SHATTERED FAMILIES: THE COLLAPSE OF AMERICA’S MENTAL HEALTH SYSTEM
My name is Stephen Seager MD. I have been a psychiatrist for twenty-five years and have worked extensively with the seriously mentally ill (SMI). Recently, I wrote a book, “Behind the Gates of Gomorrah, a Year with the Criminally Insane,” and while doing publicity for this book, I came in contact with many families of persons with SMI.
Listening to them and recalling my own experience, it quickly became apparent that whatever national mental health system once existed, has now totally collapsed. Where once we offered treatment, patients with SMI now suffer unspeakable degradation as their families endure intolerable pain and indignity trying and failing to get needed medical care for their disastrously sick children.
Seeking treatment, families and patient’s face federal and state laws that actively deny sick people care. They face a system that supports homelessness and encourages treatment refusal.