There are these people. A certain segment of our population. Looking at the statistics, you can’t help but think these are significantly disadvantaged and greatly underserved people.
Within this population 22 people commit suicide every day. This means a person takes his or her own life every 65 minutes. On any given night, there are almost 300,000 homeless people from this population. This represents just over one third of the adult homeless population. Of those that are homeless, 50% suffer from a mental illness and 70% suffer from a substance abuse issue. Studies show they are twice as likely to become homeless than the general population. The unemployment rate among this group of people is over 12%, which is significantly higher than others.
This population faces specific challenges and barriers to healthcare. 1 in 10 are disabled. From 2006-2010, over 2,000,000 people from this population received treatment for a mental health disorder. When you look at studies on this population, they indicate that only half of the people with a diagnosed mental health disorder actually seek treatment. Do the math, and it would indicate the actual number with a diagnosed disorder is significant. A recent study by the GAO on today’s healthcare landscape reported that these people have a more problematic issue than the rest of the population when it comes to access to healthcare.
So, who are these people? Unfortunately, these are statistics about United States veterans. It’s heartbreaking. Frankly, it’s unacceptable.
As we celebrate Memorial Day this weekend, I encourage us all
1) To be prayerful of those that gave the ultimate sacrifice so you and I can enjoy remarkable freedoms.
2) Continue to pray for those that are still in harm’s way.
3) As the hands and feet of Christ, pray for and seek ways to minister to those who have made it home but continue to fight…in a very different kind of war.