Author Topic: - The Shambolic State of Mental Health Care; How Many More Lives Down the Drain?  (Read 85 times)

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Offline JBG

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The failure of the mental health system is a common thread through the Texas church and killings other killings that are in the headlines.

James Holmes, the Colorado theater killer, is perhaps the best example. He tried to contact his psychiatrist while his tenure in a graduate program was falling apart. Other examples are less clear-cut since we know less about their psychological care and treatment. Jared Lochner, who killed a bunch of people, had been expelled from Pima Community College. Adam Lanza's schooling in an affluent Newtown, Connecticut should have exposed him to mental health professionals.

In an incident strikingly similar to the Texas massacre, Esteban Santiago killed six people at Fort Lauderdale International Airport in January 2017. His downward spiral is detailed here, Fort Lauderdale shooter Esteban Santiago saw life falling apart (link). The article details how "a tape of a January 2016 domestic violence court hearing after his arrest for fighting with his girlfriend, a prosecutor lays out the case, explaining he broke down the bathroom door at Petersonís home, then hit her in the head."

Kelley, the murderer in Texas, had similar domestic violence problems. They both had troubled military service.

De-institutionalization was a well-intentioned program. It was supposed to convert inhumane and, for the patient ineffective confinement into treatment in the community. This April 2, 1972 article, which I remembered reading, The Patients Can Walk Out At Any Time at Bronx State Mental Hospital  (link)  made the case for de-institutionalization. Unfortunately few were as motivated as Israel Zwerling, and most looked at the process as a way of saving money.

The mental health system is not doing a good job of keeping these people under control. While the status quo ante before mass de-institutionalization was inhumane to the patients, it did keep the country safe from the lunatics. Perhaps the balance needs to be tipped more in favor of the public than the lunatics.

We can work at improving the humanity, and where appropriate the therapeutic nature of these centers. But we were safer with these people locked up than out loose.
Trump - Watch what he does, not how he says it.

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Offline SirJohn

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Mental health care has never been the greatest. Back when we actually had institutions to treat people with mental health issues they were about as scientifically/medically advanced as witch doctors. Then the conservatives wanted to save money and the liberals wanted to give people 'their rights' and we released them all into the streets. But we did not set up an expensive system to treat them. Why? Maybe because mental health isn't as visible as a broken leg. I don't know. But even those who seek psychiatric help have long waiting lists, just like those seeking treatment for addiction. It's absurd and disgraceful. It's also one of those penny-wise, pound foolish things that government of all stripes have a distressing habit of indulging in.

"Look at how good I am at keeping your taxes down by saving a million dollars on road maintenance."

Then the community pays an extra two million in automobile maintenance and repair.

"We can't afford to treat all these people!"

Then the community pays twice as much in emergency care, in welfare for unemployable people, and in continuing law and order problems.

The problem is the community doesn't pay enough attention to what is happening. They just take in that taxes are being kept low and nod approvingly. Idiots.
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Offline JBG

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Quite true. Though I am on the right on many issues I have not been a big fan of tax cuts for that reason. On the other hand government is better at spending money on studies and consultants than actually using some elbow grease to alleviate problems and spend money on roads, mental hospitals, etc.
Trump - Watch what he does, not how he says it.

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 If it's us or them, I choose us

Offline wilber

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Quote
Mental health care has never been the greatest. Back when we actually had institutions to treat people with mental health issues they were about as scientifically/medically advanced as witch doctors. Then the conservatives wanted to save money and the liberals wanted to give people 'their rights' and we released them all into the streets.

St. Reagan.
"Never trust a man without a single redeeming vice" WSC