Shortage of Psychiatric Beds in the USA

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Shortage of Psychiatric Beds in the USA

Postby Anaxagoras » Wed Nov 20, 2013 9:35 am

This happened recently:

Police: Son likely stabbed Va. state Sen. Creigh Deeds, shot himself

The day before he stabbed his father at the family’s home, the son of Virginia state Sen. R. Creigh Deeds (D) underwent a psychiatric evaluation but was not admitted to a hospital because no bed was available.

Deeds was listed in fair condition late Tuesday after his son, Austin, stabbed him in the face and chest, then shot himself in what investigators described as an apparent attempted murder and suicide.

Which reminded me of something I heard not too long ago, which is that there are not enough beds at psychiatric hospitals in the USA to meet the demand:
Severe Shortage of Psychiatric Beds Sounds National Alarm Bell

Report finds US deficit of nearly 100,000 inpatient beds; result is increased homelessness, emergency room overcrowding, and use of jails and prisons as de-facto psychiatric hospitals

A March 2008 report by the Treatment Advocacy Center reveals that for every 20 public psychiatric beds that existed in the US in 1955, only one such bed existed in 2005.

According to data cited in The Shortage of Hospital Beds for Mentally Ill Persons, in 1955 there were 340 public psychiatric beds available per 100,000 U.S. citizens. By 2005, the number plummeted to a staggering 17 beds per 100,000 persons. Mississippi was found to have the most beds available in 2005 (49.7 per 100,000 people), while Nevada (5.1) and Arizona (5.9) had the least. For the complete report, state-by-state ranking of beds lost, and list of recommendations click here.

“The results of this report are dire and the failure to provide care for the most seriously mentally ill individuals is disgraceful,” said lead author, Dr. E. Fuller Torrey, president of the Treatment Advocacy Center. “Our communities are paying a high price for our failure to treat those with severe and persistent mental illness, and those not receiving treatment are suffering severely. In addition, untreated persons with severe mental illnesses have become major problems in our homeless shelters, jails, public parks, public libraries, and emergency rooms and are responsible for at least 5 percent of all homicides.”

This tragic result seems to a stark reminder of the problem and its real-life consequences. If only a bed had been available, this wouldn't have happened.
A fool thinks himself to be wise, but a wise man knows himself to be a fool.
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Re: Shortage of Psychiatric Beds in the USA

Postby asthmatic camel » Wed Nov 20, 2013 9:50 am

It's no better over here; there's an acute shortage of psychiatric beds, with patients being shunted to hospitals all over the country, far away from friends, family and support. Many end up in prison because there's nowhere else to put them. The result of Margaret Thatcher's "Care in the Community" policy which saw a heap of specialist psychiatric hospitals close.

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Re: Shortage of Psychiatric Beds in the USA

Postby ed » Wed Nov 20, 2013 11:34 am

I think that we need committees and a new web of laws so that never again will a son stab a senator.
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Re: Shortage of Psychiatric Beds in the USA

Postby Witness » Thu Nov 21, 2013 3:16 am

THE policy that led to the release of most of the nation's mentally ill patients from the hospital to the community is now widely regarded as a major failure. Sweeping critiques of the policy, notably the recent report of the American Psychiatric Association, have spread the blame everywhere, faulting politicians, civil libertarian lawyers and psychiatrists.

Published: October 30, 1984…

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Re: Shortage of Psychiatric Beds in the USA

Postby sparks » Thu Nov 21, 2013 6:54 am

ed wrote:I think that we need committees and a new web of laws so that never again will a son stab a senator.

No, but we do need to develop the will to fund help for those less fortunate than ourselves.

Oh, and fuck......Reagan.
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Re: Shortage of Psychiatric Beds in the USA

Postby Doctor X » Thu Nov 21, 2013 8:07 am

I blame Hal.

Too soon?

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