Navigation Links
Tragedies Underscore Crisis in U.S. Public Mental Health System: National Advocacy Organization Demands Reforms
Date:12/2/2008

WASHINGTON, Dec. 2 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In the wake of the deaths of two persons in public psychiatric institutions - highlighting a pattern of abuse and neglect of those who have psychiatric disabilities - a national coalition of such individuals is calling on the incoming Obama administration and the nation's top mental health officials to institute widespread, substantive reforms in America's mental health treatment system. These would include raising standards and regulatory expectations, and identifying and funding pilot programs to demonstrate best practices in psychiatric emergency, inpatient and community-based care.

The death of Steven Sabock, a 50-year-old man diagnosed with bipolar disorder who died on April 29 in a North Carolina state psychiatric institution after he had choked on medication - while, nearby, hospital employees, ignoring his plight, entertained themselves with cards and TV - is just one example of the dangerous dysfunction of the public mental health system, said Dan Fisher, M.D., Ph.D., of the National Coalition of Mental Health Consumer/Survivor Organizations (NCMHCSO).

"The death of Steven Sabock at Cherry Hospital in Goldsboro, N.C., which made headlines last week, is only one tragedy in the tragic history of the American public mental health system - a system that the 2003 report of the President's New Freedom Commission on Mental Health described as 'in shambles,'" said Fisher, a Commission member. "The Obama administration should reconstitute the Commission with a focus on specific outcomes, such as improving psychiatric emergency care."

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 June 2008, Esmin Green, who had been involuntarily committed, collapsed in the psychiatric emergency room of New York City's Kings County Hospital Center after having waited for a bed for nearly 24 hours. She lay sprawled on the floor for more than an hour before the medical staff took any notice - and that notice consisted of someone's prodding her dead body with a foot, according to The New York Times.

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 Harvey Rosenthal, executive director of NYAPRS, a NCMHCSO member organization. "We're calling on the incoming Obama administration to recommit federal mental health reform efforts that incorporate and implement recommendations from untapped experts, people living with psychiatric disabilities like us."

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 District of Columbia, as well as the three federally funded consumer-run national technical assistance centers.

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
    daniefisher@gmail.com

    Harvey Rosenthal
    518-527-0564
    harveyr@nyaprs.org


'/>"/>
SOURCE National Coalition of Mental Health Consumer/Survivor Organizations
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Ski Safety and Medical Experts, Victims of Snow Sport Tragedies and Consumers Shed Light on Questionable Safety Practices of California Ski Resorts
2. TV Coverage of Tragedies Often Lacks Prevention Messages
3. Tragedies Point to Need for Pregnancy Centers, Care Net Says
4. K-State Trauma Researcher Says Being Prepared, Taking Action Are Vital in Preventing Tragedies Like the One at NIU
5. Governors Task Force Cites PAs $36.5 Billion Water Infrastructure Need; Report Underscores Call for Additional Investments
6. NABP Findings Underscore Dangers of Purchasing Prescription Medicine Online and From Foreign Sources
7. New National Medicaid Study Underscores Importance of Including State Relief in Stimulus Plan
8. New HIV Infection Figures from CDC Underscore Need for National AIDS Strategy for the U.S.
9. New HIV Infection Figures from CDC to be Announced on Aug. 3 Underscore Need for National AIDS Strategy for the U.S.
10. New research on hearing health underscores the importance of better hearing and speech month
11. Publication of Clinical Results Underscores VELCADE(R) (Bortezomib) For Injection Based Therapy As a Standard of Care In Newly Diagnosed Multiple Myeloma Patients
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:10/12/2017)... Fla. (PRWEB) , ... October 12, 2017 , ... IsoComforter, ... therapy products, announced today the introduction of an innovative new design of the shoulder ... pad so you get maximum comfort while controlling your pain while using cold therapy. ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... Rockville, Maryland (PRWEB) , ... October 12, 2017 ... ... a magnetic drug delivery system that we intend to develop to enable prevention ... regimens can lead to severe hearing loss, especially in pediatric patients. For cisplatin, ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... Leading pediatric oncology experts at Children’s National ... 49th Congress of the International Society of Paediatric Oncology (SIOP) Oct. 12-15. ... for Cancer and Blood Disorders at Children’s National, and Stephen P. Hunger, M.D., ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... ... Health Literacy Innovations (HLI), creator of the Health Literacy ... Patient Education Network (CPEN), an independent professional organization that shares best practices in ... , As CPEN’s strategic partner, HLI will help support CPEN members by sharing ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... Washington, D.C. (PRWEB) , ... October 12, 2017 ... ... Company, Cal Dining at the University of California Berkeley, and other leading institutions ... leverages the buying power of institutions to change the way animals are raised ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:9/23/2017)... HORSHAM, Pa. , Sept. 22, 2017 ... received a complete response letter from the U.S. Food ... (BLA) seeking approval of sirukumab for the treatment of ... response letter indicates additional clinical data are needed to ... of moderately to severely active RA. ...
(Date:9/19/2017)... --  ZirMed Inc ., a recognized leader in cloud-based revenue ... been ranked #1 by its users for the seventh consecutive ... Survey. ZirMed was recognized as the top-ranked end-to-end revenue cycle ... over 200 beds and holds one of the longest #1 ... ...
(Date:9/12/2017)... and NEW YORK , Sept. 12, 2017   ... for global supply chains, has published the first annual edition of its ... of more than 20,400 companies evaluated by EcoVadis, based on Scorecard Ratings ... 2016. ... CSR Risk & Performance Index ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: