Recently TheAtlantic.com published an article titled, Should the US Bring Back Psychiatric Asylums? The article talks about the cynicism surrounding long-term psychiatric facilities, the consequences of de-institutionalization (homelessness and incarceration), as well as the need for such psychiatric facilities. So the question is, should we open more long-term psychiatric facilities?
Long-Term Psychiatric Facilities — Should We Open More?
As one who has received treatment in long-term psychiatric hospitals, I understand the concerns of the naysayers. I survived medical neglect and psychiatric mistreatment at one hospital, but at another I was treated fine. It may initially seem like a bad idea, but it is an idea worth considering. Jails, prisons and the streets are not designed to treat severe mental illness, while hospitals are. However, there should be adequate public oversight of such psychiatric facilities, as well as adequate funding for the facilities currently operating.
Regardless of what we as a society decide to do, we need to do something to be more humane in our treatment of severe and chronic mental illness.