The Mental Health System: Kenosha County, Wisconsin
More people are seeking mental health care as a result of the mental health coverage in the Affordable Care Act. Unfortunately, there is a nation-wide shortage of psychiatrists. This is especially apparent in Kenosha County where the ratio of mental health providers to patients is 1:1075 - the worst shortage of all counties in Wisconsin (according to Kenosha News, "County Trying To Cope With Shortage Of Psychiatrists" 9/14/2015.)
More over, if an individual is in crisis and needs psychiatric hospitalization, Kenosha County is lacking in available treatment facilities. Often patients are transferred to St. Luke's in Racine or Rogers Memorial Hospital in West Allis.
For NAMI Wisconsin resources on Navigating the System, click here.
CLICK HERE TO GET DOWNLOADABLE COPIES OF FORM IN ENGLISH AND SPANISH AND ALSO A COPY OF MARK’S HANDBOOK.
Mark Gale became alarmed when his son was arrested and jailed in Los Angeles’ Twin Towers. He wanted the correctional officers to know that his son had a serious mental illness and what medications helped him.
But there was no obvious way for him to communicate his son’s diagnosis or his background to those who were guarding him.
Although Mark was on vacation, he began calling the jail. For five straight days he called. He either was put on hold or was passed from one person to the next for five hours each of those days. Finally, he reached someone.
Mark wondered if other families would have the determination to do what he had done or know how, so he decided to create a family friendly form that could be faxed to the jail staff and also write a handbook that contained helpful information that families needed to know whenever someone they loved was arrested.
Mark had already joined the National Alliance on Mental Illness and using it as a lever, he managed to convince jail officials to provide him with a telephone number that families could use to fax the forms that he had created. His local NAMI chapter also began distributing his handbook. Word quickly spread throughout the Los Angeles area and other jails began adapting his form while other NAMI chapters began circulating the handbook that he had written.
Read more here:
Drug companies are courting jails and judges through sophisticated marketing efforts.
Read the full story from The Atlantic: www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2019/12/pharmaceutical-companies-are-marketing-drugs-jailers/604264/
"...The relationship between drug companies and the criminal-justice system seems to have intensified: free samples to detention facilities; comped lunches during which jail and prison doctors learn about medications; and payments to physicians to tout certain medications at conferences for criminal-justice professionals, including those without health-care licenses such as sheriffs and drug-court judges. At recent conferences about correctional health care, Merck, Gilead, AbbVie, and other big pharmaceutical companies have staged “product theaters” or “education luncheons” that show how their products could help treat inmates. The criminal-justice system isn’t just a lucrative market because of current inmates; it also introduces incarcerated people to medication that they might continue using after they’re released."
"...Dr. Joseph Penn, the director of mental-health services for the Correctional Managed Care division of the University of Texas Medical Branch, which oversees treatment in many of the state’s jails and prisons, says drug companies have awakened to the potential market behind bars. “No other country incarcerates as many people as we do, and they realized, ‘Hey, that’s a whole market we haven’t tapped,’” Penn said..."
"...these marketing efforts have raised worries among criminal-justice advocates that drug companies could influence both the prescribing habits of correctional doctors and the choices of non-health-care professionals such as sheriffs and drug-court judges..."
Corporate Council and Mental Health Statutes
The Kenosha County Corporate Council concentrates on general municipal law, labor relations, environmental and land use law, and worker's compensation cases as well as handling over 700 mental commitments and protective placements annually for individuals in need of care due to the infirmities of aging, mental illness and addiction.
Wisconsin state law on Mental Health can be found online.
More than three-quarters of Wisconsin counties have significant shortages of psychiatrists, according to a Thursday report from the Wisconsin Policy Forum. Fifty-five of 72 Wisconsin counties face a “significant shortage” of psychiatrists and 20 have no practicing psychiatrists at all. The dearth of psychiatrists in these areas, along with the high prevalence of mental illness and substance abuse in the state, likely contribute to a gap in which more than half of Wisconsin adults in need of services for a mental health disorder go without care.
- 55 counties have less than one psychiatrist for every 10,000 residents, which the Department of Health Services defines as a “significant shortage.”The federal government defines shortages as one psychiatrist per 30,000 residents. Under that definition, half of the counties face shortages.
- 20 counties in the state, mostly located in northern Wisconsin, lack psychiatrists.
- Moreover, the state’s psychiatrist workforce is aging. The average psychiatrist is 50 years old, and 15 percent in the state are 65 or older.
“Policymakers may want to consider increasing psychiatry residency class sizes or rural psychiatry residency programs, as approximately half of medical residents practice within the state in which they trained,” the report noted. “In addition, expanding the use of integrated care models and of telemedicine for both patients and other healthcare providers could help to widen the reach of the existing psychiatrist workforce.”
For the 6th year in a row, Mental Health America (MHA) released its annual State of Mental Health Report, which ranks all 50 states and the District of Columbia based on several mental health and access measures. This year, Pennsylvania came out on top overall with Nevada coming in 51st. The report also takes a look back on the trends of the last 6 years and shows that many are still not receiving the treatment they need. Wisconsin is ranked 13.
Most alarmingly, the data show that the mental health of our youth is getting worse, not better. Major depression in youth has increased 4.35 percent over the last 6 years - meaning over 2 million youth have severe depression. Shockingly, almost 60 percent of youth with major depression do not receive any mental health treatment.
Click here to read the new State of Mental Health in America Report and see how your state ranked for mental health care and access.
For the fifth year in a row, Mental Health America (MHA) released its annual State of Mental Health Report, which ranks all 50 states and the District of Columbia based on several mental health and access measures. This year, Minnesota came out on top overall with Nevada coming in 51st. The report also dives into addressing trauma in youth, and its long-term impact on performance and behavior in school.
MHA’s report also shines the spotlight on childhood trauma and its impact long-term, and releases data that shows how much trauma can impact youth in school. Trauma-impacted youth are more likely to be absent from school, find themselves removed from classrooms, or struggle with academics.
Click here to read the 2019 State of Mental Health in America Report and see how your state ranked for mental health care and access.