Researches indicate that poverty and mental illness are correlated with each other in a broader spectrum. This research paper is commissioned on the basis of two exhaustively researched hypotheses: H1 Poverty can cause mental illness and H2 Mental illness is subjected to poverty. Throughout this research paper, these two hypotheses have been investigated from scholarly academic resources. At the end of the proposed research it has been concluded that those, who are financially deprived, as exposed to severe mental illness due to their inability of fulfilling their basic needs, including house, education, food and employment. Likewise, evidences have also been explored on the fact that metal illness can cause extreme levels of poverty to the suffering beings. This signifies that both the research hypotheses are accepted by the research in the projected domain.
For affirming the undertaken pinching social reality, a statement made by World Health Organization in 1995 can be most effectual for embarking on this research work; WHO said: "The world's most ruthless killer and the greatest cause of suffering on earth is extreme poverty." Thus, it has been clarified that financial dearth is a driving attribute for adverse metal health issues. Socially, poverty can be defined as a social phenomenon having various dimensions, including lack of individual capabilities to meet basic human needs, lack of resources for human survival, lack of education and deprived physical health. Socialists find poverty as intrinsically estranging and distressing for those who survive with it. A number of psychiatrists cumulatively conclude that there are some adverse impacts of poverty that certainly hinder the treatments of various problems associated with ones' emotions, behaviors and psyche.
Poverty can be measured on the basis of earnings to consumption ratio people have. This ratio falls under the category of poverty as consumption significantly rises as against income of an individual (Burstein, 2005). If the value calculated with this ratio is below the poverty line then people are considered as poor in one way or other. Here it should be noted that poverty line signifies the least required level for fulfilling the essential needs of survival.
After having the afore-mentioned discussions, it can be commented that poverty comes up with significant insinuations for substantial as well as intellectual physical condition. The proposed research work talks poverty and it's certain impacts on psychological conditions of an individual, while investigating probable justifications regarding the association the two prospects are linked with.
Making a distinction between complete and relative poverty, is found to be imperative for the countries where people are living in detrimental state of affairs with deprived accommodation, food resources and facilities which are not sufficient enough to meet true potential of the society on the whole (Townsend, 1979).
As a matter of fact, individuals having mental disorders often experience chronically poor subsistence (Williamson, 1999). On the other hand, it is also frequently observed fact that poverty has come with certain significant risk factors for the physical as well as mental health of individuals. It is a bi-directional phenomenon in which the relationship between poverty and mental illness has appeared to be both easily understandable but, multifaceted in its insidious reach. Due the criticality allied with it, analysis of this broader domain is fundamental for covering all aspects and impacts of poverty so that promotion of measures to deal with mental health and provision of assistance to the individuals in their recovery phases with mental illness can be accomplished. In this paper, aim is to explore the impacts of poverty on mental illness of poor people belonging to particular ethnic settings, i.e. Canadian society; moreover, this paper will also take account for another aspect of poverty that how it is impacted by the mental illness of individuals in a long run.
Poverty from Canadian Perspective
In general, lack of sufficient incomes with respect to the basic needs one have within a particular societal settings is considered as the phenomenon of Poverty. In this research paper, another broader definition given to describe poverty by the Policy Research Initiative, a research institution meant to advice Human Resources and Social Development in Canada, is being adopted to give a clearer picture of this societal issue, "Nationally and internationally, there is growing recognition that poverty involves more than just income deprivation. It can also extend to (or result from) exclusion from essential goods and services, meaningful employment and decent earnings, adequate and affordable housing, safe neighborhoods with public amenities, health and well-being, social networks, and basic human rights" (Burstein, 2005).
For measuring the levels of poverty in the under observation ethnic region i.e. Canada, Statistics of Low Income Cut-Off (LICO) has been used frequently. For Canadian natives, LICO is, off the record, considered as "the poverty line" (Williamson, 1999). In LICO, there is a distinctive definition of a family's income threshold under which it is expected to primarily use up a big portion of its earnings for meeting their basic needs of victuals, home and attire as compared to other average families within the region. Any family which comes up with annual earnings lower than that of the cut-off is expected to encompass stumpy earnings. Adhering to statistics given by LICO in 2009, people having earnings below $18,260 and are breathing in a middle class community are experiencing poverty, because they are expected to spend an additional 20% of their income for meeting the primary needs for human survival as compared to others. It is virtually impossible to meet every basic necessity of life including victuals, shelter, work and education together in the absence of an adequate income of the families or individuals.
By measuring the extent to which the people and families fall under the line of poverty and also by measuring the time period (in terms of number of years) one stay poor, the overall ratio of poverty within the society can be evaluated. Another fact related to poverty explains that those having certain disabilities are at higher risk of chronic poverty as compared to others. These disabled people at risk are usually those individuals who are fighting with the mental illness they are suffering with.
How People having Chronic Mental Issues Experience Poverty?
It is commonly observed fact that individuals who are dealing with severe mental problems are exposed to a number of societal as well as financial barriers throughout their life span. These societal barriers are usually disgrace and bigotry they face due to which they stand at odds to gain satisfactory education and employment that leads them to severe financial barriers. Those who are going through certain mental issues are seriously interrupted beings as these problems hinder their education or career path by all means that resulted in reduced employments opportunities within a particular societal setting. It is quite certain that diminished opportunities of secure employment, in turn, have an impact on the ability of an individual to come up with adequate earnings for brining stability to their lives. Hence, owing to all these societal barriers people eventually grasped by poverty in a long run.
Apart from that, it has been reported by various researchers belonging to this particular field that due to stigma and discriminations followed by gaps in services, people having serious mental issues are recurrently stand at odds to avail services and supports offered within the community as compared to others. These individuals are also exposed to insufficient services for the treatment of community mental health care along with lack in affordable housing, as well as poor income support which evidently separate them from normal life in the society. Since, they are excluded from certain social and economic supports they come up with social isolation, which rapidly add to the risk of experiencing continual poverty.
The probability of being poor for those individuals who are facing work-limiting disabilities is more or less three times greater than that of the normal individuals. However, the probability of having social assistance for mentally disabled beings is nearly four times than that of the others. There are a number of individuals having various mental disabilities look for social assistance to lead their lives. Canada launched the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) for the individuals with serious mental illness, and this supportive program is covering more than 77,430 people presently by providing them income support (or financial assistance) within the Canadian social settings (Krupa, 2005). However, it is an uncovered yet pinching reality that the rates of ODSP financial assistance are considerably underneath the required assistance for covering the expenditures of primary essentials, including victuals, clothing, and housing. There are a number of mentally disabled people waiting for the grant of ODSP benefits. However, in the meanwhile they are accessing Ontario Works (OW), which is meant for those in temporary needs of financial support. OW is a publicly funded income support program and its recipients are supported by granting them almost half the amount being granted to the recipients of ODSP.
The statistics of recent years came to conclude that…