Monday, September 22, 2014

Nurse Mary: ‘Mental Health + Physical Health = Brain Health’

"I am proud to call Mary Palafox my friend and mentor! Society has much to learn and Mary is leading the way to help us get there!"  ~ gg burns

“My stomach is in knots,” Mary tells Treatment Before Tragedy, as her son walks the tight rope between behavioral health and the judicial system. “They don’t have institutions anymore, so families are the institution,” Mary says. “Taxpayers need to know families are the largest provider for food, clothing and shelter for those with mentally illness. All efforts thus should go towards supporting family caretakers and maintaining this very important relationship.”
Not long after the publication of the Orange County Register article, Mary joined other mothers, family members and community members to launch the organization that is today Treatment Before Tragedy.
“If my son had autism, he would have a ‘right to treatment’ within physical health care, based on his lack of capacity to understand his need for treatment. If my mother had Alzheimer’s, I could advocate for medical services, but in behavioral health, I had to wait for my son to deteriorate to the point of dangerousness and/or grave disability. 
Watching that happen was pure agony. Hearing mental health professionals apologizing over and over again, concerning the broken system was also totally unacceptable and inhumane to witness.” 

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