This post will be a little different. I feel the personal and ethical obligation to recommend to readers a spokesperson, advocate and blogger for mental health reform who is one of the most creditable “experts” that i have run across in in now 14 years of first monitoring reform and restructuring of mental health care delivery systems in Michigan (where I started my direction toward psychiatry in medical school), then Massachusetts and North Carolina where I have predominantly practiced.
This gentleman is one of the most articulate spokespersons and writers on this mental health reform monitoring scene. His name is D. J. Jaffe. On Pete Early’s blog I recently discovered one of Mr. Jaffe’s more recent essays written actually in the spring of this year, so I must confess I had “discovered” him somewhat ‘late.’ But am I glad I did. And I wish to do my part to try to make more well known his efforts by this brief mention, description and linking the reader to Mr. Jaffe’s work.
He heads up the advocacy group called “Mental Illness Policy Org” which is the ‘real deal,’ honest, forthright and giving voice to what he sees as needed. There are many such sites and writers on all this mess called “mental health reform,” on the Net. But Mr. Jaffe is one of the most articulate and compelling writers I have encountered.
To quickly “meet” this man and his writings, please go to his article: “Against the Grain: D. J. Jaffe’s 8 Myths About Mental Illness,” at http://bit.ly/13M7NI6.
Read, savor, and give thought to his ideas backed up by good data where possible.
follow up to an earlier post in my still fledgling blog, I had an article on the national issue of overcrowding of jails at all levels in the USA of inmates with chronic mental health issues [read: chronic unremitting psychotic illnesses that require lifetime psychiatric treatment and management].
Today my ever trusty search bots on the look out for topics like this of interest to me, and to you the reader I hope as well, learned the the Federal Dept. of Justice is seeking to take over supervision or operations of the Los Angeles County Jails one of the largest county jail systems in the county. For more detail on this use this link http://bit.ly/1CNElNT.
As an nudge from this writer, it is really worthwhile if you have an interest in this kind of legal action which sort of had its heyday in the Civil Rights Era of the 1960-2 and 1970’s in desegregation issues ranging from busing of school children across school districts to taking over entire states’ university systems and electoral processes. But the present tidbit that makes for interesting reading is a link contained at the end of the above link that reprints that DOJ letter of notice to the LA County Jail system.
It would be easy to haul off irresponsibly and start blaming anyone and everyone in the NC state prison system for its latest sad tragedy, that of an inmate reportedly dying of thirst apparently this past March 12, 2014 according to a story, September 27, 2014, in the Charlotte Observer in an Associated Press story likely in other major papers in the state. It was written by Michael Biesecker, long time reporter in NC who along with other reporters such as Lynn Bonner of Raleigh has written extensively on the long term painful changes the state, like so many other states, has gone through in its own version of mental health reform. For the complete story, follow this URL, http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2014/09/26/5201687/nc-inmate-died-of-thirst-after.html.