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Venice Update

News of Venice, CA and Marina del Rey CA

Dr. Braskow Discusses the Homeless and “Demedicalization of Mental Illness”

Dr. Joel T. Braslow, UCLA Professor of psychiatry and biobehavioral sciences, will speak of  “The Demedicalization of Mental Illness” from 7 to 8:30 pm, Monday, 27 January at the Pacific Palisades Library, 861 Alma Real Drive, Pacific Palisades.

Have changing attitudes about mental illness allowed people to languish on the streets?  Dr. Braslow will discuss the factors that have led to demedicalization, its consequences and ways to address the issues it presents.

Government authorities have defined homelessness as a housing problem. Dr. Braslow and his research collaborators take a broader view and examine sociocultural, economic and medical attitudinal changes.

  • We no longer consider homeless persons to be gravely disabled, even though it is their disorder that drives their inability to find shelter and to function in general.
  • More people with severe psychiatric illnesses are now denied admission to hospitals. 
  • We no longer see homelessness as an acute psychiatric emergency in need of immediate intervention.

Comments (6)

  1. Manny Ortega

    This psychiatrist is a quack. We live in a city of 10 million people where rents have become so over-priced since the last recession that you now have to make around 80,000 a year to afford the cheapest of apartments anywhere from Venice to Van Nuys. So this whole idea that homelessness is a form of mental illness is just another prime example of the powerful defining the powerless to push an agenda that is designed to do nothing more than keep the powerful in power.

    • jim y

      Are you joking Manny?

      Your’re denying that many of these folks are mentally ill and drug addicted? Get over it Manny, LA is the 2d biggest city in American and like NYC, it’s expensive. You have the right to move to a cheaper city, so go….and stop pushing your agenda of blaming everything on hard working people with jobs and homes.

      • Manny Ortega

        I’m not denying at all that a certain percentage of the homeless are mentally ill. But that is not the topic of this quack’s talk. Based on the synopsis of it on this website he is going to argue that all homeless people are mentally ill. That is a categorically false statement whose primary purpose is to marginalize a diverse population by smearing them all as being crazy people who are unable to take care of themselves. And once a group of people are marginalized in this way the government can do whatever they want with them and most people will look the other way because they’ve bought the propaganda. It’s how the German government was able to get away with making 6,000,000 European Jews disappear during World War 2. And as far as the second part of your statement goes you homeowners aren’t the only people around here who work hard. And as homeowners who have equity in the property you’re living none of you have a clue about what it means to be broke. A lot of renters can’t just pick themselves up and move to another state. It costs a lot of money to move that many of them don’t have. Besides a lot of the homeless have jobs here in L.A. Things have gotten so bad here in L.A. that there are literally thousands of gainfully employed middle to low income workers here who are either homeless or living way above their means in living situations where as much as 90% of their monthly income is going towards rent. No disrespect intended but people like you who own homes live in a completely different world than apartment dwellers. If you want to move to another state all you have to do is sell your home, take the cash and buy another home in a cheaper state and still have money left to tide yourself over until you find another job. Renters don’t have that option. They don’t have any equity in a home like somebody like yourself has.

  2. Examining the interplay between homelessness and serious mental illness is an important component in determining how best to effectively put evidence based SUPPORT in Permanent Supportive Housing.

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