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]