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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The madness continues


Way back in yesteryear, a favorite TV character of mine, “William Benedix, in The Life of Riley, used to say “What a revolting development this is” when chaos broke, lose. Instead of coming together to try to iron out our differences; the non -politician media types are going crazy.

Sarah Palin came out her shell with an 8 minute cam, blasting "journalists and pundits" for "manufacturing a blood libel that serves only to incite the very hatred and violence they purport to condemn." She adds, "That is reprehensible." I didn’t know what the term “blood libel” meant, so I looked it up. According to old faithful, Wikipedia, it “refers to a false accusation or claim that religious minorities, in European contexts almost always Jews, murder children to use their blood in certain aspects of their religious rituals and holidays. Hank Sheinkopf, a Jewish New York-based Democratic political consultant told Politico. “Jews and rational people will find it objectionable. It shouldn't be any surprise that Pat Buchanan said the words that Sarah Palin used were excellent. I wouldn't be surprised, if he wrote them for her.

Elsewhere, Glenn Beck is having a public fight with Joe Scarborough. Bill Maher caused a stir on Jay Leno last night by saying “The NRA should just change their name to the 'Assassin's Lobby,'" He said before receiving stunned silence and later applause from the audience. He also suggested that gun owners change their view of firearms, from a hobby or form of defense to a vice or guilty pleasure.”

Meanwhile, the Washington politicians attended a memorial and are generally staying above the fray. The governor of Rhode Island, Lincoln Chafee, will not go on talk radio this year nor will he allow state employees under his control to. When asked if it was because of the Tucson Arizona incident, the governor sidetracked that question by saying he just needed to pay more attentions to the things that mattered to Rhode Island. Isn't that just like a politician; they go to the water’s edge but never dive in. They always leave that wiggle room. I guess that's the way of keeping the word “former” from being part of your title.

I resubmitted a blog to our local forum to ask if it was reasonable to ask for a ban of ammo clip extenders. I also asked if anyone knew the reason mentally ill people were still able to purchase firearms and ammunition. To my surprise, Observer said we should “Bring back the State Mental Hospitals and remove the legal roadblocks to involuntary commitment that have been erected over the years by the ACLU and their ilk. Regardless of how looney they are, they can neither buy nor use guns if they are locked up.” I'll have to check on that, but it doesn't sound like a bad idea but I'm sure there are some legal issues.


Edith Ann said...

I am not sure where Observer is, but there are 10 State Hospitals in Texas, one of those being designated for youth. But, that is not enough. There are probably another 30 or 40 mental health hospitals, but the cost to seek treatment privately is enormous.

The necessity for mental hospitals could be lessened perhaps with better treatment at the local level. Of course every community cannot have an MH/MR, but I think every community is served. And every MH/MR is run differently. For example, Bluebonnet Trails MH/MR in Gonzales offers outpatient services such as counseling. Gulf Bend has a new minimal service for outpatient counseling, but not every client who needs it gets it.

Locally, Citizen’s Medical Center closed it small psych evaluation unit at the end of March. It has not been replaced. Instead, when someone presents at Citizen’s in a psychiatric emergency, they are kept for observation in the ER—guarded by Victoria Police Department officers—until Gulf Bend comes and makes a determination as to whether the patient needs hospitalization. If the answer is yes, then the Victoria County Sheriff’s Department transports to the Valley or San Antonio. It depends on where there is a bed.

Many folks with a mental illness are undiagnosed. Despite that, they are often very functional. Many of the diagnosed folks are doing just fine on a medicine regimen. Having a mental illness does not equate to being violent, or even having a predilection toward violence. Some mental illnesses cause folks to have distorted views of their world, or they have visual or auditory hallucinations. When untreated, these folks begin to ‘listen’ to these distortions.

I don’t think anyone would disagree that many acts of violence are inexplicable and therefore must be perpetrated by a crazy person. But not every mentally ill person commits violence, just as not every violent person is mentally ill. But every mentally ill person needs diagnosis and treatment, and it needs to start at the local level.

Now, to the mentally ill being able to obtain
weapons—how can you deny someone who is undiagnosed with a clean record? Short of requiring a psychological examination before every gun purchase, there isn’t a fix for this dilemma, except to require better evaluation and treatment at the local level.

Gulf Bend has a board of directors that represent the counties they serve. These folks who give of their time need to know that this community needs better availability of services for those needing them. Gulf Bend needs to partner with Detar to open a psych unit at the Women’s and Children’s Center. Gulf Bend and Detar are next-door neighbors out on 87. It would be the ideal situation. Which is probably why it will never happen…

Oh, and Sarah Palin needs to shut the hell up!

victorianbybirth said...

In SA there is a State Mental Hospital, its function these days is to stabilize & discharge, treat 'em & street 'em mentality, no longer do they keep them for any length of time. Once the person has been stabilized they care not where they go, if they have a home or family, or access to the medications needed to keep them stable. I believe Bush slashed funding for the State Hospitals when he was Govenor, at least that is what I was told. My husbands uncle was at the State School, which is a MH/MR. They too were intentionally lowering their census & not accepting new long term residents.

Because of the lack of funding to keep the State facilities operating, we are now seeing an influx of mentally ill (full blown psych) patients in the long term care setting. There are actually some facilities that are specializing in psych patients, but not enough due to the harsher standards. Many of the older, struggling long term care facilities are trying to blend them in with traditional residents, which I disagree with. Mixing in true psych residents, excluding MH/MR, with traditional residents is a very bad idea as the tradional patients suffer & are often times abused & assaulted. Again, I digress....

Bill Maher also needs to shut the hell up...I remember when he was on ABC? late at night, he was funny, now, not so much.

Mike said...

That's what I'm talking about and have been waiting for years. Is it too much to ask for credible answers on an issue?

My sincere thanks,victorianbybirth and Edith Ann. I trust your profound knowledge on the subject of mental illness. I appreciate you sharing and helping me understand.