an ink blot…

Posted on Sunday 26 June 2016

Boston Globe
by Michael Rezendes, Jenna Russell, Scott Helman, Maria Cramer, and Todd Wallack
June 23, 2016

I didn’t try to summarize this article because I challenge you to read it all the way through to the end on your own. The only thing wrong with it is that it’s missing an "s" in the title. It should read, "Closing psychiatric hospitals seemed humane, but the states failed to build a system to replace them."

Note: I wrote a long narrative detailing my own history with the issues engendered by this article, but then I erased it. I suggest reading it and using it as an ink-blot for your own thinking like I did. They’ll ask for your email address to read it. Don’t worry, the worst that will happen might be a few offers easily dismissed with unsubscribe [I have a subscription to the Globe in order to get STAT and Pharmalot]…
    Cate Mullen
    June 26, 2016 | 5:02 PM

    It is a hard read. Painful on so many levels
    But I good spot to begin a dialogue.
    For those of us who say the end of the crumbling a of the state institutions both for the mentally iI and the developmentally disabled – it was also a hard go and painful. Folks were misdiagnosed that a ‘skizophrenic’ ended up in a development sly disabled ward. There wee ‘cottages’ no one was allowed to see. I volunteered,worked in field placement and toured several state institutions just when Dr Sidney Wilf was trying to speak out. I was also at several town hall meetings were group homes were being discussed. The ignorant virtriol made me literally sick
    So the MentaHeal system is broken zI could have tif you it was coming over twenty years ago. Bio markers for depression? Family Therapy with JAy
    Haley both were soon to become only memories to a few of us in the trenches.
    My concern regarding this article is what are the true stats for violence?
    Mickey what is your assessment?
    Is there a a rebound withdrawal affect like some say and how does this relate to this srticle?
    If the research is fraudulent and biased to the extreme how do professionals even begin to understand?
    If side effects are real and awful and the Hippocratic Oath says ‘first do no harm’
    What are folks and families and all helping professionals Suppossed to do?
    What is the right and moral code to follow?
    Dr Loren Mosher had good success in his Soteria program but it failed to become permanent?
    What are your thoughts docs?
    How on target where is research data?
    Give me thoughts on that and I can begin to stop crying and focus energy on what to do.
    PS At various times and not for long some state institutions did seem to work
    Cinema study is helpful
    Check out ‘The Snakepit’ Splendor in the Grass’ ‘A Child Awaits’and ‘D ark Victory’
    Also the documentary ‘Best
    Boy’ and tv film ‘Bill’
    Not all but some of the interesting ones.
    All check out racial stats. Very interesting

    Cate Mullen
    June 26, 2016 | 5:21 PM

    Correction ‘A Child is Waiting’

    I never promised you a rose garden’
    Is another alternative to those less inclined to visual media
    Tons out there that are important to this so very important discussion
    Just because med schools and other helping professional schools dont’t highlight them doesn’t mean they are not important!

    June 26, 2016 | 5:33 PM

    Very disappointing to see a mainstream, well-regarded journalistic team like Spotlight blatantly advocating a forced-treatment agenda through sensationalism and distorted statistics. The article prominently advertises the existence of 116 “mentally ill” murderers in Massachusetts over 10 years, claiming this represents a significant and preventable level of violence. But they never discuss the relevant base rates. According to a NAMI publication on state statistics, there are 211,000 adults living with “serious mental illness” in Massachusetts. That translates to a rate of 0.05% of the “SMI” population committing murder over 10 years. On an average annual basis the rate is an order of magnitude lower. The authors claim that this constitutes a “public safety crisis” that is “largely preventable” although no one has ever succeeded in predicting individual cases of violence at these low rates without a significant number of false positives.

    I wanted to write these comments on the Globe site but they have restricted public discussion to a closed group on Facebook. Not cool, Spotlight.

    James OBrien, M.D.
    June 26, 2016 | 9:03 PM

    50 years after failed deinstitutionalization, most psychiatrists still trust the government as evidenced by their support of ACA (that they hypocritically won’t participate in).

    Supposed experts in human behavior and overcoming bad habits by learning from bad experience in another epic fail.

    June 27, 2016 | 5:11 AM

    Great comments analyst.

    Readers also might want to see these comments by Sera Davidow on the Mad In America Site:

    I am just too stunned to say anything coherent but I thank you and Sera Davidow for making excellent points.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.