Friday, May 02, 2008

Where is the mental health community?

The mission statements of local departments of mental health frequently declare a goal to, “[ensure] … the availability and accessibility of effective, efficient, culturally competent services.”

Unfortunately, everyday tragedies prove that the current laws do not provide access to those individuals most in need. How can someone who doesn’t even realize they are ill access mental health services?

Everyday we are faced with countless tragedies where a family was unable to get treatment for their son/brother/mother because the law would not allow it. Weak treatment laws often require a person to be a danger to themselves or others before they can get help. Where is the mental health community when those individuals most in need of help are unable to access treatment?