Are the Homeless Mentally Ill?

Johnson, G and Chamberlain, C 2011, 'Are the Homeless Mentally Ill?', Australian Journal of Social Issues, vol. 46, no. 1, pp. 29-48.


Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

Title Are the Homeless Mentally Ill?
Author(s) Johnson, G
Chamberlain, C
Year 2011
Journal name Australian Journal of Social Issues
Volume number 46
Issue number 1
Start page 29
End page 48
Total pages 20
Publisher Australia Council of Social Services
Abstract In Australia, it is widely believed that most homeless people have mental health issues and that mental illness is a primary cause of homelessness. This paper uses information from a study of 4291 homeless people in Melbourne to investigate these propositions. The research found that 15 per cent of the homeless had mental health issues prior to becoming homeless. This challenges the community perception that mental illness is the primary cause of homelessness. The research also found that 16 per cent of the sample developed mental health issues after becoming homeless. Homelessness causes mental health issues for some people, particularly anxiety and depression. The claim that most homeless people are mentally ill sends the wrong message to policy makers about the services that are needed to assist homeless people.
Subject Social Policy
Keyword(s) Homelessness
mental illness
prevalence
policy
Copyright notice © 2011 Taylor & Francis
ISSN 01576321
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