a reply to: bigfatfurrytexan
What you are describing in terms of the on the ground situation from the perspective of someone who was working in it, is suggestive. After reading
your comment, the one thing that stands out to me, is that the inpatient care reductions, must have had knock on effects in the rest of the chain,
between patients expressing symptoms, and actually receiving care of some kind.
Things are supposed to progress, not regress. I know that that terminology may cause some people to get all hot under the collar, but thats just too
bad. Its the legitimate grammatical choice in this instance. Progress in this scenario you described, where forensic patients were found places,
SHOULD have necessitated a large uptick in spending and infrastructural expansion of mental health facilities, in order that the placement of forensic
patients in the facility, would not affect the number of inpatients coming in from other vectors, like self admission, or admission on the
recommendation of a psychomedical professional.
This is why I say that there are no popular answers to the mass shooting problem. While I totally disagree with using gun control methodologies to
approach the subject, I can also understand the unwillingness of largely dishonest recipients of large donations from private medical and
psychomedical companies, to accept a plan which requires those companies to spend more money, rather than necessarily having a bottom line that looks
great to the investor. But while I understand that unwillingness, the reality is that the tasks undertaken now by private concerns, MUST be
administrated and controlled by people who have no concerns whatsoever about the bottom line. Providing the services that are needed, regardless of
the cost of it, is the approach which is required here. Getting people cycled off the street and into a place of safety where their ailments can be
accounted for more easily when they need it, is not something that a society can afford to skinflint on. It is not something that a society can afford
to be turned into a political football, or a chess piece, or used as a bargaining chip in some other, nearly unrelated matter.
The work needs doing, capacity in secured facilities needs to be expanded, without any arguments, delays, corporate machinations, and crucially,
without the time for some disgusting person to figure out a way for them to make, rather than spend money doing it. There is no time for that. These
issues raised their heads years ago in America. Deinstitutionalisation as a movement is responsible for a great deal of the current blindspot in the
mental health services, with regard to long stay treatment. There seems to be a taboo these days, against saying that a person may need to be placed
in long term care, for their own safety and that of others. There should not be. There was an awful lot wrong with some of the old systems in place
many years ago, too much abuse, too little actual care, no actual intelligence applied to the process of dealing with people with a variety of mental
ailments, and getting them as close to well as possible, too much assumption that some people were beyond help.
But it seems that for reasons of corporate expediency, the bias has been manipulated to flip the other way, meaning that it is now difficult to
suggest that long term care, potentially life long care, might be necessary for a given person. But this is, of course, insanity itself. If a person
expresses no capacity to discern reality from fantasy or nightmare, and shows also no sign that they might ever come out of it, then with the greatest
compassion possible, they cannot be forced to live in regular society, where nothing they do will make sense to anyone else, and nothing anyone else
does, will make sense to them either. It also makes no sense for the risk to the patients life, and the lives of citizens, that leaving deeply
disturbed people in regular society presents, to be taken when the consequences are so obvious.
People tell me, when I get onto this subject, that I have missed the point, that not all mass shooters are "crazy". I would love for someone to give
me an example of a mass shooter, regardless of motive, who was not suffering from a specific and identifiable maladjustment of their neurochemistry,
either during the shooting they enacted, or during the planning of that shooting. I will guarantee right now, that NONE of the people who have ever
performed a mass shooting, were in a stable grasp of their faculties, no matter whether they did it because they were brainwashed into it by one or
another religious cult, or whether they did it because they were affected by fascist ideology, or whether they did it because their mother died, or
their wife left them, or because they felt persecuted by people at their school. There is no way to describe a mass shooter, that does not include
terms like "of unsound mind" or "the balance of their minds was disturbed". Why? Because shooting up a heap of people, whether its from a clock tower,
a fancy hotel suite, or going room to room in a school building, regardless of what justifications one individual might have for their actions, is an
activity that only someone who was technically insane would perform.
What you said about taking two steps forward, in removing the possibility of abuse to a large degree (which was one of the major problems of long
term care in times gone by) for example, and then three steps back, with regard to reducing availability for inpatients, cannot be over stated. It is
vitally important that people learn to connect the dots which mark out the increasing incidents of mass shootings, with the currently pathetic level
of capacity that the mental health services have been allowed to get away with providing to the society they are supposed to serve. People need to be
writing to their states representatives, their governors, their senators, the White House and the CDC if they think it will get anywhere. They need to
let their representatives know, that the people have an eye to this stuff, and will not let it rest.