Congressional action needed to address mental-health crisis
Regarding the recent article “Ruling could spur action to address psychiatric boarding crisis” (Modern Healthcare Sept. 1, p. 8), as the CEO of a community hospital in North Carolina, I and my staff are challenged professionally, ethically and emotionally by the dire plight of mental-health patients in our community. The problem is the same across the country.
I call on the American Hospital Association to join forces with the American Medical Association and other organizations to urge action from Washington that addresses the mental-health crisis in our nation. What is needed is a congressional hearing on mental health. Lawmakers need to hear the voices of the experts and the families who deal with these issues every day in caring for their loved ones.
We also need to develop a plan that will include funding for more mental-healthcare providers and more facilities, along with a national focus of identifying causative factors and implementing a national program in preventing the rising epidemic of mental-health disorders. Our long history of indifference to mental health is ethically and morally unsustainable.
Ed Piper President and CEO Onslow Memorial Hospital Jacksonville, N.C.