Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Insanity, Do we neglect those who are psychotic?

Dear Reader,
Robyn and I are under contract to write two more books. We are very thankful for this privilege and opportunity! As you can imagine, it takes a lot of time and because of this I have had less time to work on my blog. Please be patient with me.  I continue to have many ideas and burdens about which to write. One of these areas, of course, is the area of mental illness. I have always been intrigued by the disinterest shown by many people toward those who suffer from insanity.

For some reason the mentally ill have been neglected more during times of war (I am speaking of United States).  I have worked helping the insane inside psychiatric hospitals and helping those who suffer from it the community. These were agencies which for the most part were in the "downtown" areas.  I believe that Christians will someday stand before their Lord at the "Bema" seat.  One question will be something like,  "How did you shepherd those who lost their minds?"  Another perhaps could be, "How did you reach out to those who wanted to kill themselves?" There are many pastors here and abroad who either don't know how to or don't want to help the mentally ill especially those with schizophrenia and severe bipolar disorder.   My hope is that the words in this blog will cause a change of attitude.  SB
“Those who danced were thought to be
 quite insane by those who could not hear the music.”
Angela Monet

The most remarkable thing about insanity in contemporary America is that its existence as an epidemic is unknown.  Despite the evidence of its startling increase over two centuries, despite its enormous fiscal and human costs, and despite the fact that it still may be increasing, there is virtually no interest in this issue.  Insanity has become accepted, like an unwelcome guest who slowly settles into the household and eventually is thought of as a member of the family.  AIDS, tuberculosis, and cancer continue to evoke adversarial feelings---they do not belong.  Insanity, by contrast, is widely thought of as part of the human condition and assumed to have always been with us in its present form.  Such acceptance betrays a fundamental misunderstanding of its essence.”  Torrey, E. Fuller, M.D. and Miller, Judy, The Invisible Plague, The Rise of Mental Illness from 1750 to the Present. (2001), New Brunswick, New Jersey and London: Rutgers University Press, page 299).

On average, a seriously mentally ill person in the USA is three times more likely to be incarcerated than hospitalized, a report concludes today. In no state was a seriously mentally ill person — someone with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, for example — less likely to be incarcerated than hospitalized, the report by the National Sheriffs' Association and the Treatment Advocacy Center found.

But there were wide variations among states. In North Dakota, a seriously mentally ill person was equally likely to be hospitalized as incarcerated. But in Nevada and Arizona, such a person was nearly 10 times more likely to be jailed than hospitalized.
"We're not trying to say this is a criminal population," says co-author James Pavle, executive director of the Treatment Advocacy Center, a non-profit based in Arlington, Va. "All they have to do is step over a line — public urination, a misdemeanor. Then they get in jail, and the whole thing can spin out of control."

 Related image

The report was based on previously unpublished 2004-2005 data from the Department of Health and Human Services and the Bureau of Justice. "These people should be getting treatment, not jail time,"Pavle says. As a result of the De-institutionalization movement that began in the 1960s, "it is now extremely difficult to find a bed for a seriously mentally ill person who needs to be hospitalized," Pavle and his co-authors write. In 1955, they write, there was one psychiatric bed for every 300 Americans. In 2005, there was one for every 3,000 Americans. "There are forms of treatment that don't necessitate hospitalization," Pavle adds.
The Akron (Ohio) Beacon Journal reported Friday that Summit County Sheriff Drew Alexander had threatened to stop accepting violent mentally ill people at the county jail. "We don't want to be a dumping ground," Alexander told the paper. "Everybody knows we need someplace other than a jail for these people."

We need to keep these problems in the spotlight to create an atmosphere of change. Think of the major illnesses that have been moved front and center by advocates and  those who have the power and drive to make a difference. We can be part of that change; in fact we must!


Steve and Robyn, through Heartfelt Counseling Ministries, are doing seminars in Canada, Great Britain and the United States. Learn more about how we can come to your church or ministry and present one of our seminars. 
Rev. Steve Bloem B.A. M.M. 

www.heartfeltmin.org/what-we-do.html  We also have a support group on Thursday nights in Boca Raton, FL. We offer Skype at this time.  In real time you can interact, share and pray with other Christians.

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