Monday, March 17, 2008

New Report: Deficit of nearly 100,000 public psychiatric beds

The Treatment Advocacy Center released a report today that shows a nationwide shortage of nearly 100,000 public psychiatric hospital beds.

In 1955 there were 340 public psychiatric beds available per 100,000 U.S. citizens. By 2005, the number plummeted to a staggering 17 beds per 100,000 persons. Mississippi was found to have the most beds available in 2005 (49.7 per 100,000 people), while Nevada (5.1) and Arizona (5.9) had the least.

“The results of this report are dire and the failure to provide care for the most seriously mentally ill individuals is disgraceful,” said lead author, Dr. E. Fuller Torrey, president of the Treatment Advocacy Center. “Our communities are paying a high price for our failure to treat those with severe and persistent mental illness, and those not receiving treatment are suffering severely. In addition, untreated persons with severe mental illnesses have become major problems in our homeless shelters, jails, public parks, public libraries, and emergency rooms and are responsible for at least 5 percent of all homicides.” More...

Read the full report

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