Tragedies Underscore Crisis in U.S. Public Mental Health System: National Advocacy Organization Demands Reforms
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After Sabock’s death, three hospital employees were dismissed and five others were suspended for less than a week. However, no one has been criminally charged.
Sabock’s death is not an isolated incident. In
Shortly thereafter, the New York Association of Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services (NYAPRS) convened a series of regional Psychiatric Emergency Care Forums across the state, bringing together local hospitals, local and state mental health officials, peers (people with psychiatric disabilities), service providers and family members.
The forums have yielded many promising recommendations, including expanding low-cost alternatives to psychiatric emergency rooms such as peer-run warm lines and crisis respite care, improving staff response via training and higher standards, reforming federal and state certification and regulatory standards, expanding access to community mental health services beyond normal business hours, enhancing police training in crisis de-escalation and other strategies, and preparing peers to better anticipate and manage crises via training and support for the development of personal crisis/safety plans.
“These tragedies underscore the great crisis that exists in our nation’s mental health care systems. While the challenge to overhaul them is daunting, we know much more today than in the past about what needs to be done,” said
The National Coalition of Mental Health Consumer/Survivor Organizations (http://www.ncmhcso.org) works to ensure that people diagnosed with mental illnesses have a major voice in the development and implementation of health care, mental health, and social policies at the state and national levels, empowering people to recover and lead a full life in the community. The coalition currently consists of statewide organizations run by people with psychiatric histories in 32 states, including the
The New York Association of Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services (http://www.nyaprs.org) is dedicated to improving services and social conditions for people with psychiatric disabilities by promoting their recovery, rehabilitation and rights.
CONTACT: Daniel Fisher 877-246-9058 firstname.lastname@example.org Harvey Rosenthal 518-527-0564 email@example.com
SOURCE National Coalition of Mental Health Consumer/Survivor Organizations