NY Times article: Focus on Mental Health Laws to Curb Violence Is Unfair, Some Say


 

For those of you who read my comment at the NY Times, find here  the report I mentioned in the comment, then click on ‘Office of Mental Health’.

This is the comment itself:

In a 2012 NYS report about a survey on compliance with state’s licensing rules, OMH said “more than half of the agencies responded they employed titles that can be “licensed or certified” however were reportedly filled with unlicensed staff”, including psychologists and social workers. Also, that “a total of 414 nonlicensed staff were also reported as providing psychotherapy”. Then it said “OMH does not find a material difference in the quality of services provided in programs which also employ unlicensed staff”. Of 6759 OMH programs, 4646 are unlicensed and 2113 are “licensed” (whatever that means in OMH’s parlance). OMH concludes that more unlicensed programs and unlicensed staff performing as licensed are better because they save money and, well, who needs a psychiatrist or social worker when a case manager can do ‘the same work’ for less? The point: it’s not the mentally ill, it’s the system. Any increase in funding will go to over-priced non-for-profit CEOs salaries, we will use prisons as hospitals, and will pass laws to deprive people of their civil rights all in the name of ‘safety’ for the victims of the NRA’s propaganda: you and me. Quality of services have been reduced, punishment increased. Mental health industry is an industry like any other, filled with waste of tax payer money. The next time you read about a ‘crazy’ killing people, think ‘who was the case manager-acting-as-psychiatrist dealing with him?’ END.

I would like to add that the focus  at this point in the discussion generated by the NRA and those unfortunate killings must move away from the emotional plane to a rational one. We could move away from ‘somebody, stop these lunatics’ to ‘why is the system ‘fragmented’ and what it has to do with these killings?’

What do we achieve by arguing whether the killers in those massacres are mentally ill or not? What is the next step if the answer is ‘yes’? If the answer is ‘no’? Can the answer be a rotund ‘yes’ or ‘no’? Is the issue that simplistic and clear, no gray areas?

We are in a society saturated with violence, from the top down: the violence inflicted to the populace by corrupt politicians and lawmakers, by agencies administrators, by some judges; by the violence of a corporate world that has lost a sense of proportion, who sees no difference between profits and financial crimes as a source of profits. Violence from the ‘entertainment’ industry that demands the right to create ‘games’ that give you the close-to-reality feeling that you are killing or raping…

As a society, we come with awesome ideas to fix problems; the problem is at the implementation level. For example, it was not easy but ‘we’ came with the idea of housing for the homeless mentally ill with services and connections to the community. But then, the State said ‘good idea, let’s empty the psych hospitals and we save money’, and sent the patients to the streets without putting the money for services in the community. A mess developed, we blamed the homeless mentally ill for crimes and went after the ‘squeegee’ criminals, those cleaning car windows for a quarter at street corners.

Look, the money is going for what a friend calls “the poverty pimps”. There’s your mentally ill in action.

Follow the money, not the mentally ill. You’ll find the problem and the solution that way. If you accept as dandy OMH’s statement that, for money-saving purpose, there is no difference between the  service delivered by a psychiatrist or social worker and a case manager, don’t come crying to me later if someone slaps you in the face because his ‘psychiatrist’ didn’t do his/her ‘job’.

You are being conned, as in con-game, confident game, etc.

I will soon be posting a through comment about OMH’s licensing practices. Please, keep in touch.

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