Some clinical approaches to the homeless mentally ill

Community Ment Health J. 1990 Oct;26(5):463-80. doi: 10.1007/BF00761072.


Clinicians who work with homeless people are likely to encounter a very broad spectrum of mental disorders and residential patterns. As with any other patient population, the particulars of clinical interventions must be guided by the specific constellations of biological, psychological, and social needs. However, for individuals who not only suffer from serious psychiatric disorders, but are also homeless, effective approaches may require significant modifications of traditional techniques and changes in the prioritization, timing, and framing of specific interventions. In this article we will focus on people who are severely and persistently mentally ill and who have been sleeping for months or years in shelters or in public spaces such as parks, streets, and bus terminals.

MeSH terms

  • Chronic Disease
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Community Mental Health Services*
  • Health Services Needs and Demand
  • Homeless Persons / psychology*
  • Hospitalization
  • Humans
  • Mental Disorders / psychology
  • Mental Disorders / therapy*
  • Public Assistance
  • Social Environment
  • Social Support