Not Wired Right

A friend of the blog writes :

I often look at the responses of the liberals when they talk about the homeless and the addicted. They say, “if we can just get them a house, their life will change.” Or “if we just pay them more for menial work, they’ll turn themselves around.” Or, “we just need to make everything free, people will take what we’re selling.”

I always counter with the statistics of mental illness and how many on the streets are mentally ill and while they may not choose to live without shelter, they choose to not take care of themselves, which leads them to homelessness, addictions, and joblessness. They choose to not allow professionals to give them medicine that will normalize their thoughts, allowing them to function in society.

I was surprised when the new Sam Francisco mayor had taken the stance that getting homeless people off the street involved the idea of getting those who are mentally ill a court appointed conservator that would be responsible for enforcing treatment. That actually is a reasonable idea. As is President Trump’s suggestion that bringing back institutions would help those who have burned out their family and are a danger to themselves or others.

Of course, no one is allowed to agree with Trump, so NAMI wrote a response, saying early intervention and better access to care is what is needed, not institutions. 

But, then there are cases like last night in St Paul.

This man was civilly committed. He was deemed to have an illness that would likely make him a danger to himself or others. But, not deemed appropriate for hospitalization. Instead, he was “connected with various services provided by county management.” 

Oh, and he also had 2 pending criminal cases against him.

I can’t help but also think of the 5 year old thrown from the 3rd floor of Mall of America last year. He was thrown by a homeless mentally ill man whose family was burned out and who refused treatment time and again.

The 5 year old survived by the grace of God, but is scarred for life. Last night, a woman in St Paul lost her life. A two year old may or may not have witnessed whatever happened.

Mental illness is common, and there is actually plenty of access and support for people who want help. In fact, in both of these cases, they were supposed to be getting help, but refusing. And it is certainly a right to refuse, but at some point, if a person is a danger to society, they need to lose that right.

At least two victims and their families would be living completely different lives right now if we stopped worrying about the feelings of those who don’t care enough about themselves to get treatment.

It’s truly an area where the people who are supposed to be taking care of the mentally ill have, themselves, gone insane.

7 thoughts on “Not Wired Right

  1. There were two other mental illness related killings the other day. The once cited, and the man in Apple Valley who killed his mom and his younger brother (who also had his own mental illness issues). Neither of these killers was on the streets but apparently, love, support and shelter aren’t enough.

  2. One of the few things I miss about the late 60s and early 70s was that that was an era when you could get someone committed and force them to get help. It was the only reason a reasonably close acquaintance managed to live past his teens.

    One of the things I really blame the boomers/hippies for is killing off mental health facilities in this country. Somehow they managed to convince society that the idea of living without possessions, abusing drugs, and on the street was a “lifestyle choice” and not an indicator of mental disability.

  3. The term you’re looking for is deinstitutionalization. Blame the ACLU for this debacle. Ostensibly we had medications to treat mental illnesses and didn’t need mental hospitals anymore. This was shown to be false almost immediately but Democratic administrations wanted the funds to pay for welfare. Crazy people don’t vote but welfare recipients do.
    I recommend Clayton Cramer’s book, “My Brother Ron” to better explain the mess.

  4. I endorse Jay Dee’s recommendation of Clayton Cramer’s book. In fact, I feel so strongly about it, that if you buy the Kindle version, I’ll pay for it.

  5. It strikes me that what’s going on in mental health care in general is that things formerly believed to be mental illness are being redefined. The one that scares me the most is gender dysphoria; you’ve got a 40% suicide attempt rate and a ton of other mental illness involved, but somehow that’s not a mental illness.

    Hope they’re right, but I’ve got to wonder whether they’re just admitting they have no power to fix things.

  6. Pingback: In The Mailbox: 02.27.20 : The Other McCain

  7. bike, the things you write about are so true, but I think they’re redefining mental illnesses to sabotage the “normals” and normal society. It’s like gay marriage or, going even further back, abortion. Activities and thoughts that were once considered normal are tainted so as to remake society for no generally beneficial purpose.

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