As we look at problems such as homelessness a large percentages of these people are suffering from mental illness. There are teams in some states that go out and bring people in and help them get benefits from places such as Social Security, disability and Medicare. People who are mentally ill and in a high state of illness need help in applying for these benefits. This gives people the opportunity to learn to live a more normal life.
Incarceration is the hospitalization over the last few decades included simply forgetting these people. I can recall when my grandfather who had mental illness and had physical illness as well was hospitalized in a state mental hospital. He was hallucinating due to alcohol and other problems. People were not given much respect in those days in the 1950s. There was not much change until the 1970s and not a major change until the 1999 when people could longer be held against their will.
When looking at the problem the fact is people are attacked physically and mentally when they are children and have the least ability to defend themselves. That isolates them and they cannot develop social skills. They become withdrawn and in many cases they have mental illness which adds to their anti-social behavior. They historically are not treated well. In the reference tape I viewed there was one thing that people could think of that would turn things around was they wanted to get better so they could go back to a certain situation such as with a spouse or family. People are what help people get better who have mental conditions.
People who are mentally ill and hospitalized follow a pattern. It is obvious anytime you view someone in these patterns it is easy to see. They do not believe they should be there but they do not see themselves functioning in the outside either. This is termed “Inside-Inside.”
The second part is “Inside-Outside” and that is when you have a reason to leave the hospital setting. An example of this is one of the people who was introduced to us in the film and told us a little about his life. He had a dream that his daughter pleaded with him that she needed him and because of that he volunteered for treatment and worked very hard to get better.
The third section is “Outside-Inside and that is when people go outside physically but they cannot stop thinking of being in the hospital and their friends and the structure it provides. This is a problem well known about people who have been in prison a long time and never developed social skills.
Finally there is “Outside-Outside” and this is when a person has learned enough that they are able to go on with their lives. There is no longing to return.
The process then from helping homeless people who have the affectation of mental illness is to begin treatment with their agreement by teams that go into the field. This is a step towards solving the problem of homelessness.
These people will go through a series of feelings moving from not believing they need help to being functioning members of society.
“The Road to Recovery; Recovery and Policy: How States Transform Systems Of Care,” Film, United States Department of Health and Wellness