Nev. mental health scandal reveals broken system
Sometimes people self-medicate and start using illegal drugs to deal with some underlying issue. said Plotnick of Mental Health America, a 104-year-old mental health advocacy organization, the oldest in the U.S. The organization has affiliates in 41 states that provide services and are all to some degree advocacy organizations. Many people are self-medicating. We are also able to understand certain mental health issue better than we used to, Plotnick said.
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Since then, the Legislature has added new programs such as the PACT teams and the mental health courts, which advocates say have been successful in keeping the mentally ill off the streets. But such programs exist by legislative fiat, and theyre often the first on the chopping block when recessions hit. In 2011, for instance, the Sandoval administration and Washoe and Clark counties squabbled over who should assume responsibility for paying for mental health courts. Politically, mental health advocates say its easy for politicians to ignore the mentally ill because elected officials face few electoral repercussions for threatening to remove services or voting to remove them. From a political standpoint, the mentally ill dont vote, said Dale Carrison, chief of staff at University Medical Center. Whats the easiest place to take money where nobody complains?
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