Mental facilities all over the country are closing in the next two years!

@JenInTN (27568)
United States
November 27, 2011 6:09am CST
Think of the impact this is going to have on society! Ok...my psychology instructor works at a facility and was explaining some of the changes there is going to be in the next couple of years to the mental health field. The thing is that she referred it to was deinstitutionalization. It actually happened several years ago where people who had been under the care of an institution was let out to live under their own means. These people had never lived away from an institution and most of them became homeless and died. The fact was although there were some programs left available to them, most people didn't and don't go for help. I read a statistic that claimed out of 30 million people with a mental illness...only 20% of them are actually treated! Now..they are closing some of the biggest mental institutions in the nation to build small communities for the residents there..a more unassisted living situation. Now...from this there will be those that do not apply for residency and will be cut loose for their own devices. How do you think that is going to effect society? Crime rise? A rise in the homeless? Here is a local article that I found about my particular state but there are articles across the nation for these closings. http://aot4tn.blogspot.com/2011/11/state-to-close-lakeshore-mental-health.html
8 people like this
20 responses
@Mashnn (4505)
27 Nov 11
I think it also depends on the condition of the most patients. In most cases, the conditions of the patiens are easily manageable even at home provided that the patient has the right medication. I have a friend of mine who took his son out of a mental hospital to manage him at home at he is doing quite fine. Infact, there is usually nothing much for those patients apart from some therapy and medications. Otherwise, I think the problem will be for those homeless patients but for those with families or other people to look after them, I don't think it is going to be a major problem.
@JenInTN (27568)
• United States
27 Nov 11
Your right..if they are released to family, I think there will be a higher success rate. There are alot of people though that don't have that. Most of these people have been in an institution all their lives. I do hope that there is family that will help them once they are released though. That would help for sure.
2 people like this
@Mashnn (4505)
27 Nov 11
That is truly my main concern. I hope they get some help somewhere.
@Lakota12 (42794)
• United States
28 Nov 11
AM wondering are the crimalnal insane housed her e are are they in prisons what happens to them if they are in this place? SOunds very unreasonable to me to close door when only so many can besent to the new place that isnt set up for all.
2 people like this
@JenInTN (27568)
• United States
28 Nov 11
I don't know what will happen to them. I so know that I read that most of the people in jails or prisons are already suffering from an illness of some kind. Imagine compiling all the ones in the institutions on top of that. I do hope they keep a place for them. Thanks for responding!
1 person likes this
@GardenGerty (86180)
• Marion, Kansas
28 Nov 11
The thought has always been that they will receive community based services, but the budgets get cut, the staff is not well trained and often there is not community support. There are groups like NAMI and COMPEER that work toward helping, but it is mostly volunteer and not really enough.
@JenInTN (27568)
• United States
28 Nov 11
I have met people that have needed serious mental help but I don't think they ever got it. The thing that gets me is these people had regular routine appointments with doctors that had to know...they had to know these people were disturbed or ill and not one time tried to do anything for them except maybe an antidepressant. I am telling you the truth when I say that I am no doctor but I knew they needed alot more than that. They might have even been considered a danger at certain points.
• United States
27 Nov 11
I think it is what the suits do. They look for Anyway Besides getting the rich to pay more taxes , to save money. so this time it is the mentally ill , next orphans. What they can't see is that it will make things even worse! Instead of buying a new whatever .people will not leave their homes. And the rich? They will be spending more money trying protect themselves from those on the streets.So it will be a disaster. But I'm convinced that is what suppose to happen.
2 people like this
@JenInTN (27568)
• United States
27 Nov 11
It is going to be a bad situation for alot of people. One of the things my instructor mentioned was the fact that because most of them had been in the institutions for so long that they had not been exposed to bacteria and common ailments that we are. Their immune systems are very weak from being there. I can't imagine the longterm costs it will have for them to have to treat them for common ailments that are out of control plus their mental illness. Thanks for responding.
2 people like this
• United States
27 Nov 11
I think they are hoping they would all just disappear. What Will happen is there will be more jails being built. So they can send them there.
1 person likes this
@JenInTN (27568)
• United States
28 Nov 11
There are alot more people in jail with mental illnesses than there are without I think already. You may be right about that.
1 person likes this
@allknowing (54510)
• India
27 Nov 11
Oh no Jen! I have put on my Sunday best and that includes my mind and so I am not prepared to deal with this gory subject![em]sad[/em. America seems to downsize everything that is called a facility but closing down mental facilities could be a dangerous decision. As per law any crime committed by a mentally deranged is no crime at all. What next?
2 people like this
@JenInTN (27568)
• United States
27 Nov 11
Sorry for the gory subject. My mind has been going in a ton of different directions lately. I haven't had to work overtime yet at work and my classes don't start again until January..lol....too much time to think I guess. Mylot will be suffering for it Maybe a lighter subject later...just for you. I think that it does put many people at risk and that includes the patients too. Thanks for responding!
2 people like this
@allknowing (54510)
• India
27 Nov 11
It seems there is more there than meets the eye. America where art thou going?
1 person likes this
@JenInTN (27568)
• United States
27 Nov 11
These are scary times.
1 person likes this
@ShepherdSpy (8564)
• Omagh, Northern Ireland
27 Nov 11
You've seen the Movie "Shawshank Redemption" and the part about the old guy who was paroled at the end of his life term and got sent back into the community,only to find everything he'd known to be changed or strange to him? He'd become institutionalised..used to having almost all decisions of his daily life routine taken for him,and from him..He couldn't cope with the change.. Locking people away for having a number of non dangerous Mental conditions has been realised to be exactly the wrong way of treating or curing them,which is what this initiative is addressing..It does NOT mean there's going to be a throwing open of doors and hordes of Crazy people will be pouring onto the streets..Just that those who can live independently with medication or community nursing support can do so,and get on with their lives.
• Omagh, Northern Ireland
28 Nov 11
The concern here would be whether the community support safety net will be in place to prevent anyone falling through..
@nanajanet (4437)
• United States
27 Nov 11
Wow, that's terrible!! That is the same thing as closing hospitals and letting people take care of their own illnesses and surgeries. I cannot believe that this will happen!
2 people like this
@JenInTN (27568)
• United States
27 Nov 11
I know...my instructor was very negative about it because she works at one of the facilities that is closing. She says that most of the people there have been there since childhood. She is worried what will happen to them when they are left to remember appointments and medication times. Thanks for the input.
1 person likes this
@SomeCowgirl (32273)
• United States
27 Nov 11
It is very sad that they do this. They know that the patients, most of them, won't get help and yet they cut them loose, it's a waste to have even had them admitted in that case. People are losing family memebers because the government wants to take something that has worked well for many years, and change it. IF they could somehow ensure that ALL people were given residency and still the proper care, then that'd be fine, but there's not enough money for that to happen, nor enough people caring enough to make sure it does happen. *shakes head* What in the world is our government thinking?
2 people like this
@JenInTN (27568)
• United States
27 Nov 11
I know..they think they are going to save money but the truth is that they are doing it at a greater cost. They did say they were going to outsource some of their care to smaller places but the thing with that is these places aren't equipped for that much of a load. Not to mention the wait. It is crazy for sure. Thanks for responding.
@urbandekay (18314)
27 Nov 11
Here in UK we have already had care in the community scheme (Or abandoned in the community, as it has become known) These programmes are motivated by saving money, the ostensive reasons given are rationalisations after the event. The truth is not in those that initiate this. all the best urban
2 people like this
@JenInTN (27568)
• United States
27 Nov 11
It is a "money saving" choice for sure. They say they are going to outsource the care to other organizations but the thing is they have to be able to accommodate the patient load...talk about waiting. I think that most people will either give up or it will be too late by the time they are actually seen...if they are able to arrange their care at all. It is a scary thought.
@celticeagle (109435)
• Boise, Idaho
27 Nov 11
That is sad. I am so glad that my kids are all not that bad that they have to be institutionalized. My daughter is bi-polar, so is my granddaughter and my grandson has a mood disorder(anger)and me with my severe depression with anxiety attacks. I saw a documentary several years ago about a man that was homeless because he wouldn't stay on his meds. He was aggressive and acted out when not on them.
@celticeagle (109435)
• Boise, Idaho
28 Nov 11
And what of the ones that are a threat to others? Case loads are already too large. Depression is so common and I wonder how common some other disorders are. It is distressing and alot to think about.
@JenInTN (27568)
• United States
28 Nov 11
I know. I learned alot about common disorders and I think they might not be growing as much as they are becoming more identifiable.
1 person likes this
@celticeagle (109435)
• Boise, Idaho
29 Nov 11
It is a fascinating feild. If I had it to do again I would have done something in the psychology feild. The next issue of the DRS(the psych handbook) has alot of new disorders in it.
@TheCatLady (4696)
• Israel
28 Nov 11
The smaller for profit institutions can do a much better job at housing and managing the chronically mentally ill than can a huge institution. The people in small care centers get much more one on one attention and have freedom to do many things they want. There are many people who will never live on their own. It is much better to have them in a facility with 6-12 other people compared to a place with hundreds. I worked in small care homes and could always tell who had spent many years locked up in a state institution.
1 person likes this
@JenInTN (27568)
• United States
28 Nov 11
Hi CatLady! I am glad that you have brought a little hope into the discussion. I do hope that it turns out to be a good alternative but I have to admit I am a little concerned. I worry that the smaller facilities aren't equipped for a wave of case loads that this might cause. There is already a great lack of needed help for people on the outside that are mentally ill and the time it will take to get in to appointments might be an issue too. Thanks again for the ray of hope though...I hope it is for the best. Take care.
@Bluedoll (15287)
• Canada
29 Nov 11
I also think that the larger institutions have failings but can also see how smaller facilities can not manage abnormal volumes unless of course there are more of them. I think they can do a better job though, the model they employ might be more effective and economical speaking less demanding, not sure? Involving the needy into the problem works sometimes I think (a hand up not a handout/ community instead of management/safe zones instead of isolation wards?) and certainly, social workers will need to adjust and find new methods with these changes to non-institutional solutions. Perhaps there is always hope as long as someone cares though not everyone can fit in or will have successful recovery. Hopefully, funding can be accessed from other sources because it is always required.
• Israel
29 Nov 11
Most of the people I worked with were lifers. They would never be able to live on their own without intensive support. Living in a small facility with only 5 others, and having meals made for them, a nice warm bed, their own clothing to wear and a program outside of the residence to go to during the day is far better than being locked behind doors, in pajamas or the institutes ugly non destructible clothes and never getting out in the community. Don't worry, the plans now are not like 30 years ago when they closed the mental institutions, threw the people on the street and said DONE. Even prisons are now going to the smaller, private for profit model for non violent low risk prisoners. It seems the people can be housed and even rehabilitated for less money and get better treatment in the private sector jails.
@GardenGerty (86180)
• Marion, Kansas
28 Nov 11
It actually seems to happen every ten to fifteen years, I think. In the sixties, it was determined that we were violating people's civil rights by making sure they were getting their mental illness treated, and truly, many institutions were inappropriate, or worse. I remember this happening in the seventies and eighties as well.Only the most severely disturbed continue to be in institutions and it is up to various communities to help those who are released. Not all of them have families to help and support them and get services in private settings. I am not sure what the answer is. I have worked with agencies that deal with adult disabled. Sometimes their disability is mental illness. Those who get into programs often have a good quality of life, but all the others, as you point out, are being set up to become criminals or homeless, or both.
@JenInTN (27568)
• United States
28 Nov 11
I do think that the civil rights and the treatment thing was justified in releasing people with not so severe illnesses. The problem I saw with it was those people didn't have a clue how to make it in the real world. I think that it will be ok if they offer a program to help them adjust. My psychology teacher seemed very bleak when she was discussing it. She was talking about their immune systems being weak from being institutionalized for so long. I can also see how she would be worried about them taking medicine appropriately and meeting Dr's appointments. I just hope they figure out a way to help them adjust. Thanks for the response!
1 person likes this
@GardenGerty (86180)
• Marion, Kansas
28 Nov 11
It will be very difficult, especially if this change is abrupt. Even with the support that is available right now, I have seen some real issues. I was social services in a nursing home. It was struggling and needed to fill more beds, so they got a marketing director. He went to a state mental hospital/criminally insane facility and brought us a lot of residents. One in particular comes to mind. She was schizophrenic, and had been living in an apartment. She quit taking her meds. That caused her to act out and get arrested, which caused her to go to this criminal facility. There, she fell and broke her hip, because she was still not balanced on her meds. She came to our facility with nothing, and could only stay as long as she was recovering from her hip issues. She probably did not belong in the institution for the "criminally insane" in the first place, but that was the only option.
@JenInTN (27568)
• United States
28 Nov 11
Maybe that is one of the biggest things...there really is no place for the mentally ill in the first place. No specialty type places or sections. It's either all or nothing. I was a CNA in a nursing home and there were often people with mental illnesses brought there for up in the air periods. Usually in between jail and an institution. There needs to be something for the mentally ill and then something for the criminally insane separated.
@bounce58 (17550)
• Canada
7 Dec 11
I think this is ridiculous! I think that the government should be doing more for people with mental illness, specially now that this has been brought to light by some high-profile people (athletes that are suffering from mental illness). I can definitely see a rise of homeless people around. And maybe a rise in crime too!
@JenInTN (27568)
• United States
10 Dec 11
Me too. I am really nervous about the whole idea. I sure don't think that alot of them will even seek their treatment after a while. The wait to get into the smaller overcrowded clinics are going to be months. Thanks for responding!
@bobmnu (8160)
• United States
2 Dec 11
This is a liberal idea that the mentally ill have a right to live their life. I was working with a family who was trying to get help for a family member. Their lawyer told them that even a "crazy" person has the right to choose or not choose treatment. As he put it you are asking an irrational person to make a rational decision. Many of these people are fine when they take their medications but if they don't then there are problems. Once they get off the meds it does not always work to go back on the meds and get the same results as before.
1 person likes this
@Thoroughrob (11771)
• United States
29 Nov 11
I think it will be a big mistake. I think we will find more crimes and people homeless and wandering. I cannot even imagine what those people will have to go through.
1 person likes this
@JenInTN (27568)
• United States
30 Nov 11
I am worried about the increase in the homeless too. I don't think they are used to having to time their own meds or male their Dr. s appointments. I hope that someone will be helping with that...at least for a while until they get used to it. There are a lot of people in there to manage though. Thanks for responding.
@ANTIQUELADY (36492)
• United States
29 Nov 11
OMGOSH, this is a serious situation for the patients & the public. It's really scary to think about. I hope someone comes to their senses & doesn't let this happen.
1 person likes this
@JenInTN (27568)
• United States
30 Nov 11
It is scary to think about. I don't think that alot of them will seek the care that they need. That can only make their condition worse if they don't. Take care and thanks for the response.
@KrauseHome (31976)
• United States
28 Nov 11
Personally I hate to say it my friend, but this is definately a sign of the times. They quit caring about people. We have just become a number, and there will be a lot more Deaths, etc. because of all of this. People will need places to stay or not know how to take care of themselves so will end up homeless and alone and left to die. It is truly a shame when Society and the government turns away people who are really needing the help without weeding out those scamming the system. How can they even think this will benefit everyone else? Do they ever Stop to think about what if this was them? Then how would they feel.
1 person likes this
@JenInTN (27568)
• United States
28 Nov 11
I think that people who make these types of choices have long forgotten the thought of "what if it was me." It is all about the money and they think they are going to save money by outsourcing the care these people need to smaller offices. I guess they will save money because there will be alot of people that never follow up or do stop taking the meds they need. Such a shame. Thanks for the input!
@bunnybon7 (30507)
• Holiday, Florida
27 Nov 11
i remember years ago when that happened before and have not kept up with all the results. having a sqeemish heart i cant handle the heartbreak it causes me to know a lot about these terrible things happening. when i can no longer help i just try not to worry over it. this just seems so unfair as their are way to many homeless helpless now that in general know what they need to survive. its a dreadful thing thats happening.
1 person likes this
@JenInTN (27568)
• United States
28 Nov 11
Yes..I think the results of that was devastating to the people they released. I think that there should be some type of program that helps people adjust back in society. You can't just put people out there after so much time and expect them to make their appointments and take their medications properly after being use to someone guiding them. I try not to worry too. I have had way too much time to think lately and that girl of mine has got my head all over the place..lol..I guess you guys are having to pay for it with all these discussions I've been starting. Thank goodness I have myLot and my friends here to release some of my crazy thoughts.
@yoyo1198 (3644)
• United States
27 Nov 11
I remember when several of the facilities closed a few years ago. I went to work in one of the group homes and stayed with the management company for 12 years. I suppose it will be up to those type of facilities to take up the slack when these institutions close now. Most of the clients have family or social workers handling their affairs. I expect to see more group homes opening now.
1 person likes this
@JenInTN (27568)
• United States
28 Nov 11
Hi yoyo!! How have you been? They are building a housing community for some of the patients to share...others..well..I don't know what will happen to them. I do hope that they implement programs that will at least get people adjusted. Thanks for responding.
@Hatley (149076)
• Garden Grove, California
27 Nov 11
Hi JenInTn this happened once before under Reagan ant there was a huge increase in homeless people as even though there were some programs for them, they did not know about them so did not get any help.now it will be the same and dumped on top of the damned huge job less rate we will have more crime too which is not at all desirable. if they are dumped then get them to the programs that will help them to live without being in institutions . c
1 person likes this
@JenInTN (27568)
• United States
28 Nov 11
Hi Ms. Hatley! I am behind you all the way about those programs. I knew that first time was a bad deal. I understood the civil rights and the fact that they were not treated in the manner they should of been but to just turn them out after being there so long...what do they think is going to happen? Thanks for the input!
@CTHanum (8255)
• Malaysia
30 Nov 11
People who suffered from it are getting more day by day. This is one of the worst decision made by them and I can imagined how the society will look like when they closed the institutions. We know that many of us are so weak in handling their emotion and the number of patients who suffered from this illness will get rise. How could they come with that idea?? Those people need help and this will only make it worst.
@JenInTN (27568)
• United States
30 Nov 11
I think it is about saving money more than anything...at least they think they will save money. I'm think that it could be either a very good idea...or a really bad one. I am hoping it is a good one but at this point I am nervous about it for sure. Thanks for responding.
@CTHanum (8255)
• Malaysia
30 Nov 11
As long as there are other alternatives like they have a small facilities instead the big one then perhaps it is okay but if they just want to shut down without any further actions to help this group it will turn to be the bad one.(^^)