I found Stephen Eide and Carolyn D. Gorman’s report at Manhattan Contrarian simultaneously encouraging and frustrating. Here’s the nub:
The concept of a Continuum of Care system can guide discussions of accountability in mental health policy. In recent years, mental health has been a leading focus of news coverage, with policymakers at all levels of government regularly questioned as to their plans for reform, though the direction of mental health policy reform is often vague, if defined at all.
To function as a tool for accountability, Continuum of Care must be a term of distinction. Not all public mental health programs serve the seriously mentally ill, and not all programs that provide some benefit to the seriously mentally ill should be considered part of the Continuum of Care.
A significant number of major problems facing us could be ameliorated with better mental health care including homelessnesss, crime, mass killings, and drug abuse. I’m afraid it would require more than Continuum of Care but a sea change in how we think about mental health.
We’ve got to remove the stigma and take it more seriously at the same time. Families and those troubled themselves are reluctant to seek care. And the cases in which care is not a choice should be considered more critically than at present.