Assessing Homeless Mental Health Needs and Barriers to Seeking Treatment
Research indicates that mental health difficulties are highly prevalent within the homeless population across the globe. Living on the street is shown to contribute to the development of mental health issues and the exacerbation of pre-existing mental health conditions. Research studies also indicate that homeless individuals face limited access to healthcare and report negative healthcare experiences. However, there are few studies that specifically examine mental health care access within the homeless population. Therefore, this study aimed to identify specific mental health needs within the local homeless population, and examined barriers preventing homeless individuals from seeking mental health treatment. A total of 57 homeless adults were surveyed at a local community organization regarding their mental health symptoms, diagnoses, treatment experiences, and barriers to seeking care. The results indicated high prevalence of mental health difficulties including depression, trauma, and substance abuse, and revealed numerous barriers to obtaining care within the local homeless population. The results of this study indicated a strong need for more accessible mental health services in the community.