Poverty And Mental Health Issues


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Statistics show that people with serious mental health issues are more likely to be unemployed, homeless, unmarried and poorer than the average population. — John Smith Ph.D.

Poverty comes in many forms. It is not just about people who have no income, those with no home, and who only eats once a day. Different cultures and political systems play a part in this struggle. Knowing this, it also has an impact on a person’s physical and mental health, among other determinants. The educational background, their community, ethnicity, social status and immigration status, health care, and the environment are also determinants. All these mentioned can have a positive or a negative effect on one’s mental health and well-being, according to a therapist

Children who are born in or experience poverty at a very young age can lead to lower school performance, more economical cognitive development, and behavioral and attention problems. Adults who experience poverty may develop depression and anxiety that can lead to more serious psychological distress and even suicide.

Poverty dramatically affects mental health. Their families, community, and other factors can contribute to this problem. The stress of having to make ends meet with little money, stressful and traumatic life events, brain circuit changes, and others are biological mechanisms that can be affected by poverty. Also, social mechanisms like parental relationship stress, parents not being present, and the lack of support from families, child abuse, and even neglect.

There is a lot of evidence that points out the effects of poverty on mental health. These developmental problems cause individuals and even families to come out from poverty, which in turn can lead to a vicious cycle of poverty and poor physical and mental health. 

The economy also plays a vital part. Economic inequality leads to more individuals suffering from depression, deaths over drug abuse, and the development of schizophrenia amongst other mental problems. Children develop poor mental health, engage in juvenile homicides, and poor educational outcome. 

Deprived In Their Neighborhood

Poor neighborhood – often in urbanized areas – can cause mental health problems. These neighborhoods can create a toxic environment which leads to stress. Also, the quality of services and education in a community is a critical factor in one’s overall well – being. Some places are neglected and cannot be controlled even by the government, and this is why there are poor neighborhoods around the country. 

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The researchers concluded that “poor” participants were so focused on the demands of the current game that they did not consider what was going to happen in the very near future. — Denise Cummins Ph.D.

Challenges And Solutions

In most cases, psychiatrists have little training on how to help people who suffer from poverty. They can ask questions but can be a bit rhetorical for it is obvious how hard it is for one person to make ends meet with the little money they earn. It is good to ask questions like where they live, the education they have, what their immigration status is, and other legal concerns that could genuinely be a great help for these people. 

The best way to help screen patients for poverty is to use the available tools provided. This is a more clinical and professional way to reach out to those who have mental illness due to poverty.

Practitioners are often challenged in determining a patient’s income, housing, and social status. These are the factors to be addressed to help a person living in poverty and to cure their mental health problems. There are tools provided that are used by clinicians to help their patients maximize their incomes so they won’t have to worry about not having enough. The problem is that most clients do not follow through these steps and ultimately fall into poverty again and again. Some don’t even have access to these kinds of services and can lead to a lot of problems in the future.

Helping an individual can change his or her life, but the problem is that there is a whole community out there who suffer from poverty and are not getting the proper help. This is a job for the government to address to have a breakthrough with poverty and its effect on mental health.

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Bad choices can certainly be a factor in poverty. But just because someone makes bad choices doesn’t mean they lack virtue or have no self-control. — Elliot T Berkman Ph.D.

An Attempt To Change Poverty

Though it’s going to be a hard and long process, we need to have a systematic plan that can target poverty at a macro level. Funding and other services are required for these people to get a jump start and start anew. Clinicians who can provide adequate evidence can make an impact on people’s lives. They can produce their research and their studies amongst their patients and prove that poverty does affect the overall well-being of an individual. 

Some professionals suggest what people can do to alter their course in life without listening to the client. It is easier to tell someone how to live their lives without knowing their daily struggles.


To be able to prevent poverty and mental health issues, there has to be a more significant way to provide the necessary services for these people. A systematic-based action plan to help those in poverty by the help of mental health professionals and the government itself can make a significant impact and help change lives for the better.

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