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Patients Experiencing Homelessness: Mental Health Issues


Homelessness is a serious social problem the country has yet to solve. According to the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness (2018), over 30 thousand people experience homelessness in Florida. These people have to face numerous challenges, including mental health concerns that are often regarded as significant public health issues (Perry & Craig, 2015). It has been estimated that a third of homeless people have serious mental illnesses, including schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. This population tends to display aggressive behaviors and is also victimized (Gattis & Larson, 2017). It is acknowledged that the association between homelessness and mental health has been explored while this link is still under-researched when it comes to specific populations. For instance, race and sexuality have a substantial impact on homeless people’s mental health (Gattis & Larson, 2017). Homeless veterans have received considerable attention recently, and the needs of these people have been identified (Creech et al., 2015). Moreover, the type of homelessness (chronic, first-time, or recurrent) have a different influence on people.

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The recent research explores the diverse needs of homeless people and their families. Apart from the examination of specific health implications, researchers pay attention to the development of appropriate treatment and the availability of different programs (Gattis & Larson, 2017). It is evident that many of these people do not seek professional help due to various reasons, including the lack of information, the fear of stigmatization, and disbelief in public services. Current research addresses these issues, and researchers and social workers come up with various ideas regarding possible improvements to the situation.


This research will have a considerable influence on my practice as I have gained valuable insights into the matter. Clearly, the challenges faced by homeless people are quite obvious, but the prevalence of certain mental health issues, as well as the way these health conditions are perceived, was rather new to me. These people are well aware of the problems they have (including mental illnesses), which causes more distress. As a mental health nurse practitioner, I will focus on several domains when working with this population. I will concentrate on identifying the existing health concerns, developing treatment and educating patients with the focus on coping strategies, and provide comprehensive information on available resources. I will encourage these patients to participate in projects that can help homeless people deal with their financial and social constraints.

Of course, in order to achieve this goal, I will need to implement further research. I will continue exploring the issues diverse groups of homeless people have to endure. I will also try to locate as many programs and projects for this population as possible. I will need to look for success stories in order to encourage my clients to take part in the most effective programs. Finally, I will examine the existing and innovative types of treatment for such patients.


On balance, it is necessary to note that the research regarding the relationship between mental health and homelessness is ongoing, and new facets of the problem are being discovered. The recent advances linked to the research include the focus on specific populations and their needs based on their race, ethnicity, age, and past experiences. One of the primary limitations that are yet to be addressed is the involvement of homeless people with mental health issues. These people do not always seek help, which can be changed with the help of effective policies.


Creech, S. K., Johnson, E., Borgia, M., Bourgault, C., Redihan, S., & O’Toole, T. P. (2015). Identifying mental and physical health correlates of homelessness among first-time and chronically homeless veterans. Journal of Community Psychology, 43(5), 619-627. Web.

Gattis, M. N., & Larson, A. (2017). Perceived microaggressions and mental health in a sample of black youths experiencing homelessness. Social Work Research, 41(1), 7-17. Web.

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Perry, J., & Craig, T. K. J. (2015). Homelessness and mental health. Trends in Urology & Men’s Health, 6(2), 19-21. Web.

United States Interagency Council on Homelessness. (2018). Florida homelessness statistics. Web.

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