Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Mental illness in the news in our area - its a rant


#1

A man with mental illness was released from jail in a nearby county in the PREDAWN hours. They called the one number he could remember, his ex-wife’s. She didn’t answer, so they just let him walk out the door on his own. He has been missing for three weeks. His family is trying desperately to find him.

In the same county this past summer, the District Attorney went on the record saying he didn’t support special courts to handle the cases of people with mental illness “because they are just gimmicks”.

As mentioned in another thread, my county’s “special response team” shot a man with mi this past weekend while serving a warrant his family had worked hard to obtain.

An upscale county -Fort Bend -outside- a major city- Houston- routinely drops their inmates with mental illness off outside the large homeless shelter located deep in the downtown of the major city. Get this - they are picked at the jail up by the local regional state and county funded, COMMUNITY MENTAL HEALTH PROVIDER- TEXANA, who then proceeds to drive them into Houston. Families aren’t even informed before this happens, most of them don’t find out what happened until in their search they finally stumble across a NAMI person who tells them where to start looking for their family member. The community provider won’t tell them, says its not their information to disclose. Houston has started going into the outdoor, under the freeways, homeless camps and giving the residents some notice and help moving their stuff before coming in and freshening up the space for the residents.

How on earth can anyone expect these people to find their way home out of the downtown? I guess that’s the plan, that they won’t find their way back to Fort Bend.

A couple of years ago in the newspaper, the Fort Bend sheriff commented "we don’t have these kinds of problems in Fort Bend County. The couple from my Family to Family class who were killed - with a sledgehammer- by their son with mental illness and a bad meth habit? You guessed it, Fort Bend County residents. Lovely neighborhood, gated, you know, GOOD people. The kind of people who don’t have these problems. Not like all of us.

In a comments section under an article about a recent shooting committed by a man with mental illness, the commenters were all saying “there’s no way all these shooters are mentally ill” and “why didn’t these families and neighbors call for help”. We all know the real story, but these people refuse to take their blinders off and see that mental illness is a CRISIS IN THIS COUNTRY.

Why oh why can’t we get help for our loved ones before tragedies occur.


#2

I think you should write some letters to the editors of the newspapers in your county and Houston. You present sane arguments against an inhumane way of treating the mentally ill.


#3

I documented my calls for help. After something terrible happened, everyone around our family knew how hard we had tried to get medical treatment. People who didn’t know us, that was different.

To the people who say, why didn’t they try to get help? THERE IS NO HELP until things get really serious. The analogy used for SMI is like waiting to treat cancer until it is Stage IV though it was detected two or three stages ago.

Also, during the hurricane in Texas, people with SMI who refused to go to shelters were taken in on involuntary holds, then let go after. Okay.


#5

Good question…but would be nice if they listened to the fact WE DO!! The sad fact is indifference or worse incompetency seems to rule. SMH.


#6

Several people have mentioned that their states do a good job. I guess I don’t pay any attention because I don’t plan on moving.

I love Texas. The Texans set all issues aside and take care of each other when its needed. Just like the rest of the people in this country, they are clueless about mental illness. Just like I was a few years ago.


#8

Not into advocacy - while NAMI likes to sell it as our final goal as family members - I like to choose my own goals.
I do make sure to donate to NAMI TEXAS as opposed to the local NAMI. The state organization is supposed to be about changing state legislation. While they have made progress its a slow, slow haul.


#9

Here’s my rant. Not in my area, this was just the first thread I found with rant in the title.

My brother just flamed his way quite spectacularly into being arrested and taken to a mental hospital where he has been diagnosed bipolar. A lot of cocaine added to a highly excitable aggressive bipolar person can wreak a lot of havoc. He will be taken directly into police custody at the hospital when he is released.

I advised my mom, who does family communication for those of us who keep our space from our out of control siblings with brain diseases, (one can only have oneself spit on, screamed at and threatened so many times in the name of family before one decides to keep ones distance) that they have his case transferred to the mental health court.

My older sister who also loves to scream at family members (believe me the day will come when she will get her bipolar diagnosis) told same mom that “we don’t have mental health courts here”. Her word is taken as the gospel because her son is a police officer in a small nearby town.

Took me about 2 minutes to locate their mental health court system on the internet - and they even have an entire building with support services pre and post trial! A friendly pre-trial clerk said all brother’s attorney has to do is ask for the transfer.

I did say to mom, why do you always believe what (undiagnosed bipolar) sister says even after she has been proven wrong about so many things so many times?

My family is a mess.


#10

Gosh @hope I am so sorry. I also feel for your mom. Maybe it is just easier for her to deal with sis thinking she is always right rather than being screamed at? I have a son who I am 90% sure is undiagnosed bipolar and I find myself smiling and nodding a lot when inside my head I am thinking WOW.

Often I think of my family as a rag-tag team of misfits. But you have given me some perspective today in which at least despite the ups and downs there is no spitting. And good for you for trying to help in the face of adversity.