It’s not the only reason I am here today, but one of the indisputable reasons for my current existence is money.
If my family could not have afforded to send me to a private, inpatient mental illness facility so many years ago, I probably would have remained in the public county system. I honestly cannot say what turn my life would have taken from there. I was inpatient there for a couple of days. It was not pretty. I was very fortunate.
It’s time to examine the double standard that exists. There is no reason why any mentally ill person should be turned away from necessary treatment, regardless of their income.
Many mentally ill people will go inpatient for 5-6 days before being released. Five days do not stabilize someone with depression or schizophrenia.
There are simply not enough beds for mentally ill people right now. 90% of state hospital beds have been reduced since 1960.
Even adjudicated people – those are people who a court has ordered to be given a bed, because they are a clear danger to themselves or others – can’t always get one. Adjudication is rare. Most mentally ill people will never be adjudicated, which means that most mentally ill people are at work (if they can), home, or on the street, untreated.
Going untreated is how things spiral out of control, from moderately impaired daily function to tragedy.
Did you know that 45 states have laws that permit “Assisted Outpatient Treatment“? We can force sick people (who may not know they’re sick) to get help, outside the hospital, including medication. They don’t have to be committed to a bed.
Nobody likes to talk about mental illness, until it strikes someone in your family. Which is 1 in every 4 families.
Mental illness is nothing to be afraid of. It is something to be aware of, to know what your options are, and what the signs are.
I’m sorry for the lengthy post. There’s a lot of information to cover. Those links will keep you busy for a while.