This chapter provides an overview of the literature on mental health and mental illness among homeless youth, highlighting gaps in the current knowledge base and directions for future inquiry. First, the current literature on mental health and mental illness is briefly reviewed. This review includes commentary on what is understood about the course of mental health problems from pre-street to street contexts. The second section of the chapter is devoted to psychological and interpersonal factors and how they serve to frame mental illness and mental health in street contexts. Finally, the current literature on intervention is discussed, as are recommendations for future directions of inquiry.
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