1st Edition

Homelessness and Mental Illness Exploring the Lived Experience in India

By Prama Bhattacharya Copyright 2024
    152 Pages 4 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge India

    152 Pages 4 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge India

    This book explores the trajectories of social suffering, exclusion, and victimisation of homeless persons with mental illness in India. It uses a Critical Ethnographic approach to study their lived experiences associated with downward mobilisation and the challenges in the process of recovery and empowerment.

    Using theoretical and methodological implications, the volume highlights the experiences of this marginalised population through their voices instead of relying on epidemiological data only. It presents stories that show how such persons celebrate their abilities to tolerate all forms of ostracisation and endure their sufferings with fortitude. This book discusses how ‘hope’, as a part of their experience, catalyses the process of recovery and empowerment and helps them develop meaningful social ties to access valued social resources. It further brings to light the difficulties experienced by service providers in providing service due to a lack of resources and support at a systemic level and awareness about mental illness among various stakeholders.

    This book will be of interest to students, teachers, and researchers of social psychology, clinical psychology, community psychology and sociology. It will also be helpful for academicians, policymakers, social workers, mental health practitioners, and NGO personnel.


    1. Homeless Individuals with Serious Mental Illnesses: Global and Indian Scenario 2. Exploring Voices of Suffering, Recovery and Empowerment: Theoretical and Methodological Approaches 3. Suffering of the Forgotten Voices 4. Re-constructing the Withering Hopes 5. Narratives of Recovery and Empowerment 6. Experience of Service Providers: Factors of Motivation and Challenges 7. Rehabilitation: Present Concerns and Future Directions


    Prama Bhattacharya is an Assistant Professor of Psychology School of Humanities, Social Sciences and Management, Indian Institute of Technology Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India

    “Homelessness is related to various psychiatric disorders and often it is not clear what comes first. Increasing our understanding through review and research Dr Bhattacharya comes up with some innovative ideas. The book will be of major interest to clinicians and NGOs but, more importantly, to policymakers. Looking after vulnerable individuals is the first task of any society, and this book contributes in a major way to that debate and discussion.”

    Dinesh Bhugra, Professor Emeritus, Mental Health & Cultural Diversity, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, Kings College, London

    “Bhattacharya's work deep dives into complex problems around homelessness and mental illness. Lived experience contributes to diverse narratives, textured and layered with unique insights. The author has attempted to straddle multiple social worlds that contribute to the social imagination around 'madness' and being 'homed' or 'homeless'. Limited scholarly work in this field has emerged from the Global South, and I congratulate her for taking the lead on this front.”

    Vandana Gopikumar, Co-Founder, The Banyan & The Banyan Academy of Leadership in Mental Health (BALM)

    “The journey of mind champions from despair to hope is put forth by Dr Bhattacharya in " Homelessness and Mental Illness: Exploring the Lived Experience in India" in a compelling style which does not allow us to invisibilise the homeless persons with psychosocial disability on the streets anymore.”

    Sarbani Das Roy, Co-Founder and Secretary, Iswar Sankalpa