sam's notes

notes on government, sports and popular culture

Sunday, May 21, 2006

 
......Interesting Lorraine Ahearn (unposted) column in this morning's N&R....

She does a good job telling us about Paul Corsentino, the guy who jumped off the Bellmeade parking deck. I wondered why the story didn't get bigger coverage from the N&R. I know they can't write about every suicide, but jumping eight stories in the middle of downtown is a pretty public way to whack yourself.

In the end, though, the column gets a bit melodramatic:

"Close the mental hospitals and state programs with the promise of some phantom 'community-based' treatment or 'private providers,' then watch as we fill the prison and the homeless shelter, and, in the worst cases, the graveyard."

Pretty heavy stuff. But then I was confused by the next paragraph:

"The saddest part is, all this misery can be averted. People can live with depression just as they live with diabetes — through medicine, therapy, peer groups and probably some exercise."

And that's exactly the argument behind mental health reform, right? Fewer beds are needed because people are being treated through "medicine, therapy, peer groups and probably someexercise." The only problem is mental officials are finding out that's not exactly the case.

Ahearn points out that Corsentino "was twice hospitalized in the past two months, each time discharged after five days. — a typical stay under managed care."

It's very possible Corsentino needed a bed in a mental hospital and couldn't get one. But is it not possible he just quit taking his meds?


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