Sunday, March 17, 2013

Kentucky families struggle to care for violent, mentally ill children

Cynthia Davies becomes emotional as she and her husband, Dan, talk about seeking care for their violent, mentally ill daughter Lucy, 14. 'I'm getting terrified,' Dan Davies said. 'She is my daughter, but I don't know what to do.' 

Coping with mental illness

In the wake of the Connecticut school shootings, The Courier-Journal details the treatment problems facing families with children suffering from serious and sometimes violent mental problems.
Today: A Western Kentucky couple wrestles with getting proper care for their violently mentally ill daughter.
Monday: A Lexington mother struggles to get help for her adult daughter with schizophrenia.
Davies family deals with mentally ill child: Dan Davies and his wife Cynthia, of Marion, Ky., have sought access to mental health care for their violent child and have been frustrated by the difficult process.
Written by Laura Ungar The Courier-Journal
Reporter Laura Ungar can be reached at (502) 582-7190 or on Twitter @lauraungarcj.
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Kentucky gets low marks for mental health spending

Written by Chris Kenning The Courier-Journal 
Kentucky’s budget for mental health services has remained stagnant in recent years, and the state ranks well below the national average in per capita mental health funding.
Only a fraction of mental health facilities offer residential treatment, the most comprehensive care for the severely ill. State Medicaid rates for mental health services haven’t been raised substantially in years. And some argue the overall system is disjointed and fragmented.
“Demand has grown and funding hasn’t met demand,” said Dr. Allen Brenzel, medical director of the state’s Department for Behavioral Health, Developmental and Intellectual Disabilities.
 "Officials at the Treatment Advocacy Center say the shootings show a need to expand court-ordered outpatient treatment programs, allow hospital commitments before a situation reaches the point of provable risk of violence, and increase beds."
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