Thursday, March 01, 2007

Hospitals as scapegoats

Across the country, the few state psychiatric hospitals left are taking the blame for failures in the mental health community. TAC executive director Mary Zdanowicz outlines the problem in an opinion piece in New Jersey's Star Ledger.

“New Jersey already closed one hospital and "reinvested" the money in the community. Yet the psychiatric hospitals are overcrowded because community mental health providers can't -- or won't -- do what is necessary to keep patients out of the hospital. Thus, tragedies among this very vulnerable population are inevitable both in and out of hospitals.

Blaming the hospitals is the easy way out, and allows the mental health community to again dodge blame for the crisis we are now facing. The community providers aren't doing their part, and it is far past time to hold them accountable.

There are now more patients in fewer hospitals than 10 years ago. Community mental health must step up and do more for hospital patients than just take their money.”

Read more from Zdanowicz’s editorial published in the New Jeresy Star-Ledger.

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