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For most of us, here at Daily Kos, there's plenty to be thankful for. And for most of us, there's plenty to be really annoyed at. There's one thing, though, that makes me viserally angry.

Across the country, doctors... are facing a spike in psychiatric emergencies - attempted suicide, severe depression, psychosis - as states slash mental health services and the country's worst economic crisis since the Great Depression takes its toll...

Compounding the problem are patients with chronic mental illness who have been hurt by a squeeze on mental health services and find themselves with nowhere to go...

The more I see these patients, the more I realize that if it's sleeting and raining outside, the emergency room is the only place they have," said Dr. R. Corey Waller, director of the Spectrum Health Medical Group Center for Integrative Medicine in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

-- Mentally ill flood ER as states cut services

WTF is wrong with this country that we refuse to take care of our own?


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The National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors (NASMHPD), an organization of state mental health directors, estimates that in the last three years states have cut $3.4 billion in mental health services, while an additional 400,000 people sought help at public mental health facilities...

California cut $587 million in state-funded mental health services in the past two years, the most of any state... In North Carolina, the state has cut its inpatient psychiatric capacity by half since 2005.

Anderson, who heads the Washington Chapter of the American College of Emergency Physicians, said the state has lost a third of its inpatient psychiatric beds in the past decade.

Often you have a patient strapped to a gurney in a hallway outside of the emergency department where social workers are desperately trying to find an inpatient bed....

I'm very angry indeed.

You know, this is the state-sanctioned equivalent of blowing out the tires of someone in a wheelchair. Or of mocking a veteran who's lost a limb. Demanding of people that they figure out where to go, or how to obtain help,  who, by the very nature of their illness, are incapable of doing so. It's downright sick. Pun intended or not intended; either way.

This is how we treat mentally ill people? People with severe depression, psychosis and/or suicidal tendencies? We now force them to find their way to an emergency room and then be shackled to a guerney waiting for help?

Budget cuts. I don't want to hear it. Deficits. Don't even go there. Spending money we don't have. I JUST DON'T WANT TO HEAR IT. Scrooge had nothing on the good burghers of modern American who have allowed it to come to this.

F*** us all very much.

Merry, Happy Whatever.

Originally posted to jpmassar on Sun Dec 25, 2011 at 08:29 AM PST.

Also republished by SFKossacks, Progressive Policy Zone, Single Payer: The Fight for Medicare for All, Healthcare Reform - We've Only Just Begun, Single Payer California, and ClassWarfare Newsletter: WallStreet VS Working Class Global Occupy movement.

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