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Main Community News Canada's Homeless Population Grappling with Mental Illness, Addictions

Canada's Homeless Population Grappling with Mental Illness, Addictions

Friday, October 26, 2012

More than half of Canada's homeless population are suffering from mental illness or addiction, according to the Mental Health Commission. This fact signal that more resources are needed to fight this growing problem, from affordable housing to proper treatment facilities.

The Problem
Many people coping with mental illness are in danger of becoming homeless due to a shortage of affordable housing options. Canada has started an initiative called Housing First, which stresses the importance of providing shelter for the mentally ill in major cities like Vancouver. A safe and comfortable place to live is essential for treatment to occur, reports The Globe and Mail. Securing suitable housing is often the first step to healing, as long as it is following by professional care.

Those suffering from addictions are in a similar situation, with their substance abuse putting them in a vulnerable or disadvantaged state. Professional treatment is usually needed to help these individuals get back on their feet, and that is only possible with the help of a professional service.

Homes and Shelters Helping
In order to combat this growing problem, group homes and shelters around Vancouver are expanding their services to reach a wider number of people. Many mentally ill individuals and addicts need proper medication and personalized care, which can be difficult to provide in these tough economic times. Federally-funded homes are beginning to pop up around Canada, however, and these organizations give support and attention to these often-overlooked individuals.

Despite these advancements, there is much more that needs to be done to help this underserved population. In order to help addicts fight their demons, more professional workers are needed to fill the role of caretakers, counselors and aides.

Overcoming substance abuse problems is a difficult process, which is why the workers and counselors helping individuals fight addictions are so important. Those working in community services provide moral support for recovering people. They help to discover the source of addictions and mend relationships broken as a result of substance abuse. In short, these workers play a pivotal role in helping addicted individuals get their lives back on track.

Those who are interested in finding a role as an addictions and community services worker can first enroll in programs like Addiction and Community Services Worker or Social Services Worker Foundations at Vancouver Career College. For more information, fill out the form on the right.

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