2.01.2008

Brit & Mental Health

From today's LA TIMES:

"Every family will tell you how much they fail before they can finally get a hospitalization," [Randall Hagar, head of governmental affairs for the California Psychiatric Assn.] said.

State Sen. Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento), a leading authority on mental health law, said he hoped the attention generated by Spears' case could help increase public understanding of the issues involved in commitments.

"With all that goes on in pop culture, in an ironic way this could be a teaching moment," said Steinberg, an author of a 2004 ballot initiative that sought to reform California's troubled mental healthcare system.

"I sure hope the conversation shifts from the paparazzi and all of that to how many people in this state and this country need mental health services and don't receive them," he said. ...

Experts on mental illness estimate that as many as half of people who are mentally ill deny that they are sick.

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