A couple of months ago I read a very enlightening article in my city’s newspaper. This article caught my attention right away because of the title; it literally jumped off the page at me, “We need Taunton State Hospital.” The woman was discussing the importance of placement in a crisis, having enough facilities for those who need emergency placement during a crisis.
This is a growing problem, more and more people being diagnosed with mental illness, and yet more hospitals don’t have the beds to accommodate their needs. Budgets are tight, and states are cutting back on these funds. Plus, beds are not available for long term inpatient care. So what happens when a person is unstable and they go to the ER, seeking help, and none is to be found? They are just placed in a room, unable to bathe or move around, just waiting, as if they are in a holding cell?
I’ve experienced some on a personal level, not to that degree, but I had to wait quite a few hours after I was evaluated by the crisis team. Ive heard stories though where the individual is placed in holding until a bed opens up for hours or days. This epidemic of growing proportions of those needing to be hospitalized is growing, how this can be solved? Speaking up, speaking out. What is wrong with a picture, where psychiatric disorders are growing and funds and places to give these individuals treatment is cutting back. It is scary for the individual or the family member or the spouse of the person that needs to be hospitalized.
This needs to be addressed before the crisis hits, as the signs of the breakdown are noticed, knowing what the triggers are, plays a role, having good management of your disease makes your chances higher of not needing to be hospitalized, but when it does happen, there need to be set in place, placement to address the stability, and treatment plan in a timely manner. The country, the state, cities, cant turn their backs to this issue. When these big facilities are closed, number of beds is cut back; when the person is hospitalized they are discharged before they are ready, before they are stable to make room for new patients. Ive seen it time and time again.
This is upsetting to me, its to very wrong. We need to come together and speak out on behalf of our families and friends and the mental health community as a whole. To stop just placing them in holding, those who need help, only to fall through the cracks of the mental health field. So speak about your experiences, lets make our voices heard, make noise, which this needs to be addressed and it needs to be addressed now. I encourage you to write to your senators and congressman and if your city has a local chapter for mental health, write to them, express your concerns. We dont want those in power to turn their backs on us and this issue, so its vital we speak about it now, otherwise what that says about how important this matter is, and that we want something to be done.
This also plays into the important of management of your disorder, taking your meds, therapy sticking to it, the more you work toward stability on medication and taking care of yourself as a whole person, then this makes the chances better that you wont need hospitalization and seeing the signs of a breakdown before the crisis mode hits. Placement is so important, not just short term, but long term and crisis placement, not just tucked away in a room at the local ER, but a place that can address your individual needs. Remember there are those desperately searching for HELP, they know they need it, if no beds are available anywhere in the state at that time, that not what they need to hear, if they are placed, they dont want to be shuffled out as quickly as they came in, this could lead to a terrible outcome, so by speaking out, telling them why its important funds need to be there for this cause, it has to be done, it has to be a priority. Then youre doing your part. They need hope that they WONT be forgotten!