Saturday, May 17, 2014

These Are "Best Practices" In Mental Health Care?!

Milwaukee County Emperor Chris Abele will say something is in "best practice" when he is trying to rationalize one of his boneheaded schemes, such as opening up the mental health system to profiteers.  Abele called it in line with "best practices," even though every clinician and mental health professional was warning what a bad idea it really was.

Abele, as he usually does, bought his way with henchman like Joe Sanfelippo, and now Milwaukee's mental health complex will close in a few years. Milwaukee has had a shortage of mental health beds for a long time and Abele's solution is to make even less beds available now.

What could possibly go wrong?

Maybe stuff like this:
For two weeks, a 13-year-old boy diagnosed with serious mental health issues sat in an emergency room bed at United General Hospital. After countless daily phone calls to facilities across the state, the hospital wasn't sure what else to do other than keep the boy there and hope a placement opened.

An involuntary treatment hearing was held Thursday. With no one qualified to testify about the child's condition, a court commissioner ordered the boy be released without treatment.

"The mental health system has failed this young boy," said attorney Dennis Scott of Anacortes, who argued for the boy's release.

Testimony indicated the boy suffers from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder. At the hearing, the boy's mother tearfully expressed her frustration to get her son help.

Shortly after the hearing, Scott learned a bed had been found for his client.

Scott routinely represents patients during these hearings and said this case is far too common and illustrates the poor job the state has done to take care of its mentally ill citizens. This case was particularly egregious, Scott said. The child was acting out aggressively and was in a crisis state. But after being hospitalized for two weeks in United General's ER, he received no mental health treatment and the state found no placement for him.

"I get outraged because, quite frankly, that shouldn't happen," Scott said. "This is by far the worst I've seen."

Jim Shreffler, a mental health expert with regional care provider Compass Health, said there are only four facilities in the entire state that have special resources for juveniles, each with roughly 15 beds. And he said those resources have continued to shrink while demand grows.

"We are a wealthy country, we are a wealthy state, yet we somehow pretend that we can't afford to provide these services," Shreffler said.
What really concerns me is that stuff like this is already happening in Southeast Wisconsin due to Abele's austerity agenda, but the corporate media won't report it and too many people fear Abele's tendency for retaliation that they would rather let innocent people suffer rather than take a stand.

Fortunately, there is a group that is not afraid and they are silent no more.

1 comment:

  1. Sadly, the state will find a bed for him a few years after he finds street drugs can be self-medicating, but also land him in the state prison system.