These stories hit me deep in my gut. I don’t know if it’s the mistreatment of those with mental illness, the injustice of our system or deep down a fear that my son will face this in his future. Whatever the source, I wish there was something I could do to change it.
The article shares that the number of people with mental illness landing in jail has increased nearly 50% in the past 6 years. It takes an average of 3 to 6 months in jail before a bed becomes available in a mental hospital. During this time these people are frightened and without their meds, as a result, their illness becomes worse.
This makes me sick. How can we protect our children from this fate? One of the challenges shared is that some individuals lose services that were once available to them as children once they become 18 years old. Now they’re on their own and without services. How do these people get help?
Read what one mother shares in the story:
Green, a registered nurse, says her daughter has been sick since she was a little girl – at the age of four, she tearfully told Green that she didn’t want to be alive anymore. By six, she was hearing voices. Now her family watched, helpless, as she waited in jail, off her medication and increasingly lost in her delusions.
“I guarantee that with no help, she will end up dead or in the system,” Green said
This story is just devastating. My heart aches for this mother and all those who have lost their children to this system of injustice. I pray this doesn’t happen to any of our children.
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California HealthCare Foundation
Center for Health Reporting
By Jocelyn Wiener
Originally Appeared in The Modesto Bee
Date Published: May 21, 2012
Date Consulted: May 24, 2012