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BHD – What Others Are Saying

Posted by Chris Liebenthal on August 29, 2010

From Milwaukee County First:

In the last couple of days, there have been a number or interesting articles written about the crisis at the mental health complex.  Here are some of them:

  • Geri Lyday, interim director of the Department of Health and Human Services talks about the improvements they are trying to implement.  Basically, it’s the same talking points Scott Walker has been pushing.
  • Ann Scott Blouin, the executive vice-president of Accreditation and Certification Operations for the Joint Commission, writes about the value of an institute being accredited.  Walker allowed BHD’s accreditation to lapse because he thought it too expensive to do the necessary upkeep to keep the facility accredited.
  • Peter Hoeffel, the executive director of NAMI – Greater Milwaukee, presents his take on what needs to be done, including a greater focus on community-based treatment.
  • Paul Geenen, a member of the community and parent of a person with mental illness, contributes a letter to the editor which shows the disconnect Walker has with the community in general:

Two weeks ago, our telephone rang at 2 a.m. I leaped out of our bed, awakened from a dead sleep and grabbed the phone as it rang for the third time. My son needed my help at the emergency room of one our city’s mental health hospitals. Any parent with a child struggling with mental health issues knows the fear that I felt as our phone rang.

The Milwaukee County Mental Health Complex is the site of last resort when mental health services are needed. I read the articles about the Mental Health Complex with cold dread. My son has been, and might again, be treated there; is my son safe there? Powerful medications with severe side effects are used to treat conditions such as a bipolar condition. Is the staff competent to dispense and adjust those medications?

One must realize that the deplorable treatment outlined in Journal Sentinel articles this week affect whole families. Don’t talk to me about cost; talk to me about whether my son is getting proper treatment.

My message to the leadership of Milwaukee Count: Fix it!


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