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Fri Apr 29, 2016, 02:56 PM

How Many People with Serious Mental Illness Are Homeless

(July 25, 2014) “Anyone walking the streets is familiar with the problem of lost souls too disoriented to take care of themselves,” the Los Angeles Times editorial board wrote in an appeal for Laura’s Law. “Though many mental patients seek treatment, others refuse and wind up drifting on the streets, a risk to themselves and others (“Laura’s Law at last for SF,” June 24).”

Approximately one-third of the total homeless population includes individuals with serious, untreated mental illnesses according to a research summary compiled by the Treatment Advocacy Center.

The Treatment Advocacy Center’s newly updated backgrounder, “How many individuals with a serious mental illness are homeless” examines the percentage of homeless individuals with serious mental illness and their abysmal quality of life.

Approximately 33 percent of the homeless are individuals with serious mental illnesses that are untreated;

Many of these people suffer from schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, bipolar disorder or major depression;

The homeless population has increased steadily in cities and small towns since the 1970s;

In Massachusetts and Ohio, 27 and 36 percent of people released from mental institutions became homeless within 6 months;

Previously hospitalized people were three times more likely to obtain food from the garbage;

Studies show that psychotic individuals are much more likely to get assaulted or threatened while homeless;



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