Silent Voices: People with Mental Disorders on the Street

Silent Voices: People with Mental Disorders on the Street

by Robert L. Okin


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780996077705
Publisher: Golden Pine Press
Publication date: 10/10/2014
Pages: 232
Sales rank: 509,280
Product dimensions: 6.40(w) x 9.40(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

Robert L. Okin, MD, was born in the Bronx, New York. He attended college and medical school at the University of Chicago, and after a psychiatric residency at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City, he spent two years at the National Institute of Mental Health, where he became interested in community psychiatry. Dr. Okin lives in Northern California and has two grown children, Laura and Justin, and a young stepson, Oliver.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

My Approach to This Project 4

My Experience on the Street 6

A Brief History of the Homeless Mentally Ill 13

Paths to Becoming Mentally Ill and Homeless 18

Barely Getting By 24

Against All Odds 29

Breaking the Cycle of Social Stigma 30

Images and Stories 34

"I used to live in a home. Now I live in a cardboard box." (Mary) 37

"The angels of suffering are screeching at me!" David 38

"Is that all you could get me?" Daniel 42

"He needs to see I've done my penance." Barbara 46

The Chess Game 54

Man Examining His Sock 56

"The world ended in 1967, and there's no place to go. (Man with His Bicycle) 60

Woman with Her Sleeping Bag Alexandra 62

"I'm gonna die sooner or later. I don't really care when. I'm too sad." Tatanka Luta 64

"I was four years on death row." (Man with His Dog) 68

"My two daughters were blown to bits by suicide bombers in Iraq." Heidi 70

"Well, I don't know what rock bottom is, if this isn't it. I have nothing left!" Ryan 76

"Sometimes I get tired of having a roof over my head." Linda 80

I've traded my pain medication away for crack." Gregg 87

I'm sure my mom didn't want to give me away." (Man with His Daffy Tie) 90

"I fell from the Empire state Building to the curb." Bridgett 92

"One day you're going to kill me!" James 104

"I'm immune to pain in my body, but when someone hurts my feeling, it makes me feel real sad and I cry." Erradyse 106

"If you have no teeth, it's proof that you've fucked up real bad-that you must be nothing but a fuck-up!" Jeff 112

"I don't sleep. I don't eat." Michael 120

"My mother must have known what my father was doing even before he raped me." Rebecca 122

I'm goin' to sell these shoes for $10,000." (The Shoe Salesman) 130

"Too many people are dead here." (Woman from Honolulu) 134

"After my first kill, it got to be nothing." Walter 136

"I sleep where the frog people live." Rhoda 142

"The Gang: Max, Sabrina, and Jed 144

"I'm not proud of some of the shit I did." Max 148

"Now I'm here, and I'm not quite sure where I'm going." Sabrina 148

"I came to San Francisco to die." Jed 152

"Someone broke into my hotel room and stole my eye." Rose 154

"It's hard having a relationship when you're living on the street." Donna 158

"The Devil is here!" Maria 164

"Whenever I live inside, I start thinking about what I've lost." Jonathan 168

Man with a Cane Jessie 170

"My mama traded my bicycle for a six-pack of booze." Lee 174

"Life on the streets isn't easy, but it's not desperately hard." 178

"The psych meds made me itch so bad I couldn't stop scratching myself." 180

"Everyone says how tough it is to be homeless, but I'm good at it." Vince 182

"I was like a wolf. I'd only come out at night." Don 194

"Some days, I wake up not knowing who I am." George 196

"I won't touch the dead branches of your filth." Klauss 198

"Then in a matter of 2001, one of these little helicopters came down and shot me in the butt with a beangun." Robert 200

Conclusion 203

Appendix A What is Needed 207

Appendix B History of the Homeless Mentally Ill 213

Acknowledgments 229

About the Author 231

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Silent Voices: People with Mental Disorders on the Street 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Beautifully written and illustrated, Dr. Okin's book gives voice to the struggles, suffering, frailties, endurance and humanity of homeless people with severe mental illnesses. It touches heart and mind, deepening understanding of the diversity of this populations' experiences, fears, hopes and capacities and of their interactions with public and social institutions. To a person, my students are enthusiastic about its use in our course. And I am better for having read the book. Eric Kingson Professor of Social Work Syracuse University