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    Wondergirl's Avatar
    Wondergirl Posts: 37,810, Reputation: 5427
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    #1

    Jan 9, 2011, 09:45 AM
    Reestablish mental institutions?
    In light of yesterday's shooting in Arizona by a deranged citizen, is it time we rethink housing the mentally ill in institutions, not only for our protection and well being, but also for their own? The entire mental health system changed back in the early 1970s, when nearly all inmates were released into the community and were allowed to take charge of their own lives (and could choose to take medication and counseling, or not).

    I'm reading more and more news stories about what happens when the younger mentally ill are being sent to and housed in nursing homes among vulnerable old people -- rapes, stabbings, thefts, general mayhem. Meanwhile, staff is pulling out their hair.

    Should the U.S. warehouse mental patients who fail a certain litmus test that shows they cannot roam freely among us? Do we raise taxes to reopen and build new state mental institutions?
    tomder55's Avatar
    tomder55 Posts: 1,741, Reputation: 341
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    #2

    Jan 9, 2011, 10:53 AM

    WG ;
    As I commented in my posting about the assassination attempt , the global Deinstitutionalisation movement began early in the 20th century.

    I don't have the facts in front of me to determine that it accelerated in the 1970s or if the primary motives were financial or just a continuation of a move towards keeping mental patients out of institutions.

    In relation to the shootings yesterday ,I am wary to say that his public rants are indicitive of a mental condition warranting locking him up. In this country you have to demonstrate much more than strange musings to be considered a mental patient. It's still early ,but I see nothing that indicates past violent behavior .
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    #3

    Jan 9, 2011, 11:13 AM

    Regarding deinstutionalizing mental patients --

    From -- The History of Mental Illness

    "Reflecting the changes in the treatment of the mentally ill brought about by drug therapy and state and federal public policies in the late 1960s', state institutions changed their procedures resembling the previous moral management revolution. There was an emphasis on protecting the human rights of the mental patients that had historically been overlooked. New employees were hired to be less hierarchical and environmentally controlling as their predecessors. Treatments were geared at the individual and proved to be more effective then group cure-alls. There also was a notable move to de-institutionalize mental patients. In 1960 there were over 500,000 patients in mental institutions in America. It had become increasingly clear that there were many inmates in asylums in custodial care who were able to function in society with adequate out-patient care. Institutions continued to provide 24-hour, long term in-patient care, but now introduced outpatient services, day and night hospitalization, diagnostic services, pre-care and after-care, and more extensive training and research.

    Simultaneous with the breakthrough in medical treatment, the community mental health movement became a centerpiece of President John F. Kennedy's congressional program. There were concurrent shifts in insurance coverage for the mentally ill provided by the Comprehensive Mental Health bill in 1964, and the Medicare and Medicaid Acts in 1966. All of these national movements led to a reduction of the use of existing mental health hospitals and an explosive growth in private hospitals, general hospitals with psychiatric wings, and community mental health centers. As a result, states greatly restricted long-term, full care services in state mental institutions in the late 1960s and early 1970s."
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    Fr_Chuck Posts: 81,292, Reputation: 7691
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    #4

    Jan 9, 2011, 11:28 AM

    I worked the streets for many years, in down town Atlanta. It was a revolving door for the mental health community. They would come out and be given three days medication, if they did not sell it, or if it was not stolen, they would have trouble going into the state hospital down town every day and waiting a few hours to be seen to get their daily medication. ** and they could not work, since they had to go in and get meds every day, So they stop taking it, and start getting worried about or scared of the authorities.

    But the trouble even then, is who and how do you lock them up, if you "think" they need help, guess what their family will want to sue you for violating their rights to be crazy and not locked up.
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    #5

    Jan 9, 2011, 11:30 AM

    There were other factors also like class action lawsuits that forced States hands.
    Interesting... all my reading on deinstatutionalization claim it was for humanitarian reasons . Now we hear that the patient wasn't
    1st and foremost on the mind of the state ? Hmmm . At the risk of going off topic... sounds a lot like another debate about health care in this country.
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    Wondergirl Posts: 37,810, Reputation: 5427
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    #6

    Jan 9, 2011, 12:18 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by Fr_Chuck View Post
    But the trouble even then, is who and how do you lock them up, if you "think" they need help, guess what their family will want to sue you for violating their rights to be crazy and not locked up.
    Also, when the family wants to lock them up, the state says they're not ill enough.
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    joypulv Posts: 21,593, Reputation: 2941
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    #7

    Jan 9, 2011, 12:18 PM
    I don't see the mentally ill in public housing/nursing homes for elderly and disabled committing much mayhem; I see mostly drug addicts being classified as mentally ill when they shouldn't be and then committing mayhem. They are the ones stealing, raping, robbing, and causing multiple problems. Some are mentally ill of course, just as some alcoholics are.
    Those big old hospitals were warehouses where people who could have been leading pretty ordinary lives were warehoused, never to be seen in public again. The situation now is better than it was, despite what does happen. Blame a lot of the fact that programs such as halfway houses and outpatient clinics are the first to be cut in a recession. The money you would spend on 'institutions' would be better spent on more and better outpatient care.

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    #8

    Jan 10, 2011, 01:33 PM
    Yes, I think that mental institutions should be used more. I see far too many dangerous, mentally ill people walking the streets unsupervised and many of them are even given jobs by their social workers in workplaces such as hospitals, schools and retirement homes, places where they have access to knives, boiling water, pills and vulnerable people unable to protect themselves. Society has to get over this PC nonsense. Some people are not fit to be in mainstream society unsupervised and are a danger to others. The safety of law-abiding people has to come before the so-called rights of dangerous people who will never be normal. If one of them kills or maims someone, they are often declared not criminally responsible and could be set free in a relatively short time to prey on people again. Anyone that dangerous should be put in an institution permanently.
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    tomder55 Posts: 1,741, Reputation: 341
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    #9

    Jan 10, 2011, 03:07 PM

    wow . I remember the conditions that Geraldo Rivera documented when he was a legitimate reporter . Back in the day he jumped the gates of the Willowbrook facility and showed the world the horrow of warehousing the mentally ill.

    There is no easy answer to this question . With the advance in pharaceuticals there is probably no need for the asylums of the past. But clearly there are weaknesses in the system that has evolved .


    by the way... I am doing some interesting searches on the education 'system' that Jared Lee Loughner is the product of . The path that it's taking is very interesting and adds another equation to what makes him tick .
    Wondergirl's Avatar
    Wondergirl Posts: 37,810, Reputation: 5427
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    #10

    Jan 10, 2011, 03:14 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by tomder55 View Post
    btw ...I am doing some interesting searches on the education 'system' that Jared Lee Loughner is the product of . The path that it's taking is very interesting and adds another equation to what makes him tick .
    But how many thousands of students have gone through that same system and aren't "ticking"?

    I'm putting my money on the fact that Jared was simply being Jared. He didn't need a reason.
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    #11

    Jan 10, 2011, 03:16 PM

    You'll love the connections to Chi town .
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    #12

    Jan 11, 2011, 05:02 AM

    A relevant op-ed
    Pajamas Media Loughner and How America Treats Its Mentally Ill
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    excon Posts: 21,482, Reputation: 2992
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    #13

    Jan 11, 2011, 07:39 AM

    Hello WG:

    Sometimes our freedoms can come back to bite us... Like, the freedom to own a gun with extended magazines... Like the freedom to stay FREE unless you commit a crime...

    I don't want to go back to where it was... YOU civilians THINK you know about mental institutions, but you know NOTHING. In South Carolina, where I visited the big house, one complete cell block was designated "state hospital". That meant that many of your relatives, who you THOUGHT were being medically ministered to, were instead in PRISON being treated like people who had committed a crime...

    Do I have the answer?? You'd think I would since I know everything in the world, but I don't.

    excon
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    #14

    Jan 15, 2011, 09:58 AM

    Relevant op-ed by Rich Lowery

    The Madness Lobby - Rich Lowry - National Review Online
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    excon Posts: 21,482, Reputation: 2992
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    #15

    Jan 15, 2011, 10:12 AM
    Quote Originally Posted by tomder55 View Post
    relevent op-ed by Rich Lowery
    Hello tom:

    I can't think of a better argument for Obamacare..

    excon
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    tomder55 Posts: 1,741, Reputation: 341
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    #16

    Jan 15, 2011, 11:14 AM

    Yeah ,instead being on the streets, the mentally ill will be subject to a nurse Rachet on a death panel.
    Wondergirl's Avatar
    Wondergirl Posts: 37,810, Reputation: 5427
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    #17

    Jan 15, 2011, 11:24 AM
    Quote Originally Posted by tomder55 View Post
    Yeah ,instead being on the streets, the mentally ill will be subject to a nurse Rachet on a death panel.
    I would rather have my paranoid schizophrenic uncle institutionalized instead of taking his meds (or not taking them) when he felt like it, ranting at the grocery store to anyone who will listen to him, sitting on his front porch and yelling out nasty comments to passersby ("Your dog is fat and so are you."), and be at risk of getting picked up by the cops (and then I get a phone call to do something about it).

    Been there, done that.
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    excon Posts: 21,482, Reputation: 2992
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    #18

    Jan 15, 2011, 11:38 AM

    Hello again,

    The idea behind closing the state institutions was the thought that the patient could stay on the streets and still be treated locally... But, the local thing didn't work out...

    I suggest that Obamacare can bridge the gap between the two positions... Most of the mentally ill aren't dangerous and don't need to be institutionalized.. They DO need their meds, though. Obamacare means the sick can get local treatment.

    That should make you BOTH happy.. Right?

    excon
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    tomder55 Posts: 1,741, Reputation: 341
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    #19

    Jan 15, 2011, 11:40 AM

    Since I was commenting related to Ex's observation that Obama care would change this ;can you say specifically how ?
    It was liberal policies that emptied the institutions in the 1st place.

    But ,by all accounts they were as nightmarish as Ken Kesey portrayed . Geraldo Rivera's exposes of Willowbrook confirmed that also.
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    tomder55 Posts: 1,741, Reputation: 341
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    #20

    Jan 15, 2011, 11:43 AM
    Quote Originally Posted by excon View Post
    Hello again,

    The idea behind closing the state institutions was the thought that the patient could stay on the streets and still be treated locally... But, the local thing didn't work out...

    I suggest that Obamacare can bridge the gap between the two positions... Most of the mentally ill aren't dangerous and don't need to be institutionalized.. They DO need their meds, though. Obamacare means the sick can get local treatment.

    That should make you BOTH happy.. Right?

    excon
    Ex what provisions of Obama care suggests that? Already they are going to screw Medicare patients . If there are changes in policies dealing with mental patients I don't know them.

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