Something that government officials don’t like to admit is that most of the homeless people who ask for money on the street are mentally ill. Some of them are addicted to alcohol, drugs (or both), but since the mental hospitals have closed and the recession is still going strong, we are all seeing more and more of these people on the streets of our local communities.

Reducing the number of beds available in public psychiatric hospitals is associated with increased suicide rates and community-based mental health care is usually not enough to make a difference. A new study finds that for every bed lost for 100,000 people in the population, 45 additional suicides occur per year.

Psychologist Ronald Manderscheid says this does not undermine the idea that mentally ill people can be safely served in the community. He says, “There

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