The fault lies, once again, with cutting necessary government services. Sarah Hepola at Salon interviews an expert who nails it. When discussing what can be done to take mental health seriously, the answer:
It would mean you would actually have the resources to do something we haven't done yet, which is get people treatment. We have been very good at emptying the hospitals. What we haven't done is to offer treatment once people are out of the hospitals. In Arizona, for instance, they closed down most of the hospital beds. They are next to last in the United States in the availability of hospital beds for the population, and they have closed down some of the outpatient clinics. If you want to get serious about mental illness, then you need to provide the resources so people can be treated.And then the tricky question is: Where do those resources come from?
This has been, for 200 years, the state's responsibility. That's why state hospitals were built. This has not been, primarily, a federal responsibility. Ultimately the states are responsible, therefore the governor's responsible, the legislature is responsible. And the Department of Mental Health should be held responsible. This is not rocket science. We know what the good programs are. Everyone has decided: It's better to save money, and we'll close down hospital beds; people who want to get help, we'll try to get them help, but we won't do much more than that. If you keep doing that, you will continue having these kinds of disasters. This is not new. If enough people become sufficiently angry, they will demand that their state government do what they should have been doing all along. Until a sufficient number of people become angry enough, it's not going to happen.
There you have it friends and neighbors. Public theft of vital resources intended for the general welfare of the population. Call it starve the beast, call it "fiscal responsibility," call it whatever you'd like. What we have is a refusal to pay for the things we need. What we have is a strong protective system for wealth and a weak protective system for life. Pro-life anyone? How about pro-life for those who are already alive?