Intertwined in Texas: Mental Illness and Poverty in the Lone Star State

It’s hard to overstate the weight of poverty in the lives of those dealing with mental illnesses. Poverty can both increase the likelihood that a person will suffer from mental health challenges and make it more difficult for those already living with these struggles to pursue recovery.

Many intertwining factors related to poverty create a tangled cycle for those living with mental health conditions. For example, a serious mental illness can make it difficult for a person to hold down a job. As a result of being out of work, they may be unable to afford healthy food or a bus pass to get to a doctor’s appointment, adding extra hurdles in managing their illness. They may lose their housing, further eroding their ability to pursue stability. And, as they lack the resources necessary to take steps to improve their mental health, they remain unable to work and their condition may become an even greater struggle. Continue reading

A Well World: A Foundational Issue

 

As a friend of The Well Community, you know that we serve adults living with chronic and severe mental illnesses. And I hope you have also become aware that, because of those conditions, our members face many daunting and seemingly insurmountable obstacles.

In our recent blogs, we have highlighted one of those challenges: homelessness. Nearly all of our members have been without safe and dependable shelter many times in their adult lives. In fact, even now, on any given night, more than a third of our members who attend regularly sleep in doorways, under bridges or just along the side of the road. Continue reading

A Network of Neighbors

Residents of Jacob’s House enjoy their backyard

“I love them all,” says neighbor Nancy Templeton from the front porch of Jacob’s House, a place she often finds herself sitting and chatting with the men who live there. A longtime resident of the Oak Cliff neighborhood, Nancy speaks highly of the individuals who live next door. “They’re all great guys,” she says, and as an older woman who no longer drives, she values being able to walk over to the house to talk. Continue reading

Three Factors That Make Safe Housing a Challenge

Three Factors That Make Safe Housing a ChallengeA stable, affordable place to live can make a big difference in a person’s ability to pursue recovery while dealing with metal heath challenges. As Mental Health America of Greater Dallas states, “Safe, decent, clean housing is a key factor in recovery for individuals with mental illness.” But, for many, this housing is elusive. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), individuals dealing with mental and/or substance use disorders are often particularly vulnerable to becoming homeless or being precariously housed (they either have no shelter or they live in crowded apartments with friends or acquaintances in untenable situations and move often).  Continue reading

Jacob’s House: More Than a Place to Stay

2018-03-01 Jacob_s House More Than a Place to StayAs a child, Brian was treated as a troublemaker. Although his parents sensed something was wrong, they didn’t realize he was dealing with bipolar disorder.

Now, as an adult, Brain says he’s gotten used to people treating him differently because of mental illness. “When people hear that people [deal with] bipolar, a red flag goes up and they think you’re some kind of maniac. In general, they’re scared of you. They’re scared you’re going to get mad,” he shares. Continue reading

A Well World: A Lot of Good Going On

Historic homes are being restored and repurposed. New businesses are moving into the area. Restaurants are expanding and the Dallas Trolley is bringing visitors to discover the vibrant Bishop Arts District. These are exciting days for Oak Cliff, and as a lifelong resident, I just smile when I see so much good going on around me.

It’s all happening just blocks from The Well’s Community Life Center and near Jacob’s House. There is a lot of good going on here, too. Continue reading