Mothering on the Margins: Homeless Women with an SUD and Complex Mental Health Co-Morbidities

Informa Healthcare
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Issues in Mental Health Nursing, 2013, 34 (4), pp. 288 - 293
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Substance use disorder (SUD) and co-morbid mental health conditions are a serious and growing issue associated with 14% of the global health burden, and affecting family social wellness and the future potential of children (World Health Organization [WHO], 2008). Women with co-occurring substance use and mental health disorders are at particular risk as they may have dependent children and are vulnerable to poverty, family dysfunction, violence, and homelessness. In 2001, the World Health Report called for interconnected primary health and community-based interventions and human resource development to address mental health and SUD (WHO, 2001). Gender-based approaches have been highlighted as essential in order to engage women in treatment tailored to their needs (United Nations Of?ce on Drugs and Crime [UNODC], 2004). In this column, we provide an epidemiological overview of this vulnerable group of mothers and examine current progress and opportunities for improving health and social outcomes for these women.
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