Homelessness & Mental Illness: A Growing Concern - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

Homelessness & Mental Illness: A Growing Concern

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WMDT 47 NEWS - Mental health initiatives are up for discussion for both Delaware and Virginia lawmakers. According to local experts, the illness is becoming a growing concern, especially for homeless individuals.

"It's highly stressful to be homeless and to be homeless at this time of year," says Kate Kent, a licensed counselor with ReConnections in Salisbury, Maryland.

Kent says in order for someone to be admitted to a psychiatric floor, they have to be at risk hurting themselves or someone else, and they cannot be forced to stay. She says a patient will often give clues before committing an act of violence, but these are not always easy to detect if the person is not around family or friends.

"I think we don't have enough mental health services, especially in rural areas we tend to think you should just buck up and try harder," says Kent. "People don't really understand that it's an illness, mental illness is an illness like anything else."

Kent feels the best chance for preventing acts of violence are by supporting local services, such as ReConnections, that can help people suffering from mental illness. For more on the services at ReConnections, visit their website.

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