The State Of Mental Health Care In Connecticut

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The State Of Mental Health Care In Connecticut
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The State Of Mental Health Care In Connecticut

I'm not a big fan of getting ready to fight the previous war.

Our next crisis will not be Adam Lanza. It will not be an exact replica of the facts of his life, not that we know those for sure yet. (I would say, parenthetically, that the worldwide rush to diagnose Lanza makes me massively uncomfortable.) Our next crisis is already happening, in multiples of many, all over the United States. Families and communities are struggling to care for people with mental illness. They need diagnoses. They need medication. They need a latticework (of services and programs) which, frankly, does not exist.

The demand for metal health services far exceeds the supply. But it's more subtle than those brute ratios. Mental health treatment is a lot of different things, and any given patient, as he or she moves through that system, will need to stand on different rungs on what is, I think, a tragically broken ladder.

You can join the conversation. E-mail or Tweet us @wnprcolin.



E-mail from Elisabeth

Colin, thank you for the good discussion about the weakness of the system providing mental health services. Perhaps enough talking and listening will lead to action and a solution.

E-mail from Katy

Have you read the book The Sociopath Next Door by Martha Stout? I highly recommend it.

The book's basic premise is that as many as 4% of the population are conscienceless sociopaths who have no empathy or affectionate feelings for humans or animals. Reading it has changed my former conviction that all people are basically good. Some people just have no conscience and we all need to be able to identify their presence among us.

Thank you for your thoughtful show,

E-mail from Guillermo

I appreciate that you brought up this topic on the show. I have witnessed my family deal with my brother's mental health issues for the past six years. He has been in and out of treatment centers, psychiatristis, therapists, medications and so on. It has been a long hard battle to get him under control. What we found as a family was that the system itself was often a barrier to care. Often caregivers had pre determined diagnosis, or they just wanted to medicate. Many of the institutions my brother was an inpatient at were poorly staffed, filthy and often resemebled prisons rather than treatment centers. The single biggest barrier was my parents ability to be involved in the care. Due to my brothers age my parents needed his consent to even speak with his therapist. Yet we were the primary care providers, he lived with us we paid the consequences and my parents coudln't even talk to the therapists because due to his condition he just wouldn't give consent. How do you help a child adult when the system doesn't let you be part of the treatment?

E-mail from Noel

I want to make you aware of all the Budget cuts that are in place in the state budget that will continue to weaken an already stretched resource for those families and schools that Gov has implemented this month retroactively with more to come. In the light of Newtown we cannot afford to do this again and again to our children, families ,school systems and their communities who have no where to go to for help those with disabilities and in particular mental illness.

I implore you to mention this on the news because this is the root of the problem. I hate guns but here I think we all know even with gun control that would not truly solve the problem.

I work as a Social Rehab Councilor in Mental Health, for a wonderful private non-profit agency . My husband is a Hartford High School teacher. We see the growing negative effect these budget cuts have on our community on a daily basis. the Governor mentioned he would do something but will he do the right thing?

For more information go to Connecticut Community Providers Association's we site for numbers and facts.