The Homeless, Mentally Ill Population Essay

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The Homeless, Mentally Ill Population-Are We Really Helping This Vulnerable Population?? Lorena Lee, R. N. NUR/440 October 10, 2011 Priscilla Aylesworth, RN, MSN The Homeless, Mentally Ill Population-Are We Really Helping This Vulnerable Population?? As I began to research for this presentation, I had to take a good long look at myself and how I thought about the homeless, mentally ill population. I knew how most of society sees them, but how did I see them? In the general society, we avert our eyes or roll them when seeing a homeless person. It can even be worse when they are mentally ill. When I live in Columbus, Ohio there was this one homeless man everyone knew. He was called “Rooster” because he would start crowing for no reason, or so most thought. He was dirty, smelled bad, and would talk to himself. Teenagers would pick on him to make him crow, thinking this was funny. I was always told he was harmless. He ended up killing a teenager that tormented him. He did not know better, he believed that he was being threatened and was afraid, he struck out at what was threatening him. He went to jail, the teenager lost his life and the world blamed the “Rooster.” After I became a psychiatric nurse, I realized that he was schizophrenic and had Tourette syndrome. So often I have heard coworkers say, “Him (or her) again!” or “Won’t he (or she) ever learn? It’s the same old thing over and over.” I have even seen these patients as the “frequent flyer” that is always coming in, time after time and never following through with the discharge plan I (we) set up for him or her the last time he or she was in. In looking at myself, I found that at one time I was very opinionated toward the homeless until I became one of them myself. I would wonder why these people live out where we had to see them. Why are they not locked up in state

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