[Hpn] Advocates 4 homeless look 2 future:"It's time to end homelessness in 10 years"
Thu, 01 Nov 2001 21:37:52 -0800
While I agree, the vet in question should have been offered supportive
housing and other resources, the key for me in this article is the
statement that, "nobody made sure he took his medication."
Some of the acts he committed seemed to be the result of psychosis, eg,
biting off a part of someones ear, and jumping from the top floor of a
I'm willing to bet it wasn't just a case of nobody making sure he took
his medication, but more likely a case of someone not being willing to
take medication. I work with people who are homeless and often mentall
ill. And you know what? You can't force a person to take medication
except under certain very specific conditions, and then, it usually
takes a court proceeding.
I'm not unhappy about that. We shouldn't medicate folks against their
will unless they are obviously a danger to themselves or to others, and
that 'obvious' designation usually aint.
It's a conundrum and I don't know how to resolve it....but I don't order
people to take meds or lock them up if they don't. And all the
supportive housing in the world won't help someone who needs meds and
won't take them. You can house psychotic people--but its difficult and
they sometimes act in ways we wish they wouldn't.