How To Solve Homelessness
There is no doubt that America has a homelessness problem, especially on the west coast. There are many reports of homeless people attacking innocent pedestrians, breaking and entering, contaminating streets with human feces and spreading disease. But what is causing all of this and can it be controlled and prevented?
Chronic substance abuse is spreading like a wildfire. We have an opioid and methamphetamine epidemic plaguing our country, K2 polluting the minds of our youth and poor and e-cigarettes ruining our respiratory health. Add to these problems the ongoing rise in alcohol consumption, the legalization of marijuana and the continued prevalence of cigarette smoking and you have yourself a nicely painted picture of why homelessness is flooding our streets.
Secondly, there is ongoing financial instability caused by unemployment or underemployment. This factor is definitely influenced by others because if someone is struggling to maintain a job, they can always find some other type of work to support themselves. But some regions of the United States are still struggling with unemployment; on top of that, add substance abuse and mental illness and you have yourself another reason for the rise in homelessness.
Mental illness is another contributing factor. Many people remain under-treated or not treated at all. They either have no access to mental health resources, their families do not believe in mental illness or they remain noncompliant with medications because of stigma. With mental illness affecting judgment and decision-making, it is no wonder why people become homeless.
Do not rule out domestic abuse! Most of the time, it is due to men physically or psychologically abusing their spouses. In these cases, women become conditioned to remain in their relationships out of fear of upsetting their man. They also have a fear of leaving, losing their relationships and starting all over; they become dependent. But in some situations, when they do leave and have no family or social support, their newfound home becomes the streets.
So what is the solution? First of all, we need to address substance abuse and mental illness at a more aggressive rate. We need more governmental support and action. Rather than wasting time and energy fighting wars overseas or improving military technology, let’s use those resources to advance psychiatric research, improve rehabs and treatment centers, offer more social support, come up with advancements in medications and end mental health stigma.
Let us shed more light on the importance of helping each other mentally, physically and even spiritually. We remain a divided society because we are divided within ourselves. We are engulfed in technology, social media and work; we are becoming robotic, isolated and less relatable. We need to connect with each other, provide empathy and support for one another and come together in times of need; not just when there is a mass shooting or natural disaster.
The DSM Ready Movement is providing the foundation. Are you willing to build upon it and spread this opportunity to the rest of humanity?
Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)