Families in the maelstrom contend with a public mental health system that fails their loved ones in so many ways. One stark manifestation of this in the insufficiency of treatment beds for those most in need. Thanks to “deinstitutionalization” efforts in the past several years, many loved ones with severe mental illness are released from care far too early, if indeed they receive sufficient care at all.
The onus of this insufficiency often falls on law enforcement, which as a public institution now has far more contact with loved ones with psychiatric disabilities than does the mental health system. It is often noted that the largest mental health care facility in the United States today is… the Los Angeles County Jail!
To bring more light to this awful situation, the Treatment Advocacy Center has produced a powerful video entitled “Mental Illness and the Criminal Justice System”. Below is the video, in two parts. Families in the maelstrom–and all who care for them–should take note of the video’s important message.