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Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Lack of psychiatric beds not the problem. Lack of funds for outpatient services is.

NPR has an interesting story about how the loss of psychiatric beds due to the era of deinstituionalization has led to a "mental health crisis" in the U.S. with people with psychiatric problems winding up in emergency rooms and prisons and jails.

The problem is not the lack of psychiatric hospital beds but the lack of outpatient services which has occurred because of a lack of funding. Health insurance payment systems for psychiatric disorders have led to difficulty accessing services with fewer providers available and people with problems winding up by default in other social systems whether it is criminal justice, social welfare, and health care services not equipped to manage people with mental illness.

For more on the NPR story click here.

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