The excellent piece reprinted below from The Blue Review, an online publication of Boise State University (thebluereview.org), presents a point of view the rest of us should know about. She was moved to write it because of the Newtown, Conn., tragedy.
Many parents struggle with trying to help mentally ill children, illnesses that generally can extend into adulthood.
In the early 1970s, with the advent of psychotropic drugs, successful civil rights lawsuits and bad publicity about some mental hospitals, most state-operated custodial care clinics and hospitals were closed.
The result has been an epidemic of homelessness, disruptive and violent behavior, and drug addiction.
The states mandated that mental health care would be on an outpatient basis, except for the most incapacitated or violent. It hasn’t worked.
Read Liza Long’s essay. She speaks not only for herself, but for all who must deal with mentally ill family members.