The Geography of Mental Health: Housing Ex-Psychiatric Patients Thesis uri icon

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abstract

  • As a result of deinstitutionalization in the 1960s and 1970s, a great many chronically mentally ill psychiatric patients were released into an ill-prepared community. One of the major problems facing the discharged patient is housing. This thesis focuses on the housing situation and experience of the chronically mentally ill, which is recognized as one of several sets of interrelated environmental factors affecting their ability to cope in the community. The housing situations of a sample of 66 chronically mentally ill individuals in Hamilton were examined by way of cross-sectional and longitudinal survey data collected as part of a larger study of the community environment factors affecting the quality of everyday life among the chronically mentally ill. The specific objectives of the research were: (a) a description of the housing experience of the chronically mentally ill in Hamilton; ( b ) an analysis of the residential mobility of the research sample; (c) a description of the expressed housing need of the chronically mentally ill individual in the community; and, (d) a comparison of the need expressed by the sample with the normative housing need espoused in the literature in order to gauge the 'fit' between the two. The data show the sample clustered in the inner-city of Hamilton in lodging-home types of accommodation. An analysis of residential mobility reveals two trends. First, the sample have little control over their living situation. Second, there are two sub-groups within the sample: one which is relatively residential l y stable and one which is excessively mobile. A logit analysis shows the factors affecting mobility to be level of education and preference for an independent living situation. Knowledge of these factors could aid in the task of matching client needs to appropriate living situations. An analysis of the expressed housing need of the sample reveals that the long-term housing goal expressed by the sample is not dissimilar to the normative housing need defined in the literature: independent community living. However, there appear to be substantive infrastructural ) and procedural (lack of advocacy housing placement) gaps between the housing need as defined and the current housing stock.

publication date

  • April 1987