Monday, December 17, 2012

No Beds Available

I have been digesting the news out of Newtown, Connecticut. It has me thinking of mental health care here in the States.

I have thought about my mental health struggles and how hard it was to find providers who cared. When I would tell various doctors and/or therapists about how I hated myself and how I wished I would just die. How no one really took me seriously. Over time, I flitted from one therapist to another and withheld what was really going on in my head, until I started to write and really become self aware.

I have heard stories about people waiting in local emergency rooms for hours and hours before being seen. A coworker’s son spent 18 hours in the emergency room only to be told THERE WERE NO BEDS available and was transfer to another hospital, where he sat for 6 hours.  He was a schizophrenic young man of 24.

This would totally deter me from getting in-patient mental health care. I would totally avoid it.

This has to stop.

As a country, we need to change our priorities about mental health care.  While the old institutions of the past were horrible, when they closed, there was nothing to replace them. I do not have the answers on what should be done but we need to talk about it.

It can not be swept under the carpet. The more people who talk about the need for change, the better.


  1. Amen, Jen! I agree that there needs to be change. People should be able to have access to mental health care when it's needed. And it's just not available like it should be. I don't have the answers, but I do agree that it can't be swept under the rug. We've got to find answers.

  2. Tis is such a timlely post considering the recent events. Posts like this really speak to changes that MUST be made. Thank you Jen.

  3. I totally agree. There needs to be a big change. We need to talk more openly about it, but talking about it isn't enough. We need to fix it. To address the issue and come up with some solutions. We need more hospitals and more doctors and more access to treatment and care.

  4. Hi Jen, I am so sorry for what you haf to experience when seeking help. Yes, things do indeed need to change so that those who reach out for help get it. I am glad that you are getting a positive experience from writing and developing self awareness.

    Thank you for sharing such an important post.


  5. My younger sister had mental health problems starting at age 11 and institutions are not the answer. Thank you Jen for sharing and writing this post. I hope the events of this week start a national debate on mental health and gun control. I wish I had answers and I pray that our President and law makes will not only discuss but DO something about these two issues. The killing of innocent children is a sobering wake up call.

    Hugs Jen.


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