May 19 21

Mental Health Awareness: The Homeless Community

Tranelle Maner

This month, as we continue to bring attention to those who have mental illness, it is vital to highlight the struggles that can occur for those suffering in silence without healthcare. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 20 to 25% of the homeless population in the United States suffers from some form of severe mental illness; in comparison, only 6% of Americans are severely mentally ill. Mental illness is one of the third largest causes of homelessness for single adults.

Suffering from mental illness disrupts people’s ability to carry out essential daily tasks that allow them to succeed in society. Everyday tasks like going to grocery stores, remembering to pay bills, continuing steady jobs, and relationships are things that people who have mental illness can struggle with that then cause them to become homeless later. Poor mental health can also affect physical health. Both before and after homelessness, people who suffer from mental health issues can find themselves also suffering from physically debilitating injuries/illnesses that prevent them from re-entering society. When combined with inadequate hygiene due to homelessness, poor mental health issues can also lead to poor hygiene problems or respiratory infections.

It is crucial when trying to support the homeless community to reach out to those looking to provide rehabilitative services because their struggle goes far beyond because their struggle can go far beyond a plate of food. At HTI, we’ve helped multiple groups that specialize in homeless endeavors. HTI has specifically worked with the Raleigh Rescue Mission, Oak City Cares, and Union Mission to help people with issues related to homelessness in the North Carolina Community. If you would like to do your part to help people in your community or North Carolina dealing with homelessness, as well as mental illness, please follow the resources below.