Readers respond to the “fiasco” unfolding at the state mental hospital


A slow-motion disaster unfolds at the Oregon State Hospital, which does not have enough space to receive severely mentally ill patients who need beds. To create that space, a federal judge ordered a closed psychiatric hospital to repair the backlog by releasing patients facing criminal charges (“balloon effect” WWSeptember 21). But the counties where the sick are sent don’t have enough capacity to treat them, and some of them will end up on the streets. This is what our readers said:

Doubtful, via wweek.com: “Much of what is wrong with Oregon, especially the metro area, is directly attributable to the state’s continued failure to establish and manage an effective behavioral health system.”

Scrappymutt, via wweek.com“Whether you’re a NIMBY conservative who wants to end street camping or a homeless rights activist who wants to protect the uninhabited, it’s hard to see how releasing a group of dangerous people with untreated mental illness into the community is just a massive step in wrong direction.”

LDiabloRobotico, via Reddit: “Conservatives: We need to do something about these crazy homeless! Society: What if we tax the wealthy at the same rate they did 50-60 years ago to pay for better mental health services?” Also conservatives: No, why We try something and we all run out of ideas.”

Crowsby, via Reddit: “It’s probably good to keep in mind that methamphetamine is the primary cause of hospital overcrowding, even though the word doesn’t appear anywhere in the world. WW a story.”

Souvladi, via wweek.com: “This is a problem that can be partially solved with bricks and mortar. There should be more than one facility in Oregon that can treat the severely mentally ill. It would be helpful if smaller hospitals were to open in other cities, including Portland. The field of social services would enhance the psychological stability of patients. I think that holding people, many of whom are accused of misdemeanours, for three years is too long. Judge Mosman made a practical decision in this regard. However, there must be workable housing and treatment for the released.” .

sionnachrealta, via Reddit: “Hey, Disabled Mental Health Practitioner here! More funding for the programs would be great, and it should come with more housing assistance without addiction freedom to make it happen. Plus, we desperately need this funding to cover the programs Higher salaries for employees. I can hardly keep a roof over my head, let alone help others, and we are in a serious employment crisis due to the ridiculous expectations that come from understaffing, low wages, and confusion with clients in crises.” We need software for adults, and we also need software It focuses on helping people as they enter adulthood to make sure they don’t end up in desperate situations to start with. Another thing that would have an enormous positive impact is universal healthcare. People don’t end up in these types of facilities the first time they encounter mental health challenges. This comes after years of economic neglect and denial of care. “Most disabled people hardly get away. It is very difficult to access a disability, and it also does not provide enough to live from it, especially if you are married. Even if people could get housing, odds are they wouldn’t be able to keep a full-time job to afford it in the long run… as if it was a full-time job with sufficient pay in the first place. We all dry up slowly, and it tends to hit those of us with health challenges, and those of us who help, harder than others.”

Letters sent to the editor must include the author’s street address and phone number for verification. Characters must be 250 words or less. Send to: PO Box 10770, Portland OR, 97296 Email: mzusman@wweek.com


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