Sociology 2259 Lecture 19: Homelessness and Mental Health
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Monday, February 26th, 2018 — Homelessness and Mental Health
•abuse and neglect and the 2 major reasons youth move home (70% suffered physical, sexual,
or emotional abuse)
•50% of homeless youth come from middle- to upper-class families
•homeless youth are generally around 15yrs old and 64% are male
•photo voice (research method)
•photographs are used to help focus responses to particular ideas, connect the world of the
researcher and researched, create richer data, and act as a means to help enhance
•literature suggests that the value of photos in sociological research lies in their ability to
create and support meaning-making
•orient people to the experiment
•assign the task speciﬁcally
•review photos with participants individually or collectively
•write analysis based on research question
•take analysis back to participants
•reﬁne analysis based on feedback
•SHOWeD is a framework developed by Wang
•what do you See here?
•what is really Happening here?
•how does this relate to Our lives?
•Why does this situation, concern, or strength exist?
•what can we Do about it?
•people with mental disorders are though of as they are their disease (e.g. you don’t call
somebody with cancer “a cancer” but you do called people “a schizophrenic”)
•mental disorders are alterations in thinking, mood, or behaviour associated with signiﬁcant
distress and impaired functioning
•20% of Canadians have experienced a mental illness and 80% know someone with one
•WHO found that 25% of the world’s population has a mental disorder
•mental disorder prevalence is equal among genders
•women are more likely to have depression or anxiety
•men are more likely to have antisocial personality disorder, substance abuse disorder, or
•people with mental illness often live in chronic poverty and poverty can be a signiﬁcant risk
factor for poor physical and mental health
•the relationship between poverty and mental health with both straightforward and complex so
understanding the broader context is key
•rates of mental illness is highest among low SES (social causation vs. social selection
hypotheses) and adolescents/young adults (biology + identity formation + stress)
•individual/family costs of mental illness come from education, employment, income, family
instability, and physical illness
•societal costs of mental illness come from health care expenses, absence from work, lost tax
revenues, and criminalization
•research consistently shows that the mentally ill are more likely to be arrested for a minor
criminal offence than a non-ill person (e.g. causing a disturbance/mischief, minot theft, failure
to appear in court)
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