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“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.

“Hawaii looks to allow psychologists to prescribe drugs”

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This April 28, 2016 AP article found on the Herald-Standard website talks about Hawaii’s interest in having Psychologists be able to prescribe medications to their clients.  This is something already done in the military, and in a few other states. It is hoped that this change could improve access to care, and maybe also help Hawaii decrease their suicide rate which according to the article is higher than the rate that people die from car accidents in Hawaii.

“Stretching psychiatric care in rural Pennsylvania”

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This February 25, 2016 article on the News works website talks about the immense struggle that rural areas face when trying to meet the demand for mental health services, particularly access to Psychiatrists, in Pennsylvania.  The article estimates that there are about 10 Psychiatrists for every 100,000 people in Pennsylvania and points out that many of the existing Psychiatrists seem to cluster around the larger cities leaving folks in rural areas where the need tends to be greater with fewer

English: This photo describes a rural area

English: This photo describes a rural area (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

professionals to serve those with mental health issues.

“A Psychiatrist Opposes H.R. 2646: Here’s Why”

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This December 7, 2015 letter to Congressman Upton from Coni Kalinowski, MD
Medical Director, Mojave Adult, Child, and Family Services
University of Nevada School of Medicine, talks about why she opposes H.R. 2646 from the perspective of a Psychiatrist.

“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.

“Patients’ Rights Questions Hang Over Mental Health Debate”

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This Sept. 14, 2015 article by Melissa Attias on the staff of Roll Call talks about Rep. Tim Murphy’s mental health reform bill and the stalemate involving the question of whether or not basic rights will be violated if it passes.

“‘Play This Video Game And Call Me In The Morning'”

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This August 17, 2015 WESA Pittsburgh NPR segment talks about studies being done to see if there is a way to utilize video game technology to help with treating mental health issues such as ADHD or Depression.  The idea of using games to treat mental health disorders could be a reality … it just seems that it may take some time for policies and approval rates to catch up to the technology.

“44% Of U.S. Population Lives In An Area With Psychiatry Shortage”

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This August 16, 2015 OpenMinds article talks about the shortage of mental health professionals across the country and offers some stats that help put the shortage into perspective.

“Don’t coerce the mentally ill into treatment Tim Murphy is raising the right issues but proposing the wrong solutions”

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This September 10, 2014 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article talks about the flaws of coerced treatment for people with mental illnesses.

English: Rain Garden Apartments in the Villebo...

English: Rain Garden Apartments in the Villebois development in Wilsonville, Oregon. Provides housing to those with mental illnesses. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Mental health transport crises: Back of police car may not be best solution, experts say”

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This June 15, 2015 NewsOK article talks about the reality faced in Oklahoma because of a lack of mental health treatment facilities.  While this is trying to raise awareness of the issue they have, I felt that it also could be a word of warning to us here in Pennsylvania as a reminder that if we keep underfunding our mental health system, facilities could close leaving us in a situation similar to what folks in Oklahoma are facing.  The article also points out that being placed in handcuffs in the back of a police care when no crime has been committed is also very stigmatizing in itself, so could this also be viewed as something that we could learn from and maybe continue to work on decreasing the transporting of people with mental illnesses handcuffed in police cars.

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