What would Dorothea Dix think?

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."

Read more here: http://www.newsobserver.com/2013/06/29/2998706/in-wake-steps-to-improve-mental.html#storylink=cpy

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.


Verla Insko: state required divesture in Wake Co.--not law

email shared with permission from Rep. Insko

From: Rep. Verla Insko
To: 'Steve Church'
Cc: 'Deby Dihoff'
Sent: Sunday, June 30, 2013 11:12 AM
Subject: RE: Hurried For Wake Mental Health Clinics A Long Time Coming


I hope you know it is not true that Wake County could not provide mental health services.

The 2001 reform bill clearly stated that LMEs could divest to other public or private sector providers. It isn’t a conflict of interest for the LME/MCO to manage the money and contract with a county government to provide services. LME/MCOs are still area authorities and subdivisions of the state. They are completely separate entities from counties.

Using the private sector is a preference for Sec. Wos; it has nothing to do with the law. Sorry I was unaware of this issue. It’s hard being in the minority to stay in the loop.

Verla Insko

Representative Verla Insko
NC House District 56, Orange County
603 Legislative Office Building
300 N. Salisbury Street
Raleigh, NC 27603-5925
Office: 919-733-7208

Email: verla.insko@ncleg.net

Martha Brock

Ms. Insko

I met Ms. Insko a couple of times. She seems to be a genuine legislator and I commiserate with her about not being kept in the loop because she is not part of the Republican Railroad.

She was one of only a handful who was sympathetic to the plight of the NC Bail Academy getting screwed in last year in the monopoly scandal.

We all have to hope for better times when every legislator has a say, not just 4 or 5 who wield all the power.

With the Caveat...

...that I'm no fan of the current wing nut contingent in charge of the Jones Street House of Pain, in fairness I have to note that when the Democrats were in charge of the state, it was, in fact, "just 4 or 5 who wield[ed] all the power".

It need not be that way, but the legislative structure and momentum tends toward that result. Basnight and a few others ran things the same way.

I'm not defending the current goons, and everyone can draw their own conclusions about the results produced in the past and the results we're seeing today.

And it would be great to have better times when every legislator has say...but I can't recall ever seeing that in this state and I am dubious that we ever will.

"I will have a priority on building relationships with the minority caucus. I want to put substance behind those campaign speeches." -- Thom Tillis, Nov. 5, 2014