Prison Immates and Homeless People Should Have Access To Mental Health Services

A study that was published in 2008 that is titled "Jail Incarceration, Homelessness, and Mental Health: A National Study" by Greg A. Greenberg, Ph.D. and Robert A. Rosenheck, M.D. states that "Symptom clusters associated with mania, depression, psychosis, and substance abuse were common among all inmates but were significantly more prevalent among homeless inmates, with rates 10% to 22% higher among homeless inmates. The rate at which homeless inmates reported other indicators of mental illness was also 15% higher than that among domiciled inmates (33% versus 18%). Consistent with these results, homeless inmates were significantly more likely to report use of mental health services or of medications for a mental illness" (Psychiatry Services 2008). This shows that mental illness and mental health issues are prevalent with people who are incarcerated or are homeless. 

Why should we care?

We should care because I believe that everyone should have (free) access to mental health services no matter what their income level might be. I know from personal experience that medication and therapy is very, very expensive! If people do not have the means or an insurance company to cover their healthcare (sometimes people have to pay out-of-pocket), they will not get the help that they need. 

Let's all remember that mental health is as important as physical health!

If you cannot trust your mind or body, it is very scary and equally problematic. You go to the doctor, right? Then why not go see a therapist; it's the same thing! Even if you don't think that you have a mental illness, I promise that there are other ways that visiting a therapist might be beneficial to you. At the very least, it can be helpful to bounce ideas off of someone, so that you can think more clearly about a situation. I know it helps me! I just wish it was more accessible to people and less expensive to people who actually need it!

Find the full study here for additional information.