensive care. What I saw dismayed me, therefore prompted me to research the growing problem of the homeless mentally ill on the streets. What I have found is that current standards for helping such individuals is sub-par at best, the help they do receive leaves much to be desired. The homeless mentally ill is a very real problem in our society, effective measures need to be taken in order to reduce this expanding problem, consequently the major predicament surrounding the homeless mentally ill is a lack of sufficient mental health care.
According to the Federal Task Force on Homelessness and Severe Mental Illness, of all the people in the United States with severe mental illnesses--estimated to be many as 4 million--1/20 are homeless. Of the estimated nearly 600,000 homeless people in the United States, 1/3 of the single adults are believed to be severely mentally ill (18). While these numbers may not seem like much in relation to other social ills, they present a heavy problem for mental health practitioners. Homeless people, more than most, present to the service provider a multiplicity of needs. According to Homelessness and Mental Health, There are very few simple or uncomplicated cases. Apart from assistance with obtaining shelter, clothing, food, financial support and other basic needs, their mental health is often to the point of significant deterioration (Bhugra 113).
Along with problems associated with addressing the needs of the homeless mentally ill, most practitioners come from middle to upper class background and belief systems, thus they lack they the cultural knowledge needed to connect with the homeless mentally ill. Many mental health practitioners attempt to use outreach programs designed for seeking out those in need within their territory. While noble intentions, the practitioners do not realize they a
Terminology mentioned in this term paper
Names referenced in this report
Jesse, Kuhlman, Vernez,
Organizations included in this paper
federal government, Wall Street Journal, Federal Task Force,
Locations included in this paper
United States, New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York,
Health Conditions mentioned in this term paper
Keywords referenced in this term paper
mentally ill, homeless, the homeless, mental health, homeless shelters, homeless people, mental illnesses, mental health care, homeless person, outreach, government agencies, mental health professionals, hospitals, mental hospital, mental disabilities, Jesse, task forces, federal government, upper class, homelessness, United States, New York, Wall Street Journal, social, basic needs, New York City, poverty level, state government, abandoned buildings, intensive care, resources, plastic bag, bad luck, belief systems, single adults, social skills, state hospital, no place, depravity, drug dependency, class background, financial support, Los Angeles, civil rights, service provider, drop in, lifestyle, adequate, robotic, accessible,