If mental illness is left untreated after release, it can lead to increased recidivism. Out of more than 600,000 state and federal prisoners released every year, two-thirds will be arrested again within three years of their release.
Former inmates could face issues obtaining food, housing, and work, leading to escalating mental health issues. Formerly incarcerated people need to learn about mental health, the long-term consequences when symptoms go untreated, and the need to go into treatment once they get back to society.
Challenges Going Back to Society
Often former inmates lose their healthcare coverage which leads to gaps in treatment. If they were taking medication before, prescription renewal might not be possible without insurance.
Another problem is the lack of a support system to help them better manage their mental health. Not only is there a stigma towards mental health, but the stigma towards having a criminal record can stop someone from seeking help.
The Path to Treatment for Former Inmates
More needs to be done regarding policy changes, criminal justice reform, and reentry programs for former inmates to stay out of prison and get into mental health treatment. While service providers offer halfway houses, work-release programs, and case management, the healthcare and prison systems need to support former inmates.
Once they are released, former inmates need to find access to therapists and support groups to better themselves. Mental health care after prison release may be challenging, but it is not impossible if we work together.
While former inmates may be free from prison, they are not free from the mental health challenges they face once released. The loss of a job, relationship, or housing can lead to serious mental health risks. The stigma and discrimination of inmates could prevent them from seeking help. At Alta Loma, we help men of all ages with their mental health issues. We will not give up on you. Our transformative treatment center in Georgetown, Texas, can provide you with individualized therapy, medication management, life and coping skills, education, and more. Call us at (866) 457-3843 for more information.