I read part of an article about a book being published by retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stevens. He has some theories for changing our Constitution. Interesting thoughts, but so flawed with his gun control suggestions–or background checks. The reference to more expansive background checks for purchasing guns, kind of lingered with a bitter aftertaste.
I didn’t perform any research on what I’m about to say. It comes from what I can remember, and was too lazy (again) to find dates and specifics.
There was a time in our country when the mentally ill were placed in dreadful institutions. Some were admitted against their will, and held in deplorable conditions. Some ended up in these institutions who should have never been placed there.
Okay, so I looked up the following, so that I could have some straight up facts. On February 5, 1963—over FIFTY years ago, John F. Kennedy presented a “special message” to Congress regarding mental health and mental retardation–his words.
His message is very lengthy, but he addressed the severity of mental illness, and the inadequacy of how it was treated–same for the disabled. Actually, when I read articles, messages, or laws passed years ago, I’m even more dismayed with our political system.
What President Kennedy was trying to accomplish fifty years ago, remains a problem today. I can’t recall what laws were passed, but the mental health care system was to be revamped.
One major flaw.
They lacked approval of funding to help the mentally ill in the area of research and facilities skilled in caring for them. A problem we continue to be faced with today. I don’t know, maybe the funding never happened due to the war we became involved with. Or perhaps, the mentally ill are back-burner material to our politicians.
The horrible institutions were closed, and the mentally ill were left to their own defenses. Many are a good portion of our current homeless population.
Fifty years later, a young mentally ill man of a Virginia State Senator, stabbed and disfigured his father, then took his own life.
The day before the incident, the young man’s father took him to a hospital asking for help. In the state of Virginia, the hospital has to assess the patient, and find a bed within a four hour time frame. They can extend it by two hours, but if no bed is found, the patient is released.
The father was told there weren’t any beds available. He had to take his mentally troubled son back home. I’m suspecting with a prescription or two, and a referral to a psychiatrist. I’m also guessing most states have the same type of restrictions, and lack of funding for care.
It’s not the background checks we have to expand with tax dollars. Perhaps they should consider the funding for background checks be sent to an area where it is really needed. Prevent the problem before it becomes a problem.
ooooh, that would be simple, now wouldn’t it?
Also, the Constitutional changes Justice Stevens suggested, limits to the amount of money thrown at political candidates.
Hmmmm…..wouldn’t it be nice if all the wads of money spent on electing a politician to fritter away our tax dollars, were donated to areas of real need?
Well, I’m finished with my sarcasm. Maybe this isn’t a political issue, however it does speak to our ignorance of the mentally ill.
There is a problem with the cost associated with seeking mental health treatment. I spent the better part of 30 years trying to figure out how to pay for therapy which was limited by our insurance company–the rest had to be paid out of pocket. The affordability of medication is another issue in and of itself.
I just hope I live long enough to see some real change.