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Reply #170: I Had an aunt in the state hospital in CA then and then she was moved into [View All]

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eagertolearn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 11:36 PM
Response to Reply #10
170. I Had an aunt in the state hospital in CA then and then she was moved into
a halfway house in the 70's. The halfway house was better but she died in it trying to cure her illegal throat disease with drano (paranoid schizophrenic). But soon these people were thrown out onto the streets because they lost the funding for the halfway houses too. But I can remember "hobo's"(as my grandpa called them) sleeping in the leaves by the train station by my grandpa's house in the 60's. Less than twenty years later my brother would be one of those sleeping in the same leaves. Mental illness sometimes arrives slowly and after teenagers have left home. They suddenly drop out of college and out of the job market and the family will try and figure it out but they can't. It doesn't make sense. Some will go back home for a while but most will settle out on the streets without treatment. When family try to help them and try to get them evaluated they refuse because this is "their choice". My brother started out as a homeless advocate fighting for their rights (he finally felt like he was needed by a group of people) but in the end he was abandoned even by most of his homeless friends because they could see he was dying and and that they would be next. Even though there are a lot of people who are on the streets for other reasons there are a lot of people just like my brother. I didn't think he was schizophrenic but it wasn't until a few years before he died that I found out my grandmother had died from Bi-Polar disease (a long kept family secret). When ever he did have success in life we would all get excited but the success would be short lived and he would disappear for a while and then come back drinking heavily again. I tried to get him evaluated but the medical system, who would treat him in the ICU for 10 days at a time for a GI bleed, wouldn't evaluate or consider treating him for mental illness. The closest they got was asking him "if he ever felt like God" and he said no and they said he wasn't bi-polar (what they didn't know was that he never wanted anything to do with God so why then would he ever feel like him?). Drinking and substance abuse may not cause them to hit the streets but all the one's I saw on the streets in Santa Barbara were heavy drinkers. So what is the right way to go about this? We had an exchange student for a year from Norway and she said these people are taken care of by their government. They are given shelter, medications, rehab and I think some job training. If they still can't make it on their own they are still helped. She was so surprised we help families so much because she doesn't even know any homeless people or see them ever in her town of 50 thousand in the Artic Circle. They love their system of medical care. They even get complete dental care until they are 18. Why can't we support something like this with real medical care that actually helps people stay well!
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