Mental Health Case Study Paper

Mental Health Case Study Paper


Discussion Questions:
1. What events in John’s life created a “downward spiral” into homelessness and hopelessness? Which events are related to social needs, mental health needs, medical needs and which could health care have addressed?
2. What were some of the barriers John faced in accessing medical care; mental health care?
3. How does homelessness and mental illness intersect? Do you believe homelessness may develop because of a mental health issue or do you believe those who become homeless eventually sink into psychological despair?
4. The tipping point for many people who live at the margins of society may be things that could have been managed given the right supports. How can your role as an APRN help to identify, alleviate or support those who are in need like John? 
5. In your own experience, have you encountered a homeless individual? What was that like? Do you recall what you were thinking?

Mental Health Case Study. Mental Health Case Study Paper

Question 1

One of the events that led to John’s downward spiral would be the loss of his job. Having lost his job, he became increasingly anxious and worried about securing his family’s future since his wife was unemployed and he was unsuccessful in securing another job. Another event that contributed to the downward spiral would be the fact that he stopped receiving the unemployment checks six months after losing his job. To degenerate into homelessness, John and his wife separated and he was unable to continue paying for his rent since his wife who had a job moved back to her parent’s house. Additionally, constantly arguing with his hosts and overdrinking while couch surfing contributed to his homelessness because he was constantly kicked out of their homes, and eventually found himself sleeping in the park.

Being kicked out of his friends’ homes would be classified as a social and mental health need for which John required help. Being kicked out by his friends and separating contributed to the worsening of his mental health because he dealt with rejection from people close to him. Healthcare could address his mental health needs by providing John with an opportunity to experience therapy.

Question 2

             A major barrier that John faced in accessing medical care would be the lack of insurance. From the case study, it is clear that at some point, John could not afford to have his sinus infection prescription filled, which worsened his health. Another barrier that John faced in accessing mental health care is the lack of screening for mental health disorders and homelessness, because the screening would allow John to seek mental health help. Mental Health Case Study Paper

Question 3

Homelessness and mental illness intersect where the homeless individual begins to feel unworthy for living a squalid life without access to basic needs such as food, clothing, shelter, and medical services (Narendorf, 2017). The feelings of unworthiness can lead to depression because in some cases such as John’s, the homeless was triggered by the loss of a job and his wife. To add to this, in order to cope with the homelessness, such people may indulge in substance abuse, which is a mental health disorder.

I believe that homelessness may develop because of a mental health issue such as substance abuse (Patten, 2017). For instance, if a person is an alcoholic, they probably jeopardize their jobs through absenteeism, and even when they secure another opportunity, they ruin it with their absenteeism and behavior such as violence and perpetual anger. In such cases, the individuals who are unable to keep their jobs develop homelessness since they are unable to pay their rent. I also believe it is possible for those who become homeless to eventually sink into psychological despair because they develop substance abuse disorders to cope with their situation or develop depression because of the loss of an income or a home (Karadzhov, 2019).


Question 4

            As an APRN, one of the ways to identify those in need like John is to interrogate them about their home life. By asking such a question, I would be able to detect a homeless person and refer them to proper facilities and provide a way for them to get medication even without them being insured. For instance, I could propose a policy where the hospital has a CSR initiative to provide free treatment and medication for the homeless who visit the ER. Mental Health Case Study Paper

Question 5

I have encountered a homeless individual. My experience was saddening because all they wanted from me was food and $5 to survive over the next few days. I remember thinking that the person must be in a very depressed state to have to borrow strangers food in order to survive.


Karadzhov, D. (2019). Reckoning with complexity: The intersection of homelessness and serious mental illness, and its implications for nursing practice. Journal Of Psychiatric And Mental Health Nursing, 27(1), 1-3.

Narendorf, S. (2017). Intersection of homelessness and mental health: A mixed methods study of young adults who accessed psychiatric emergency services. Children And Youth Services Review, 81, 54-62.

Patten S. B. (2017). Homelessness and Mental Health. Canadian journal of psychiatry. Revue canadienne de psychiatrie, 62(7), 440–441. Mental Health Case Study Paper