Saturday, December 15, 2012

AlterNet: Lynn Stuart Parramore: "Lets Talk About America's Gutted Mental Healthcare System": How to Fund Mental Healthcare in America

In the Wake of Another Mass Shooting, Let's Talk About America's Dangerously Gutted Mental Healthcare System | Alternet

A little early for me to talk about solutions to prevent future tragedies from happening especially just twenty eight. Hours after the last one happened and quite frankly I wish it was too early for a lot of other Americans to be. Talking about policy solutions for preventing future tragedies like this from happening in the future as well, so lets talk. About mental healthcare in America and the shooters who were mentally ill, to what degree I'm not sure we know. All of that now one of the disadvantages of proposing solutions to tragedies like this so early in the game so to speak. Is that you simply don't have all of the facts yet which is why law enforcement is still investigating the situation. Of course we know as best as we can who the shooters were but we don't know why they committed the horrible tragedies. That they did which is why these shootings are still under investigation to find that out which will later help us. As a society figure out what to do about it and try to prevent these things from happening in the future.

So to move away from Connecticut for a moment and talk about mental health, something I'm somewhat familiar with. Because mental disease is in my family and I know how devastating it can be to watch a relative who was once. A brilliant person see their brain literally shrink in front of your eyes which is one reason why we need better mental health. In America to prevent mentally ill people from yes having guns but also so we don't have as many mentally ill people. On the streets but the people who are basically stuck with some type of mental disease, we make sure they are. Getting whatever treatment that they need to be as functional as possible, whether they are institutionalized or. Living on the streets to help prevent further tragedies like Connecticut from happening in the future.

Our mental hospitals are underfunded in America and in a lot of cases have been closed down, because they. Are simply expensive to run especially if they are public and tend not to have a direct funding source. And have to come out of general revenue but if we treated mental health in America like physical health. We could clear that problem up because health insurers would be required to cover mental healthcare as well. And with the individual healthcare mandate, we would all have access to mental healthcare as condition. Of having health insurance, so the people who need mental healthcare they would get the mental healthcare. They need through their health insurance, we should've done this seventy years ago, something that wasn't part. Of the New Deal which was healthcare.

But health insurance for mental patients and I say that the nicest way possible, is not enough because that would. Just cover their healthcare whether they are living inside or outside and more importantly inside, we need to. Be able to fund their cost of living while they are living inside so they are covering their room and board. And so fourth, which is why the non wealthy mental patients who need the funds to do this, they should have. The same access to public assistance as low income people on the street, the mental patients who need it. Things like section eight public housing, Welfare or Unemployment Insurance or more importantly Disability Insurance, Food Assistance and so fourth. As well as the mental patients who are up to it, having jobs while they are living inside to help cover their cost of living.

There are much better ways to fund our mental healthcare then the way we are doing it today which in a lot. Of cases is closing down hospitals and putting people who need to be inside on the streets and we saw this in the 1980s. With all of the mental hospitals that were closed down and as a result we saw a spike in the level of homelessness in America. In that decade and is something that we can prevent from happening in the future.