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Author Topic: Mental Health  (Read 279 times)

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Offline KJP

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Mental Health
« on: February 19, 2018, 06:28:51 PM »
With the continuing gun violence in the USA, the discussion has added a component about the lack of psychiatric care facilities in America. While this is welcome, anger is more to blame in gun violence than chronic mental health problems. Improved mental health care should be a debate on its own merits. Thus, I start this thread with these articles.....

Fifty Years of Failing America's Mentally Ill
By E. Fuller Torrey, Wall Street Journal - February 5, 2013

On Feb. 5, 1963, 50 years ago this week, President John F. Kennedy addressed Congress on "Mental Illness and Mental Retardation." He proposed a new program under which the federal government would fund community mental-health centers, or CMHCs, to take the place of state mental hospitals. As Kennedy envisioned it, "reliance on the cold mercy of custodial isolations will be supplanted by the open warmth of community concern and capability."

President Kennedy's proposal was historic because the public care of mentally ill individuals had been exclusively a state responsibility for more than a century. The federal initiative encouraged the closing of state hospitals and aborted the development of state-funded outpatient clinics in process at that time.

Over the following 17 years, the feds funded 789 CMHCs with a total of $2.7 billion ($20.3 billion in today's dollars). During those same years, the number of patients in state mental hospitals fell by three quarters"”to 132,164 from 504,604"”and those beds were closed down.

From the beginning, it was clear that CMHCs were not interested in taking care of the patients being discharged from the state hospitals. Instead, they focused on individuals with less severe problems sometimes called "the worried well." Federal studies reported individuals discharged from state hospitals initially made up between 4% and 7% of the CMHCs patient load, and the longer the CMHC was in existence the lower this percentage became.


How The Loss Of U.S. Psychiatric Hospitals Led To A Mental Health Crisis
November 30, 20171:15 PM ET

A severe shortage of inpatient care for people with mental illness is amounting to a public health crisis, as the number of individuals struggling with a range of psychiatric problems continues to rise.

The revelation that the gunman in the Sutherland Springs, Texas, church shooting escaped from a psychiatric hospital in 2012 is renewing concerns about the state of mental health care in this country. A study published in the journal Psychiatric Services estimates 3.4 percent of Americans — more than 8 million people — suffer from serious psychological problems.

The disappearance of long-term-care facilities and psychiatric beds has escalated over the past decade, sparked by a trend toward deinstitutionalization of psychiatric patients in the 1950s and '60s, says Dominic Sisti, director of the Scattergood Program for Applied Ethics of Behavioral Health Care at the University of Pennsylvania.

"State hospitals began to realize that individuals who were there probably could do well in the community," he tells Here & Now's Jeremy Hobson. "It was well-intended, but what I believe happened over the past 50 years is that there's been such an evaporation of psychiatric therapeutic spaces that now we lack a sufficient number of psychiatric beds."


« Last Edit: February 19, 2018, 11:54:35 PM by ColDayMan »
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Offline 327

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Re: Mental Health
« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2018, 11:11:19 AM »
Inability to process and control anger, or shame or anxiety or whatever, is a mental health problem.  And there's a lot of it going around.

Offline Civik III

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Re: Mental Health
« Reply #2 on: February 20, 2018, 11:28:40 AM »
Ah, something I have some professional expertise in these days. Some things to consider:

-De-institutionalization came about because of anti-psychotic medications, which made psychosis a manageable illness. Problem is, few people stay on them long-term because of side effects, and/or the nature of their illness in the first place.

-Men under 40 commit the vast majority of violent crime. Often there is weak or limited evidence of a manageable mental health condition in perpetrators. Often, people with severe mental illness are more likely to be the victim of violence than the perpetrator.

-A big trend right now in developmental psychology is the observation that early stress, even in the womb, triggers epi-genetic changes that prime a child for survival in a stressful environment vs a nurturing one. Survival in a stressful environment favors faster decision-making, short-term gain vs long-term, reactivity, suspicion vs bonding. These are usually changes that persist into adulthood.

-Most places in America don't have a very good system for responding to mental health emergencies. This is due in part to our fractured health care system, low interest among first responders, lack of mental health professionals, and the general cultural attitude against detaining people against their will, even if they are mentally ill.

-It should be stated that other advanced countries also struggle with mental health care. The big variable in regards to mass shootings is that America has way more guns.

Offline Civvik

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Re: Mental Health
« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2018, 11:34:20 AM »
Whoops, I posted under some random old username.

Offline eastvillagedon

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Re: Mental Health
« Reply #4 on: March 10, 2018, 11:22:10 AM »
I honestly had no idea on what thread to post this story. I suppose mental health (or lack thereof) is the most appropriate. Bear in mind this woman was once one of the top people at the New York Times. And we wonder why it's so frequently accused of bias and widely mocked. Go figure.  lol

Former NYT Executive Editor Keeps Barack Obama Therapy Doll In Her Purse