Another alarmed professor went to her dean with worries about Cho.
She was told that nothing could be done, so he was simply placed off to
the side of the seminar, where he said nothing and his disturbing
writings werenât read aloud. This is a microcosm of how weâve handled
many of the mentally ill during the great deinstitutionalization of the
past 30 years, when they have been left to their own devices â and
often to the streets or prison â rather than treated.
many reasons for this – the rise of psychotropic drugs, budget cuts,
expanded conceptions of civil rights - but one intellectual current
behind the trend was a moral disempowerment of sanity. One of the most
influential academics of the late 20th century, Michel Foucault, argued
that attempts to label and treat madness were inherently arbitrary and
repressive. Academia has been celebrating “transgression” ever since.
I must thank Mr. Lowry for the rush of memories of all those hours spent in meetings while working as an MSW clinician treating the mentally ill, that myself and colleagues spent musing on the work of Foucault. Wait Foucault… the French philosopher? Jesus H Christ with an Axis II diagnosis, you have to be freaking kidding me.
I’m ready to spit teeth…teeth cut in a system so under funded and screwed up, that at the time I left, it was an abomination and now is near collapse. Diagnosis was easy, coming up with a viable treatmmet plan? Not so much so and I can guarantee you Foucault never once entered into the equation.
Just what does Lowry think the incredibly under paid mental health clinicians of America do? I can tell you what I spent way too much time doing. Calling insurance companies begging for more sessions. (Please please I’m sure 4 more sessions of that brief therapy you insist on me providing will take care of that personality disorder and associated features) Calling around to hospitals in search of an empty bed for near suicidal patients. (Well no he doesn’t have insurance…Hello? Hello…? shit) Justifying my worth to the not for profit agency–ready to close up at any minute–when my billable hours are out of whack with expected goals necessary to keep the dumping ground for the poor and uninsured open. (Supervisor: You’re over 50% in Medicaid hours here. Can’t you get more clients with insurance? Me to self: More marketing. Great) Seeking out long term care programs that did not exist and I assure you I wasn’t celebrating Focault when I heard–no such thing–I was more likely cursing Reagan. Funny Lowry doesn’t mention the influence of that name. No. Coming close to reality with a few of the “many reasons” he noted, Lowry just couldn’t help himself and instead took that hard right and offered up the strawman, Foucault.
If Lowry wants change in mental health care then put up or shut up. Admit the policy mistakes of the past. Institute policy and programs and most important–Fund Them.