Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Severely Mentally Ill Women Often Impoverished, Vulnerable

Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Severely Mentally Ill Women Often Impoverished, Vulnerable

Article excerpt

SAN DIEGO -- Many women with severe mental illness live below the poverty line, preliminary data from a small study suggest.

"Women with severe mental illness are impoverished," Natalie D. Crawford said in an interview during a poster session at the American Psychiatric Association's Institute on Psychiatric Services.

"There needs to be some action to address their needs. Because they are impoverished, they're vulnerable to leverage and a number of other things, such as having sex for money, housing, or other goods," she told this newspaper.

As part of a larger study, Ms. Crawford and her associates obtained baseline data on the money management practices of 98 women with severe mental illness who were being treated at two residential facilities and four outpatient clinics in Brooklyn and Upper Manhattan.

The mean age of the women was 43 years, more than half (65%) were black, and slightly more than half (54%) had a diagnosis of schizophrenia, reported Ms. Crawford, who is a graduate student in epidemiology at Columbia University in New York. …

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