Inmates with serious mental illnesses are much more likely to seek assistance with housing and financial needs when released from jail than treatment, according to a recent study in the journal Qualitative Health Research.
The study examined how people with serious mental illness prioritize their needs when released from jail. Unlike prison releases, those in jail are often giving little warning or time to plan before rejoining communities, the study notes.
The study's author, Amy Wilson, an assistant professor at Case Western Reserve University, conducted observations and interviews with the staff and clients of a mental health reentry program and responses to an open-ended questionnaire that was given to the program's clients.
About 63 percent of the clients identified housing and 35 percent “identified financial assistance as one of their two most important service needs.”
Just 12 percent sought treatment services.
Wilson concludes “a hierarchy in help-seeking activities post-release in which clients' access to treatment services was predicated on their ability to first find sustainable economic and material support.”
The study is available for purchase HERE.