Wednesday, March 11, 2009

No Grade Inflation Here

NAMI (National Alliance for the Mentally Ill) has released a follow-up report card for states' systems of mental health care. As compared to the 2006 report, unsurprisingly, little has changed overall, and the national average remains a D. No state got an A.

These states got B's: Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusets, New York, Oklahoma

These states got F's: Arkansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, South Dakota, West Virginia, Wyoming

I do public psychiatry only part-time, and I don't mean to wax sanctimonious, but if you're disadvantaged to start with, and have a mental illness on top of that, but you do happen to be living in, on average, the most prosperous nation in the history of the world, one would hope that you could look beyond the local jail or emergency room to obtain decent help. As a society we obviously have other priorities.

State-by-state grades in 2006 and 2009 are here.

2 comments:

Retriever said...

Good post. Thanks for the kind reference above. Wrote something on this quality of care piece and the earlier one on Psychiatry on Life Support, that may never make it to my blog (probably too personal, family stuff). Wretched w a cold so probably best to let it compost while I sleep. Not so sick and certainly not as eloquent as Fever 103, tho.

rvitelli said...

"one would hope that you could look beyond the local jail or emergency room to obtain decent help."

I can't speak on emergency rooms (which don't always have psychiatrists on call) but I worked in the prison system for years. For the most part, mentally ill people who wind up in jails don't get help. More often than not, they're placed in segregation and left to vegetate. They may get medication but that's about it.