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“Trump’s Call for Mental Institutions Could Be Good: Bringing back asylums isn’t actually the worst idea.”

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This article discusses reasons not only why re-opening asylums could be good, but includes some of the history behind those that have been downsized or closed.   The article appropriately points out that even though opening asylums could be good, it would likely do nothing to prevent mass shootings or other forms of violence and points to the access to guns as being the issue that is feeding gun violence.

“Mentally ill on hold without treatment: Norristown State Hospital lacks rooms for defendants deemed incompetent for trial”

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This July 15, 2016 article by Kaitlyn Foti found on the Mainline Media News website talks about the extremely long waiting list for beds at Torrance State Hospital and Norristown State Hospital Forensic Units.  The article talks about the impact not only to the person who is on the waiting list, but also their family, the flow of inmates through jails, and the financial impact faced by having to hold someone in jail who is on a waiting list for treatment.

“Federal suit says state provides inadequate mental health care”

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This December 1, 2015 article by Joe Smydo of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette talks about a federal lawsuit being filed by the Disability Rights Network against the Pennsylvania Dept. of Human Services citing inadequate mental health care as the reason for the suit.  Warren State Hospital, Torrance State Hospital and Mifflin County Jail are where the 3 people the suit focuses on are located.

“Philly mental health community reflects on Byberry state hospital closure 25 years later “

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This June 22, 2015 article on the NewsWorks website talks about the need to commemorate the people who suffered at Philadelphia State Hospital or “Byberry” as it is often called.  The article also points out that people with mental health issues generally do better when they can receive services in the community instead of being placed in a large institution.  The article also indicates that by nature, large institutions sacrifice the humanity of the people placed there in exchange for efficiency of the work.

“Nearly 10 years since Harrisburg State Hospital closed, state officials tout success”

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This May 21, 2015 article on The Patriot-News site is the beginning of a series where The Patriot-News hopes to explore what the result of state hospital closures has been, with a particular focus on the impact of the closure of Harrisburg State Hospital.

“Forteniters Club in Norristown celebrates 40 years of fellowship”

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This December 28, 2014 The Times Herald article talks about a group that meets every couple of weeks and consists of people who have been in treatment for mental illness.  the group focuses on getting together to have fun, socialize and feel a sense of belonging to a community that is something people with mental illnesses tend to struggle with.  The atmosphere is one of acceptance.

“Times In-Depth: Erie County Prison becomes hub for care of mentally ill”

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This June 22, 2014 article on the GoErie.com website talks about the struggle faced by the Erie County jail to care for the mentally ill who end up in jail most often for nuisance type charges according to the article.  This is something that as the article points out is being seen nationwide and is not unique to Erie county.

Map of Erie County (without text).

Map of Erie County (without text). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Patient drop at Clarks Summit triggers hearing”

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This March 3, 2014 The Times-Tribune article talks about a decision to decrease the number of beds at Clark’s Summit State Hospital by 15 beds, due to a decrease in census at the state hospital which has been the result of the increase in community based services for those with mental illnesses.

Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania

Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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“Murder reflects plight of ex-Mayview patients”

1106 Mayview Hospital_128

1106 Mayview Hospital_128 (Photo credit: nooccar)

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This November 23, 2013 article on the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette website sheds some light on what has happened to some of the former patients from Mayview State Hospital since it closed in 2008

“Conference tackles mental health issues: Treatment or incarceration”

storeroom

storeroom (Photo credit: suttonhoo)

 

 

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This April 19, 2013 article found on the Warren Times-Observer website talks about a conference recently held at the Interfaith Chapel on the Warren State Hospital grounds.  Based on the article it seems like the conference was for getting mental health providers and corrections related employees into the same room to discus what’s broken and what can be done to fix it in regards to the situation where corrections facilities are holding more and more inmates with mental health issues. Many questions were raised in the article.

 

While I’m encouraged to see these folks sitting down and talking to each other, I am concerned that there is one group that may have been overlooked.  The group I have in mind is the people who will be effected by any decisions made by the professionals who attended this meeting.  That group being the folks who receive services from these agencies.  I know Beacon Light has a Consumer Advisory board, so I suspect there is a chance that Beacon Light will at some point be including the folks they serve, but what about the other agencies represented, will they too include representative of the people they serve?

 

 

 

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