State's Lack Of Mental Health Facilities Often Pushes People To Life On The Street

Homelessness: The Symptom Of A Bigger Problem
Posted at 6:00 PM, Jun 30, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-30 20:45:48-04

The difference in numbers is drastic. In Tennessee, there are 119 jails, 14 prisons, but only 4 state mental facilities, leaving many in the psychiatric field questioning if enough is being done to help people suffering from mental illness.

Some individuals who have lost all of their support network, end up homeless, or locked up, many of them suffer from mental illness.

Dr. Sheryl Fleisch, of Vanderbilt University Medical Center, has started a street outreach program.

Her aim is to gain trust with the homeless community, and provide possible treatment. She travels to known homeless camps to meet with many of them, as opposed to them coming to her - something she knows would never happen.

She believes that when we see the homeless on the street asking for a dollar, they may need more than financial help, the may need to just talk.

The organization below can help you or someone you know that may need help:

  • Vanderbilt Behavioral Health/Psychiatric Assessment Service: 615.327.7000
  • Neuromodulation Suite: 615.875.1890
  • Partial Hospitalization: 615.322.2320 (adult) / 615.875.1900 (adolescent)
  • Department of Psychiatry: 615.322.2665 (grants & research)
  • Access Center, Vanderbilt Psychiatric Clinics: 615.936.3555