Friday, February 22, 2013

NY State's psychiatric centers need to go.

(The governor’s budget could result in the closing of up two dozen psychiatric centers in order to create regional centers for psychiatric care.)
(Harvey Rosenthal, executive director of state Association of
Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services, said he supports Cuomo’s effort to
move patients out of psychiatric hospitals and into more community-based
settings — part of a nationwide trend.“New York has lagged behind all other states from moving resources from state hospitals into the community,” Rosenthal said.)
It's deja vu all over again.
In the 1970ies, the mental health and developmental disability bureaucracies were split.
The mental health, the Holland Ave. central office, was dominated by state hospital old guard protectors.
As the de-institutionaliztion of mental patients moved forward, the unified services concept was to kick in and provide funds and services in the community.
The old guard at Holland Ave. worked to prevent this from being successful.
And the patients were released, properly, but the streets of our major cities, especially NYC, filled with homeless released patients.
The remnant of the psychiatric hospital old guard remains. The old guard can disguise itself as bureaucratic zombies, roaming the halls of Holland Ave...but they persist and engage in daily mischief.
In the 70ies, Gov. Carey needed to put the state mental health bureaucracy into what the private sector calls "receivership"; and the receiver then should have been the governor's office.
Gov. Cuomo may need to consider doing the same.

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