a. What events in John’s life created a “downward spiral” into homelessness and hopelessness? Which events were related to social needs, mental health needs, and medical needs, and which could health care have addressed?Homelessness can be described as loss of control, no choices, dependency, uncertainty, loss of hope, and placelessness (2015). Homelessness is defined by an individual that does not have a consist livable situation to call their own (2020). It occurs for many reason’s outside a persons control such as eviction, job loss, divorce, mental illness, domestic violence, and then sometimes as a result of a chronic illness such as substance abuse (2020).There are many factors in John’s life that created a “downward spiral” into homelessness and hopelessness. For example, a trigger could have been the loss of his job and not being able to find another job. Then came the frustration and ego struggle of no longer being able to provide for his family as his wife went back to work part time. John also had past history of trauma in his life. As learned last week trauma in childhood often leads to struggles with addiction in adulthood (Wiechelt & Straussner, 2015). As with John both of his parents were alcoholics and he endured some abusive behaviors while growing up which can lead to trauma. John felt hopeless when he could not secure a job and stopped getting money from unemployment. He then began to struggle with ego and mental health needs feeling angry, sad, and like he wanted his life to end which then to an increase in his drinking. I think that with his multiple visits to the emergency department they could have address John’s social and mental health needs by competing a needs assessment and getting him connected with a social worker. John could have been provided with additional resources to aide him in his drinking, securing a job, and even housing. Those who are homeless are at an increase of vulnerability because of the way they are looked at in society (De Chesnay & Anderson, 2020). Providing them with more resources and completing screenings within the emergency department for mental illness is key in helping those suffering from various illness such as addiction, homeless, and mental illness (2020).

 

e: In your own experience, have you encountered a homeless individual? What was that like? Do you recall what you were thinking?When working in a 23 bed crisis unit I often came across homeless individuals. Similar to this case study many of my patients were once business professionals. One patient in particular will forever stay in my mind because as I began my assessment he tells me about how he has been struggling with addiction and lost his job as a respiratory therapist. It was at that moment that I understood this disease does not discriminate. It affects all people no matter race, age, gender, or occupation. I remember before working at this crisis center my thoughts on homelessness and the people it affects. That they were dirty, smelly, and could choose to find a job and make money to get housing and food. However, after working in this facility that primarily provided care to low income, no insurance homeless population my thoughts changed. They are individuals that are struggling with illness, most of the time co-occurring mental illness and addiction that need additional resources and support in order to have potential to be successful. At first it was uneasy and nerve racking interacting with the homeless but then I realized they are people too, everyone has a story. It provided me with such growth and appreciation for the behavioral health field working with this population and facility. It was one of the experiences that made me chose this career path of becoming as psych APRN. To continue to make a difference but a bigger one in the lives of those suffering from addiction and co occurring illness.ReferencesDe Chesnay, M., (2020). Caring for the vulnerable: Perspectives in nursing theory, practice, and research (5th edition). Jones & Bartlett.Homelessness. (2020). Retrieved May 13, 2020, from https://phoenixrescuemission.org/homelessness/Wiechelt, S. A., & Straussner, S. L. (2015). Introduction to the Special Issue: Examining the Relationship Between Trauma and Addiction. Journal of Social Work Practice in the Addictions, 15(1), 1-5. doi:10.1080/1533256x.2015.996501

 

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