Report: 1 in 4 adults who experience chronic homelessness battle serious mental illness
One in five American adults experience some form of mental illness each year. That's according to the National Alliance of Mental Health. It also reports one in four adults experiencing chronic homelessness battle serious mental illness.
One of the biggest contributing factors to homelessness is mental health stability. Up to half of all people without a home for more than a year suffer severe mental illness.
"Once they get to the point were they have been homeless for multiple years a lot of times their stability in relation to their mental health has really deteriorated," said Chad Wheeler, executive director of Open Door. " One of the biggest misconceptions that people have is that people just want to be homeless and I’ve worked in this field for the last 15 years and I can honestly say I have not met anyone who I can genuinely believe want’s to be homeless.”
Serious mental illness disrupts people's ability to carry out essential aspects of daily life. The Coalition for the Homeless reports that's things like self care or household management, plus the stress of it all makes them more likely to lose a home than other people.
Experts who work with homeless people say if you encounter someone in chronic homelessness be conscious and don't forget they're human. The best way to help is to refer them to the right services and programs. Below is a list of non profits that can be of assistance.