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How Teenage Mental Illness Relates to the Homeless Youth

Published: 2010-08-23 - Updated: 2016-04-05
Author: MWellA
Peer-Reviewed: N/A
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Synopsis: Many troubled youth become runaways or are abandoned to the streets without a place to call home.

There's No Place Like Home: Paul Huljich "the Bipolar Man Who Cured Himself "Addresses How Teenage Mental Illness Relates to the Homeless Youth in the U.S.

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There's No Place Like Home: Paul Huljich "the Bipolar Man Who Cured Himself "Addresses How Teenage Mental Illness Relates to the Homeless Youth in the U.S.


According to a recent report issued by the MacArthur Foundation Research Network, one in five teens suffers from a diagnosable mental disorder. Young people with a history of mental disorders face great adversity in life. Nearly 40% of youth with mental disorders either drop out of high school, have unplanned pregnancies, take to drugs or alcohol and become convicted criminals. Many of these troubled youth inevitably become runaways or are abandoned to the streets without a place to call home.

Paul Huljich, author of Betrayal of Love and Freedom and early 1980s organic foods pioneer, founded the MWellA Community ( to provide a forum to help those who suffer from mental illness including troubled youth. MWellA endeavors to support those who seek help with the resources necessary to rebuild the mind, body and spirit and rediscover a sense of self and purpose in life. "We are in a state of great emergency concerning our homeless youth," states Paul Huljich. "I feel this problem is derived from the way young children are raised these days. Overexposure to TV, the internet and video games, poor dieting and complete inactivity lead to neuro-chemical imbalance of the brain. This combined with increasing domestic violence in the home, in turn, makes children dangerously vulnerable to depression and other mind conditions. We as our children's caretakers must step up and share our life experiences and wisdoms and help mentor the younger generations to higher ground."

Why do children run away from home

Kids growing up these days are often not based in reality. We live in a culture which overpoweringly promotes a lifestyle of the rich and famous. From TV reality shows to gossip blogs, and messaging to advertising, the "Glamorous Life" seduces young minds into both a superficial and unattainable lifestyle. As a result children are not present and do not value the things that they do have in life. Ironically, Hollywood has the highest concentration of teenage homeless of any town in America. Youth with mental health issues often struggle to attain the basic rites of passage to adulthood. Often they fail to develop a sense of autonomy, form mature relationships with parents or mentors, develop close relationships with friends, and learn the skills necessary to cope emotionally, socially, and financially as an independent adult.

The effects of homelessness on teens can be devastating and lead to violence, prostitution, drug abuse, severe depression and juvenile detention. Because many teens who live on the street do not receive adequate medical care in a prompt manner, many health problems go undiagnosed or untreated, causing pain and sometimes a crippling illness which often times leaves them incapacitated or even dead. Often homeless youth join gangs as they offer kinship and a close-knit community and protection. Dealing with the stress of being on the street in addition to the ordinary issues teens face every day, can lead to violent outbursts and suicide.

What do homeless children eat

Aside from being wholly malnourished, usually the food they eat is processed and damaging to their neuro-chemical balance. When mentally sane youth end up on the street, they become more vulnerable to contacting mental illnesses due to the conditions on the street. Sleep deprivation, lack of intimacy, warmth and security has a negative emotional impact on their self-esteem hence their feelings, thoughts, emotions and moods which cause an imbalance on their neuro-chemicals, creating further despair, depression and often an attempt to take their own lives. The Centers for Disease control report that teenage suicide is the fourth leading cause of death for children between the ages of 10 and 14.

We as a society need to guide young people toward a more positive direction. "Prevention is the key," states Paul Huljich, "And education is necessary to empower positive change in a young child's life. It's the responsibility of adults and teachers and loved ones, mentors and family in these young adults lives to help nurture these kids and fight back for their lives." We need to create accessible, community-based supports systems like MWellA that provide training, assistance and support to families and friends of troubled teens who can help bridge the gap in the transition from the streets to overcoming their mental illness against all odds.

Paul Huljich overcame his mental illness without the use of any medication. Through a basic 30 day regiment based on diet, exercise, sleep and stress reduction techniques, he beat the odds and won. For the past decade he has been symptom-free of the debilitating disorder. He has done what so many of the experts have said couldn't be done, finding a natural, drug-free way to overcome Bipolar disorder and avoid the pain suffered daily by millions. For more information, log on to or

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Cite This Page (APA): MWellA. (2010, August 23). How Teenage Mental Illness Relates to the Homeless Youth. Disabled World. Retrieved September 26, 2023 from

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