The Open Door: Homelessness and Severe Mental Illness in the Era of Community Treatment

ISBN : 9780190463380

Carol L. M. Caton
176 Pages
156 x 235 mm
Pub date
May 2017
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The Open Door: Homelessness and Severe Mental Illness in the Era of Community Treatment explains how and why homelessness among the mentally ill has persisted over the past 35 years, despite policy and program initiatives to end it. This ten-chapter book chronicles the unintended rise of homelessness in the wake of far-reaching post-World War II mental health care reforms, and highlights the key role of advocacy in spurring a governmental response to homelessness. The author provides a comprehensive, carefully documented "state of the science" on homelessness, reviews critical issues in managing severe mental illness in the community setting, and presents evidence of the effectiveness of service and housing interventions that have brought stability to the lives of many. Finally, the book reviews the role of homelessness prevention, a recovery orientation, and the promise of early treatment of psychotic disorders to facilitate greater social inclusion and community participation. In addition to providers of housing and services to the homeless mentally ill, this text will appeal to policymakers, mental health professionals, and students of public health and social sciences.


Chapter One: The Open Door: The Mental Health System Transformed
Chapter Two: Voluntarism and the Rise of Advocacy
Chapter Three: Homeless People with Severe Mental Illness
Chapter Four: Overcoming the Problem of Disengagement from Treatment
Chapter Five: Mental Health Services Take to the Streets
Chapter Six: From the Streets to Homes
Chapter Seven: Challenges to Bringing Housing to Scale
Chapter Eight: National Initiatives to Ending Homelessness
Chapter Nine: Can Homelessness Be Prevented?
Chapter Ten: Beyond Housing: Opening the Door to Community Participation

About the author: 

Carol L.M. Caton, PhD, Professor of Sociomedical Sciences (in Psychiatry) at CUMC, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, is an internationally known researcher who has conducted federally funded studies of homelessness and severe mental illness, psychosis and substance use disorder, and treatment interventions for homeless people. Her work has been widely published in scientific journals and presented at professional meetings in the United States and abroad.

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