With so much speculation and media buzz about the gunman who shot innocent victims in a Colorado movie theater on July 20, 2012, syndicate columnists Mona Charen writes "Public discussion and debate about the Aurora, Colo., horror has missed the point."
Read more on TAC's Blog here:http://www.treatmentadvocacycenter.org/about-us/our-blog
Here are a few critical messages that need to be heard:
- Severe mental illness is a treatable brain disease.
- Consequences follow when severe mental illness goes untreated: homelessness, criminalization of mental illness, suicide, violence, victimization and others.
- Nearly half of individuals with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder suffer from anosognosia and are unable to recognize they need treatment. For them, intervention by others is crucial to arrest deterioration.
- The mental health delivery system is abandoning those with the most disabling mental illness by closing public psychiatric beds, failing to use proven interventions like assertive community treatment (ACT) and assisted outpatient treatment (AOT), and focusing almost exclusively on services that require people to be well enough to volunteer for care.
- Public policy needs to recognize these realities.
- Policy makers must be held accountable when it does not.