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“Treat, Don’t Traumatize”

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This March 6, 2015 HUFF Post Politics – The Blog article talks about what isn’t working and suggests changes that can be done without an act of Congress.

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“Pete Earley: Congress must monitor mental health care changes”

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This November 3, 2014 article on The Morning Call website, talks about the need for Congress to monitor changes in the mental health system to ensure that changes made are done in the way they were intended to be done.

“Axing mental health services creates emergency”

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This October 13, 2014 article on the Sharon Herald website talks about a crisis developing in the Sharon, PA area as mental health services are drastically cut.  Neighboring agencies are offering help, but this will likely put strains on their resources.

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Mercer County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Mercer County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Don’t coerce the mentally ill into treatment”

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This September 10, 2014 article on the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette website talks about not only the idea that advocates for the mentally ill are opposed to Rep. Tim Murphy’s solutions, but also offers some insight into why coerced or forced treatment is being opposed by advocates speaking on behalf of people with mental illnesses.

English: Portrait of Dr. Edward Long Fox (1761...

English: Portrait of Dr. Edward Long Fox (1761 – 1835), the British pioneer of humane care for the mentally ill and founder of Brislington House (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A reminder that history repeats itself if let it

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This eBook titled “A Plea for the Insane in the Prisons and Poor-houses of Pennsylvania” By Pennsylvania. State Board of Public Welfare, was published in 1873 and has documents  about the arguments being made at that time to move people with mental illnesses out of prisons and poor houses and into state hospitals.  I haven’t finished reading it yet, but what I have read could easily be seen in today’s media as we debate over how people with mental illnesses should be treated.  At the time this book was written, state hospitals were the solution that society had come up with, but over time society decided that state hospitals were not the answer, but community based treatment was the answer.  So community based became the target treatment option, but society opted not to properly fund it or expand it so that the community based services could meet the demand.  So now society is sitting back scratching their heads completely baffled that people with mental illnesses would be ending up warehoused in jails and prisons.  There is now a trend that seems to show to me that the pendulum is swinging back in the direction of state hospitals as the answer to the problem.   I have to ask why we as a society are repeatedly making the same decisions and consistently expecting a different outcome?  I feel that state hospitals and prisons are opposite extremes when it comes to solutions, and that while both serve a purpose, neither is an adequate solution.  The bills I’m seeing proposed seem to focus on the needs and desires of the families of the mentally ill and neglect to acknowledge that the person with the illness is the one who is getting bounced around by society’s whims.  Yes, families are affected, but I also know that forced treatment is a short-term solution to a crisis …. it is NOT a long-term solution.  Assisted Outpatient Treatment is a politically correct way of candy coating forced or coerced treatment.  I strongly suggest that people look over the history of the decisions made by society before jumping on board with any of the bills being proposed.  History can teach us valuable lessons if we listen.

This book is also available in printed paperback  from Amazon by clicking this link “A Plea for the Insane in the Prisons and Poor-Houses”  (costs about $16 for the printed version at

Location map of Pennsylvania, USA

Location map of Pennsylvania, USA (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

the time of this post)

“Can Obamacare Save U.S. From Gap in Mental Health Care? Philadelphia Hospitals Counting on It”

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This May 12, 2014 Philly.com article talks about the hope that Obama care will decrease the size of the gap between mental and physical health care by improving access to services.

The signatures of President Barack Obama, Vice...

The signatures of President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi on the health insurance reform bill signed in the East Room of the White House, March 23, 2010. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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“Mental Health series: The high cost of health care for untreated illnesses”

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This May 11, 2014 Insurance News Net article talks about what is happening as a direct result of mental health not being treated at the same level as physical health.  The article talks about things like frequent trips to the emergency room, the high cost of not treating someone with a mental illness until they end up in the legal system.  The article also talks about how the high cost of untreated mental illness could be prevented by routinely including things like depression screening when people go to see their PCP.  The article indicates that yes the cost is high, but that the money should be redirected to preventive care as opposed to waiting for someone to be in crisis.

Health

Health (Photo credit: Tax Credits)

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