Millions of Americans struggle with mental illnesses, and many within the healthcare industry maintain that community resources for their care are limited. Now, Hillary Clinton is calling for the mental and physical spheres of healthcare to coordinate to put “the treatment of mental health on par with that of physical health.”
The proposal calls for expanding early intervention in mental illness; a national initiative to prevent suicide, which kills more than 40,000 Americans a year; increasing training for police who are called to the scene of a mental health crisis;
providing mental health care for non-violent offenders to help them avoid going to jail for minor offenses; and investing in brain and behavioral research to develop better treatments.
For more details on this story, go to Clinton rolls out plan to improve mental health care
; Clinton proposes better integration of physical, mental health services
We can all agree on the need for greater priority placed on improving mental health care, but what are your thoughts on this particular proposal? You are welcome to discuss any mental health proposals from the Clinton and Trump campaigns, but please keep your comments on topic and centered around how to address mental health issues. Off-topic comments will be removed
Aug 31, '16
I like the basic idea but I think NIMBY is going to kill it.
Off the top of my head:
I worry that law enforcement officers will wind up being expected to be therapists. I'm not talking about respect for basic human rights - that's non-negotiable. They're always going to have to navigate situations with mentally ill citizens, but I think we have to get away from jails and prisons being the only available option for getting a mentally ill person into a safe setting where s/he can't hurt her/himself or anyone else.
I think that the proposal would require the redesign and rebuilding of the infrastructure we used to have, along with new provisions for emergency care and outpatient care options.
It was the outpatient piece that killed us in Massachusetts back in the seventies/eighties. De-institutionalization was a thing. We closed almost all our state hospitals - and there were some really good reasons to do that. (Not the least of which is that it freed up a lot of prime real estate.) It did wonders for the state's budget.
The problem occurred when it came time to actually implement all the halfway houses, treatment centers and transitional programs. Suddenly, there was no money and local communities were unwilling to take on the presence of a lot of people with iffy behaviors - including substance abusers and people with impulse control issues. Here's where police and EMS training is critical, I think.
I also suspect that privatization will be the business carrot built into any relevant legislation just to get the votes for passage.
Fair warning: I'm no fan of privatization - the private sector has a poor record in this area and I have a problem with giving fraudsters yet another government teat to suck.
Put all that together with the fact that it will be expensive and the mentally ill are one of the most disenfranchised groups in the electorate, I think we won't see such a program any time soon.
Last edit by heron on Sep 7, '16