Why won’t these people disappear when I want them to?

In the various outcries about how Cho had been hospitalized, i’ve noted a disturbing undercurrent. There seems to be an expectation that once identified as “mentally ill” that this would somehow guarantee that the individual would be safely and indefinitely removed from society.

For the record, most states require that threat to others not be documented by general attitudes or such, but specific and credible information.

Part of the problem that we’re hitting here is that the mental health care system is so broken that in all but the most extreme cases, it is not possible in terms of logistics or finance to provide in-patient care. More over, this highly confrontational and crisis oriented model of care does little to give long term help those who are brought through it.

Beds are only made available in extreme circumstances, leaving simmering problems until they have finally boiled over…with little to no preventative care available for lower income individuals.

Finally, and importantly, the system at present lacks the moral and ethical basis that we might reasonably require individuals to participate in it. We have the legal power to coerce an individual to be at a hospital, but if all they will do is drug them and then cast them out again, we have not used that power in an effective way.

“But he was even hospitalized” seems to be the perceived injury that the memory hole of institutionalization did not sufficiently destroy and hide the individuals who were placed there.

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