The “mental health system” isn’t really a system of care. There is no real “system” that exists.
We need funding to be spent on inpatient beds where the SMI (serious mental illness) patient stays until the “right” meds are found and he/she has fully stabilized. Not the treat and street situation we have now.
We need 24/7 intense supportive housing after discharge to keep the SMI on track with meds, shelter, food, and safety.
We need to build our housing infrastructure to accommodate differing levels of care for this population so, as they progress in recovery, they have a home they can afford and remain in.
We need to build outpatient clinics who work closely with the hospitals and residential treatment facilities to continue the same level of care when SMI are outpatients.
We need to change our involuntary civil commitment laws to mandate medication for inpatient and outpatients.
We need to repeal the IMD Exclusion.
We need HIPAA reform.
We need to fund research for schizophrenia and other serious mental illnesses.
We need to stop the discrimination of SMI and call it what it is — a brain disease.
We need neurologists and psychiatrists to work together and we need more of them.
We need clinical nurses and competent case workers.
We need so many vital things that aren’t currently in place, or they are failing miserably, and we watch our loved ones living their lives as the walking dead.
I would love to help everyone with a mental illness, but the truth is the chronically symptomatic SMI have been getting the shaft for generations. Since they can’t usually grasp their own best interests and needs — let alone articulate them in a way that will be heard and respected — they’re easily pushed to the back of the line.