Millions of America’s mentally ill citizens rot in prison or wander the streets with little or no treatment.
Trump suggested locking them up in psychiatric hospitals, conjuring up nightmarish scenarios of barbarism and warehousing. (My grandfather was committed to the state psychiatric hospital in St Joseph, MO, despite being no threat to himself or anyone else. He spent his final three years there smoking, rocking, and reading dime store Western novels. Heavily medicated all the while).
BUT there is a better way, per the Atlantic:
“Instead, many severely mentally ill people, especially if they’re poor, wind up on the streets or incarcerated. Today, the largest mental-health facility in any given state is often a jail, and half of all prisoners have a mental-health issue. Up to a quarter of the homeless are also mentally ill.
That’s why people like Dominic Sisti, a professor of psychiatry and behavioral-health care at the University of Pennsylvania, advocate “[bringing] back the asylum,” as he put it in a recent JAMA editorial.
Mental institutions don’t necessarily have to be bleak places where “sickos” are spirited away. In fact, they shouldn’t be. Instead, he argues, we could fully fund comfortable, therapeutic centers that care for mentally ill people who simply can’t live on their own, until they get better. The abuses of the past could be prevented with strict ethical regulations, he points out, like the kind medical researchers operate under today. The nurses and staff could be paid well; the patients could have their own rooms. It would be expensive, but worth it.”