Member of Congress
Month: June 2016
Senator Roy Blunt speaks on Capitol Hill, urging other senators to pass the Excellence in Mental Health Act.
Every day, when I am walking to work, or just walking through the streets of downtown Washington, I encounter homeless people on the street.
The homeless cover many categories, but prominent among them are those with serious mental illnesses. They know no boundaries of race or education; there was a prominent story last year in the Washington Post of a homeless man with schizophrenia who told a judge that he didn’t need a lawyer, that he was a lawyer. When the judge reacted with bemused skepticism, the man informed the judge—accurately—that they had been in the same class at Harvard Law School (which also included Chief Justice Roberts!)
I used to pass most of the people on the streets by studiously looking the other way, sometimes reacting with annoyance if someone was talking to himself or shouting. But after a difficult, 10-year journey of serious mental illness with my brilliant and talented son, which ended in tragedy, I have a different attitude.
This is the third part of the excellent KQED Radio News series on the challenges of mental health in California. ReporterShariah Vroman-Nagy who tried to kill herself three years ago. She was diagnosed as bipolar shortly after and has had to endure an unending struggle to get treatment. After Shaiah’s attempted suicide, her family fought a protracted battle with insurance companies as they sought care. Dembosky’s report highlights the cold and ruthless tactics big insurance companies use when it comes to not paying for mental health treatment. Follow this link for the full report:
This is a must read for every proactive caregiver. VOM&O congratulates USA TODAY on excellent reporting.
In this special report, USA TODAY reveals that more than half a million Americans with serious mental illness are falling through the cracks of a system in tatters.
The mentally ill who have nowhere to go and find little sympathy from those around them often land hard in emergency rooms, county jails and city streets. The lucky ones find homes with family. The unlucky ones show up in the morgue.
“We have replaced the hospital bed with the jail cell, the homeless shelter and the coffin,” says Rep. Tim Murphy, R-Pa., a child psychologist leading an effort to remodel the mental health system. “How is that compassionate?”