Skip to comments.Another Liberal-Created Failure
Posted on 02/28/2018 4:45:31 AM PST by Kaslin
A liberal-created failure that goes entirely ignored is the left's harmful agenda for society's most vulnerable people -- the mentally ill. Eastern State Hospital, built in 1773 in Williamsburg, Virginia, was the first public hospital in America for the care and treatment of the mentally ill. Many more followed. Much of the motivation to build more mental institutions was to provide a remedy for the maltreatment of mentally ill people in our prisons. According to professor William Gronfein at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, by 1955 there were nearly 560,000 patients housed in state mental institutions across the nation. By 1977, the population of mental institutions had dropped to about 160,000 patients.
Starting in the 1970s, advocates for closing mental hospitals argued that because of the availability of new psychotropic drugs, people with mental illness could live among the rest of the population in an unrestrained natural setting. According to a 2013 Wall Street Journal article by Dr. E. Fuller Torrey, founder of the Treatment Advocacy Center, titled "Fifty Years of Failing America's Mentally Ill", shutting down mental hospitals didn't turn out the way advocates promised. Several studies summarized by the Treatment Advocacy Center show that untreated mentally ill are responsible for 10 percent of homicides (and a higher percentage of the mass killings). They are 20 percent of jail and prison inmates and more than 30 percent of the homeless.
We often encounter these severely mentally ill individuals camped out in libraries, parks, hospital emergency rooms and train stations and sleeping in cardboard boxes. They annoy passers-by with their sometimes intimidating panhandling. The disgusting quality of life of many of the mentally ill makes a mockery of the lofty predictions made by the advocates of shutting down mental institutions and transferring their function to community mental health centers, or CMHCs. Torrey writes: "The evidence is overwhelming that this federal experiment has failed, as seen most recently in the mass shootings by mentally ill individuals in Newtown, Conn., Aurora, Colo., and Tucson, Ariz. It is time for the federal government to get out of this business and return the responsibility, and funds, to the states."
Getting the federal government out of the mental health business may be easier said than done. A 1999 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in the case of Olmstead v. L.C. held that under the Americans with Disabilities Act, individuals with mental disabilities have the right to live in an integrated community setting rather than in institutions. The U.S. Department of Justice defined an integrated setting as one "that enables individuals with disabilities to interact with non-disabled persons to the fullest extent possible." Though some mentally ill people may have benefited from this ruling, many others were harmed -- not to mention the public, which must put up with the behavior of the mentally ill.
Torrey says it has now become politically correct to claim that this federal program failed because not enough centers were funded and not enough money was spent. But that's not true. Torrey says: "Altogether, the annual total public funds for the support and treatment of mentally ill individuals is now more than $140 billion. The equivalent expenditure in 1963 when President John F. Kennedy proposed the CMHC program was $1 billion, or about $10 billion in today's dollars. Even allowing for the increase in U.S. population, what we are getting for this 14-fold increase in spending is a disgrace."
The dollar cost of this liberal vision of deinstitutionalization of mentally ill people is a relatively small part of the burden placed on society. Many innocent people have been assaulted, robbed and murdered by mentally ill people. Businesspeople and their customers have had to cope with the nuisance created by the mentally ill. The police response to misbehavior and crime committed by the mentally ill is to arrest them. Thus, they are put in jeopardy of mistreatment by hardened criminals in the nation's jails and prisons. Worst of all is the fact that the liberals who engineered the shutting down of mental institutions have never been held accountable for their folly.
There are some people who cannot function in society.
We owe it to ourselves to take care of them for the rest of their lives in a setting where they can’t harm themselves or others.
We should treat them in the same way we treat elderly people who can’t function independently anymore.
A humane and moral society doesn’t leave the mentally ill to their own devices.
....people would be shocked to learn how much each state is paying to house and medicate ILLEGALS that were shipped here(US)so US tax payers could foot the bill...another source of RAT voter fraud
A huge part of the problem is that the government didn’t run the state hospitals well at all. There was abuse, as documented in Fred Wiseman’s doc “Titicut Follies.” Private mental hospitals were often brilliant. Books like “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” didn’t come out of nowhere. It’s an ongoing dilemma.
People with Alzheimer’s aren’t mentally ill but the loss of memory and being unable to deal with the real world is also devastating.
They need extremely expensive and specialized care. And taxpayers wind up footing the bill for them.
Why can’t people talk about owing something to God anymore.
I'm trying to start a discussion on the same topic over here if anyone wants to join in.
Its not possible for a family to take care of people with challenging conditions.
Its personally exhausting, financially draining and takes a toll on family life.
So that’s why institutions and assisted living places are necessary.
We no longer have extended families anymore and the ability of churches and charities to care for them is limited.
IIRC, the ACLU argued successfully, that the mentally ill should have legal control over themselves. They cannot easily be committed unless they agree to it and, if they dont want to be committed, there are so many hoops to jump through for a relative/friend to commit them. A catastrophic failure of our culture.......and the failure belongs to the ACLU/Liberal policies.
We're from the Gubmint, and we're here to completely ____ things up
bet y'all can get it on the first try
Huh? Some gospel knowledge goes a long long way.
I thought this is what “liberals” wanted: let George do it.
..and the failure belongs to the ACLU/Liberal policies.
Could be said about most modern social policy disasters.
“Mentally ill” in this context would include people who cannot function in society. It would not necessarily include all Democrats or socialists.
I remember how the California government closed mental hospitals to balance the passage of Proposition 18. Yeah, they showed us.
I’m sorry, I thought we were here to talk sense, not cattiness.
And yet the reseach money spent is a fraction of the money spent on AIDS, despite the much greater numbers affected by Alzheimers.