Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Comment on mental health hearing
by Larry Geller
Comments on a blog, particularly when the story ran days ago, can get lost because most people don’t look for comments. I’d like to highlight this one, posted by Eileen Uchima, Executive Director of NAMI Hawaii:
Thank you for bringing attention to this very important hearing. I was there and also alarmed by the grim statistics cited by Dr. McLaughlin. The public need to know that budget cuts to mental health services are already leading to increases in death and that increases in unmedicated or improperly medicated mentally could jeopardize public safety.
Since the hearing of March 16 at which it was revealed in testimony that a 36% increase in deaths 2009 over 2008 has been recorded due entirely to the policy of the State of Hawaii Department of Health, and since my article (which included a short video snip of the testimony), there has been no response from the DOH, nor announcement of any action by the Legislature or the legislators who attended the hearing.
Further cuts planned by the Department of Health, likely to take place after the Legislature is no longer in session, will predictably result in more deaths unless some action to restrain them is taken.
Yes, restrain them. If people are dying then our DOH is acting to cause harm to others. In any caring society, there would be an investigation and correction to prevent avoidable deaths.
Legislators have held their informational briefings. We now have to question them on what exactly these briefings achieve if they take no action and make no statements as a result of what they heard.
A ʻcaring societyʻ this is not, merely a conglomeration of organizations set up to channel funds for that purported purpose of ʻcaringʻ. When the shit hits the fan, the priorities shift...to protect funds that could go to a politicianʻs security/status quo. This usually evolves from mediocre thinking resulting in severely flawed planning, such as the likes we have now when politicians are elected because they are familiar faces, a family member, a paid-for-propped-up dummy designated for explicit purposes and uneducated candidates (Lingle is a good example of all of these characteristics)
It is and has been (not on the surface) in all truthfulness, a policy of abandonment where the necessities of life are not necessities if they cost money and go to an ʻunproductiveʻ or non-contributing class of people. Sounds like something from the days of Hitler?