Paul Gionfriddo enlightened my listener Sunday night. I met Paul after reading his article in Health Affairs – How I Helped Create A Flawed Mental Health System That’s Failed Millions—And My Son http://content.healthaffairs.org/content/31/9/2138.full Paul has taken an unusual journey concerning the evolution of treating those in most need of mental health treatment.
Beginning in 1978, as a young State Legislator in Connecticut, Paul became part of the movement to save the taxpayer money by moving people out of “mental health facilities” and into “community treatment”.
Paul’s extended journey after being a part of new legislation that was meant to both help those with the severest forms of mental illness and save the tax payers money started again later in the early 90′s when his son, Tim, began to experience early symptoms of mental illness.
In hindsight, Paul and his wife learned the school system was not informed or equipped to handle Tim’s needs. The professionals that saw Tim missed the proper diagnoses for Tim into almost adulthood.
The educational authorities remained clueless on Tim having developed Schizophrenia early.
Paul shared a heartbreaking hour with the radio show and I encourage all to hear the podcast http://www.prescriptionaddictionradioshow.com Tim is 27 years old and gravitates between the streets and jail without the community support that was promised over thirty years ago when the mental health facilities were beginning to be closed.
Paul helped the radio show gain insight Sunday night that the diabolical marketing techniques by the drug companies started much earlier than the narcotics for the adults and the amphetamines for the children.
The radio show has lamented on the diabolical marketing of pain to bring more narcotics to our streets and the diabolical marketing of amphetamines for our children. The drug company marketing has convinced professionals and parents that a zombie state for their child is a normal state.
In the radio show’s opinion, the scheme concerning mental health started in the 70′s. The policy makers and legislators were convinced that there were drugs available to replace the mental health facilities. Instead of a warm room and a safe surrounding, the drug companies convinced all that the best thing to do was push the people out of the facilities and a drug would take care of them.
“Diabolical Beyond Comprehension”
In place of former inpatient mental health facilities, the current outpatient mental health facilities have become the streets, alleys and jails!
What vulnerable population is the next target for the drug companies and then discarded when the promises are not met?