For unhoused and housing insecure individuals, receiving adequate health care is no small task. For those who also live with mental health issues, it can be especially daunting. More than 20% of unhoused people are also experiencing mental health conditions, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness.
If left untreated, these conditions can be life threatening. A study of over 9,000 homeless and marginally housed individuals found more than half of the group had traumatic brain injury which is linked to higher suicide risk, memory issues, criminal justice involvement and other critical issues.
Although many housing insecure individuals could benefit from mental health treatment, their health often comes second to daily living concerns. Understanding the barriers to mental health treatment for these individuals is the first step in helping this group receive sufficient care.
Employment often plays a major role in helping individuals manage health care costs. Employer-provided health insurance helps many people receive the treatment they need, but without this assistance and resources that often help employed individuals navigate the health care system, care can be much harder to access.
Although Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act exist to help low-income individuals receive physical and mental health care, many individuals are unaware of their options or are unsure of how to access them.
Many people experiencing homelessness do not have a reliable form of transportation which can make taking action to improve health nearly impossible. From lack of access to a personal vehicle to the inability to pay bus or rideshare fares, transportation barriers can prevent individuals from getting care.
In 2022, more than 33,000 United States veterans experienced homelessness, according to the US Department of Veteran Affairs, and many of these individuals live with unaddressed mental health needs.
Oceans Healthcare’s STAR Military Program is a specific program meant to help veteran and active-duty military members manage behavioral health challenges.
At Oceans Healthcare, we believe in helping individuals be the healthiest and happiest versions of themselves. For more information about our services, find an Oceans location near you or fill out a confidential form to have a staff member contact you.