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rachel's mentally ill paper

rachel's mentally ill paper - Money Allocation for the...

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Money Allocation for the Mentally Ill Mental Asylums, havens where mentally ill individuals can receive appropriate care and treatment, are crucial for the health and livelihood of such patients with ailments ranging from bipolar disorder to schizophrenia. However, after the duration of President Ronald Reagan’s term, during which Reagan systematically slashed funding for mental hospitals resulting in widespread closings, public awareness and support for the mentally ill population declined severely. As a result, those who were once cared for living in mental hospitals with the guarantee of individualized treatment were let loose onto the street to fend for themselves. Ensuing withdrawal symptoms from medication and lack of needed assistance and care resulted in widespread occurrences of psychosis and psychotic break throughout the mentally ill homeless community. During these states of psychosis, many of these mentally ill persons committed crimes ranging in severity and were arrested. As the remaining mental asylums were short on beds, these detainees were sent to the only facilities that were available to house them, jails and prisons. The book Crazy in America by Mary Beth Pfeiffer highlights through numerous gruesome and heart-wrenching anecdotes, the poor treatment and subsequent deaths of the mentally ill in prisons, due to the lack of funding and availability of mental asylums. If elected officials were to allocate more money towards asylums for the mentally ill on the state and national levels, the lives of the mentally ill populations would be bettered significantly. Many argue that the government an elected officials have done more than enough to fund programs and support for the mentally ill. In fact, Medicaid, a governmental program, allocates a large amount of aid in the form of money and services to the mentally ill. Medicaid is even said to be solely the largest health care program for the mentally ill in existence (Edwards 7). With proper funding promised by Medicaid, the mentally ill are able to receive proper psychiatric
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attention, medication, group therapy, and transitional therapy as they attempt to adjust to society, as well as proper outpatient care (Edwards 12). Essentially, through the government program Medicaid, funding for mental institutions and psychiatric hospitals is taken care of, and those in need of psychiatric treatment on any level are provided for. This may lead some to wonder, what is the uproar on poor treatment of the mentally ill in prisons brought up author Mary Beth Pfeiffer and other activists? Medicaid covers the cost of facilities and treatment, right? Unfortunately, this is false. A federal law most commonly known as IMD, states that mental health facilities with more than sixteen beds “aren’t part of a full-service hospital” (Karwath). In simpler words, the federal government claims that it allows more than enough money and focus to mental health facilities through its Medicaid program, only to deceitfully save their money by
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