Schizophrenia Treatment - Housing And Self-Help Options


A less obvious but quite vital therapy consideration for schizophrenic patients is assistance with housing. Patients in the midst of a psychotic episode become disoriented and unable to care for themselves or carry out any sort of responsible activity such as working or paying rent. Many patients end up unemployed, or very minimally employed, and relying in full or in part on government sponsored disability payments for income. There is also a tendency for patients to become involved in substance abuse as they come into contact with other patients who abuse drugs or alcohol. The net result is that some patients become quite disabled and require assistance with housing or become homeless in a hurry. The vast numbers of homeless mentally ill people in any major city, many of whom are schizophrenic, are a testament to this problem. Different communities address this need for safe humane housing for the chronically mentally ill in different ways with varying levels of success. Social workers and case managers employed through city government and community mental health centers help patients to find and maintain housing options. Access to safe housing is a basic need of any schizophrenic patient, and without it, their illness will be worse.

Self-Help Options

Once their illness has stabilized, people with schizophrenia can benefit from self-help efforts. Becoming part of a mental health self-help group for schizophrenia patients is a good option for many people. Where such groups exist, they are frequently organized through local community mental health centers. Groups provide an opportunity for positive, mutual support and fellowship to persons with a diagnosis of schizophrenia or related disorders. Often a mental health professional can direct a patient toward a self-help group. Alternatively, some networks of groups have online presences. Hearing Voices Network is a self-help organization for people who hear voices. It was founded by five mental health workers, but has since somewhat distanced itself from the psychiatric profession through its alternative philosophy. It can be accessed at The Paranoia Network is a similar self-help organization in the United Kingdom. In addition, the Self-help Source Book Online ( is a wealth of local, national, and international self help resources. There are also online-only community forums such as those provided by Schizophrenia.Com, or Mental Earth (

  • Anonymous-1

    When a patient that does not get better and the family can no longer care for the disabled person because they are burnt out and fear when they die or something happens and they can no longer care for the person what then? where is there to turn? Nursing homes say they cannot care for this person because he/ she is to ill where is a home for that person wher is there to turn no one seems to know. Will you Please find out and list this on this site? Kentucky

  • john stewrt

    I live in ma. and I have no place for my 32 year old son to live because of this mental illness. He is very smart and a good person,but can't live on his own. He needs a long term care to check in on him so that he takes his meds and himself daily. Any suggestions?

  • Allan N. Schwartz, PhD

    Because you live on the East Coast there is likely to be some type of residential accomodation for patients with schizophrenia. I assume he is receiving medicaid and public assistance or disability under the social security act. In doing your search for residential apartment arrangements you really need to focus on Boston and other large urban areas in the state.

    For the family who is burnt out from caring for a mentally ill person, that person would be better off living in a residential treatment center where they would receive medication, psychotherapy and other supports of that kind.

    Dr. Schwartz

  • Anonymous-2

    people in your community would help if needs were clearly voiced. how can a community create hope and help for young persons who don't believe they have an illness or need help? what would help look like?

  • Anonymous-3

    I have a friend who is 80 and cares for a older family member who is very sick and her own 50 something year old daughter. The daughter has schizophrenia and is always perinoid never sleeps, paces the floor all night, thinks she is being spyed on all the time by certain people who are out to get her that live in the neighborhood and will not take her meds at all. Thinks you are trying to poison her. Mom can't get help or things signed over to her so she can get meds and find a way to treat her. What about living quarters, state help, caregivers, assisted living of some sort, financial help, sitters so one can sleep once in a while. How and where does one get help?

  • Anonymous-4

    I need help in finding a suitable housing for my brother who is schizophrenia. I hoping to find a place that will offer the help that he will need to be able to make sure he takes his medication, and keep up wiith his hygene, and will beable to eat properly. As you proably knows most people in his condition, loves to smokes and love to drink alot of soda. So please if this place exist, can you inform me of where to appy in geting the necessary information that i will need to find this help.

  • Anonymous-5

    My brother has been dealing with schizophrenia for 6 plus years and he is doing horrible right now. I've come to the conclusion there is no real help unless you have a lot of money and can send them far away to an expensive treatment center. The psychiatrist only see him once every 3 months for 15 minutes and give him new meds that still don't work. They don't want to hear anything you have to tell them. Hippa laws should not apply to the severly mentally ill. He is sick of hearing voices all the time telling him to do evil things and he is back to thinking the voices are real again. He use to know the differences. Thanks for generic prescribition drugs!

  • Anonymous-6

    Im searching online for a residental treatment center for my cousin who has schizophrenia. While watching this short video of this doctor i wanted to punch the screen. If he knew as much about this illness at all he would know that they wouldn't just walk into their primary care provider and tell them , " i think i have a mental illness and i'ld like more information." Im in a rut, she belives the doctors are the evil ones and all of us (her family) is working for them. This is one of the most hardest diseases to deal with. Im stuck. Good luck and i pray for all the families that suffer in the crossfire.

  • Anonymous-7

    My mother is an 85 year-old paranoid schizophrenic. She is doing quite well on medications and displays no symptoms. She is in a nursing home that sees to it that she is on regular meds. Her income does not qualify her for medicaide and would require an additional $3,000 per month. She does have dementia. My father was a WWII and Korean veteran with a bronze star. The VA will help out but out-of-pocket expenses would still be over $2,ooo. She mistrusted banks, was financially taken advantage of and had a total of $85.00 to her name. Does anyone know of any organization that would help with costs?

  • Cheryl Johnson

    I feel what the rest of you are feeling I been dealing with my son for 18 years now tried numerous group homes then a nursing home. Now I'm about to take him out and try group homes again because the nursing home used dangerous drugs to control my son which caused him to be hospitalized. Where is help for people like my son as well as the homeless. They're constantly ignored. If anyone can suggest options for my son besides a nursing home,group home or a place that cost you a lot of money I feel like the other comments that have been made there is no real help for the mentally ill.

  • Nilda Medina

    I have a 52 year old brother who was diagnosed with schizophrenia and i think he also might have other mental issues, i am trying to get assisted living for him in florida and no luck like they say no money ,no luck I can no longer take care of him I have a disable husband and another delayed son who need my attention, now i have three and i am exhusted please help who can help him

  • Greg

    The answer is no one will help. My brother has had schizophrenia for 10 years. We live in New Jersey and no homes will take him, and my parents are running out of options. I am 23 years old now and have dealt with this nightmare of a situation since I was 13. He is now probably the worst he has ever been. He screams randomly, giggles uncontrollably, talks to himself excessively, and repeats the same questions over and over to my mom. He is completely removed from the world mentally. There is little enjoyment in any of our lives. He walks down the street screaming and talking loudly. He disrupts the lives of my neighbors who all have small children. My neighbors have had to stop him on numerous occasions while he is peeing in sight of their little girls. What does one do? What do my parents do? My mom cries all the time. If I went in depth about the things we have had to deal with and see in the last decade in regards to my brother, I could write a book. This is life, and it came a time where

  • Anonymous-8

    My brother needs help! He has been dealing with Schizophrenia since age 15 and now he is 37. The only help he get is when he is in and out of jail. My mom is done with him and has now put him out on the streets. I am trying to find a place to send him Oklahoma city but I am not having any luck. please help with any suggestions.


  • Anonymous-9

    a list of cries with no answers...i to am at my wits end...53 year old sister living with us for about a year since my brother past...i'm tired and torn...there is no way she can survive on her own...and there is no way she can continue living with us..husband is done and i can't blame him...i am done to...sad for her..sad for win homeless shelter the answer?..she will never make it...he wants me to move into apt with her...ummm no!....guess i will stay drunk....p.s. i feel everyones post on here!....its's sad...

  • Kate

    I am fortunate so I hope that my comments will help others. I live in California. No matter where you live, find your local NAMI (national Alliance for the Mentally Ill) office, call them and keep digging until you find the answers you need. Next, find out what government offices you have in your county that offer services for the mentally ill (NAMI will hook you up with these). Get your loved one a social worker who will manage his/her case. You will find out about services. My brother got on a HUD list for housing and after waiting for two years, was finally eligible. He now has his own apartment that is paid for through HUD (80%) and our county/state (20%). I applied for In Home Health Services for him and was awarded 30 hours a month. I hired a gal to work those 30 hours ... and guess what? She is a single mom with a low income so knows EVERYTHING about welfare and the system so has educated me. NAMI is the place to start.

  • Dawn

    I need help for my daughter. she has schizophrenia, and I don't know how to help her or what is the right thing to do with her. Right now she does not live with me, but she always want to come home. I will not let her come home because she hangs out with this guy that trys to be her daddy. Ever since then she calls me all kinds of foul language. she tells me she hates me. She has attacked me. I don't know what to do with her. Should she be driving a car? I was not letting her drive her car, then I thought maybe she would do something for herself if I gave her car back, but so far that has been a nightmare. I NEED HELP!!!! I have looked all over the internet, they say be nice to them, talk to them, it helps them. It don't help her with nothing, she can't even remember the things I tell her. She don't remember the things she says. PLEASE SOMEONE CONTACT ME AND TELL ME WHAT TO DO!!!!

  • Melissa Hasty

    Its like you were living my life. My son 18 years old, schizophrenic, currently in CSU will be released tomorrow to the homeless shelter. To be honest I dont know what is worse, him living with me being afraid for my life, or him being on the streets and being afraid for his life. I have been on the stupid phone all day long begging someone to help. Its like they all know a secret but wont tell me. Im a nurse, if im having this hard of a time, I cant imagine how hard it must be for others. Im sooooooooo frustrated.....

  • Anonymous-10

    why dont all of us parents of schizophrenics that can live on their own but need help with meds and keeping busy and being productive just pitch in a get a loan to build a multi-family home in the country and have live-in house parents and other volunteers to come out for social events and have animal therapy also with volunteers and all us parents take turns doing things that need done...they have housing like this up in Maine and surrounding states...therapeutic transitional living...let me know if interested,,...from oklahoma

  • Rachel

    Wow, I feel EVERY single post on here. My sister is suffering from schizophrenia and no matter what I do to help her, it doesn't. I have brought her into my home to care for her like a 36 yr old child and we're at the point of exhaustion ourselves now after 1 1/2 years. My Spouse & I are physically & mentally drained. I see that this is a common condition of exhaustion for the people suffering from this disease and for the Families that care for them. Why are WE AS A NATION NOT helping the mentally ill more?? I agree with the post to have a large group home in each state to start for those people who would/could possibly benefit from a "Den Mother/Father" group style home. HELLO PEOPLE, these people need LOVE too but we must also take care of ourselves or succomb to demise ourselves. LET'S NEVER STOP LOVING THESE PEOPLE (even if they speak to us in a vulgar/hateful manner, they can't help themselves, PLEASE REMEMBER THIS) ....HANG IN THERE, I KNOW IT WILL GET BETTER FOR ALL OF US.....LET'S PUSH FOR MORE HELP IN EACH STATE. Any suggestions? I'm in NJ....((( Willing to do what I can on my end. ))) :)

  • Karina

    Help, My husband and I been taking care of his 65 yrs old uncle that is suffering from schizophrenia. It's been 6 yrs since his mother past and he came to live with us. We have brought him into my home to care for him and we're at the point of exhaustion ourselves. My Spouse & I are physically & mentally drained. I see that this is a common condition of exhaustion for the people suffering from this disease and for the Families that care for them. We live in Bergen County NJ and need help for him cause we are at the point that we can't care for him anymore. My faith is the only thing that keep me going, we are a young couple and we like to start our own family but is hard when you have all your attention in another person that is mentally ill.

  • Molly

    My 43 year old brother has had this disease for 22 years and it has depleted our family emotionally, physically and financially. If 1% of the population has this dreadful disease why is there nothing available to them? He won't live in one place for more than a month or two, sometimes just a day or two, because he thinks a cult tortures him. He calls the police, the FBI, makes complaints about the cult to the authorities but no one helps him. He has been put in a hospital but then he checks himself out. Our nation has Alzheimer walks, cancer runs, autism,but what about raising funds and awareness for mental health issues?

  • Janine

    We have four Sons, one, who is going to be 33 years old, suffers from adult onset Schizophrenia. We have kept him home, against the advise of Drs. Most times, if we call the crisis line, he ends up in jail, for 6 months at a time and when he is realeased, things are worse and we have huge fines to pay, and his disease has help in jail. And he certainly was not a criminal, which made us feel terrible, for calling, in the first place....and so... We were put in a position that we would not call for help, unless we were in immediate danger.

    Finally, he was admitted into Acadia Hospital, in Bangor Maine, where they started him on Zyprexa (melt away kind) After two weeks, we felt comfortable to have him come home, since I was actually able to watch him take his meds. After 48 hrs, it became apparent that he was psychotic , again....and again we had to call for help. We have been through this so many times. He has thrown his furniture through windows, while we were sleeping, he paces and talks to himself constanty. We sleep with the doors locked and remove all knives from the kitchen. I am sure, like all of you, there is a wonderful side of your loved one. Artistic, creative, full of kindness....and on the flip side, unpredictable and dangerous. I have now taken the advise of his Drs and let him go to the Bangor Shelter. After reviewing their web site and seeing that there are so many resourses for him there. He goes back to the hospital, during the day, for ongoing group as well as individaul counceling.

    We want the best for him and this is extremely hard for us. He calls most every day and explains, why he is so dissapointed in us, fro having "thrown him away" and that everything is monitored and recorded.. (as I am sure alot of you have also heard)

    This is all breaking our hearts, as he is not a homeless person...but we cannot have him come back into our home... I think that we have enabled him, in so many ways (to protect him) And now, he is in a shelter.

    Being free to post, in this blog, is a huge blessing for me.

    I wish you all, all the best and I certainly know what you are all going through....


    OMG..I thought I was alone in this Hellish nightmare, After reading all this stories I'm convinced that mentally ill people has no chance in hell of getting the help they desperately needs and the family that takes care of them. my son has drained the joy out of my life,I feel tired mentally and physically., He doesn't think he has a problem and therefore he drinks and smoke weed,,I have to tell him to brush his teeth, take a bath but its like talking to a wall,,I get so frustrated that i pray to God to take him home already since theres no place that wants him or willing to help him..My God whats going to happen to our children that are suffering from this dreadful disease once we're gone???Please if theres help out there in south jersey with housing and group homes ,anything that will help him let me know!!!!! I've even consider suicide cause I can't take the stressed no more,,I rather be dead and don't feel no more than to go thru this nightmare,,I know my Sweet Lil boy that I anxiously waited for is no longer in that body,,it's like a monster has him hostage and won't give him back to me.It's so sad what we as parents have to go thru in our golden years.

  • Linda

    Previously stated to contact your local NAMI organization and I would also recommend Psychosocial Rehabilitation Association... Information on Recovery and caregiver and family support. Get the supports you need to take care of yourself... it is hard to not be able to protect and care for those experiencing the effects of schizophrenia... however there are effective treatments... don't give up... but don't try to take responsibility...individuals must participate in thier own recovery!!!

  • Anwen

    You have shared a great post..people suffering from these disease first need only support and love.Then it comes about treatment..All should help them to their best..Love!!

  • Kimmi

    My elderly parents take care of my mentally ill sister who is basically controlled by medication. Her son is the problem. He is a VIOLENT schizophrenic and he will not be excepted ANYWHERE long term. He's been arrested for assaulting my mom and was hospitalized for assaulting my dad and trying to jump from a 7th floor balcony. I feel I will go to he'll for this but I find myself wishing he HAD jumped. He's abusive and miserable himself and NOTHING helps..Meds ECT NOTHING. And my Mom refuses to let him go to a shelter. I don't know WHAT to do so I stay away. He has punched ME in the n o see and broken it. I'm AFRAID FOR OUR LIVES. PLEASE IF ANYONE IN GA CAN HELP HIM HE GETS SSI AND MEDICAID BUT all they do is keep him in hospitals a few days to a week and then it's back to SSDD💩 I PRAY IT DOESNT TAKE HIM KILLING SOMEONE BEFORE WE GET THE HELP WE ALL NEED FOR HIM. GOD BLESS ALL WHO ARE SUFFERING. I KNOW IM DOOMED TO HELL BECAUSE IM SO BURNT OUT FROM THE CONSTANT FEAR AND STRESS OF MY FAMILY BEING HURT OR MURDERED. HE HAS THREATENED TO KILL MY 69 year old Daddy and ME in our sleep. But my mom won't put him on streets so WE HAVE TO FIND A SAFE PLACE FOR HIM OR SOMEONE WILL END UP MURDERED BY HIM😥

  • Lynn M

    My younger brother is a violent schizophrenic. He's abusive both verbally and physically. He thinks the house is bugged and people are listening. He thinks the security guard at the high school signals him. It's a messy situation. The cops have been called on several occasions. Once because he thought we were trying to kill him. My mother refuses to send him away to a shelter. He refuses to accept help. He's a drug abuser and a drinker. HELP ! Why does it seem my Bro needs to kill someone before he can get the help he needs.?!?! I'm in the same boat as the post a couple of posts on here

  • Sharon

    I am a mother of a 23 year old schizophrinic. He is currenly living on the streets and in shelters. He is such a sweet and caring person , I fear the worse for him. He has no friends , I think he believes no one loves him, he use to go to college he played foot ball ,he was so beautiful and popular, WHERE DID HE GO TO!!!!I have no one to help me , no one to talk to no one to turn to . I am so sad all the time, when I see him the heart that I have left seems to stop beating. It is so sad to see him , and know who he use to be. He does not think anything is wrong with him, I look everywhere for housing for him I cant find anything!!!!! I drink everyday when I get off of work, I just cant deal with it anymore , I need help NOW!! I live in K.C.MO, if you know of anything , any place that I can get help for .Please tell me. I think he is going to end up dead on the streets and I believe it would be my fault because I did not get the help that he needed , but I am trying , and getting no where. I cry everyday , my daughter crys all the time . PLEASE HELP ME FIND SOMEWHERE FOR MY SON TO LIVE!!!!

  • Anonymous-11

    My son is mentally Ill and in a prison for attempted murder. They will soon let him out on the streets. He hasn't been allowed to go into the rooms with other prisoners . When we visit they keep him behind a window and shackled the whole visit. Please help me find him safe housing. I have been told as soon as his time is up, they will put him out on the street.