Gap in Mental Health Care

Gap in Mental Health Care


lack of continuation care for those leaving the hospital with mental illness

Team Information
(CCAMI) Communities Caring About Mental Illness
Health & Well-Being

About the Problem

Are you currently enrolled at Barstow Community College?


Context & Problem Description

Those with mental illness are failing to receive the care needed as they are being released on the street from the hospitals before the patient is ready to be on their own. More often than not when released from the hospital they have no idea where or how they got there. Many can't get the care they need as some law enforcement officers believe the mentally ill "have a right to be insane", they don't understand the victim doesn't even realize what has happened to them.

Problem Category

Health & Well-Being

How did you identify this problem? (Research, Interviews, etc.)

Personal experience, interviews, research, observation

Problem Details

Who are those affected by this problem? (Provide detailed information including statistics, demographics, etc.)

This affects everyone, the homeless, incarcerated, and tax payers, as mental health care in jail/prison is very expensive. We must find a middle ground between incarceration, and untreated, unsupervised and at-risk mentally ill people.

How often does this problem occur?

In 1963, President John F. Kennedy signed into law the Community Mental Health Act (CMHA). It failed to accommodate the massive need for community-centered mental healthcare following the release of patients from institutions enacted by Ronald Reagan

Please explain how long the problem has been going on?

As long as there has been illness, there has been mental illness. And as long as there has been mental illness, there has been problematic treatment of mental illness.

How is the problem disrupting your community?

The lack of care prevents those with mental illness from contributing to the community as well as not being able to care for themselves.

Please explain if the issue is perceived as a problem by your community.

Police in situations with mental health are not equipped to address them. Estimated 2 million times a year, seriously mentally ill are jailed, two in five incarcerated have a history of mental illness, 37% state & federal prisons, 44% in local jails.

What are the specific geographic areas impacted by the problem?

a quarter of all people experiencing homelessness in this country reside in California.

Who are the Stakeholders, those wanting this problem to be fixed?

Officers nationwide have experienced frustration with a broken mental health system that needs a complete overhaul or rebuild.The community, the families of those with mental illness and those with the disease seek help where there is none.

Team Leader Email (College/Organization/Etc.)

A home is needed with a Registered Nurse, or suitably trained and competent senior support staff that will assist those being released from mental facilities until they are stable and remain stable and are then able to be released into their own care.