Monday, June 18, 2012

AMA Takes Up Growing Crisis in State Mental Health Services

Delegates to the AMA House of Delegates will debate a resolution designed to address a burgeoning crisis in access to state-supported psychiatric services at this year’s policy-making meeting which began on Saturday in Chicago. During reference committee hearings this weekend, the resolution received strong support from psychiatrists and other physicians. “Mental health services in the community have been deteriorating,” said Connecticut psychiatrist Theodore Zanker, M.D. (pictured above). “At Yale in their ER two weeks ago there were eight children who had to be held in pediatrics with a sitter because they couldn’t find [psychiatric] beds anywhere. At my program, a 20-bed unit, we get referrals from ERs all over the state. They beg and plead with us, but we are busting at the seams, and we are exhausted. This is happening all over the country.”

If approved by the House, the resolution would put AMA on record in support of “maintaining essential mental health services at the state level, to include maintaining state inpatient and outpatient mental hospitals, community mental health centers, addiction treatment centers, and other state-supported psychiatric services.” It would also call on AMA to support increased funding for state Mobile Crisis Teams to locate and treat homeless individuals with mental illness. Look to Psychiatric News for further coverage. And for more information on this topic, click here.
(Image: Mark Moran)


The content of Psychiatric News does not necessarily reflect the views of APA or the editors. Unless so stated, neither Psychiatric News nor APA guarantees, warrants, or endorses information or advertising in this newspaper. Clinical opinions are not peer reviewed and thus should be independently verified.