Every day and night, hundreds of thousands of people in the United States sleep in shelters or on the streets. Homeless people are more susceptible to sickness and injury than the general population due to their insecure living situations. The prevalence of mental illness among the homeless is exceptionally high, which is concerning. Around a third of the homeless population suffers from mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and severe depression. Those who have a mental health condition or struggle with substance misuse are particularly vulnerable to housing shortages (Harvard Health Publishing, 2014). Psychiatrists frequently find themselves unable to work or function in society regularly due to their mental illnesses.
As a result, some state mental hospitals have been closed, and long-term and inpatient services have been curtailed or eliminated. As a result of being released, many people ended up on the streets because they had nowhere else to go and no money to rent a place to live. Those who require mental health therapy the most are unable to access it due to a reduction in the availability of such services. As a result, they are unable to maintain a stable lifestyle. This could result in them being forced to leave their current residence in the not-too-distant future. According to studies, those suffering from mental illnesses are up to 20 times more likely than the average population to become homeless (Office of Research and Public Affairs, 2016).
This condition is characterized by abnormal mental processes, delusional beliefs, and impairment of judgment, all of which play a crucial role in its evolution. In the absence of aid from family and community-based programs, the chance of being homeless increases by a factor of 10 or more, according to some estimates. Homelessness has been associated with an increased chance of acquiring mental health disorders, including bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), among other things. Compared to the general population, those suffering from mental illnesses are more likely to have been homeless for a longer time. People in need can benefit from community-based initiatives because they can make it easier to obtain housing and the necessary therapies (Mental Health, 2021).
Healthy People website defines determinants of health as a range of elements that influence an individual’s physical and psychological well-being. When it comes to overall health, genetics, biology, individual behavior, and access to healthcare services all play an important influence. Individual behavior refers to the health-related decisions made by an individual, such as their degree of physical activity, hygiene, nutrition, and substance use that are related to their health. Heredity and biology, for example, have an impact on a person’s health in ways that are beyond their control. Your gender and age, as well as your family’s history of genetic disorders and other heart diseases, are all essential considerations to make (Health People, 2020). When it comes to an individual’s health, the quality and accessibility of healthcare resources accessible to them have a significant impact. All of this, including the insurance, is included in the property’s price.
Several things I witnessed while wandering around Sentinel City have to do with the health determinants just discussed. I was astonished to learn that many people under the age of 65 in Industrial Heights and Casper Park were uninsured. Uninsured individuals are more likely to suffer from health issues and are less likely to seek medical assistance. To support these people, they must be assisted in acquiring insurance policies. Providing information and support with Medicaid applications to patients while in the hospital is one option available. In this way, they may be able to secure insurance that will allow them to receive the medical care they need (Jia et al., 2014).
Vaccination rates for pneumococcal disease appear below, which is something else I noticed. A person’s health could be at risk if they take this step; thus, it should be treated carefully. Pneumonia is more likely to strike when a patient falls into a certain age bracket or has underlying health conditions. The number of people who receive the vaccine depends on various circumstances. They may not realize they live in a high-risk location or have incorrect beliefs preventing them from taking the vaccine. Children should be educated about the health benefits of vaccinations and the possible problems they may experience if they do not (Healthy People, 2019). A person’s risk of developing heart disease is significantly increased if they come from a family with a history of the disease. Reduce the amount of heart disease sufferers by making education more widely available on the subject. Heart disease and stroke can be prevented by following a low-sodium, fat, and sugar diet. Low-fat dairy products, seeds, nuts, seafood, fiber, vegetables, and fruits should be included in a balanced diet. You must engage in weight-lifting and aerobic activities to maintain a healthy lifestyle (American Heart Association, 2015).
American Heart Association. (2015, April 1). How to help prevent heart disease at any age. www.heart.org. https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-lifestyle/how-to-help-prevent-heart-disease-at-any-age
Harvard Health Publishing. (2014, March 9). The homeless mentally ill. Harvard Health. https://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletter_article/The_homeless_mentally_ill
Health People. (2020). Determinants of health. https://www.healthypeople.gov/2020/about/foundation-health-measures/Determinants-of-Health
Healthy People. (2019). Vaccination programs: Community-based interventions implemented in combination | Healthy people 2020. Healthy People 2030 | health.gov. https://www.healthypeople.gov/2020/tools-resources/evidence-based-resource/vaccination-programs-community-based-interventions-implemented-in-combination
Jia, L., Yuan, B., Huang, F., Lu, Y., Garner, P., & Meng, Q. (2014). Strategies for expanding health insurance coverage in vulnerable populations. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 2014(11). https://doi.org/10.1002/14651858.cd008194.pub3
Mental Health. (2021). Mental health. The Homeless Hub. https://www.homelesshub.ca/about-homelessness/topics/mental-health
Office of Research and Public Affairs. (2016, September). Serious mental illness and homelessness. Treatment Advocacy Center. https://www.treatmentadvocacycenter.org/storage/documents/backgrounders/smi-and-homelessness.pdf