Psych Final DMH
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Psych Final DMH

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    Psych Final DMH Psych Final DMH Presentation Transcript

    • The Modern Mental HealthSystemPsych Final ProjectAndrea ValeB Period“I am generally cautious in my use of the word ‘crisis,’ but as best I can tell, thecurrentsituation in the mental health system qualifies for that label.”-Paul Appelbaum, 2001-2003 President of the American PsychiatricAssociation
    • “After decades of deconstructing our psychiatric hospitals anddemanding that they pay only for social workers and nursesto treat even the most extremely mentally ill and potentiallyviolent individuals (rather than including psychologists andpsychiatrists) we now have a mental health care systemthat simply ignores those among us who suffer withincapacitating symptoms of psychiatric illness -Today, even a mentally ill young man with a knownpropensity for violence, or even a history of seriousviolence, is likely to receive just an hour a week ofcounseling (if that) by a social worker… he will likely betriaged quickly through an often-incompetent “tune up” ofmedications that might accomplish nothing and then besent back home as soon as he “contracts for safety”—simply promising a social worker that he won’t kill anyone “-Dr. Keith Ablow, “Why can’t America care for the mentallyill”
    • Massachusetts Mental HealthFacilities• There are currently 22 psychiatric hospitals in MA, someowned by the state and some privately run• Notable institutions experienced by the familyinterviewed for this article include:• Taunton State Hospital – Formerly known as the “StateLunatic Hospital at Taunton”, known for its housing ofLizzie Borden during her trials – Hospital nowdemolished, though other buildings in use. Futureunknown.• McClean Hospital (Privately owned)– Originally “Asylumfor the Insane”. Is known as basis for memoirs “Girl,Interrupted” and “The Bell Jar”. Is ranked 2ndamong allpsychiatric hospitals in America;
    • • There, despite being a young, intelligent, 20 year oldwoman suffering from trauma-induced disease, she wasone of the only females on her ward. The men were“mostly from the Bridgewater correctional facilities, manyof whom were from the sexual crimes unit.” Whencomplaints were made to the psychiatrist about thissituation, her parents were told that being confined with anumber of sex offenders was “good preparation for thereal world, where she might encounter a sex offender inclass at college.”• The “last month she was there her deterioration was sobad that they essentially kept her by sedating herconstantly. She was like a zombie for a month. She waspretty much kept in a room by herself. That’s not treatingsomebody.”• - Accounts by parents of a patient of Taunton StateHospital
    • A Last Resort• The terrible conditions of mental institutions may deter those who need help fromseeking it – with no other choice than to be institutionalized in an unkempt, isolatingfacility, many who need treatment are not receiving it• More than one-half of people living with serious mental illness received no services in theprevious year• “The gunman may have snapped because his mother was planning to commit him to apsychiatric facility… A senior law enforcement official involved in the investigationconfirmed that Lanzas anger at his mother over plans for “his future mental healthtreatment” is being looked at as a possible motive for the deadly shooting.” – JanaWinter, “”Fear of being committed may have caused Connecticut gunman to snap”• “It seems like the United States is using prison as the solution of choice for mentally illpeople. According to Human Rights Watch, the number of mentally ill inmates in U.S.prisons quadrupled from 2000 to 2006, and it continues to rise -- in fact,the rate of inmate mental illness is five times greater (56 percent) than in the non-incarcerated population. With state-run treatment centers and hospitals shuttered, prisonis now the last resort for the mentally ill – “I Am Adam Lanzas Mother: A MomsPerspective On The Mental Illness Conversation In America”• “It was recalled by my parents as ‘An old, creepy state hospital. It wasn’t dirty, but oldand not kept up. Walls were not painted. They did their best, but it was dark, Gothic –half the buildings were empty, and it was in a horrible, dilapidated area. The groundswere depressing, they had 20 foot high fencing with barbed wire tops. It was like aprison.’” – Recollections of Taunton State Hospital, 2007
    • • New England was once the mostrenowned region for psychiatrictreatment, during the early 20thcentury• Today most remaining functioningfacilities are a blend of run-downbuildings in use among shut-down,abandoned buildings
    • Not addressing teenage mentalillness• The Virginia Tech and Tucson tragedies both appear to beexamples of young people who manifested the signs of possiblesevere mental disorders during their secondary school years butwere not properly identified and not linked with services andsupports – National Alliance on Mental Illness, “State MentalHealth Cuts: A National Crisis”• "The problem is that right now kids in particular get very poorservices nationwide," said Robert Bernstein, president of theBazelon Center for Mental Health Law, an advocacy organizationbased in Washington. If you want solid, flexible services, you canget them only after youve been hospitalized multiple times,Bernstein added.• Preventative approaches are not taken – the problem is only lookedto be solved after it has manifested itself in tragedy
    • Lack of Funds• A lack of funding towards the DMH may contribute to the lack ofappropriate mental health care offered• “Even during the best of economic times, youth and adults livingwith mental illness struggle to access essential mental healthservices and supports. Services are often unavailable orinaccessible for those who need them the most.”• “From 2009 to 2011, massive cuts to non-Medicaid state mentalhealth spending totaled nearly $1.6 billion dollars. And, deeper cutsare projected in 2011 and 2012. States have cut vital services fortens of thousands of youth and adults living with the most seriousmental illness. These services include community and hospitalbased psychiatric care, housing and access to medications.”• Massachusetts, with a $63.5 million cut, is one of the top ten statesto have cut the most in funds from their mental health budgetsbetween 2009 and 2011• “Lack of services often fosters worsened conditions and adverseconsequences that cost communities dearly”• - National Alliance on Mental Illness, “State Mental Health Cuts:A National Crisis”
    • The DMH’s Response• “ After hearing the family’s story, the final report was ‘used to saywhat they had done right. A client of theirs had died while in theircare, and they were only looking to make sure they had met all ofthe legal requirements, not if they had helped her on a personallevel.’ The father’s appeal of the report was rejected. After severalcomplaints he finally received a letter ‘expressing sorrow withoutaccepting responsibility. I was disappointed that what we thoughtwas going to be a legitimate attempt to analyze their own job intreatment and correct mistakes, in protection of the interests of thepatient, instead, in our opinion, demonstrated a desire to protectthemselves from accusations of wrongdoing.’” – Recollectionsfrom a family whose child died while in the care of the DMH• Communications representatives for the DMH declined to commentfor this article.
    • The DMH’s Response• “ After hearing the family’s story, the final report was ‘used to saywhat they had done right. A client of theirs had died while in theircare, and they were only looking to make sure they had met all ofthe legal requirements, not if they had helped her on a personallevel.’ The father’s appeal of the report was rejected. After severalcomplaints he finally received a letter ‘expressing sorrow withoutaccepting responsibility. I was disappointed that what we thoughtwas going to be a legitimate attempt to analyze their own job intreatment and correct mistakes, in protection of the interests of thepatient, instead, in our opinion, demonstrated a desire to protectthemselves from accusations of wrongdoing.’” – Recollectionsfrom a family whose child died while in the care of the DMH• Communications representatives for the DMH declined to commentfor this article.