Video Testimony on Where the Hospital Beds Have Gone
(April 7, 2014) If you missed it on C-Span, testimony from a recent House subcommittee hearing examining the disappearance of psychiatric hospital beds is available on YouTube.
“Individuals with serious mental illness who are unable to obtain treatment through ordinary means are now homeless or entangled in the criminal justice system,” Rep. Tim Murphy said in his opening statement to the House subcommittee on energy and commerce oversight and investigations, which he chairs. Watch Rep. Murphy’s opening statement.
“Community programs serve those who seek and accept treatment. Those who refuse, or are too sick to seek treatment voluntarily, become a law enforcement responsibility,” said Chief of Police Michael Biasotti, Treatment Advocacy Center board member and immediate past president of the New York State Association of Chiefs of Police. Watch Chief Biasotti’s testimony.
“Since becoming Sheriff in 2006, I have seen an explosion in the percentage of seriously mentally ill individuals housed in the jail. I have seen first-hand the devastating impact cuts to mental health programs and services has had on the mentally ill in Illinois,” testified Sheriff Thomas Dart, who oversees Cook County Jail in Illinois, the largest jail in the country. Watch Sheriff Dart’s testimony.
A week later, founding Treatment Advocacy Center executive director Mary Zdanowicz was among four witnesses at a House subcommittee hearing on Murphy’s “Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act.”
Earlier last week, a major component of Murphy’s bill, an assisted outpatient treatment (AOT) demonstration project, was adopted by the House of Representatives and signed into law.
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