Did you see Senator Creigh Deeds on 60 Minutes last night? If you didn’t, stop reading and watch it, below, before you read on.
Such a tragic story, and such a damning and pointed message at society: Gus was a great kid. He was a perfect son. It’s clear the system failed. It’s clear that it failed Gus. It killed Gus.
It fails so many of our children: lack of doctors, lack of beds, lack of treatment, lack of visibility, lack of compassion, lack of understanding – they are all killers.
Why, in Chicago, Illinois, does it take six to eight weeks to get a first appointment with a psychiatrist? Yes – that’s the average wait. That’s how long we had to wait to get an appointment with an adult psychiatrist when Tim transitioned from residential to home care.
Why, at the University of New Mexico hospital, are there, right now, children waiting days in the ER for a bed on the psychiatric ward? Yes – that is happening, today.
Why is the Federal Center for Medicare Services trying to restrict access to anti-psychotic medication for persons on Medicare Part D? Yes – it is under review, now. Write to your Senator to urge him or her to contact CMS.
Why is Congressman Tim Murphy’s Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act still sitting, waiting for a committee hearing? Yes – it is an important bill to help increase the number of beds available, bring services to rural areas, and help clarify HIPAA law so that parents of children over age 18 can still be involved in our childrens’ care.
Why is the standard for discharge from a mental health hospital that the patient is no longer in imminent danger, instead of stability? Yes – this is the national standard, and it usually leads to a person being discharged long before they are stable.
If you have another few minutes, watch the follow up piece 60 minutes did about the stigma of raising a child with a mental illness. They laugh about casseroles. Because all that’s left is for us to laugh.