Letter to the Editor: Mental Health

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This post is one that is very personal to me, in that I am posting a letter I wrote to the editor of the Warren Times-Observer in response to this linked article I had read on their site.

The letter is one that tries to shine a positive light on the mental health community, while also touching on a prominent myth about people with mental health issues. I also share a story about a personal encounter I had while shopping to help show how the myth impacts the mental health community.

Peace be with all who read my letter!

Jenn

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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 inmates overwhelm PA jails”

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This April 11, 2017 segment of Radio Times with Marty Moss-Coane talks about mental health services for those with mental illnesses who have been incarcerated in Pennsylvania.

“In this hour, Marty talks with FRED OSHER, director of health systems and services policy at the Council of State Governments Justice Center about Stepping Up and its objectives. JOHN WETZEL, Pennsylvania Secretary of Corrections, joins the discussion to address the potential impact of this plan on PA state prisons. BRUCE HERDMAN, chief medical director for the Philadelphia Department of Prisons, discusses the care needed for these inmates”[1]

“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.

“Faulty assumptions behind persistent racial/ethnic disparities in behavioral health care”

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This June 9, 2016 article found on the Medical Xpress website talks about some of the assumptions made regarding minorities and behavioral health treatment and explains some of the things that could be done to improve the situation so that minorities receive equal care comparable to what is received by other populations.

“Take This: Where Gaming Meets Mental Health”

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This June 10, 2016 by Chloi Rad on the IGN website, talks about efforts being made to raise awareness of mental health issues to gamers.  One effort includes working on providing an “AFK Room” (for the non-gamers AFK means “Away From Keyboard” and is often used by gamers when they need to step away from their console or computer briefly or to explain a lack of response to someone who didn’t know they wandered away from their computer or console)  In the case of the AFK Rooms, the article indicates that they are meant to be a quiet place staffed by clinicians where attendees at some of the gaming conferences can step away from the noise and chaos they are experiencing.  These rooms have been known to help people who were suicidal, as well as those who are having anxiety issues.   Take This wants to remind gamers that they are not exempt from ever being in need of mental health support, and want to decrease the stigma among gamers towards those who do need support.

I think I would sum this up as simply saying it is an example of gamers helping gamers since the AFK rooms were created by a well-known game company.

“Recovery Works Summit 2016”

Resource Link   (Summit Exhibitor link)

Upcoming Recovery Works Summit 2016 the above link takes you to the site containing all the nitty-gritty details.

The Summit is to be held…

Sept. 27, 2016 in Harrisburg, PA

Click here for more details

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