All this talk about improving services to the disabled and the mentally ill is just that, talk. The disabled and mentally ill can’t buy votes and many do not have advocates who can traverse the health care delivery system as it is, has been and, as demonstrated in your Sunday help wanted section, will be.
I was sickened, literally, by what I read: “Developmental Specialists wanted — minimum requirements — experience not required — we will train you — valid driver’s license and high school diploma or GED — part-time and substitute positions available.”
Unless the new hires are working directly with licensed social workers or registered nurses who have experience in the mental health field and with the disabled, these people are at serious risk, and the quality of care so urgently needed will be inadequate to the needs of this population.
I am a retired registered nurse who spent the last 20 years of my working life in psychiatric units. An individual very dear to me has a manic depressive disorder. The gentlest of souls can become angry, out of control, and answering to whatever distorted thought process they are experiencing. Only the faint of heart need apply.
I had a first-hand view of how the mentally ill and disabled receive care. Every time the brass told us that new guidelines would make the process easier, I learned not to believe it. Things just got harder!
Privatizing mental health and disability care only ensures upper management gets the dollars and the patients — oops, I mean the clients — get the shaft.
VIRL SUTTON STOKELYSFlbHertford