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.