“Spotlight” on mental health services

In the appropriately named “The Desperate and the Dead” series, the Boston Globe “Spotlight” team examines the collapse of the mental health care services system in Massachusetts, here. The article summarizes:

“Indeed, family members are often all that stand between seriously mentally ill people and disaster — making sure they keep appointments, take their medications, and have a place to stay, while remaining vigilant for the next crisis. At the same time, thousands of those without family members to stand by them are relegated to streets, shelters, prisons, and county jails. They crowd emergency room wards and hallways.

This is, of course, not just a state but a national crisis. However, it is worse here than most would imagine. Massachusetts spends less per capita on mental health care than any other New England state except Rhode Island, and much less than some states of comparable means and politics — such as New York, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation study. By this and other critical measures, Massachusetts has forfeited the leadership it once was known for in mental health care.”

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