A study conducted by hospital researchers indicates that approximately 50 percent of homeless men have suffered from a traumatic brain injury. Most of the catastrophic injury cases happened prior to the men losing their homes. According to the doctor who led the study, the findings could help to explain the behavioral challenges from which many homeless men suffer.
Of the 111 men who participated in the survey, 45 percent had suffered a traumatic injury to their brains at some point in their lives. Of those injuries, 87 percent of them happened prior to the men becoming homeless. These figures are dramatic, considering that only 12 percent of the general public found in economically developed areas of the world (like New Mexico) have suffered a brain injury.
The lead researcher of the study is not trying to prove that homelessness is caused by brain injuries, or that those who suffer a brain injury are likely to become homeless. Rather, he says that a complex array of factors contributes to homelessness — including issues such as substance abuse, poor economic conditions and mental illness. Nevertheless, it appears that many of the homeless men in this study had a history of brain injury and most had suffered the injury in their early teens.
Whenever a New Mexico resident suffers a catastrophic injury to the brain, the risk of future complications is high. This study, which points to the risk of homelessness, is only one of many on the topic of brain injuries. In the event that one suffers a blow to the head, prompt medical help is often crucial to receive appropriate care for that injury. In cases where the injury is the result of another party’s negligent or intentional act, the victim may also elect to pursue civil claims in court, which — if successfully navigated — could be a way for the victim to receive financial assistance to pay for the costs of that medical care.
Source: The Huffington Post, “The Disturbing Link Between Brain Injury And Homelessness“, Anna Almendrala, April 29, 2014