Sunday, January 8, 2012

THERE IS STILL TIME TO SAVE LAKESHORE

From the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel 1-8-12
This article is highly applicable to Tennessee's current situation with Lakeshore's proposed closing. Please, Tennessee legislators and Governor Haslam - let's not leave our most vulnerable population hanging in the balance.  Other states continue to report disastrous results after closing their mental institutions.  In my elusive search to find a success story, there is not one.  Let's heed caution and not repeat other state's mistakes.  There is still time to save Lakeshore AND pass the AOT bill.  This is the direction we need to go.
"Rarely in the history of the American government has a program conceived with such good intentions produced such bad results," Torrey said in a recent essay. "The patients were deinstitutionalized from the state hospitals, but most of the 763 federally funded community mental health centers failed to provide services for them."
Torrey's organization lobbies for laws that more easily allow state officials to compel patients into care - either in hospitals or, more commonly, with court orders that allow patients to live in the community as long as they comply with treatment plans.

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