Tuesday, August 20, 2013

PTSD & Homelessness - Mental Health Awareness Retreat


✯ Former foster children are almost twice as likely to suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) as U.S. war veterans, according to a study released by Harvard Medical School.

Children who have been in foster care are also more likely to be homeless than any other person and are likely to remain homeless the longest period of time

✯ Nationally, about half of all women and Children who are homeless are running from domestic violence. Many of them will suffer from PTSD, Anxiety and/or Depression.

✯ Approximately 75% of homeless teens use drugs and alcohol as a way to self-medicate and deal with traumatic experiences and abuse.

✯ 1 in 7 kids between the ages of 10-18 will run away. Many of them leave their homes due to abuse while others are kicked out by their parents. Many of them will experience PTSD, Anxiety, Depression, Suicide and/or low Self - Esteem.

✯ Half of the Homeless Veterans suffer from mental illness, Two-thirds suffer from substance abuse, and many suffer from dual diagnosis (a person who is struggling with both a mental illness and substance abuse)

Homeless veterans are more likely then non veterans to be homeless longer.

✯ There are many ways in which someone becoming homeles can lead to PTSD:

  • The actual event of becoming homeless can lead to trauma through the loss of stable shelter, family connections, and accustomed social roles and routines;
  • The ongoing condition of homelessness creates stressors that include the uncertainty of where to find food and safe shelter and the potential for experiencing violence and victimization, which can erode a person’s coping mechanisms; and
  • Homelessness might serve as a breaking point for those who have preexisting behavioral health conditions or a history of traumatization.

✯ 1 in 3 kids will be trafficked within 48 hours of being in the streets; exposed to traumatic events. Many kids around the world are sold into sex-trafficking and are exploited sexually. Many of those victims trafficked will suffer from PTSD, Anxiety, Depression and Suicidal thoughts.

Please remember that 1 in 4 people around the world have a mental illness. That means that you either know somebody close to you who has a mental illness or you have it yourself. When research says that about 25 to 40% of people have a mental disorder (which by the way, I don't know about you but I find that to be a HUGE amount of people) and are homeless, they are looking at the most severe of cases. You can have a mental health issue and not be severely disabled.

Get informed, Research and Raise your voice. It is only then that we can create change.

Providing resources and mental health care to those in need can help people with mental health illnesses have a productive, functioning life. JUST in recent years, Veterans finally! started to get the help they needed with funded housing programs and other resources because people got together and raised awareness. There are many budget cuts on mental health care and non veterans are still in need of programs and funds that can help. Don't believe me? Take a look at the recent case in the USA where the FBI had an operation on 76 cities across the country and recovered 105 sexually exploited children, most who were between the ages of 13-17, some being as young as 9. Due to lack of services, some of the victims might be held in Jail! O.O.

So let me get this straight.... Victims who were repeatedly physically abused and raped now have to stay in jail with violent criminals because there is lack of services? I don't know about you but this is WRONG!

We need to raise awareness for people who are not only homeless and feel they don't have a place to go or don't have a place to go, but also for those suffering mentally through this whole ordeal.

For PTSD resources, click HERE

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