I am not suggesting that LEO (law-enforcement officials) bang down your door and lock you up every time you post something sad. For the mentally ill, hospitalization is a less than ideal solution, and incarceration is rarely helpful.
Mentally ill people need treatment. They need medication, therapy, and a support group in place for when things go beyond their control. They need a therapist they trust and can call in times of need.
Treatment is exactly what so many mentally ill people do not have. Months, or years left untreated are what lead to breakdowns and attempts.
How Technology Can Help
On the right side of my Facebook page, right now, sits an ad for MivaMerchant. Just the other day I visited the MivaMerchant website, researching a potential e-commerce solution. I had never visited that website before.
You’ve been targeted with cookies too, and, corporations are getting increasingly sophisticated in doing so.
Searching, posting, or e-mailing certain keywords could alert local LEO that you are at risk for suicide. The question is, what should they do about it?
Dispatching Preventative Help
Rather than a paddy-wagon, what about dispatching a case-worker? A mental health professional, most probably a social-worker, to contact you for an assessment, and to lay out your treatment options?
Yes, an uniformed police-officer should be sent in the most urgent of situations. Situations that the same criteria already established by the NIMH.
Basically what I am saying is, the exact same thing should happen that happens when someone calls 800-273-TALK, except in reverse.
They could call you.
Q: How do you propose to pay for this extra added government service, considering that mental health budgets have recently been slashed?
A: That question is short-sighted. Early prevention & treatment will lower the amount we have to spend on hospitalization, and all of the other connected costs with mentally ill people cycling in and out of institutions. Medication is part of treatment. Drug companies have money. Raise funds.
The real problem I see is not money, but, how do we determine when a person needs to be called on?
A group of experts would better answer that question than me. I wonder, would any experts think this is an idea worth exploring? I have heard some experts say in interviews that early treatment is what’s needed most.
Remember; we’re already scanning everything. That’s a given fact. Couldn’t we create some algorithms to scan for high-risk suicidal tendencies?