Susanne Posel ,Chief Editor Occupy Corporatism | The US Independent
July 22, 2014
In Virginia, the Joint Subcommittee to Study Mental Health Services in the 21st Century (JSSMHS) held a meeting regarding how their state is dealing with mental illness as compared to other states.
Kathryn Cohen, policy expert, stated that “brain studies indicate the need for a different standard. Over 50 percent of people with bipolar disorder and over 40 percent of people with schizophrenia at times have anosognosia, which literally means ‘a lack of insight’ into their illness. That means they’re so sick, they don’t know they’re sick. And therefore they’re not going to comply with treatment or adhere to any sort of medication.”
With the use of a new real-time database of available psychiatric placement openings, and a lengthened time for “emergency and temporary detention orders” Senator Janet Howell believes that more can be done to deal with this “problem”.
Howell said: “We’ve again tweaked them in the last several months. I think we have to acknowledge that our problem is basically a lack of services. And that is being caused by a lack of funding.”
Senator Creigh Deeds commented on the “crisis” surrounding mental health. Deeds said: “Circumstances. Lord knows I would do anything if we didn’t have those circumstances but we have them. We have a chance to do something right. We have to look at our system from the bottom up.”
A technique for finding the mentally ill who are not currently in psychiatric care or committed to a facility known as streeting involves the release of those believed to be mentally ill because of “capacity or service issues” and is common place in Virginia.
Last year the University of Virginia (UV), the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services (BHDS) and the Virginia Association of Community Services Boards (VACSB) conducted a study of 4,502 “face-to-face emergency evaluations of adults and juveniles experiencing mental health crises that could be associated with symptoms of mental illness, intellectual/ developmental disabilities, and/or substance abuse.”
This led to 4,278 residents receiving mental health care during the month of April 2013. Statistics from the study include:
• 5.4% of individuals “were evaluated for recommitments”
• 1.9% of persons were incarcerated
• 3.3% were deemed disabled with “intellectual/developmental”
• 14.6% recruited were juveniles
• 85.4% were adults
• 1.4% were of “unknown age”
• 49.1% were males
• 50.9% were females
• 65.1% were Caucasian
• 4.4% were of Hispanic origin
• 1.6% were Asian/Polynesian
• Less than 1% were Native American or “other”
• 2.3% were “multiracial”
With 9 out of 10 cases involving an individual deemed mental ill and 3.6% being in police custody, it was stated in the report that 18.2% of adults reviewed were “under the influence of drugs or alcohol” while another 5.2 “were suspected to be under the influence” of something else.
The target individual for mental health services in Virginia has these qualifications:
• Has a master’s degree
• Is between the ages of 6 and 20 years of age
• Is Caucasian
• Lives at home with family
• Is not currently being treated for mental illness
• Has no insurance