"We've got sort of this survival-of-the-fittest mentality that's going on"

The Winston-Salem Journal: bad communication, misplaced priorities, lack of low-income housing, and tight budgets result in NC mental patients being dropped off at homeless shelters with nothing but a bottle of pills.

[Shelter] managers are not trained in counseling psychiatric patients, and there are no staff members to dispense residents' medications or remind them when to take their drugs, she said. Patients who are in crisis are simply picked up by the police.

"We have monitors who don't have the experience in mental health, so there's no communication that 'this is a mental-health diagnosis,'" she said. "This is what we deal with on a daily basis. It's been difficult."

This isn't a mistake; it's policy. For poor North Carolinians with mental illnesses, hard times are always a step closer than they are for everyone else. Add to that inadequate low-income housing for this group, a big reduction in the number of beds in NC mental hospitals, and pressure to empty hospital beds as quickly as possible, and the result is a giant crack for NC's most vulnerable citizens to fall through.

Comments

Mental Health

State provided institutional mental health services are, and have been for a long time, abysmal. Thanks for providing the link to the Winston Salem Journal. We see nothing of this sort reviewed by the Greensboro News and Record. Perhaps it will provide coverage now that Winston has the ball rolling.

Does anyone know

how to connect the dots between state funding here and federal budget priorities?

A triangle winger responded to one of my columns recently with a glowing report of how wonderful everything is in the old US of A. Stock markets rising. No terrists attacks on US soil since 9/11. Strong leadership. Blah. Blah.

I'm looking for a compact way to illuminate the costs of this "strong leadership" on the lives of working people here in North Carolina. If anyone can point me to a good, tight analysis, I'd be forever appreciative.

Back in Time

It's the 80's all over again. Reagan did this on a national level, dumping mental patients off at bus stations thus creating the homeless problem that surged in that wonderful era of Morning in America.

Can't you just smell the AIDS cooking with your morning sausage? Where's a big fat Jesse Helms filibuster when you need it?

The Federal Budget is devasting to the economically depressed areas of NC Angelico, but I haven't seen the numbers broken out localy yet. I know 65,000 total will be foreced off Medicare. The elderly won't be able to pass along their homes and still recieve federal subsidies for nursing care. (That would be the Republican version of a "inheritance tax" but only on the poor.) And students. "Think of the children." $12.7 billion in cuts to student loans. Oh, and single moms? Fugheddaboutit. Deadbeat dads are A-okay in Republicans' book. They also told farmers to go to hell with the new cuts to the USDA. Hayes is in town tomorrow to speak with screaming cotton farmers. He heads the Ag Committe don't ya know. I think he just got an award for it. Seriously.

All we really need in this country is another round of tax cuts for Paris Hilton. That should fix everything.

Oh...

Ask that winger too when you get a chance if they caught the Anthrax terrorist yet? Between him killing random postal workers trying to get Daschel and the DC sniper, what did they murder... 30 Americans on US soil since 9/11?

"I'm sure if you asked Rep. Hayes he's 'flat-out, completely, horizontally opposed' to torture, just like he was CAFTA. Too bad he voted for both."
-Larry Kissell for Congress

Thanks.

This'll get me started.

A

PS Nice name.