Mental Care Reinstitution Act Essay

996 words - 4 pages

Congress hereby finds and declares that public care for the mentally ill is a national need and the state and federally sponsored psychiatric hospital system shall be reinstated to aid in a healthier nation as well as provide lower cost psychiatric care for low income households. Every year, nearly 44 million Americans suffer from a mental illness. From post traumatic stress from a war to genetically developed schizophrenia, many of them go untreated due to poor, unavailable, or over priced treatment. The deinstitutionalization of state mental facilities left many untreated, homeless, or simply incarcerated. In 1990, many state psychiatric hospitals closed their doors once funding was ...view middle of the document...

” This disparaged public psychiatric hospitals and augmented the price due to those who could afford it having to resort to private psychiatric care.

Those who could not afford it or those simply displaced by the deinstitutionalization were left to the homeless community. A study performed by the National Coalition for the Homeless in 2006 stated that 22% of the population in America suffers from a mental illness, whilst 20-25% of the homeless population suffers from any form of a severe mental illness. A severe mental illness can range from depression to schizophrenia. Mental Illness Policy.Org reported in 2011 that nearly 200,000 of all homeless, that number constituting one third of said population, are living with schizophrenia or manic depression and are eating out of garbage cans and are consistently victimized. The homeless are already looked down upon for assumed vagrancy. In addition to these assumptions is the burden of an untreated mental illness which, in theory, might make their condition worse.

If not in a treatment facility, at home in turmoil, or out on the streets, a displaced, psychologically unstable person may find themselves incarcerated. In 2004, a study suggested that approximately 16% of all prison inmates suffer from a severe mental illness. Due to violent acts as part of being unstable and untreated, many are sent to prison where upon arrival they are given a mental evaluation. Schizophrenic hallucinations, extreme fits of rage, and other such crimes of passion are not uncommon amongst severely mentally ill patients. Such violent acts can land them in court cases for minor offenses or even murder. When left alone, the symptoms and signs of psychological unwellness can grow to be unbearable and are hidden and avoided to complete daily tasks. This being said, this pressurized build up of emotion causes an immense amount of stress which can cause an outburst or a mental break. If untreated in prison, this can lead to violent acts in the penitentiary itself. Some of these inmates may be transported to a proper care facility.

However, the number of available...

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