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Do you think Douglas County offers adequate mental health care?

Asked at Massachusetts Street on July 11, 2005

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Photo of Holly Hulburt

“No. They seem to have quite a problem with the homeless and mentally ill, and without the unit at LMH, I don’t think they have enough coverage.”

Photo of Natalie Wyrick

“Yes. I haven’t had any problems being approached by the mentally ill, so that makes me think that they are taking care of them.”

Photo of John Briggs

“If you don’t have an emergency mental health care center for people, then probably not.”

Photo of Betsy Drake-Studstill

“I think there is a lack of awareness on the issue, and anytime there is a lack of awareness, there must be a deficit in the program.”

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Comments

e3 8 years, 9 months ago

You make a good point, Lib_ee. A progressive tax system in which the wealthiest few percent of individuals & corporations would pull a bit more of their weight... would go a lot toward alleviating suffering of the poorest 25%. Problem is (I think) that people are easily blinded by their own sense of entitlement...

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Lib_ee12 8 years, 9 months ago

I love reading the discussions that go on here. Sometimes they make me mad, and sometimes they really make me think. I really appreciate that. I decided that I wanted to join in this time, just to add my two cents. I'm afraid that I'm doing this too late for anyone to see though. I'll feel better about it anyway.

If Tom Cruise gave away only a quarter of his movie star earnings, then maybe some of our public institutions and those POOR families wouldn't need quite as much help and the world would feel more 'together.' How's that for socialism? he he

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extreme_makeover 8 years, 9 months ago

Hey Mrs. C,

I wasn't exactly sure where GTS was going, but it was fun while it lasted. Glad you have thick skin. One pretty much has to on Al Gore's Internet ;)

No need for secrecy. I had an extra email address sitting around and figured I'd put it to use. LJW simply put two and two together. Kind of fun getting BANNED, actually.

Will converse more on the forum as "extreme_makeover" and not GTS. Thanks for your kindness!

e_m

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jonas 8 years, 9 months ago

Now now, the last thing we need is a hoofy witch hunt on our hands. That's just what he'd want.

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kns 8 years, 9 months ago

"Yer"?

That sounds like "hoofy-speak" to me.

Hmmmm........

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kns 8 years, 9 months ago

Wow! Goody (Hoofy) didn't just get his posts removed......he got banned!!

When will Hoofy ever learn? This, I believe, is the third time he's been banned. First time as Hoof-Hearted, second time as a name that escapes me for the moment, and now this time as Goody Two Shoes. Heck, it might even be the fourth time he's been banned, I don't know.

Geez! How sad! And what's really sad is that when he was Hoof-Hearted he once told Jonas that he was a 40 year old man with four kids! If that's true.......Man! That's scary! A 40 year old man with a 13 year old boy's brain, and four kids of his own??!! I feel sorry for those kids!

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extreme_makeover 8 years, 9 months ago

Apparently "Goody Two Shoes" was just a dream.

For all the LJW RR bored considers, anyway.

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Ceallach 8 years, 9 months ago

Today's question: No, I do not think we have adequate provisions for mental health care. The hospital should have a functional mental health unit. There have been deaths directly related to patients being referred on to out of town facilities. People asking for help being turned away and left on their own to get to Topeka, KC, etc.

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Ceallach 8 years, 9 months ago

pierced_daisy: I just now have had an opportunity to see today's board and check the end of yesterday's posts. I left a message for you at the end of yesterday's thread.

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Redneckgal 8 years, 9 months ago

Oh yeah. I just read back though and I'd have to say it sure sounds like he's back.

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Redneckgal 8 years, 9 months ago

Damn I leave for a week and miss all the excitment?Hoofy's back?

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The_Original_Bob 8 years, 9 months ago

Oh goodness. Hoofy brings back memories. Such as, don't respond to the fool and they go away.

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ms_canada 8 years, 9 months ago

Oh boy, she took it the wrong way!! I goofed, didn't I. So sorry, goody two shoes.

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larryville 8 years, 9 months ago

Oh, man! There is no question in my mind that Goody is Hoofy in disguise!!

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Goody_Two_Shoes 8 years, 9 months ago

I'm Goody Two Shoes,

Self-righteous bitch of the Internet (Sorry, Al Gore)

Goody Two Shoes.

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ms_canada 8 years, 9 months ago

PS - goody two shoes, can I just say something in a nice way, at least that is how I mean it. You don't have to sign your name at the end of your posts. It is there at the top. OR is there some reason that you do that? Enlighten us, please.

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ms_canada 8 years, 9 months ago

to e3 - regarding love, be it Christian or other, I will respectfully disagree with you to some extent. Yes, you are right that love alone will not cure anyone of a severe mental illness. Your post appears to suggest that you have some knowledge of the mental health care system in your part of the world, but I wonder could you tell me what first hand knowledge you have of mental illness and it's treatment. I do have first hand knowledge of how love, the love of a husband for his ill wife, was most intrumental in her recovery from a not so very severe form of illness. And I have knowledge of other cases also. LOVE is a very powerful weapon against illness. One of our professors, a psychiatric doctor, told our class that he had a theory that if it were possible to just pour so much love into an ill person, he could cure them. I have remembered that so clearly to this day. I am a senior person and have seen, probably more than you have, of this world and the people in it. (I am assuming that you are a young person, if I am wrong please correct and forgive me) I have been in the Christian church for a lot of years in an intimate way, not just to attend once a week for an hour. I have been in various prayer and study groups and have seen what the love of the other members has meant to a troubled soul. And believe me there are some very troubled souls out there that are not receiving any treatment at all. Do not make the mistake that so many make, knocking something until you have tried it. I don't mean to sound condescending. It is something that I feel so very strongly about. :o) :o)

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Goody_Two_Shoes 8 years, 9 months ago

zhhh-zhhhh-zhhh zhhh

(World's smallest violin)

Goody Two Shoes.

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e3 8 years, 9 months ago

Bowhunter:

Have you ever heard the parable of the fox and the grapes? When the fox could not reach the grapes he wanted, he said, "sour grapes."

Not long ago, I failed to get an interview for a job that I wanted. At first I felt bad, but within a couple of days, without even trying, I reached the conclusion that it really would not have been a good job for me at all... and so I move on to some more appropriate opportunity. But imagine if I went for a full year never getting called for interviews where I applied. Pretty soon I would probably not want a job at all.

When we cannot achieve something we wanted very badly -- even small things -- we often reframe our desires in order to preserve some shred of dignity and some glimmer of hope. I suspect that you have done the same yourself, for one thing or another. It's human nature. Even if we do preserve our little dreams, in the face of repeated failure we learn better than to say them out loud.

We also tend to say we want what we have. Do I want to move to another house? No, I want to stay in the one I have... not because it's better than other houses, but simply because I am familiar with it, and therefore comfortable in it -- no matter how small or quirky it may be. Again -- human nature. Cling to the familiar; resist change.

When a homeless person says "Yes, I want to be homeless," I challenge you to try to imagine what he or she might really be saying.

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kns 8 years, 9 months ago

Say, "Goody", your first post today was at 4:03 am, and now it's 4:40 pm. You must be feeling very sleepy by now, considering how early you got up this moring. I think it's time for you to go to bed. No more "Goody Two Shoes" posts for today! Okay? Please? Thank you.

Good night, Goody.

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e3 8 years, 9 months ago

rhd99 (and others):

(1) For a concise explanation of medicaid coverage of MH, start with: www.psychlaws.org/generalresources/fa.... Needless to say, it's complicated.

(2) Menninger was a PRIVATE hospital, not public. Its closure was not really a state policy issue. There are some other private & community hospitals that have psychiatric units, and they are very necessary but unfortunately they too are closing, despite the will of the people they serve (e.g. LMH). They couch it in terms of "demand" and "quality" and "feasibility," but what that really means is money.

(3) Kansas currently only has three state psychiatric hospitals: Rainbow for KC area, Larned for Western Kansas, and Osawatomie for Eastern Kansas. They are losing beds too.

(4) Psychiatric hospital beds are being lost at an alarming rate across the country -- public and private -- and YES it's about money. And therefore it's about policy. And therefore it's about political will. It's our responsibility as citizens to educate ourselves & others and exercise that political will to make this a more civilized and compassionate world.

(5) Medical billing is a nightmare; I'm sure Bert Nash is not immune from it. Community Mental Health Centers like Bert Nash and Community Hospitals like LMH are also mandated to treat anyone who walks through the door, including people who have no money, and no insurance public or private. Hmm... now how how do you bill for that? Social workers and doctors, etc, no matter how big their hearts are, they have stomachs too! Somebody has to pay.

(6) OK, the historical lack of cooperation between Bert Nash and LMH is an embarrassment to this community. Yes, there are deficiencies all over. Yet as is often the case, there is actually no "bad guy"... People are trying to do their jobs. The problem is that the jobs don't address the real needs, or for legal reasons the care providers are simply not empowered to address the real needs that exist.

(7) I respectfully disagree that "Christian love," or any other kind of love, is all that's needed for healing for a person with a severe mental illness. Love (including both self acceptance and social support) is ONE important ingredient needed for successful recovery, but it is a heck of a lot more complicated than that. (Unless whoever wrote that doesn't believe in western medicine at all... in which case our premises of understanding are so different that we probably can't really have a productive conversation in this forum.)

(8) People with mental illness, whether it is mild & situational or severe & persistent... are PEOPLE. Before you judge (and add more stigma and loneliness to his or her burden), remember that person is someone's child, sibling, parent. We are all here on the same spaceship, kids.

(9) Did I mention that it's about money? Money and policy and political will.

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Goody_Two_Shoes 8 years, 9 months ago

Two busses.

One labeled "Do want"

The other labeled "Can't be bothered"

Guess the direction of each bus.

(Hint: the "Do want" bus is currently headed for Topeka)

Goody Two Shoes.

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Bowhunter99 8 years, 9 months ago

One thing is to help people that WANT to be helped, and other to WASTE money trying to help people that DO not want to be helped....

There have been numerous studies done where about 50% of the homeless WANT to be homeless. They do not want the stress of a job, etc, and enjoy living day to day... Those are the people that are abusing the system and taking money from the ones that want to be helped.

Those that do not want to be helped should be expelled from Food pantries, Salvation Army shelters, etc. Make their lives miserable so they leave town and go waste someone else's tax dollars.

Let's help those who want help, not feed the scum of the Earth.

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The_Original_Bob 8 years, 9 months ago

http://www.style.com/w/feat_story/070505/full_page.html

Wow. A coworker emailed that story. Never heard of that magazine but I guess it's a big deal if you're a chick. That Katie is whacked out.

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Goody_Two_Shoes 8 years, 9 months ago

Have you ever had kicks in your pants?

You'd know if you had.

Goody Two Shoes.

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Carmenilla 8 years, 9 months ago

I just don't get that post....

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Goody_Two_Shoes 8 years, 9 months ago

Okay, don't go there either!

Goody Two Shoes.

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Goody_Two_Shoes 8 years, 9 months ago

When I was a kid and acted up I would get a swift kick in the pants. That would set me straight for awhile.

As an adult I remember those lessons. No more kicks in the pants, thank-you very much.

I now smile at people.

Goody Two Shoes.

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grilled_cheese 8 years, 9 months ago

Bye, OMB! My UNIX was acting up this morning, I was so mad, I almost threw a fork at it, honestly. Good luck. Oh, and don't melt in this sweltering heat/crazy random thurnderstorm thing Harris Co. is going through currently.

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one_more_bob 8 years, 9 months ago

Guys, I'm stuck in a UNIX class for the rest of the week. Play nice & I'll rejoin the fray next week.

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Das_Ubermime 8 years, 9 months ago

Fangorn: while I applaud your satisfaction with your spiritual standing, I will raise the point that not everyone needs a spiritual aspect to their life. Not only that, but a lack of a spiritual side to one's life does not make them any less "whole". I have lived my entire life without any spirituality and have never felt the need or desire to co-opt spirituality into my life. There are many ways in which to live one's life and none of us may rightfully claim to know all there is to know on this subject.

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neopolss 8 years, 9 months ago

Tom & Katie are both crazies. Perhaps their scientology friends will book them on the next spaceship out of here.

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happyone 8 years, 9 months ago

ms_canada Thank you for your insight.

Fanghorn I agree that having a spiritual aspect is very helpful but for someone with a mental problem, they may not feel comfortable walking into a church where they know no one and have the disappointing reality that that perticular church is a "bad" one. To just say they need to find a church is not enough. The built in support that comes from being involved in church IS a wonderful thing and I am very glad that you and several other posters have found "good" churches.

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rhd99 8 years, 9 months ago

Yeah, & when they do, I can ask Tom & Katie for a proof of license & the moment they fail to do so, I will be glad to have them carted off to jail.

Now, people who REALLY need the mental health care system to work to their advantage also need to look at the cause of the spritual problem. The spiritual problem may not be as easy as one thinks. That takes years to heal. Institutions offer limited term fixes, but what is the long-term solution? I certainly don't have the answers, just theories.

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Fangorn 8 years, 9 months ago

So, following certain threads of today's conversation, what we can soon expect to see is Tom & Katie showing up, door-to-door in our neighborhoods handing out tracts?

Liberty is right, happyone, not all churches at that way. You will find hypocrites like that everywhere, but I don't think you should characterize a single congregation based on the behavior of a few, let alone the entire Christian community. For many substance-abusers, the root of their disease is a spiritual problem. They should still seek medical and mental treatment, but without caring for the spiritual aspect of who they are, they will never be fully whole. Jesus still heals.

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ms_canada 8 years, 9 months ago

Living so far north of you all, I may have no cause to comment on your mental health care situation in Douglas County, but I do know something of mental illness being a psychiatric nurse and having studied psychology. Just as in the human body there are many different kinds of diseases and ailments, there are many differing ailments of the mind. There are many classifications of mental illness. And there are different degrees of illness. Schizophenia being one type can itself be divided into categories. Just as one person may have a severe and life threatening form of cancer and another have a very treatable form, in mental illness some ailments are extremely difficult to treat and others no so difficult. But all forms of mental illness deserve and must have treatment or the condition will deteriorate. So many on the forum today have brought up the homeless wandering your streets. We have them here also. Many of these people could live relatively normal lives if they keep to a strict regimen of medication. But so many of the ill do not like to take the meds because, "I don't like the way it makes me feel. I am no longer me". These people must have supervision to keep them on their meds. But who is to do this while they are homeless and who is to pay for the meds. You know, people, we human beings are so heartless and uncaring and mental illness is still so misunderstood. Treatment is still in the dark ages compared to that of other bodily ills. Why are we like this? Why is the stigma of a troubled mind so abhorant? That we don't have more pity for these very suffering individuals is the great shame of our societies. IMHO And just a word about the comments of liberty. He is right to a degree. Many troubled minds can be successfully treated by the loving care of good Christian friends who will help him on a path to knowledge of Christ as his Saviour and His healing power. But that is not an option for all the mentally ill.

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italianprincess 8 years, 9 months ago

I think Tom is going through a midlife crisis. Katie would be insane to marry him so quickly and I do hope she holds off at least a couple of years to see if their relationship works out.

Would one define mental illness as something passed down through family. There are so many different types of mental illness.

The people who just snap one day and kill family members, their own children, or who ever they choose to.

The ones who have been abused in some manner to where a mental issue is brought on.

I myself went through an abusive relationship back in 90 and my doc in Cali gave me meds because I was so depressed. Of course it helped and I won't ever let that happen again. I will simply have the next person who tries something like that removed. I feel that woman or men who have been through an abusive relationship become stronger if they let themselves survive.

There are so many different types of mental issues people have and they do need meds to control themselves.

I'm not much for kids being on meds to control ADD/ADHD, but have a child in my daycare who goes on a rage unless he has his meds every four hours. He may also be bipolar according to his mom. This is what doctors and therapists have told her, so hes drugged basically all day. Its truely sad to see him five days a week having to take this med I give him, but if I don't he gets uptight about little things that bother him.

I believe there are so many different things that cause someone to have major issues in life that require them to take some type of medication.

Mental health places should be available for those who need it. Its nice to know these people have someone with a background in counseling to talk to. Though I'm not real big on Bert Nash myself, its nice to know that there are therapists out there besides them.

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rhd99 8 years, 9 months ago

DaREEKKU, Since you worked in these kinds of facilities, I have two questions for you & others who may know: 1. Does Medicaid also cover these services? 2. Then if Kansas is inadequate, then why did the legislature not step in to prohibit the closing of Menninger clinic?

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DaREEKKU 8 years, 9 months ago

I worked in an inpatient facility in Shawnee County for almost three years and I can safely say that not only Douglas County, but Kansas has inadequate healthcare. Medicare doesn't adequately reimburse facilities therefore patients are not seen as people but as numbers and are pushed out before profits fall. Its very sad, an experience I will never forget. Don't get me wrong, there are alot of good cases but the overall situation is very grim. Psychiatric Facilities are in desperate need, as well as in desperate need of funding.

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rhd99 8 years, 9 months ago

How is funding these psychiatric centers socialist? Again, if Mental Health Care is not considered a priority in Douglas County, then we the voters have the right & responsibility to put this issue on the politicians' heads now & during the time when they come up for re-election.

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neopolss 8 years, 9 months ago

Of course, we could swoop up all of the crazies one night and place them into socialist funded psychiatric centers where they would be deprived of their precious alcohol and drugs, and safe from the public view.

But then we'd get complaints about how cruel it is to deprive these individuals of their freedoms, and how terrible it is that they are kept under lock and key constantly. We would then demand that these individuals be released to society, because they deserve the same go at life as we have, crazy or not.

Then we'd get tired of it, and swoop them all up again, and we'd simply throw personal responsibility out the window in exchange for the hand of big brother.

And then the wheel would turn and we'd do it all over again.

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rhd99 8 years, 9 months ago

happyone, most appreciative I am of your understanding of my confusion about the lack of care Douglas County is providing. I hate to link this, but it all has to do with how both the City & County Commissions' politicians conduct studies on their spending priorities. THEY need to wake up.

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happyone 8 years, 9 months ago

to expand on that rhd99 most of the people I brought up earlier couldn't go outside the city limits (can't afford too) So once again Douglas County is not providing what it needs to

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rhd99 8 years, 9 months ago

One other thing, if services in Douglas County for Mental Health Care are inadequate in some circles, then why did that psychiatric unit from Topeka (forgot the name) leave Kansas altogether? That was an excellent source for mental health care issues, which gave people the kind of services Douglas County, I am sorry to say, has not provided. Bert Nash is an excellent center to address mental health care issues, but to get advanced care, Topeka is out, so now one has to go to Kansas City. How effiecient is that? It isn't efficient & it puts people's health in serious jeopardy.

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Hong_Kong_Phooey 8 years, 9 months ago

Pierced Daisy: I left you a comment on yesterday's topic.

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rhd99 8 years, 9 months ago

Tom Cruise knows NOTHING about mental diseases or the psychiatric profession. He is a millionaire who has nothing to worry about. Here in Lawrence, how does one judge whether mental health care is great as is or needs improvement? The connection of mental health care & the homeless troubles me. It's not just the homeless that depend on these services, it's all of us, maybe not now, but at some point in our lives when things get worse. We need to improve Mental Health Care in Douglas County, but we keep hearing about budget cuts. Where are the budget cuts coming from?

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acg 8 years, 9 months ago

I think ole Tommy has gone stark raving mad. He's still pretty easy on the eyes though.

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Carmenilla 8 years, 9 months ago

Are we not stating the obvious! Tom Cruise suffers from acute megalomania to cover up for a short man inferiority complex. He is so deluded.

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happyone 8 years, 9 months ago

If Tom Cruise were to show up on my door step maybe then I would but until then he's just another pretty boy

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Das_Ubermime 8 years, 9 months ago

But you people just don't understand. Tom Cruise knows the HISTORY of these things. You just don't know like he does. You all are just ignorant and must bow down before the enlightened benevolence of today's movie stars. Resistance is futile.

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mendicant 8 years, 9 months ago

Although people call the Lawrence open shelter ; this organization is taking care of people that others won't or can't help. There are people in Lawrence that have asked for detox and organized treatment for some people for years.

Seeing not that much happen people sometimes stick their necks out and do the best that they can.

Who would you get to run a detox center, we do not even have a mental health unit. If Bert Nash says they need more money to get the job done you can well imagine that other organizations might be faced with the same reality.

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happyone 8 years, 9 months ago

one thing we all must remember is yes we understand that their are problems that need therapy (be them from chemical imbalances or just from day to day life) but the programs available in lawrence do not consider the "low income" or "no income" people that need the help (they can't afford the services) therefore those that fit into those catagories turn to the bottle or other drugs (illegal mostly) to "cure" their problems. This starts the nasty cycle that puts people on the streets.

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ladysilk 8 years, 9 months ago

I am all for better living through chemistry. Lexapro is a beautiful thing and I think they should just put it in the water. Everyone would be less stressed. ;) I too live with chemical inbalance, mine is hereditary and I can trace it back at least 3 generations. I took my daughter to Burt Nash for help and that was a joke. Our health care could care a rats a** about mental health. Did I see someone mention DCCCA? DCCCA is a bigger joke than Burt Nash...they are all about the money not the people.

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Liberty 8 years, 9 months ago

Happyone, sadly that is also true. But probably not all Churches are that way. That is why I qualified the statement with "real". Most corporate churches (501c3) do not represent the Lord but the state. That is why they have turned the way that you have just described. It grieves me to see this as it is a tarnish on the good that God really is, but I agree with you. I do say that if you find a good place, don't "throw the baby out with the bath water". If you know what I mean... God is still good, and one should seek perhaps a home church or start one themselves based in God's word. I think God is seeking a real Church to represent Him today in the earth, for the very reasons you brought up.

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grilled_cheese 8 years, 9 months ago

Carmenilla: thanks :)

it is so sad that someone so famous uses his fame to promote such craziness. reading a few papers doesn't make anyone an expert. if that was the case, I would have had my master's years ago! but, nooooo, I have to do "research". ha!

tom has a chemical imbalance, for sure!

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happyone 8 years, 9 months ago

Liberty Church may be all good and fine for you but MOST churches are full of hypocrites that when talking to your face they're sweet as honey and as soon as you turn your back out comes the knife! Now I'm not against religion far from it but going to church is not for everyone. The last thing a depressed person needs is someone talking behind their back!!

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Liberty 8 years, 9 months ago

Carmenilla, You are right. A lot of the drugs of today are designed to allow you to crash and should not be stopped (cold turkey), because you can crash just like what happened with most if not all of today's gun rampages such as Columbine. Once you start the drugs, you need to seek a doctors advice if you desire to change your dosage or wean yourself off gradually. However, meds or riches do not replace the real need for spiritual healing that all need to be saved from their sin. They are two separate things. The spiritual side must be dealt with or there is no good future anyway, even if you live and survive physically and mentally.

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The_Original_Bob 8 years, 9 months ago

No, no Carmenilla!!! Tom Cruise wouldn't lie!!! Not to me. He was Maverick, damn it. He's a great Actor. He's perfectly qualified to talk about Medical Issues and how Aliens can cure problems.

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Carmenilla 8 years, 9 months ago

I agree 100% grilled_cheese! Good luck to you and yours.

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Carmenilla 8 years, 9 months ago

People have real CHEMICAL IMBALANCES!!! Tom Cruise is WRONG!!!

Liberty, I had a friend who's parents didn't believe that he was severely depressed and they told him that church was the only treatment he needed. They said if he loved Jesus with all his heart, the pain he felt inside would go away. Now that friend is DEAD. He committed suicide soon after he went off his meds. His meds were the only thing keeping him reasonable and accountable for his actions. I know so many people who's family refused to accept their mental illness and encouraged them to have faith in the lord instead. None of those people got better. They did get better when the ignorance that keeps mental illness a taboo subject was put aside and the real issues were addressed. It is a real disease. It can be as deadly as cancer if left untreated. These are extreme cases but they are REAL!

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grilled_cheese 8 years, 9 months ago

Carmenilla:

yes, I am aware of the hoops that everyone has to jump through. My husband and I are some of those uninsured people battling mental health issues. we both had to stop taking all our medications (not just our SSRIs, but allergy meds, meds for my kidneys and bladder) because we decided eating was more important.

not everyone in need of mental health care is a stark raving mad homeless person. my now spouse was seeking treatment at Nash when we met. the hoops he had to jump through regarding insurance and co-pays and whatnot was crazy. the last thing a depressed, possibly suicidal person needs is harrasing phone calls and letters. he had check stubs proving that he paid his bills on time, and they still had bill collectors call to harrass him. for a college student with student insurance living paycheck to paycheck (and with depression!), this is hell. i have heard of similar experiences from others who sought help there. i am not trying to say that everyone's experience at nash was similar, i think situations such as these reiterate the need for better mental health care in Lawrence, or at least a reevaluation.

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happyone 8 years, 9 months ago

Carmenilla you are absolutely correct.

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Liberty 8 years, 9 months ago

Those that are unstable in facing life would do well to visit a real Church that can provide spiritual help and a strong basis for life. The only answer to start with is Jesus Christ, the son of God. Once you have that relationship with God, He will help steer you on the straight path. The City Union Mission in Kansas City is a good role model for struggling communities. Perhaps a look at their web site would enlighten the readers:

http://www.cityunionmission.org/involved/ways.html

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happyone 8 years, 9 months ago

TOB that would only work if they could read

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The_Original_Bob 8 years, 9 months ago

Lawrence can simply correct this problem if they bought all the homeless crazies (as opposed to the willfull and too lazy to get a job homeless) Dianetics by L. Ron Hubbard. It'll cure them of whatever psychiatric issue they have as well put them on their path to enlightenment. They will understand that Alien overlords created us and that John Travolta was cloned from a rock in Montana.

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Carmenilla 8 years, 9 months ago

Thanks for that truly enlightening observation Larry, NOT! Gee, I wonder why the mentally ill are continually stigmatized. Many of the responses on here prove to me, yet again, that people don't "get" mental illness. There is no emergency service here for someone who is feeling suicidal. There is no psych ward at LMH. I can tell you for a fact, that Bert Nash has more on its plate than it can handle. And for the person (grilled_cheese, I believe) who said Bert Nash was inept at filing insurance claims, have you ANY idea of the beauracratic hoops that places like Bert Nash have to jump thru to get people treated? They can only do so much and their hands are tied all along the way. We have terrible insurance policies in this country that don't adequately cover mental health issues. We have scores of uninsured folks with no resources who may be battling mental illness. We have the MIDA that smitty mentioned who don't get treatment but are continually arrested or live on the streets. This is a problem not just in Lawrence but everywhere. At least we have people talking about the problems and limitations. I just don't want to see another person take their own life because they couldn't find help in Lawrence.

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Larry 8 years, 9 months ago

Of course not. There are plenty of people roaming the streets of Lawrence that are being ignored by Douglas County officials. My proof to this opinion can be substantiated by viewing the voting distribution from the last presidential elections. Guess which county is Kansas is the only BLUE county. THE ONLY BLUE county in the entire State of Kansas. That, in itself, proves that Douglas County doesn't do enough to help the crazies in Lawrence.

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smitty 8 years, 9 months ago

The open shelter existed last winter when Michelle, the drunken indigent was found dead in a downtown park by someone passing out blankets. Are you trying to convince us that the shelter doesn't turn people away or that the open shelter has proven a solution?

Lawrence's open shelter has brought light to how much we need a detox center run by those who know how to handle the behavior of the drugged and drunk without the presence of this problem population over flowing into the neighborhood that houses them. That handling is through tough love not enabling behavior.

The people at the shelter and link are not doing a good job of case management with the problem population. The way that corner is run brings a strong understanding to how the weakests link can bring down an entire community. Yes there is a need to help but why must my neighboorhood go down hill while the red tape gets unrolled? A problem for the jail keepers, the lpd, the shelters, lmh, neighborhood residents, mental health providers, and the amaturish grass roots social service providers who mean well not to mention the clients.

I have read that over 75% of the mentally ill have substance abuse problems. MIDA, mentally ill drug addicted. However most of those do not live on the streets. The police are not meant to handle the housing of the MIDA, even though they are minimally trained to intercede in crisis situations. Bert Nash is not capable of handling the MIDA problem either. Where's DCCCA ? And what are these two organizations doing to address the increasing problem population that the open shelter attracks?

I believe we have the resources if a co-ordination effort of services were enacted.

Right now we are a community with a giving heart that doesn't know how to do the work it intended to do. Hoping that this little insight into why the term enabler is applicable to the problems at 10th and Kentucky helps you past your ever annoying denial of reality.

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sunflower_sue 8 years, 9 months ago

There are 15 mental health faciclites listed in the yellow pages for Lawrence. This ? is just sooooo broad that I'm not even sure what they want us to answer. Based on the related article, they seem to be targeting those who are mentally ill and also get into trouble with the law. There are plenty of mentally ill people who do fine in everyday society.

I guess my answer would be: You just can't help those who don't want to be helped. (And you really can't help them if they don't carry the right insurance!) I'm certainly NOT going to walk up to someone on the street who is talking to themselves and say "Excuse me, but do you need some therapy? I can give you the number for a clinic." Yeah, right!

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grilled_cheese 8 years, 9 months ago

Bert Nash couldn't file an insurance claim correctly if someone was holding a blade to their wrists.

Tasteless, but oh so true.

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happyone 8 years, 9 months ago

Yes Lawrence needs more mental health facilities. Maybe they could use the money they want to use to build another round about with and use it to begin the funding :)

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The_Original_Bob 8 years, 9 months ago

"Yes. I haven't had any problems being approached by the mentally ill, so that makes me think that they are taking care of them." Natalie from up top.

What a great answer. I'm rolling.

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happyone 8 years, 9 months ago

OOPS Yesterdays question my bad

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happyone 8 years, 9 months ago

I have only fought one ticket. I was 15 and according to the cop ran a stop sign in Baldwin. In actuality I had stopped prior to the sign then pulled forward so I could see to cross. He only saw me pull forward and then go. So he pulled me over and gave me a ticket. I went to the court date and explained to the judge and he dismissed it. The only other ticket I have gotten was when I was 17 and deserved it, going 45 in a 30, It cost me a pretty penny. So for the last 15 or so years I haven't gotten any tickets.

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Goody_Two_Shoes 8 years, 9 months ago

Perhaps finding onself mentally healthy takes a bit of work.

Not just standing around with your hands in your pockets.

Alhough pockets sometimes access rockets.

My 'Two Shoes' worth:

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extreme_makeover 8 years, 9 months ago

Betsy's kinda cute and she sure has a way with ADD.

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mendicant 8 years, 9 months ago

I think the Lawrence community should know that we have had 7 citizens that were homeless die in our parks and alleys. Most of those folks either had mental illness or mental illness and substance abuse problems. Of course the knee jerk reaction that I have seen is either to blame the homeless shelters for "ennabling" or to blame desparate people whose desparation is seen in public.

A year round homeless shleter did not exist in Lawrence until the 21st century and Lawrence Community shelter did not even exist when most of those folks died.

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jonas 8 years, 9 months ago

i-itching: Maybe you're just not talking to the right panhandlers.

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jonas 8 years, 9 months ago

Society is, by it's very nature, somewhat socialist. While I can't say that I disagree completely with the idea of privatizing education, a very real possible consequence is the ultimate deepening and stratifying of the classes. It's an obvious catch22: if you want money, you need an education, if you want an education, you need money. Not saying it would happen, but it's very possible. Privatizing is not the end-all answer to everything. Personally, I think a better answer would be to transparitise (word?) the total school budget, in terms legible for everyone to understand, so anyone with an interest would be able to easily look up and view how their money is spent. Throwing money at something does no good when it is just put towards useless beaurucrats and administration. Or more useless standardized tests.

And as for socialism, I would hope that most (I know not all) would view care for the mentally ill as one job that society should take on itself. Without medication, most of them would not be able to take care of themselves, or fuction in the larger society at all.

Of course, we could just "put em on a bus and get rid of them!"

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i_tching 8 years, 9 months ago

Let us also de-fund the fire department and police department, for there is really no need to maintain government, non-competitive, inefficient monopolies in those areas, either.

If criminals burn your house down, you should be able to use a state-sponsored voucher to employ the firefighters of your choice.

As to the original question; no, mental health services are not fully adequate in Lawrence, nor anywhere else, and we have madmen running this state and country into the ground.

Pink elephants or WMD's? Panhandlers downtown do not start wars of aggression based on lies.

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neopolss 8 years, 9 months ago

I wouldn't fund education. Just look at current trends. Private school vouchers and increasing enrollment in private schools. Why not allow education to become private sector? If it is like any other business in this world, it only holds its place by providing results. In this case, that means improvement in testing scores. The public system is falling apart, and will most likely continue to degrade as more and more money is thrown at it. Soon we will have a tax payer funded education system that only 50% of the population uses.

Put an end to the socialist agendas.

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Das_Ubermime 8 years, 9 months ago

Someone with one joke and a grudge against dead horses.

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larryville 8 years, 9 months ago

I had a chance to catch up on yesterday's question and responses, and now I've just read today's question.

And I have but one question of my own........... Who the heck is "Goody Two Shoes"??

Hoofy, is that you?? Are you back here again?!

/Oh, boy! Brace yourselves, folks!

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Goody_Two_Shoes 8 years, 9 months ago

With all the resources we have in this world, it should have become more than about mere survival by now.

I guess it hasn't.

But I'm still wearing two shoes.

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Richard Heckler 8 years, 9 months ago

The illustrious group of some controlling republicans refused to continue funding the Menninger Clinic and others around the state yet provided no means for existing patients. Many became street people. Republican Governor Graves could not change their minds. This controlling group of people labeled republican may not be either republicans or conservatives. Past history has shown compassion among this group. Kansas may have it's group of no tax neocons trying to subvert Kansas for their own selfish reasons. It's time to say to them GOOD BYE IN 2006.

Yes these are pretty much the same thinkers who do not see the need to fund education. They would rather "privatize" and give tax dollars to some corporate welfare client.

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extreme_makeover 8 years, 9 months ago

Great film. Context results in myriad observations about the ways in which folks relate to life.

Too bad there isn't one side of the coin which is shiniest.

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GreenEyedBlues 8 years, 9 months ago

Mental health is such a subjective measure. In light of this, it's hard to define "adequate". So I'm not answering this question! Time to pop some Wellbutrin and get ready for a FUN Monday at work!!!

"What do you mean, BORDERLINE? Borderline between WHAT and WHAT?" - Susana Kaysen, Girl, Interrupted [1999]

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Goody_Two_Shoes 8 years, 9 months ago

Look down at yer feet and count how many shoes yer wearin'.

One, two.

Alright then.

Goody Two Shoes.

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pierced_daisy 8 years, 9 months ago

Lesse here......I have been chased by about five homeless people on mass street shouting unknown phrases, have seen many people outside of gas stations begging for alcohol and ciggarettes......hrm...and then yelled at the was I was a pink elephant when I declined to hand over my paid for purchases.

Id say that yes, Lawrence is doing a crappy job.

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Mister_Joe 8 years, 9 months ago

Okay, I just took a quick poll, and all of the voices in my head and all of my imaginary friends and acquaintances say "no" to this question!! I, oops!, I mean "we" need better mental health care in Douglas County!

Thank you!

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