“When psych beds go down, incarceration goes up”

January 4, 2016

Chief Biasotti of the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) got it right. Since the 1950’s the number of psychiatric beds in the U.S. have been reduced by 95% (replaced by “community treatment”).   Now at least 14-16% of Arizona’s incarcerated prisoners suffer with mental illness.

Families are at their wit’s end as they try to secure proper treatment and placement for loved ones suffering with serious mental illness who, instead, cycle in and out of ERs, end up homeless, in our prisons or are outsourced to the police – and the morgue.  Also see DJ Jaffe’s It’s not about money – it’s about misplaced priorities.’

This is just one of the many gaps in Arizona’s mental health system! Here are some of the solutions bridging them: [Read more]

Anosognosia. Do the Seriously Mentally Ill know it?

January 4, 2016

Anosognosia – “lack of insight” or “lack of awareness” – is believed to be the single largest reason why individuals with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder do not take their medications”.  It frustrates their families  – and is often devastating to the mentally ill.

Once a person is stabilized and released from 24 hour supervision, he/she often does not have enough insight into his/her own condition to recognize the need to stay on the medication – and out of trouble, homeless or in prisonSo they often refuse treatment*, leaving families to fight with the system to get them the care they need.

This is a big problem.   But it isn’t the only problem.  [Read more]