Let’s Get Real

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.




About April

I'll come back to this when I find out who I really am. I've been through some extremely rough patches but they have made me a better person. I blog if my brain is functioning first thing in the morning.
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8 Responses to Let’s Get Real

  1. revgerry says:

    I hope you do too. i completely agree about mental health care and the need for a great dwal more funding. Emptying out the hospitals was cruel. Luckily your insurance under the Affordable care act should cover your therapy and meds much better, but it doesn’t help the people who need secure hospital treatment. I wouldn’t be alive had I not been able to be admitted to a hospital.

    We disagree on gun control though – 9 -people killed, 40 injured in this weekend alone, in one city – Chicago. Illinois can’t keep out guns bought in neighboring states where guns are easier to come by than Sudafed, so their citizens are dying because of rules made in a other state.

    • April says:

      Thankfully, my husband works for a corporation which gave us a couple of choices. Mental health care is covered. While I was single, and until he worked for this corporation, we weren’t so lucky with coverage. Therapy sessions were limited to 35 per year.

      Today, we are financially supporting a young person with mental health issues. She doesn’t have a job, and we can’t carry her on our insurance. Our state didn’t expand Mediciad under the ACA to cover, or assist with premiums or deductibles for those who have no money to pay for it. While I’m okay with most of the ACA, some states have made it rather difficult to meet the requirement if one doesn’t have a job. A job they can’t attain because they aren’t in a mental state which enables them to hold a job.

      I’m not against background checks or gun control. Personally, I don’t understand the need for a gun.

      What I think we need, is a more efficient system without any loopholes to obtain guns. Not that I understand how our political system spends their money, but I would bet they are wasting some of it instead of being accountable for spending it more efficiently.

  2. suzjones says:

    I think politics the world over is flawed. I’m also thinking that maybe I should get into politics myself. It might solve some of my finance worries. After all, they can still get yearly pay rises whilst cutting the rate of pensions to the elderly, mental health services, hospital services etc etc. Seems fair to me. (and now I’m going to have a cup of tea and remove my tongue from my cheek).

  3. mewhoami says:

    It is sad that there is not enough funding and enough resources for those who need it. I agree that it would be much better to help solve the problem from its origin. My nephew threatened to kill his family and after he was arrested and taken in for mental health issues, they let him go. The hospital said that there were no beds available. That irresponsible decision put everyone at risk, as he had no where to go, but back home. Yes, that sounds like appropriate handling of the situation. Not.
    If people need resources, then they should get those resources. Good for you for voicing this!

  4. Gallivanta says:

    It’s incredible how politicians always seem to find ways to spend money on everything but people’s real needs.

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