Birmingham -- There's no denying a link between mental illness and homelessness. Approximately one in every four adults who's homeless also suffers from some form of severe and persistent mental illness. National advocacy groups say the number of mentally ill homeless may be buoyed by a new wave of de-institutionalization, people being denied residential mental health treatment because of managed care and other cost containment measures.
A new study by a UAB doctor finds that psychological distress and functional impairments worsen, the longer a homeless person addicted to drugs or alcohol remains on the streets. In the latest installment in our year-long mental health project, WBHM's Tanya Ott spoke with Dr. Stefan Kertesz about his research.
Dr. Kertesz's research is funded by National Institute on Drug Abuse and appears in this month's issue of Medical Care, a publication of the American Public Health Association.
-- Tanya Ott, June 15, 2005
Editor's note: This is our las=test piece in a year-long commitment to covering mental health issues in Alabama. You can learn more about our "Making Sense of Mental Health" project and find local mental health resources -- as our commitment continues throughout the year -- inside this website.