Location: Indiana, United States

I became a Professor Emeritus after serving 29 years as a recreational therapy faculty member at Indiana University. I'm a long-time Hoosier, having grown up in Hanover, Indiana. My RT practitioner work was in psych/mental health. After completing my Ph.D. at the University of Illinois, my first faculty position was at the University of North Texas. RT has been a wonderful profession for me as I have had the opportunity to serve as an author and national leader.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Persons with Mental Illness Are Not Hospitalized

In yesterday's USA Today newspaper there was an article (p. 4D)titled "Mentally Ill are Sent to Jail More Than Hospital." The article presents data showing that persons with serious mental illness are more likely to be incarcerated in jails than hospitalized.

This is a sad state of affairs brought on by those who just wanted to close psychiatric hosptials to save money and those misguided souls who thought it was humane to empty out the hospitals in the name of deinstitutionalization.

As someone who worked as a recreational therapist with clients at two fine state psychiatric hospitals and knows just how good such care can be, it makes me angry that today so many who need this type of care are denied it.

I don't know what can be done today to again provide the level of hospital care needed for persons with serious mental illness. One thing for sure is that we all need to support funding to for mental health services for those who need hospitalization.

For a news release from the Treatment Advoacy Center and the National Sheriffs Association, go to the Treatment Advocacy Center website. The news release reports that the odds of an individual with serious mental illness being jailed, rather than hospitalized, are 3.2 to 1.


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10:38 AM  

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