Mental health – Landlords, Tenants and Property Managers

Mental HealthMental health does sound much better than mental illness , right. yes it does and it is my hope this blog post will persuade us all to act differently when interacting with individual with diagnosed or undiagnosed mental health issues.

I’d consider the contents of this blog relevant and useful if you are able identify with any of these 3 scenarios

(a) You can think of 1 or 2 individuals who you immediately need to seek professional help, be supportive and encourage them to get the help they need.

(b) You can be honest with yourself and identify over a short or long period of time episodes such as higher than normal anxiety levels, variable levels of paranoia over predictable and unpredictable or circumstances.

(c) You currently live with, work with, or associate with an individual whose behavioral tendencies include bullying, incessant lying, intentional dissemination of negative information, emotional blackmail, and manipulation without respect for society’s value system, integrity or relationships.

Mental health is somewhat like planet mars , a few men have visited it but none has uncovered fully how that planet affects earth.

Mental health is an undeveloped gray area in modern medicine; as such we often find we lack the tools or resources to aid individuals who identify with one or all of the 3 scenarios. We also tend to write off all the warning signs especially when we assume this individual appears to have their “Act” together , either in terms of academic accomplishments, family background, employment status or the limited or vast number of friends they have around ; however as the title reads mental health or mental un-health is silent.

In the real estate and property management world, property owners and property managers are always the first line officers who possess real life stories of dealing with individuals with varying degrees of mental health issues.  Examples of mental health issues prevalent in North America include hoarding, the schizophrenia, paranoid personality disorder, anxiety disorders, clinical depression, irrational behaviour, psychosis to name a few.

Due to society’s stigma and the privacy act, these mental health patient’s diagnosis is never disclosed to the unsuspecting public who may interact with them at school, at work, as neighbours , as roommates, as tenants, as property owners. The rationale for disclosure is if they don’t pose an immediate or danger to others, no one has to know but the reality is they do pose a danger to the mental health and wellbeing of those who have to interact with them.

Also, some therapists in lieu of medication prescribe measures like yoga, exercise, mindfulness, positive thinking, getting/keeping a pet for social therapy, regular visits to their therapists.  All of which are supposed to help the sufferer better manage their episodes or crisis but we all know except God  ( the master physician) heals , all other options even pills is sinking sand.

Personally, i do not have a solution to the mental health issues mentioned above, but where possible i’d opt for a “head” and “heart” response with heavy doses of  empathy, compassion and patience because their battle is not about me, you or someone else, rather the battle they are in is within themselves.

I will leave you with a quote I recently came across that sums it up ” We are all a little broken, and that’s OK!” and just in case nobody has ever told you, “God loves brokenness and broken hearts remember he made you in his own image so he knows all about brokenness”


With head and heart,