Have questions?  info@icarol.com

Follow Us! iCarol software twitter iCarol software Facebook iCarol software YouTube iCarol software LinkedIn     |    FREE TRIAL     |     SIGN IN
Logo
Logo

Celebrating Tim: Links between Homelessness and Mental Illness

We wanted to share this touching blog by Paul Gionfriddo of Mental Health America, telling the story of his family’s experience with mental illness and homelessness.

Celebrating Tim

By Paul Gionfriddo

There are half a million homeless people with serious mental illnesses in desperate need of help yet underserved or ignored by our health and social-service systems. That number can seem overwhelming, but for me, it’s all about one person: my son Tim.

Tomorrow is Tim’s 30th birthday, and I wish I could spend it with him. But I don’t know where he is, so this year I’ll have to settle for the memories of his childhood birthdays. Tim was diagnosed with schizophrenia over two decades ago, and has been homeless on the streets of San Francisco for the last 10. I am a former state legislator, a former mayor, a CEO of a national organization…and even I couldn’t prevent it. Because people with mental illness become homeless as a result not of bad choices but of bad public policy.

There are many differences between me and Tim…I’m in my 60s, he’s half my age. I’m 5’9”, he can appear towering at 6’ 5”. I’ve got graying hair, his hair is dark. I’m white, he’s black. But all of those difference don’t really matter…the only reason Tim is homeless and I’m not is because he has a mental illness. That’s it. Our mental health system has failed him and countless others, and it’s time to change that.

So I can’t turn back time. I can’t spend his 30th birthday with my son. I will pray as I do every day that he is safe and that one day we can get him the help he so desperately needs. Until then, I’m going to keep fighting just like Tim does every day. I’m going to fight to change our mental health care system, to work to get people the help they need when they need it, and to get this country talking and addressing mental illness before Stage 4. I will continue to fight for Tim and for the millions like him affected by mental and substance use conditions who have not had a voice for far too long.

You can read Paul’s blog here, and also get other information on mental health, mental illness, and other topics on Mental Health America’s website.

Tags: , , , , ,

Dana

Dana joined the iCarol team in 2013 after 12 years of direct service and administrative duties at a blended 2-1-1/crisis intervention/suicide prevention center. As the Communications and Social Media Manager at iCarol, you’ll find her presenting Webinars, Tweeting, Blogging, Facebooking, and producing other materials that aid helplines in their work.

Follow Us On Twitter

RT @BHR_STL: BHR was awarded a 3-year grant from St. Louis Mental Health Board to provide follow-up services to adults over age 18 in St Lo…

iCarol Software iCarol Software

RT @DidiHirsch: People with mental illness are more likely to be the victim of violence than perpetrators of violent crime. "So is mental i…

iCarol Software iCarol Software

RT @NAMIMass: When it comes to mental illness, people say the darnedest things. Inappropriate or ignorant remarks can be hurtful and cruel.…

iCarol Software iCarol Software

iCarol Helplines Around the World!

RT @211Central: Remember 211 is free, confidential and here to listen 24/7/365 and connect anyone going through a tough time or in need of…

Ontario 211 Ontario 211

Copyright © 2019 iCarol

iCarol helpline software   iCarol helpline software   iCarol helpline software   iCarol helpline software