Mentally ill street people need institutional health care

Patients were supposed to be transferred to group homes and care facilities in the community. But in their haste to save money with the closure of expensive hospitals, not enough care facilities were provided and mentally ill people were left to their own resources on the streets.

Eye View

While I don’t want to see a return of the warehousing of mentally ill patients, some institutional care facilities need to be built to care for the mentally ill people left to their own resources on the street.

I’m well aware of the old mental hospitals because my father was a patient in one. It was located north of Edmonton in Oliver, built in 1923 when eugenics was popular.

image: The Eugenics Archives

Based on animal husbandry, eugenics promoted the idea that undesirable traits could be bred out of human genetic lines.

My dad admitted himself to Oliver with “manic depression,” now called bipolar disorder, and died there in 1970.

I visited him often and wished that the drugs that were being developed could be used to treat him. I was convinced that with medication other than shock treatment, he could have led a functional life.

With advent of drug…

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