Reexamining America's Mental Health System

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Last month's tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut has spurred many people across the country to consider the United States's mental health care system -- and to worry that too often, the system allows people to fall through the cracks.

How truly cohesive is the U.S.'s mental health care system? And what can be done to ensure that those who need care most have access to it?

Dr. E. Fuller Torrey discusses the failings and inadequacies of the country's mental health system.


Fuller Torrey

Produced by:

Joseph Capriglione

Comments [4]

Emily in NJ

Dr.Torrey is a strong advocate of medical treatment, voluntary if possible, involuntary if necessary. He has a sister with severe mental illness, and his family history, about which he is frank and forthcoming, has influenced his position. I daresay that screening and other evaluations never find a subject to be in good health, and once you are in a database of having a problematic result on a mental evaluation, heaven help you. I don't think it is possible to identify potential mass-murderers any more than potential suicides, and I know about suicides that absolutely blindsided everyone who knew the deceased. Dr. Torrey and his side make me afraid for people with diagnoses recorded somewhere---borderline personality, neurosis, depression, etc. And afraid for people who would like help and benefit from it, but won't chance entering the system for fear of losing their reputations, their careers, their personal freedom.

Jan. 02 2013 04:16 PM
Arthur Vincie from Astoria, NY

Where has this guy been? Society "protects" the mentally ill? That's a ridiculous statement on the face of it. Ask any severely mentally ill person how protected they feel from undertrained police, emergency room staff whose first response is to dope you up, employers with terrible leave policies, worker's comp boards and insurance companies that won't cover a lot of treatments, teachers, etc.

EDUCATE wider society about mental illness first, provide a REAL insurance safety net, THEN we can talk about "reinstitutionalization." Which didn't work, incidentally - people have been shooting up schools since the late 1800s (look it up) when institutionalization extended to prostitutes, poor people, and people of "loose morals."

Jan. 02 2013 03:26 PM
Christine from Westchester

But how do you identify these seriously ill people? Not as if they have some obvious ways to identify, is it?

Jan. 02 2013 03:19 PM
Larry Fisher from Brooklyn, N.Y.

Perhaps the NRA would like to open up Mental Health Clinics...If you pass their test,the Doctor can offer to sell you a weapon.

If you fail, they treat you, until you're mentally stable enough to get a weapon... I'm almost not kidding...

The NRA would look good now, if they put a lot of money behind mental health clinics.

Jan. 02 2013 12:48 PM

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