Approximately one in four individuals who are homeless also deal with a serious mental illness, compared to one in 25 among the general population. In the 2016 Metro Dallas Homeless Alliance point-in-time homeless count, 46 percent of the homeless in North Texas self-reported living with a mental illness. While struggling with a mental health condition increases the likelihood that a person will become homeless, the connection works both ways: Being homeless or in insecure housing also makes it more difficult for those who live with these challenges to both pursue recovery and acquire stable housing. Below are five ways homelessness magnifies mental health struggles. Continue reading
A 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
As 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
About a decade ago, Anthony was a young man working for FedEx, loading and unloading boxes from trucks in North Dallas. But when he suddenly lost his job, something inside of him fell apart, he says.
“I just couldn’t deal,” says Anthony. “I just fell into nothing.” Continue reading
Mental illness and poverty are often deeply intertwined. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), not only can living with a mental illness increase the risk of living below the poverty line, poverty can increase the likelihood that an individual will began experiencing mental health challenges and intensify the experience of mental illness. Continue reading
Mental illnesses impact people of all ethnicities and backgrounds. While treatment can make these conditions more manageable, many minority populations face challenges that make it more difficult for them to get the care they need. When left untreated, mental health issues can become more severe and can make life with them increasingly difficult to navigate. Continue reading
“Mental illness … is like being caught up in a tornado, a tornado you don’t really see,” says Well member PT. “You see the debris that is floating in the air … but you don’t really see the tornado.”
PT has lived with the storm of mental illness for over 35 years. He experienced his first episode related to bipolar schizoaffective disorder in 1980, while in Israel with a discipleship group. “I didn’t sleep for three days straight,” he recalls. “My thoughts were racing.” Continue reading