Mental Disability Follow-Up: Why Mental Health Problems Aren’t Only About Mental Disability

In response to my previous post about Trump’s (still horrible) policy ideas, I thought I’d offer some thoughts on why problems we consider issues for severe mental disability are only highlighted by those with disability but are really a problem for us all.

Take housing, for example. About 20% of the homeless population has a severe mental disability. That’s not good, of course. Many people with severe mental disability cannot work, cannot get employed, cannot make enough money and, even if they are on SSDI or SSI, may not receive enough money to be able to afford stable housing.

This has brought many to think that we need things like housing for people with mental illness or asylums.

The truth of the matter is that vulnerable populations only show us what’s wrong with the whole of society, I believe. Affordable housing is an issue for everyone. Currently, most people spend about 60% of their income on housing. You know what’s insane? That people actually have to individually find a way and pay for housing. That’s what’s insane. Yes, you should be concerned with the people who find themselves homeless. But you should be concerned for yourself, too, if you happen to have housing. The cost of a housing, plus regular upkeep, is incredibly expensive.

I’ve toyed with the idea of having government subsidized housing for basically everyone. No one should be susceptible to homelessness in this day and age–in the richest country in the world.

Folks who disagree will now tell me I’m socialist or communist. Fine. If you can define that and tell me how I’m either socialist or communist, then tell me what’s so wrong with that.

The problem is that many people focus of issues such as people with mental illness and want an answer that addresses merely mental illness. What mental illness shows us is the problems in society as a whole. You don’t like my idea of subsidized housing for all? Find a better solution. But don’t propose to take away the liberties of people with mental illness, saying they need housing, and offering them an asylum.

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