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Venice Update

News of Venice, CA and Marina del Rey CA

WSJ Explains Past 50-Year History of Mental Illness

Note: The complete editorial/review cannot be printed here because of copyright infringement.  A link cannot be provided because WSJ charges for its online service. A scanned copy will be provided if one requests such from Update.  Article was in 5 Feb.
All ask how did our country get these homeless on the street.  This article provides a plausible answer.

“Fifty Years of Failing America’s Mentally Ill,” by E. Fuller Torrey, founder of the Treatment advocacy Center and author of American Psychosis: How the Federal Government Destroyed the Mental Illness Treatment System, forthcoming from Oxford University Press.

Editorial gives the history starting with JFK stating that he didn’t want the state handling mental illness; he wanted the federal government to handle it via the community mental-health centers (CMHC).  The CMHC apparently didn’t want to deal with the mentally ill.  That was the beginning of the downfall. While mentally ill being treated has reached all time lows, costs have gone from 1 Billion (10 billion in today’s dollar) to $140 billion and yet:

According to the Treatment Advocacy Center, these untreated mentally ill are responsible for 10 percent of all homicides (and a higher percentage of the mass killings), constitute 20 percent of jail and prison inmates and at least 30 percent of the homeless.  Severely mentally ill individuals now inundate hospital emergency rooms and have colonized libraries, parks, train stations and other public spaces.  The quality of the lives of these individuals mocks the lofty intentions of the founders of the CMHC program.

…The evidence is overwhelming that this federal experiment has failed, as seen most recently in the mass shootings by mentally ill individuals in Newtown, Conn., Aurora, Colo., and Tucson, Ariz.  It is time for the federal government to get out of this business and return the responsibility and funds back to the states.

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