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Tough economic times affect everyone. Even, apparently, the ability to look at data in a rational and logical manner.

When your data tell you that your psychiatric hospital bed capacity is hovering around 97 percent, many people would consider that a sign that perhaps more psychiatric …

2 Comments to
Hospitals Full Up? State Suggests We Cut Beds

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  1. Community outpatient providers and programs were never prepared during the onset of the de-institutionalization of public psychiatric hospitals, and continue to try and play “catch-up” in serving a large number of individuals with mental and behavioral health issues. Recent cut-backs not only have led to less resources for mental health consumers to currently access, but for a long time, and especially now, the lack of resources have prevented the expansion of community based programs. Without access to more community based services, or even access to our pre-economic downsizing staffing levels, I fail to see how discharging clients will benefit them. But then again, it will save money, and thats the most important thing, right? Massachusetts decision will cause significant harm to a number of vulnerable individuals who so desperately need help.

    Additionally, just a few months back, a study was released suggesting that reducing beds in state psychiatric hospitals was associated with increased suicide rates. This again is in part because community based services are not well-equipped (including financially) to deal with the large influx of those individuals back into the community.

    Massachusett’s decision (and any other state following Massachusett’s lead) to save money will either backfire and cost them more money in the long run, or worse yet, cost them lives.

  2. Having lived through the state of Texas’ decision to do this more than a year ago, your concerns are very justified. The mentally ill in Austin are now in homeless shelter and in the streets. It’s sad…

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