Too Many Things | Healing the Troubled Mind

More than Hoping for Change

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Mental Health Budget Cuts

 California'S MH Budget

$3,612.8 million in 2009 cut to $2,848 million in 2012, -21.2%

Average expenditures for treatment is less than $1600 pp., yet it costs $60,000 pp. for incarceration.

In 2007, there were 19% mentally ill state prisoners,  2012, it increased to 25% 

 

  It's Elementary: Ample Guns + Paltry Mental Health Services = Tragedy

 

Huffington Post Article

Let's make a couple of things about the Newtown massacre clear from the beginning: First, gun control background checks would not have stopped Adam Lanza from getting the weapons used in his elementary school rampage -- he took his mother's legally purchased guns. (In fact, there are 310 million legally purchased guns in this country.)

Second, the 26 children and faculty killed in the massacre are part of the 12,000 people murdered by guns in this country in one year. A number greater than that commit suicide by guns every year. If these people had died of a disease, there would be well-funded organizations fighting to eradicate it.

Instead, what we have in America is a near-absence of gun controls, 310 million guns, and a woefully inadequate mental health system. It's a recipe for never-ending tragedy. And I'm not just talking about tragedies like Newtown. What about all the times that people have killed others by gunfire in an act of road rage, family bickering, or a squabble with someone down the block? What about all the suicide victims for whom a gun was more available than the help they needed?

Americans are trained by their culture not to seek behavioral health therapy. So if they have issues, the most common reaction is to quietly get an anti-depressant prescription from the doctor.

Even in the 21st century, it's easier to tell people you've seen a plastic surgeon than to tell them you're getting mental health treatment. Just admitting the need for help can still damage careers, reputations and relationships. Insurance companies that give generous coverage for physical ailments are absolute Scrooges in their behavioral health coverage. Families with mentally-challenged kids receive stigma from their neighbors and only the paltriest of government help. Soldiers coming home from Afghanistan with post-traumatic stress disorder face all kinds of bureaucratic obstacles getting the mental therapy they need.

Even if some manner of gun controls were instituted tomorrow, they would leave untreated the unhealthy attitude we as a nation have towards treating any kind of mental illness. Until behavioral health therapy gets the same public acceptance as any kind of physical therapy, we will all continue to live, in fear, in a social pressure cooker without a safety valve. And the Newtowns, Columbines and all the tens of thousands of unpublicized murders and suicides by guns every year will continue unabated.

It's time for America to have a major attitude change if we want to stop this.

 

Documentary: Bellevue (NYC) Inside Out | Psychiatric Ward

  

Familiar Support Group Research

It's in society's best interest to help this population thrive as productive citizens. 

 

DID YOU KNOW? IMD Exclusion to Medicaid Policy

An old federal policy established when severe mental illness was not universally recognized as a biologically based brain disease. As a result. Medicaid still limits treatment due to this policy.

We have lost most of our state psychiatric hospital beds nationally since 1965 due to the closing of hospitals nationwide (by Governor Reagan in California) and discriminatory nature of one Medicaid policy.

 

Untreated Illness

The longer someone with a severe mental illness goes untreated the more difficult it is to treat. Many are also self-medicating with alcohol or drugs. Without early medical intervention, many of these individuals who would have been capable of living full productive lives in the community become so sick that they are never able to function well enough to work.

ONLY 1% of the mentally ill actually commit murders. There is very little data that can be used to estimate the percentage of severely mentally ill individuals who act out violently; of those that do it's usually individuals who have gone untreated with prolonged signs of illness, which is almost always 100% treatable.

 

IMPRISONMENT INSTEAD of HOSPITALS - How did this happen?

An estimated 1.25 million men and women are being incarcerated instead of getting treated in mental hospitals due to the lack of funding, social ignorance and neglect; this number of 56.2% is five times greater than the united states general population. Sadly, 73% of women in prison are suffering from mental illness and were abused as children. Lack of qualified staff, treatment specific facilities and prison rules interfere with the kind of treatment a mentally ill person needs.