Julie Lang, LMFT has served as a mental health therapist in the Grass Valley Community for 20 years. She has a local private practice and currently is the mental health therapist at Wayne Brown Correctional Facility. She counsels inmates and heads a Mindfulness Program. She has a Master’s degree in both Psychology and Counseling Psychology.
Julie shared with us that there is significant mental health issues among homeless people, because the stress of survival increases depression and anxiety. Many also turn to substance abuse to ease the pain of homelessness.
She tells some heartbreaking stories in these audio segments, and you begin to understand the real life situations that cause someone to lose their home. She says, "Anybody can become homeless."
When asked how she helps these homeless people who have one thing after another happen to them, she says "the biggest thing I do is listen." She asks them to tell her their story, and she lets them know she cares and can relate to the pain of it all. It really is simpler than we make it.
Her experience has shown her that homeless people feel judged all the time, which is why they don't trust people. It is the judgement that keeps us separate and in fear. If you should encounter a person who may be homeless and has a mental illness, Julie suggests noting the fear. Then do your best to treat people as you would a family member, with respect and kindness. People do respond to kindness.
We are so fortunate to have Julie Lang in Nevada County serving our mental health needs. When asked how she got into the work, she said "I'm dedicated to working with anyone that needs it."
"Everybody is more the same than different." - Julie Lang
Listen to her stories and insights below.