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Why the Minimization of Mental Illnesses is Harmful

Have you ever heard something akin to, “Hey could you put your shoes in the cubby? I have OCD.” Or maybe, “ I’m so depressed today, I lost my purse last night.” Or maybe even, “I was happy a second ago, but now I’m pretty bummed. I’m basically bipolar.” It’s phrases like these that minimize the severity of mental disorders people suffer. By taking a real mental disorder and treating it as if it were just another adjective we would use to explain ourselves, we lessen the real severity of that disorder. Let’s use a specific example. OCD or Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, is “ an anxiety disorder in which time people have recurring, unwanted thoughts, ideas or sensations (obsessions) that make t

My Conversation with A Homeless

Blog by: Yasmine Toure It’s important to talk about what we learn in class or thanks to Internet; however, there is nothing more realistic than telling your own experience. As somebody who likes traveling and walking, I have already met numerous homeless. I once had the opportunity to discuss with one. This man seemed to be around fifty years old. Even though I met him in the United States, I didn’t ask him his age because it is disrespectful in my culture. We talked for almost an hour. He told me how he became homeless and I realized that this could happen to anyone. He told me that he became homeless because he lost his job and could not find another one. He was not able to pay any of his

You Can Never Go Home Again: The Prevalence of Homelessness Among Felons

Ava Framm It is a well known fact that convicted felons have a difficult time finding a job after their release because there is an unspoken stigma that once a person has been convicted of a crime and served jail time, they can no longer be trusted in society. There are certain jobs they can never qualify for, they are not allowed to vote, and some struggle with being trusted again by their families. But what is not as well known is the fact that formerly incarcerated people are ten times more likely to be homeless than any other sect of the American population. This begs the question: Why are felons treated so poorly? Most people will say that it is due to the crimes they were convicted of;

Art Programs in Public Schools: Why They Matter

By Preston Saunders Creativity is the cornerstone of what makes us all human. A continued education in art and expression is vital for people of all ages, as it encourages innovation and the willingness to form independent thought. The way we interpret visual and fine arts are what distinguishes us from everyone around us. We are all unique and not unique simultaneously, as people are merely different combinations of shared skills, ideas, and human experiences. Therefore, our art is one of the only areas in which we can claim to be completely ourselves, and we need to protect its importance at home and in educational environments. The arts give us many opportunities to share experiences and

The Digital Divide and COVID-19

By Karah Lindsey When schools moved to all online classes in March of 2020 to slow the spread of COVID-19, some children could no longer get an education because they did not have access to the internet. About 5 million households with school-aged children do not have internet access. Low income households are less likely to have internet than their wealthier counterparts. Only 56% of people with incomes below $30,000 a year have internet at home compared with 92% of people who made over $75,000 a year. Some low income households can get around this barrier during times of isolation by using Wi-Fi hotspots on their smartphones. However, only 71% of people making less than $30,000 a year have

Depression: the Stigma and a Major Cause

Blog by: Layla Nahavandi I’ve addressed mental illness in homeless communities before, more specifically I focused on drug addiction and how it should be treated akin to mental illness. However, I've never specifically focused on one of the most common mental illnesses, depression, and the major factor of it. Oftentimes, people tell me that they don’t see depression to be a legitimate problem. They see it as an excuse and something that culminates from the sensitivity of newer generations. Quotes like “toughen up” and “quit being such a snowflake” have come up fairly often. The thing is, depression is an illness, and I don’t understand why people have such a hard time believing that. Just be

Let’s Help Homeless Children!

Blog by: Yasmine Toure Do you know how many children are homeless within the country? According to the National Center on Family Homelessness, around 2.5 million children are homeless in America each year, which means one child in every 30. Statistics do not only take in consideration only one part of the country, but all states and counties. Children’s homelessness has numerous causes. The first one that explains it is parents’ homelessness. Indeed, some parents lose everything, including their jobs and houses. These parents do not want to abandon their children. They take them and as a result, all the family is homeless. Another reason that explains that is that some parents abandoned thei

Overcoming Substance Abuse While Homeless

Ashley Stalnecker No population and no identity is a stranger to the consequences of living with substance abuse disorder. Oftentimes, substance abuse disorder can be the bridge that forces people from their home and into homelessness. A 2016 study on those in primary care who have experienced homelessness, found that half of a sample of the homeless population used alcohol within three months of the study and one third had recently used an illicit drug. The severity of the drug use correlated with a worse health status. In some homeless population samples, substance abuse disorder prevalence exceeds 50 percent of the sample. However, the three main groups that struggle with both substance a

Harassment: Let’s Talk About It

Written By: Katherine Brown Harassment - it’s a word we’ve heard a lot lately. So, what exactly is harassment? Anytime a person approaches you, engages you, or talks to you in a threatening or intimidating way - or just in a way that makes you feel uncomfortable - it is harassment. Harassment can come in different forms - from that neighbor that pesters you about your dog every single day, to that coworker who routinely picks at everything you do. For the last few years, sexual harassment has been one of the top concerns for society. Many women have come forward, sharing their personal stories of rape or inappropriate behavior from men (or other women). In recent weeks, we’ve seen a rise in

Domestic Abuse and How it Can Lead to Homelessness

Blog by: Layla Nahavandi Abuse can come in all forms, whether verbally, physically, or mentally. It’s hard to know if someone is an abuser before you’ve begun to trust them, because they utilize manipulation. Manipulation in terms of shifting blame, gaslighting, and even self deprecation. They also don’t openly state what their intentions are. Trust is built, overtime, and only when you’re in too deep do abusers show their true colors. Abuser’s crave dominance and power. They don’t want equality in a relationship, they want subservience. They want someone that does what they're told, without fighting back. They want someone that respects them more than they respect themself. When in a situat

Examining The Harsh Cycle of Poverty and its Effects

Written By: Karah Lindsey We can all agree that poverty isn’t a good thing. It’s hard trying to decide what bills to pay or wondering where the money for the next meal is coming from. When a person lives in poverty, it affects every aspect of their life. They are perpetually trapped and will have a hard time climbing out of the poverty trap. Poverty is stressful; raising a family in poverty is even more so. Someone working a full-time, minimum wage job earns $14,500 a year. While that’s a mere $1,740 above the poverty line for individuals, a family where one parent works and the other stays at home to watch their children would fall well below the poverty line of $21,720 for a family of thre

Global Food Sources and Unequal Distribution

Written By: Preston A Saunders Since 1995, the amount of malnourished and hungry people on every continent has been on the rise. The gap between wealth brackets is growing exponentially, more so in this century than in any other. Poor populations continue to grow poorer, even if hardworking and frugal, due to wealth inequality and lack of policy that supports a livable working wage. This leads to decline in availability of locally sourced and reasonably affordable produce, misconceptions about our abilities to produce food, and the hoarding of food by economic powerhouse countries. For people in already unstable financial situations, many times a choice has to be made between paying for hous

Substance Abuse and Homelessness

Written By: Layla Nahavandi One of the worst stereotypes regarding homeless populations is one’s history with drug abuse. Far too often have i seen people make automatic assumptions about the status of homeless people as drug addicts or alcoholics, who would use all the money put towards helping them for another high. This assumption always comes with disdain and disgust for the community, and puts a harmful label on people just trying to survive. An important note is that substance abuse can be a cause and consequence of homelssness, much like a criminal record. Substance abuse can cause people to lose their jobs and livelihoods, due to it’s costly nature. It can ruin relationships and the

Older Adults Struggle As A Particularly Vulnerable Homeless Group

As the baby boomer population ages, the need to support them in housing, medical care and mental health care greatly increases. However, the number of the elderly homeless population has increased instead. According to the National Coalition for the Homeless, there is a clear upward trend in the number of homeless people between the ages of 50 and 64 because this group is not yet old enough to qualify for many of the benefits that senior citizens receive. When citizens in this age bracket experience poor physical health that is only exacerbated by the poor nutrition and severe living conditions that the homeless population typically endure. Those aged 65 and over experience homelessness at a

Malnutrition Among the Homeless

Andrew Stahl Homelessness, with its intertwined challenges of low income and lack of facilities for cooking and storing food, exacerbates the problem of malnutrition among low-income individuals and families. A 2007 study found that low-income households received insufficient vitamins and minerals from their diets, and were more likely to eat processed and fast-foods. The homeless face similar problems, in addition to some problems that are unique to homelessness. Data on the eating habits of the homeless, especially in the United States, is relatively hard to come by, but the data we do have is not promising. Research from the U.K., for example, has found that the diets of the homeless were

Poem: THERE IS STILL HOPE

Poem by: Yasmine Toure Everything seems to be down No more food No more water Everything seems to be down You lost your safe place You’re out of your comfort zone Where is all the help you have been asking for? Everything seems to be down But there is still hope Hope saves lives There is a better life ahead There are better days coming Let hope rejoice your heart And the stars in the sky fulfill your soul

Artists Are Considered Creatives

blog by: Alexandra "Alex" Howe Art is an expression of the curious parts of the mind. When we create from what we imagine rather than what we see, we express through our art what we see when we think or when we dream. Bringing thoughts to life and imagination to the forefront of creation, art links together the creative mind and creations of the future. Take cooking for example. Cooking and plating a meal is an art form from begging to end. The meal must be conceived in the mind of a chef who then brings the dish to life, however cooking is not only an art form. Cooking is more. If you break down the process of making a meal the little tweaks that the chefs use to adjust the dish to perfecti

Homelessness Through Domestic Abuse

by: Preston Saunders Everyone has their own idea of what being homeless means. To many, unemployment and poverty are the most prevalent issues and the leading causes of homelessness. Another reason for homelessness is domestic abuse and partner violence, an issue that women have dealt with for centuries but that is often obscured from the public eye. However, we don’t see the same amount of consideration for spousal abuse when creating policies for women, who make up 25 to 30% of the homeless population in America. Not only is the issue of abuse swept under the rug or ignored, which drives women out of their homes, but women are not cared for after they become homeless and lack support syste

Our Failure to Help Ex-Convicts

Blog by: Layla Nahavandi As most of us already know, the American criminal justice system is extremely flawed. Incorrect and excessive convictions are all too common, and what convicts can do after serving their time is restricted as well. Not to mention the disgusting issue of police brutality and how we fail to bring it’s victims justice. However, in this post I’ll be focusing more so on the connection of incarceration to homelessness. Homelessness can be both a cause and consequence of incarceration. Charges like loitering, sleeping in public, or squatting on private property can, and have, led to homeless people being incarcerated. This, when we examine the large homeless population in A

We Need to Encourage Kids to Pursue Creative Careers

Written By: Katherine Brown For some reason, there tends to be indifference or a flippant attitude towards the creative arts in society. We put a bigger emphasis on subjects such as math and science. While these subjects are very important, we also shouldn’t downplay the importance of creativity in society either. Creativity is essential to our well-being in life. Who doesn’t have a hobby or activity they like to do in their free time? Something that helps them relax and relieve stress? This could be anything - listening to music, drawing, reading, or even just watching television. These things are what makes life fun. Life would be boring if we just worked all day and didn’t have anything f

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