Every day I hear stories from family members about their children who have serious mental illnesses(SMI).
One mother is desperate to get help for her SMI son who’s in prison and facing a life-sentence for attacking another prisoner when he was in a psychotic state.
A man and wife — in their eighties — disagree over what to do about their ill son who is living with them and wreaking havoc in their home. The father says, “I wouldn’t be sad if my son died.” The mother says, “I can’t live with my son, but I can’t turn him out because he’d be homeless. I couldn’t live with that.”
A mother, whose son is homeless and missing, says, “I wish he were in jail. At least he’d have a roof over his head and I’d know he’s alive.”
A father says, “My teenage son’s in jail, in solitary confinement, and not getting any medication for his schizophrenia.”
A mother and father move from one state to another to get away from their ill son. “We’re afraid of him and there’s no help for him.”
A sister cries because her bipolar brother was arrested for driving without a license, suffered a heart attack, was sent to the hospital for a couple days to be stabilized, and was returned to jail instead of being sent to a psychiatric treatment facility.
Parents of a depressed teenage girl can’t get an appointment for her to see a psychiatrist. They lose her to suicide.
A daughter’s mother lives under a bridge. Sometimes she’s raped or robbed. She’s so sick she doesn’t know she’s sick (anosognosia). No one will help the daughter get her mother to a hospital. It’s “her right” to be ill.
Rallies against healthcare organizations, like Kaiser, protest the lack of competent mental illness care.
There are millions of SMI stories. Millions of SMI stories every single day.
What kind of civilized country ignores the plight of millions of its citizens and throws them in jail and prison instead of sending them to a hospital? What kind of civilized country watches SMI homeless in every city and state and doesn’t take action to help them? What kind of civilized country drives families into bankruptcy, divorce, and despair because their children aren’t getting the SMI care that they need? What kind of civilized country passes legislation that limits beds (IMD Exclusion) and prevents families from getting and receiving life-saving information (HIPAA)? What kind of civilized country conducts presidential town halls and debates that never mention SMI? What kind of civilized country has no national serious mental illness plan or policy?
In 2019, in the United States of America, getting timely, competent serious mental illness care is almost impossible. Is the United States of America a civilized country?
See these posts in the Archives on this site:
2020 Presidential Candidate Contact Information — May 8, 2019
Sample SMI Letter to 2020 Presidential Candidates — May 9, 2019