Housing for Individuals with Mental Illness
Great strides have been made in efforts to mainstream people with mental health troubles. An example of this is the housing options that are now available. No longer do people with mental illness need to rely solely on institutional housing. Today, viable options include living with family members, communities of support, or independently.
Even though improvements have been made, there is still a lot of work to be done when it comes to housing people with mental illness. One reason why this proves to be challenging is the undeniable relationship between poverty, homelessness, and mental illness. In addition, people living with severe mental illness also bear the financial burden of affording rehabilitation services and costly medications.
These points stress the importance of putting an individual with mental illness into a structured and supportive living situation.
According to personal opinion, which do you consider the most advantageous living situation for people with severe mental illness?
Living with Family Members
Home is where the heart is. If a family has the flexibility and ability to provide a loved one full support and care, this is one of the best living situations. Not only does this seem to be the most affordable option, but the familiar atmosphere can offer therapeutic benefits as well.
However, while certain stressors are eliminated, others may be amplified for both the individual and caregiver(s). In this type of scenario there is little assistance in finding rehabilitation services or accessing outside care for the illness. All outside medical services need to be researched and accessed by the family.
There are two avenues one can take when exploring supportive housing options; an individual may live in a care facility that offers counseling and life skills training, or an individual may live independently in a house supported by a care facility.
The benefit of a supportive housing situation is that the person with mental illness receives some form of support either way. The downside is availability and cost. Either a person must be able to earn money to live on his or her own standing, or funding must be accessible for his or her care.
Gaining the rights and abilities to live independently is possible for many individuals who have some sort of mental illness. Unfortunately, it seems people in these situations are only able to afford low quality living conditions and have few means left over to support a healthy lifestyle.
Nevertheless, those who struggle with mental health challenges find reward in independent living after becoming stabilized on proper medicine and professional care. It is possible to live independently, as long as personal health is a high priority at all times.
Have you or a loved one considered different housing options because of a mental illness?
Do you have any ideas, experiences, or encouragements to share with the Disability Living community?