2014 News Archive
Powerful Segment on CBS's 60 Minutes Highlights Failure of our Nation's Mental Health System
Last night 60 Minutes featured a powerful story about the utter failure of the mental health system in our nation, highlighting the shortage of psychiatric beds and services for acutely mentally ill children and young adults, the overcrowding of our emergency departments, a shortage of psychiatrists, the lack of parity in funding for mental health services, and the tragic outcome this can have on patients and families victimized by a failed system driven by political and societal neglect. This story aired at a time when more 40,000 patients a year languish without care or treatment in Massachusetts’ hospital emergency departments and just days after Governor Patrick released a budget that calls for the closing of 45 beds at Taunton State Hospital, just the type of facility that could have saved the life of one of the patients featured in this story. It also follows the closing of the psychiatric unit at North Adams Regional Hospital, a closing that has resulted in patients clogging the hospital's ED, as well as the ED of nearby Berkshire Medical Center; the attempted closing of the child psychiatric unit at Cambridge Health Alliance, and as a special legislative committee on mental health continues to meet to address this growing crisis. Read this story, and then contact your legislator to urge them to take immediate action to prevent the further closure of psychiatric beds in Massachusetts, and for true parity in the treatment of those suffering from mental illness.