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Here. Those who say, oh, "Don't point to lack of mental health care, you can get that!" Those who think that are plain wrong. Creigh Deeds could tell you about that after he is out of the hospital. He lies there stabbed by his son who was deemed eligible for a bed in a mental hospital. But there was NONE available. Not one in the whole area in which he lived. Poor Gus would be alive today and his father would not be injured, wounded by his son's attack, if only we had decent mental health care in this country.

I have argued that lack of this has lead to more violent acts, more mass shootings among others. But always some are here to say that is not true. Well, it is true.

One severely mentally ill person in three gets no treatment.*

And hey, you all who always blame Reagan? Sure. But it's on all of us. We should have all been working on this problem for decades!

Read below the orange flourish to find out how true it is.

Before I go on I must tell you that I really relate to stories like this due to three separate experiences in my loved ones. This is very personal and makes me empathize with the very real horrors that families go through when treatments cannot be had for those who desperately need them.

Bergeron said local hospitals have been reducing and in some cases eliminating psychiatric wards, making it more difficult to find spots for people requiring involuntary detention, particularly in more rural parts of the state. “I wouldn’t say this happens every day, but it’s more common than we’d like for it to be,” Bergeron said.

snip State Sen. Janet D. Howell (D-Fairfax), a frequent advocate in Richmond for boosting mental-illness funding, said she hoped a tragedy involving one of their own would motivate her colleagues in the General Assembly to act. “God, I pray so,” Howell said. “It’s been going on now for decades, and at some point we have to put some resources in.”

..... Over a 90-day period, the office found that 72 people were turned away despite the fact that they met the criteria to be involuntarily held for treatment.

While representing just a small number of the 5,000 TDOs issued during the time period, the office still warned about the dangers of turning away, for lack of resources, people found in need of immediate detention.
my bold
http://www.washingtonpost.com/...

The Treatment Advocacy Center, a Virginia-based non-profit organization that seeks timely treatment of people with severe mental illness, said the Deeds case points to the need for more mental health treatment capacity. It said Virginia has only 15% of the mental illness treatment beds that it needs, based on population size.

"The elimination of hospital beds for people who are psychotic or otherwise need help in a crisis is a driving force behind a long list of terrible consequences, including preventable violent acts,"
said Doris A. Fuller, the center's executive director.
my bold

USA TODAY*

Due to the DECLINE, "marked decline" in mental health spending over a period of years, according to a doctor quoted in the article, it is very difficult to find or afford hospital care for patients needing it. Even if you have insurance you cannot afford it. So "most" people need in-patient care that is publicly funded.
"It is virtually impossible to get mental health care for many people who desperately need it," Manderscheid said. He noted that one in three people with "severe" mental illness never receive any treatment at all. Two in three of those with "moderate" illness remain untreated, according to the National Institutes of Health.
my bold
The Richmond Times-Dispatch reported Tuesday that he had been given a mental health evaluation under an emergency custody order Monday but was released because no psychiatric bed could be located across a wide area of western Virginia, Dennis Cropper, executive director of the Rockbridge Area Community Services Board, told the newspaper.
my bold

evaluation but no beds

Now our president has acted, thankfully. While I have no idea of how extensive the president's ACA mental health benefits will be, or hoe they would have impacted the Deeds' situation, there will be improvement. There will at least be required screenings and when necessary, assessments. Does anyone know if there will be more hospital beds for in-patience treatment for mental disorders? I believe this is a work in progress but I haven't read anything conclusive about it.
The Affordable Care Act builds on the Mental Health Parity and Addictions Equity Act to expand mental health and substance use disorder benefits and federal parity protections for more than 60 million Americans. New health plans are now required to cover preventive services like depression screenings for adults and behavioral assessments for children at no additional cost. And starting next year, insurance companies will no longer be able to deny health care coverage to anyone because of a pre-existing mental health condition.
White House

Originally posted to Gorette on Wed Nov 20, 2013 at 08:27 AM PST.

Also republished by Mental Health Awareness.

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