Mental Health And Homelessness | Valley Behavioral Health
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May 13, 2019 By Valley

Mental Health and Homelessness

This May marks the 70th anniversary of Mental Health Awareness Month, which was started by the Mental Health America Organization in 1949. May is a wonderful month when Valley Behavioral Health and many other mental health support organizations promote recognition, education, and treatment of mental health challenges. We are passionate about putting an end to the isolation and stigma that surrounds mental health by helping people throughout Utah achieve their goals with personalized treatment programs. It all starts with the knowledge and desire to make a change.

This May, Valley is focusing on the effects of homelessness on mental health. According to a 2018 study conducted by the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness, there were an estimated 2,876 homeless men, women, and children in Utah alone. National estimates show that 25%-40% of these individuals may have mental health concerns. As a comparison, roughly 5% of all American adults are diagnosed with mental health challenges. Unfortunately, homelessness and mental illness are related. However, with empathy and support from our community, we can all do something to help Utah’s homeless population live more fulfilling lives. Read on to learn more about how you can help us make a positive change this May.

Understanding Mental Health And Homelessness

The relationship between mental health and homelessness is difficult to define – by no means does one cause the other. So, we are left to wonder, how are mental health conditions more closely tied to the homeless population? Obviously, there are a variety of factors that may be considered. A few of the most common beliefs held by researchers include:

  • Behavioral and mental health challenges may hinder a person’s ability to earn a livable salary.
  • Mental health challenges often make it difficult for people to create and maintain connections with friends, coworkers, families, or partners.
  • Mental and behavioral health concerns may be co-occurring with substance abuse and criminal behavior, furthering the likelihood of homelessness.

How Can We Help?

Mental Health Awareness Month is about educating our community and eliminating the stigma surrounding mental health. Many homeless people may feel embarrassed or incapable of reaching out for help. Others may not even be aware they are struggling with mental health challenges. This May, you can help us address homelessness and mental health by:

Spread Awareness

Spread awareness within your social circles. Help those around you understand the facts regarding homelessness, behavioral and mental health. Stand for transparency and empathy, and be a voice for change.

Offer Help

If you know of anyone that is struggling with challenges driven by mental health, or spending nights without a home, there are many ways you can offer help. Consider volunteering with programs that offer meaningful help to the homeless community, or simply reaching out to show your support.


Unfortunately, most of the money given directly to homeless persons doesn’t lead to healing. Instead, make your donation to a non-profit organization that helps many people through structured programs and treatment.

Donate Today

Providing Homeless Mental Health Services

Valley Behavioral Health offers a variety of supportive programs throughout Salt Lake City for homeless persons dealing with mental health challenges. We believe that helping clients successfully achieve their goals starts with personalized treatment, and help from our passionate team. Many of us at Valley are involved with loved ones, family and community members that are managing mental health challenges in their daily lives. As a result, we are passionate about helping every person we can find a comfortable home, and develop the skills necessary to maintain a better lifestyle. To learn more about Valley’s homelessness services, click the button below. Most importantly, share your thoughts this May and help spread awareness for mental health.

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