Monday, November 5, 2007

NEW ORLEANS: WITH PRISONS AS BEST ALTERNATIVE FOR PSYCHIATRIC BEDS - "CINEMATIC MENTAL HEALTH TREATMENT" AVAILABLE AT THE LSU PSYCHIATRIC HOSPITAL








THE FOLLOWING IS A SHORT STORY OF A MUCH NEEDED, CLOSED, MENTAL HEALTH FACILITY, WHERE I AM TOLD BY STAFF, THAT CITY RESIDENTS COME BEGGING TO BE LET IN FOR TREATMENT AT NIGHT (in the old facility next door, which is now Children's Hospital of behavioral health). THIS MUCH NEEDED MENTAL HEALTH TREATMENT FACILITY HAS BEEN CLOSED SINCE KATRINA AND IT SEEMS IS ONLY AVAILABLE FOR SIMULATED CINEMATIC EXPERIENCES OF MENTAL HEALTH TREATMENT.



Today whilst riding my bike past the still closed LSU mental health facility I noticed that there were trailers with film production crews. I spoke with someone doing security who told me that they are making a movie about a woman with psychological problems who needs mental health treatment who, IRONICALLY, comes to this facility - this closed facility - to receive it.

Months of resentments which had built within my heart and mind peaked today when I saw the film crews using the still empty and much needed facility.



These collective resentments have been built upon my internal sense of perceived injustice that I felt, and continue to feel, as I witness daily, how the privileged middle and upper classes of New Orleans enjoy Audubon Park, which abets the mental health treatment center and how (one is too many) of the uptown residents have shockingly, publicly, with out remorse for their public displays of meanness of spirit, have done their best to block the use of this treatment facility to a city which has suffered one of the greatest national disasters in our history. A city which is in dire need of psychiatric beds.

This important mental health treatment facility may be utilized it seems, to create a theatrical version of someone needing mental health care receiving it, but it cannot be utilized to help in reality, the thousands of mentally ill (out patient and inpatient) - especially those suffering from post traumatic stress disorder, since Katrina.

Only in the movies it seems can you receive the mental health care you need especially "after the greatest natural national disaster" this country has ever witnessed. I feel as if I need to keep repeating that people continue to suffer from intense PTSD related symptoms due to Katrina, besides the ongoing mental health issues pre-Katrina and that for the many, (read income poor and without health insurance) getting a psychiatric bed in this city means going to prison!

Wow, no wonder I feel so angry - and I feel so alone in my anger at this injustice. I have met too many people who believe mental illness is the "fault" of the sufferer. I have too often witnessed people with mental illness being shunned and harshly punished. I have also met too many people who just don't care. Caring it seems, can be a lonely path in itself.


"Tenderness and kindness are not signs of weakness and despair,
but manifestations of strength and resolutions."


Here's my question - maybe a local reporter will pick up on it and write a story concerning it: will the funds received for renting of the state facility for the movie, be used to fix the damage which occurred due to Katrina and open it as soon as possible to help those in desperate need?


What is wrong with us?


"Charity means love towards the neighbor and compassion,

for anyone who loves his neighbor as himself

also has as much compassion for him in his suffering

as he does for himself in his own."
Jah Bless. Prayers for the suffering.

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