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Fewer Resources, Less ‘Common Good’ Fueling U.S. Mental Health Crisis by GPA Member, Jackson Rainer

Wednesday, August 29, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Staci Bratcher
Opinion: Fewer resources, less ‘common good’ fueling U.S. mental health crisis
 
By: Jackson Rainer, PhD
 
 
 With every school shooting, celebrity suicide, and aggressive police encounter, we hear the common cry, “Get them to mental health!” While there is good reason to worry about the mental illness of our nation as the country becomes more fragmented and polarized, in the cost-driven marketplace of 2018, the public mental health system has collapsed. What happened? How did it disappear?

“Community mental health” refers to a system of care in which the community, not a specific facility such as a hospital, is the primary provider of care for people with a mental illness. The idea holds a long history that emphasizes access to high-quality care for all Americans through allocation of a variety of professional medical and social service resources to treatment. While substantive research demonstrates that specialized psychiatric, psychological, and social services lessen social exclusion and reduce the potential for neglect and violation of human rights, they are nearly invisible in our contemporary social fabric. Available resources are inaccessible. Community mental health centers, psychoeducational classes, local primary care assessment, crisis intervention, school counseling, and in-patient and partial hospitalizations are now the exception, rather than the rule, in mental health care.  Read More