Mental Disorders Among Homeless Veterans
There have been many studies performed over the past several years to test the theory of why veterans who suffer from mental and/or substance use disorders have a higher possibility of becoming homeless. Those studies also included the impact of war and combat as well as several risk factors while our veterans served in the military. The road that leads to homelessness if often left untreated and further complicates treatment and therapy to fix the underlying issues. There are several resources out there for veterans that need shelter services, access to medical care and rehabilitation services, therefore, implementing more rehabilitation facilities that focus on mental health treatment and includes access to community-based housing is imperative for former veterans who suffer with homelessness. It is also imperative that we consider all relying factors of how and why our veterans are homeless.
When they choose to they re-enter society as veterans their mental health status has been corrupted and strengthened by the horrific incidents that have taken place while in combat due to the highly intensifying effects of post-traumatic stress disorder, thus, resulting in a growing number of veterans are displaced, many of which go on to experience other life-threatening issues such as suicide, substance abuse, addictions, or even death.
It is imperative that we increase the availability of crisis intervention and mental health services for all veterans that have served this nation to improve the health and well-being of our veterans. This would require an extensive and detailed partnership between public and non””profit mental health providers at the State and local levels. It is time to increasing efforts of another health care reform to address the imperative needs of veterans and push for more policy changes that are in place to support them but does not cover the underlying basics of service.
According to a recently published article in the International Journal of Mental Health Systems about the lack of mental health services amongst veterans, the factors associated with funding and affordability that are not readily available at most hospitals is all due to the shortage of mental health personnel and lack of support in treating intervention issues (2017). Which results in veterans who are not able to address their needs for support, treatment and accessibility in many areas. Other disparities that exist that often lead to untreatable health issues are the lack of health coverage and access to affordable health insurance plans. Those families who are not able to afford decent coverage for their spouses who suffer from mental issues from deployment are left leaving the problem untreated. The Florida Mental Health Act, which is also known as the Baker Act was established in Florida in 1971. This act basically allows for an involuntary examination of someone who may suffer with a mental health illness to stay in a psychiatric facility under supervision of a medical professional. This temporary service allows those who need emergency medical services to get the help they need and is also needed in others states as well.
It is imperative that we start addressing the issues that the Affordable Care Act does not by expanding mental health coverage and providing those benefits for all veterans who have served and those who are currently serving. Constant lack of basic services for mental health is continuing to grow and is being outnumbered by the number of veterans who need it most when they are trying to transition back to their regular lives at home.
With support from our Veteran Administration we can develop and implement newer strategies that focus mainly on crisis intervention for our veterans. By developing phone-lines that can connect our mentally-ill veterans to medical professionals in the time of need may open windows for improvement and opportunity. By performing screenings on all intakes to look out for veterans that may display signs of a mental illness can brighten the horizon for healthier and functioning families. This intervention-based plan can improve the effects of a potential disorder and can be the first steps in the right direction in supporting our veterans. It is imperative that we reach out to those veterans who are displaced from receiving the proper care that they need from the Veterans Administration and touch basis with them on receiving suitable treatment.