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Service Innovations: A Service for the Homeless with Mental Illness in Aberdeen
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The aim of this study was to evaluate the first 3 years of a newly developed service for the homeless mentally ill in Aberdeen. All 86 referrals to the service between 1996 and 1999 were reviewed. A demographic questionnaire was completed for each referral, and information sought on current psychiatric symptoms and any previous contact with the mental health services. The results suggest that the majority of referrals came from social care staff and self-referrals. Half were diagnosed as having severe and enduring mental illness and of these one-quarter (11 cases) were engaged in long-term psychiatric care. A total of 744 in-patient days were required, only one admission was a compulsory detention. These results suggest that it has proven possible to identify and engage with a number of homeless individuals who have untreated serious mental illness by setting up a small dedicated service that has close links with an established adult mental health team and which establishes close working relationships with colleagues in social care settings. (Authors)
Psychiatric Bulletin
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A program of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Mental Health Services