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Friday, February 16, 2018

What is wrong with mental healthcare in the U.S.?

What is wrong?

It has become increasingly more difficult to get treatment for mental illness. 

Symptoms of mental illness: 

     Hallucinations of any kind. 


     Acute manic episode.


     Schizophrenia (out of touch with reality, delusional, paranoia, confused thoughts and speech).


     Suicidal thoughts.

     Homicidal thoughts.

     And more.

In the late 1990’s a person could sign themselves in to a hospital psychiatric ward. Not sure when the changes began, but it likely was around the time the parity law came to be. It gradually got more and more difficult to get a person admitted into a hospital for treatment of mental illness unless they are suicidal or homicidal.

How can we help people:

Improve access.  

The important thing that needs to change is that the gatekeepers to the behavioral health units (psychiatric wards, mental health wards) need to loosen the requirements for hospitalization. Those gatekeepers, usually social services, interview the person seeking help and the person who brought them. That person seeking help must be suicidal or homicidal in order to be admitted. 

There are many other symptoms that need care in a hospital setting in order to find the appropriate medication combination to manage symptoms. They need round the clock monitoring in a healthcare setting to watch for allergic reactions, adverse reactions, monitoring of vitals which can be affected by some medications, for safety reasons, and compliance monitoring.  

The other thing that needs to change is proximity to treatment. The odds of someone who needs treatment getting it decreases the farther they have to travel to get it. The hospitals my kids go to are 50+ miles from home. There are closer facilities, but they don’t accept their insurance.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Like Blue Apron for SNAP...Not likely

This article made me laugh out loud. Blue Apron boxes are meal kits of FRESH meats, vegetables, fruits (at least that’s what I see in their ads). #45’s so called USDA America’s Harvest Box is government surplus canned meat, canned fruit, canned vegetables, shelf stable milk (is this code for powdered milk?) 

Have you ever eaten canned government meat? I’ve had the chicken, it’s nasty. 🤢 Just thinking about it makes me nauseous. How many people on SNAP do you think will eat this swill? The canned vegetables and fruit are fine, but fresh is better. In some areas SNAP benefits can be used at farmers markets, I think expanding that to more areas would be healthier than the canned stuff in these “harvest boxes”. Harvest what? Canned food?

Has anyone considered the logistics? All those cans have weight, they cost money to ship from the canning plant to distribution centers. Those distribution centers need to be staffed. How do the people who cannot get to the distribution centers get their food? Delivery service? That costs money. Where is the savings? Where is the savings when no one will eat this stuff?

Crack down on abuse, keep SNAP, bring back government cheese! 


Now that was REAL CHEESE!

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