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Special Articles   |    
Homeless mentally ill or mentally ill homeless?
Am J Psychiatry 1992;149:816-823.
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Abstract

Mainstream psychiatry conceptualizes people who are homeless and mentally ill as distinct from other homeless persons because it is thought that their status stems from their mental disorder and the poor implementation of deinstitutionalization. The authors believe this dichotomy is illusory. They present data indicating that recent socioeconomic and political shifts contributed greatly to homelessness among all groups, regardless of mental illness; that those with and without mental illness have similar biographical and demographic profiles; that high levels of mental distress are common to all homeless persons; and that few mentally ill homeless persons require involuntary hospitalization. This perspective suggests novel responses that de-emphasize clinical solutions and focus on empowerment, consumerism, entitlement, community-level interventions, and closer alliances with other advocates for the homeless.

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