A good read from Ned Barnett at the News and Observer on the editorial page today:
[Dr. Brian] Sheitman served at Dorothea Dix Hospital, including five years as its clinical director. He says the hospital’s namesake – the mental health reformer of the mid-1880s – would have a mixed reaction to how care of the mentally ill has changed in the last 150 years.
“I think she would be disappointed that with the resources available today we’re not doing more,” he said. “I don’t think it’s as bad (as in Dix’s era), but the jails are still overflowing with patients. I think we’re still kind of pretending the problem doesn’t exist when it exists.
“I think we probably aren’t allocating enough resources for these people who cannot fight for themselves. We’re not doing as much as we would if they were more verbal and had more power."
Most of you reading BlueNC care little about Medicaid or mental health issues. I know, because I can review the number of readers for my posts on these and other issues.
However, I ask that you read and consider this: the NC Senate and the NC House leaders have proposed budgets that make further cuts to spending on mental health services. Gov. Pat McCrory has proposed modest increases for mental health spending.
We need to communicate the drastic need for additional funding and greater outreach to mental health clients as Dr. Sheitman discusses in his interview with Ned Barnett. It must be done now, before it's too late.