Intersection of Homelessness and Mental Health: A Mixed Methods Study of Young Adults Who Accessed Psychiatric Emergency Services

Narendorf, S.C.
Journal Article
Year Published: 2017
Journal Name: 
Children and Youth Services Review
Volume: 81


This journal article describes a mixed method study that looked at a sample of 54 young adults (ages 18 to 25) who were admitted to a hospital inpatient psychiatric unit. Nearly half reported being homeless in the year before hospitalization and more than a quarter were homeless at the time of admission. The study identified key factors that contributed to both mental health problems and homelessness, including disrupted support networks, fragile family relationships, foster care involvement, substance use, and traumatic events. The researchers found that homelessness was both a facilitator and a barrier for these youth to access mental health services to manage their mental health symptoms. They concluded that multidisciplinary providers need to recognize the overlap of client populations and provide integrated, trauma-informed care to address housing instability, mental health, and substance use. (author abstract modified)

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