Shortage of Psychiatric Beds in the USA

Ever had it before? Well you got it again.
User avatar
Posts: 22459
Joined: Wed Mar 19, 2008 5:45 am
Location: Yokohama/Tokyo, Japan

Shortage of Psychiatric Beds in the USA

Post by Anaxagoras » Wed Nov 20, 2013 9:35 am

This happened recently:

Police: Son likely stabbed Va. state Sen. Creigh Deeds, shot himself
The day before he stabbed his father at the family’s home, the son of Virginia state Sen. R. Creigh Deeds (D) underwent a psychiatric evaluation but was not admitted to a hospital because no bed was available.

Deeds was listed in fair condition late Tuesday after his son, Austin, stabbed him in the face and chest, then shot himself in what investigators described as an apparent attempted murder and suicide.
Which reminded me of something I heard not too long ago, which is that there are not enough beds at psychiatric hospitals in the USA to meet the demand:
Severe Shortage of Psychiatric Beds Sounds National Alarm Bell
Report finds US deficit of nearly 100,000 inpatient beds; result is increased homelessness, emergency room overcrowding, and use of jails and prisons as de-facto psychiatric hospitals

A March 2008 report by the Treatment Advocacy Center reveals that for every 20 public psychiatric beds that existed in the US in 1955, only one such bed existed in 2005.

According to data cited in The Shortage of Hospital Beds for Mentally Ill Persons, in 1955 there were 340 public psychiatric beds available per 100,000 U.S. citizens. By 2005, the number plummeted to a staggering 17 beds per 100,000 persons. Mississippi was found to have the most beds available in 2005 (49.7 per 100,000 people), while Nevada (5.1) and Arizona (5.9) had the least. For the complete report, state-by-state ranking of beds lost, and list of recommendations click here.

“The results of this report are dire and the failure to provide care for the most seriously mentally ill individuals is disgraceful,” said lead author, Dr. E. Fuller Torrey, president of the Treatment Advocacy Center. “Our communities are paying a high price for our failure to treat those with severe and persistent mental illness, and those not receiving treatment are suffering severely. In addition, untreated persons with severe mental illnesses have become major problems in our homeless shelters, jails, public parks, public libraries, and emergency rooms and are responsible for at least 5 percent of all homicides.”
This tragic result seems to a stark reminder of the problem and its real-life consequences. If only a bed had been available, this wouldn't have happened.
A fool thinks himself to be wise, but a wise man knows himself to be a fool.
William Shakespeare

User avatar
asthmatic camel
Posts: 18314
Joined: Sat Jun 05, 2004 1:53 pm
Title: Forum commie nun.
Location: Stirring the porridge with my spurtle.

Re: Shortage of Psychiatric Beds in the USA

Post by asthmatic camel » Wed Nov 20, 2013 9:50 am

It's no better over here; there's an acute shortage of psychiatric beds, with patients being shunted to hospitals all over the country, far away from friends, family and support. Many end up in prison because there's nowhere else to put them. The result of Margaret Thatcher's "Care in the Community" policy which saw a heap of specialist psychiatric hospitals close.

Shit happens. The older you get, the more often shit happens. So you have to try not to give a shit even when you do. Because, if you give too many shits, you've created your own shit creek and there's no way out other than swimming through the shit. Oh, and fuck.

User avatar
Posts: 33635
Joined: Tue Jun 08, 2004 11:52 pm
Title: Rhino of the Florida swamp

Re: Shortage of Psychiatric Beds in the USA

Post by ed » Wed Nov 20, 2013 11:34 am

I think that we need committees and a new web of laws so that never again will a son stab a senator.
Wenn ich Kultur höre, entsichere ich meinen Browning!

User avatar
Posts: 17744
Joined: Thu Sep 19, 2013 5:50 pm

Re: Shortage of Psychiatric Beds in the USA

Post by Witness » Thu Nov 21, 2013 3:16 am ... began.html
THE policy that led to the release of most of the nation's mentally ill patients from the hospital to the community is now widely regarded as a major failure. Sweeping critiques of the policy, notably the recent report of the American Psychiatric Association, have spread the blame everywhere, faulting politicians, civil libertarian lawyers and psychiatrists.
Published: October 30, 1984…

User avatar
Posts: 14284
Joined: Fri Oct 26, 2007 4:13 pm
Location: Friar McWallclocks Bar -- Where time stands still while you lean over!

Re: Shortage of Psychiatric Beds in the USA

Post by sparks » Thu Nov 21, 2013 6:54 am

ed wrote:I think that we need committees and a new web of laws so that never again will a son stab a senator.
No, but we do need to develop the will to fund help for those less fortunate than ourselves.

Oh, and fuck......Reagan.
You can lead them to knowledge, but you can't make them think.

User avatar
Doctor X
Posts: 68240
Joined: Fri Jun 04, 2004 8:09 pm
Title: Collective Messiah
Location: Your Mom

Re: Shortage of Psychiatric Beds in the USA

Post by Doctor X » Thu Nov 21, 2013 8:07 am

I blame Hal.

Too soon?

Mob of the Mean: Free beanie, cattle-prod and Charley Fan Club!
"Doctor X is just treating you the way he treats everyone--as subhuman crap too dumb to breathe in after you breathe out."--Don
DocX: FTW.--sparks
"Doctor X wins again."--Pyrrho
"Never sorry to make a racist Fucktard cry."--His Humble MagNIfIcence
"It was the criticisms of Doc X, actually, that let me see more clearly how far the hypocrisy had gone."--clarsct
"I'd leave it up to Doctor X who has been a benevolent tyrant so far."--Grammatron
"Indeed you are a river to your people.
Shit. That's going to end up in your sig."--Pyrrho
"Try a twelve step program and accept Doctor X as your High Power."--asthmatic camel
"just like Doc X said." --gnome