Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Lessons learned from the John Hyde Case?

The recent developments in the John Hyde case highlight a major problem with mental health care in New Mexico. A lack of in patient facilities to treat those in need of mental health care. Las Vegas Medical Center is the primary facility for mentally ill patients from all over New Mexico. The waiting list is long and most individuals court ordered to the facility spend months in jail before getting a bed in the facility.

Let's think about that for a second, people with mental health issues who need in patient treatment are awaiting that treatment in a jail. Those who do not mess up bad enough to get arrested and then have the courts send them to jail prior to getting a bed, roam our streets as members of our homeless population. Or they live semi normal lives until the day they snap. Take a look at the recent cases of John Hyde and Cho Seung-Hui the Virginia Tech Killer. Both had brushes with the mental health systems in their states and both states failed them and their eventual solution was mass murder.

New Mexico needs to expand our mental health system and provide expanded in patient care. The waiting lists are too long and continued outpatient care is lacking in resources and funding. those in need of constant care and monitoring need a system that provides that care as well as funds the care. Many mentally ill individuals are unable to hold down jobs especially with out assistance and monitoring to ensure they are taking their medications. Going back to the Johnson administration we have cut and underfunded mental health facilities and programs. New Mexico needs to invest in these programs and begin to be proactive in preventing these kinds of deaths.


duncande150 said...


As someone with a daughter that is currently cared for on the DD-Waiver, I cannot agree enough with what you've said. Something I'll definitely keep in mind as we get closer to the elections for Gov/Lt. Gov. I really appreciate your position. My daughter would have lingered on the DD-Waiver list for 6-7 years before being funded except that she was in so bad of a condition, she was able to be moved up the list. But that is rare, and it's practically an act of God to get it done. We definitely need more services in this state. Again, I appreciate your position and look forward to hearing more on it as the election cycle plays out. -Del Duncan, RR, NM.

Anonymous said...

Though the pressure and pain on family due to "mental health" systems and treatment or lack of it is real... the problem and real solution is much, much deeper than "MORE or EXPANDED" mental health systems.

The whole field needs to be looked into as it is a sham. Our current mental health systems in the US only labels, mistreats, kills, mames, and creates mass murderes.


johnsmith said...

Yes I agree with you, and due to the increase in mental disorder patients the Government has to look over more hospitality conditions for them. And it is purely immoral activity of the Government to take care about the patients in jail.


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Anonymous said...

A lesson to be learned from the Hyde incident is the problems involved with relatives unable to force mental health care on those who really need it. Hyde is a case where the family tried to help him and was unable to because it is nearly impossible to commit someone against their will. My son is a time bomb waiting to go off, but like the hyde family I am helpless. it seems we have to wait until a tragedy happens and then, like Hyde, he will get treatment while spending his life in jail. health care issues are not the real problem, at least for us, we have healthcare that will cover long term treatment as well as medicine and follow up care. But again unless he goes on his own there is nothing we can do. And to make matters worse he owns an arsenal of weapons. I have called the police they say there is nothing I can do because he has never committed a crime....yet!