Good in groups
A recent N&O report on current efforts to reduce mentally disabled persons’ access to group homes reminded me of a study published by the National Sheriff’s Association a few years ago. The study noted that in North Carolina, a mentally ill person is 3.5 times more likely to be in jail than in a mental hospital.
Group homes provide support to clients who are unable to manage their behavior or medications without a disciplined and supervised environment. A state-sponsored apartment will not provide that degree of support and thus many or most (my family member included) will be unsuccessful with the transition.
Group homes are also good for society, by offering an alternative to homelessness. Many of the individuals we observe wandering the woods and back alleys of our communities are mentally disabled persons lacking access to the stabilizing influence of a group home.
Working in a regional hospital exposes me to some of the finest technology 21st century medicine has to offer. How sad that working with a family member requiring mental health care suggests to me a 19th century model of abandonment or imprisonment.
Karl Kaminski, Wilmington