When the New York Times and the Manhattan Institute are on the same social reform page, it’s time to pay attention. For people with untreated serious mental illness and their families, it’s past time.
The question is no longer whether to bring back the asylum; it’s how to fund it, ensure that treatment and care is therapeutic, humane and effective, and most importantly, that people leaving these therapeutic communities are reintegrated into the community with residential and work supports.
One day, let alone fifty years, is too long to accept jails, prisons or the streets as viable options to treat people with a serious brain disease; options unfathomable for someone with brain cancer.
The time is now for wholesale reform of the discriminatory IMD exclusion, rational revisions to commitment standards, and strict enforcement by the government of insurance parity for mental and physical health care.