Recently in my community, a 17 year old foster child was jailed for 3 weeks for a minor offense because there was no one to place her. This is inexcusable. Article
The problem boils down to placement. It is not just for this child. It is also for children who live at home, adults and children who have medicaid or medicare, and those with no insurance.
If someone with a mental illness goes to the ER because they are in crisis due to a mental illness, they can have to wait days before a bed is found. By days, I mean sometimes it can be a week of the patient having to wait in a hallway with no privacy treated like lower class citizens.
As I learned about this current situation and the steps that it took for this girl to finally get placed in another state because a judge demanded something to be done, I started thinking about it.
Why is that if I were to go to the ER for a reason not associated with mental illness that I most likely be in a bed within a few hours most of the time?
There is a lack of psychiatric beds. There is a limited amount of money spent on educating the public about recognizing signs if someone is suffering from a mental illness, people oftentimes don’t know what the resources are mainly because this is all a topic people don’t want to talk about.
In addition, if people are waiting days to get a bed for a mental illness, not enough money is being spent on taking care of our mentally ill or the money is not being managed correctly.
This all needs to change. Not tomorrow, or two months ago. It needs to start now! It is our society’s problem. This is not just those with mental illnesses. If we don’t improve the mental health system, we are going to have more suicides, homicides and mass shootings.
Why not demand from our government that more time, effort, and money be spent on exploring the problem and coming up with solutions?