Real healthcare reform

In light of several recent tragedies, some well-known and some not, I think we need to seriously address the shortcomings of our health care system when it comes to mental health.  Almost every recent mass shooting incident has been pinned on mental health, whether warranted or not.  According to a release issued in 2013:

Analysis conducted by the Central Florida Intelligence Exchange (CFIX) has found that 79% of mass shootings since 2011 have been perpetrated by individuals with “demonstrated signs of continuous behavioral health issues and mental illness.”  In a July case study titled “Acts of Violence Attributed by Behavioral and Mental Health Issues“, CFIX analyzed 14 mass shooting incidents that occurred between 2011 and 2013 and found that only three of the shooters had no history of mental illness.

If you think it’s simply all about guns, mass shootings, gun grabs, banning guns, or anything else of the sort, then you’re either tone-deaf or simply refusing to see what’s going on before our collective eyes.  There have been other incidents without the use of guns where a person has “gone off the deep end”, even after people surrounding that person has observed signs showing a need for mental health intervention.

As of lately, I’ve become accustomed to equating our society with the Michael Douglas movie “Falling Down”, and more and more I think we’re going to see episodes of people having breakdowns that end up in violent confrontations.

How can we be the wealthiest country on the face of the Earth, spend the sum of money we do on health care, and we can’t provide the basic mental health support necessary to keep us from killing each other?  Will the PPACA identify, address, and repair shortcomings in our treatment of mental illness? Or, will we continue to see these incidents pop up all around us like the whack-a-mole game at the county fair?

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8 thoughts on “Real healthcare reform

  1. Brosephus, I know you are too young to remember it, but I have to wonder if, all these years later, we are still paying the price for Mr. Reagan closing so many facilities & turning the mentally ill onto the streets. Perhaps that is at least part of the reason Ms. Lanza couldn’t get the help she sought for her son (yes she should have locked up her guns!) & Rodger’s parents were too late to stop him. Of course, we can no longer ask Ms. Lanza, but what about Mr./Ms. Roger. Did they TRY to get help for their son? There is no point in the blaming; we must get to our congress critters, urging & SCREAMING for them to pass sensible gun laws. That would be a START!

  2. I’ve told before about experiences I had with the mental health system, trying to get something done about people who were unwilling to be helped. This went back into the 1960’s and 1970’s. The system was never good but to make up for past abuses, I think they way overcompensated for that and went too far in the other direction.

    It’s damn near impossible to force anybody to get help until it’s too late in today’s system.

    The real problem is we have a lot of pissed of people today, some mentally ill and some probably not. Until that is dealt with, everything else is just treating symptons.

    And by the way, one report I read, said that in this most recent incident in California, people had tried to get this guy help and he was judged not to be threat. I been there.

    That also brings up the question is there anyway for anybody to really tell what is going on in somebody else’s head. My belief is no. As many times as I’ve seen these people manipulate the “experts” into giving them whatever they want, I think psychiatry is pretty much a crock. I know that ain’t the popular view but it’s my experience going back to my childhood and seeing it around me.

    Some people just half to be locked away, for their own good as well as everybody else’s.

    • I wouldn’t argue against locking people up against their will if necessary. The kid in California was seeing therapists since he was 9 years old if I remember correctly. This should have been enough to give pause before allowing the purchase of guns.

      It’s difficult to read people if they’re feeding you BS. I deal with this on a regular basis. I’m at a loss for any answer to this because I know what it’s like to deal with people who are trying to be deceptive. I can only imagine what deception fueled by mental illness is like to handle.

      It’s like a pendulum, when things swing too far in one direction, it eventually swings back in the other direction.

      • I don’t deal with it on a daily basis like you do but I’ve been exposed to plenty of BS artists. Some of them are quite accomplished at it and they’ve had years and decades to perfect it; and some of them begin to believe their own BS, too. You get to where you have a nose for it but nobody is perfect and there will always be some that slip by you.

        Some of these people are brilliant in their own way. One of my relatives I’ve talked about barely got out of grammar school but he could play the system’s Phd’s like a cheap violin.

        • That’s the truth. I’ve had some try to run BS even after I’ve put the truth out on the table in front of them. I wouldn’t discount the ability of the better ones to be able to sell ice to an Eskimo during a blizzard.

          I guess this is just part of society that we have to accept as part of reality, warts and all.

  3. A little further info on the Rodgers case:

    “I tactfully told them that it was all a misunderstanding, and they finally left. If they had demanded to search my room … that would have ended everything,” he wrote. “For a few horrible seconds I thought it was all over. When they left, the biggest wave of relief swept over me.”

    http://www.latimes.com/local/la-me-rodger-welfare-20140530-story.html

    “If somebody was concerned about them enough to report them it would seem to me to be part of the checkup,” said Ann Eldridge, vice president of the local chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness. ……one would think.

    • A person using common sense would think. I have the opinion that government functions in a logic-free environment at times. I think this one definitely meets the qualifications.

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