Bracing for the cold - and bitter tragedy
Every winter, we read sad news stories about homeless people with severe mental illnesses who fall victim to the elements. While the weather gets blamed for the deaths, the truth is more disturbing: About 1/3 of the nation’s homeless are people with severe mental illnesses.
- Many of these individuals are homeless BECAUSE of their illnesses.
- Most are not being treated for their illness and often the lack of treatment is because they have impaired awareness of their illness.
- The headlines overlook the daily victimization and brutal realities on the streets for people with severe mental illnesses.
Next time you read one of these sad stories, consider the fact that Assisted Outpatient Treatment can prevent tragedy. In New York, 74% fewer participants experienced homelessness while in the AOT program as compared to before they entered the program.