Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Mental Illness

The country's mental health system is broken.  I don't know how to fix it, preserving the civil liberties of people yet also getting dangerous people off the street and into treatment and not abusing them with bureacratic neglect.  But I know that perhaps a federal program that makes things worse, in the form of SAMHSA, is not the way to go.

These are seriously mentally ill people.  Not just Aunt Susie, down in the dumps and wants some more Xanax from her doctor.  Facilities where are the recent spree killers belonged before their sickness spurred them to mass murder.  SAMHSA is a federal org that fights hard to get these people into an outpatient setting, where monitoring of the patients is spotty and their delusions can return when medication is missed, sometimes with quite violent outcomes.  The .gov sorta means well, and they are partly advocating for the patients' civil liberties which should really float a libertarian gunnie's boat...  But it is a government bureacracy, and we all know how effective THEY can be in accomplishing anything like 'preserve freedom' or 'save money'.    

There is bipartisan consensus to do something about this, supported by Obama and the NRA.  I hope the correct effective thing is done, rather than just a thing.  But I don't know what would be correct or effective.

1 comment:

ProudHillbilly said...

A girl who graduated with my daughter was stabbed to death within a year of graduation by a mentally ill out-patient client. And as a volunteer at the local cold weather shelter I see how mental illness keeps people perpetually on the street - they are broken, their minds hiccup in ways that prevent them from holding steady jobs or handling money wisely. The system is really broken, but like you I don't know how to fix it while still respecting people's individuality and freedom.