Karen Kelley is one of about 10 million people who suffer from mental illness. The cost is staggering, and could never account for the emotional toll, since that could never be fully calculated. [USA Today]
"More than half a million Americans with serious mental illness are falling through the cracks of a system in tatters," reports Liz Szabo and colleagues in an important USA TODAY special report
. Absolute must-read.
The mentally ill who have nowhere to go and find little sympathy from those around them often land hard in emergency rooms, county jails and city streets. The lucky ones find homes with family. The unlucky ones show up in the morgue.
"We have replaced the hospital bed with the jail cell, the homeless shelter and the coffin," says Rep. Tim Murphy, R-Pa., a child psychologist leading an effort to remodel the mental health system. "How is that compassionate?"
States looking to save money have pared away both the community mental health services designed to keep people healthy, as well as the hospital care needed to help them heal after a crisis.
"At least 590,000 mentally ill patients end up in jail, on street or in the morgue each year. Only 108,000 get hospital bed at any given time. Are there solutions to help the mentally ill?," tweets Szabo today. "Yes. We just don't fund them."
Read: The cost of not caring: Nowhere to go. [Liz Szabo, USA TODAY]
Peter Wieben’s sister is bipolar and homeless in Seattle, living in a van and weaning herself off Klonopin without a doctor’s supervision: if she gets the dose wrong, she’ll die.
Sarah Kurchak, a personal trainer who has experienced clinical depression, offers the most humane advice for using exercise you’re likely to find.
Today, the U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday unanimously passed legislation to improve safety planning for babies born dependent on opioid drugs.
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