Thursday, March 15, 2007

Deinstitutionalization knows no borders

“Canada is not alone in jailing the mentally ill. The United States, too, deinstitutionalized a large number of psychiatric patients. There, too, law-enforcement agencies increasingly are left to pick up the pieces.

In New York City, according to statistics compiled by the Treatment Advocacy Centre, the number of police responses to complaints about "emotionally disturbed persons" climbed from 20,843 in 1980 to 64,424 in 1998. In Florida, mentally ill people in crisis must be assessed under the state's mental-health treatment law. In 2000, there were 80,869 mental-health assessments, a figure that handily surpassed the 60,337 drunk driving arrests that year.”

More from the Montreal Gazette

For more information on ensuring appropriate treatment for people with severe mental illnesses in Canada, visit:

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