There is something going on in this country that really lights a fire in my spirit. Tragic! In Las Vegas, the gambling capital of America, there are more homeless people than anywhere else. They are almost all mentally ill. There is but one local psychiatric hospital called Rawson-Neal. It has 190 beds and a revolving door that spins so fast, the patients do not have a chance of becoming stable. Instead of the goal of medication management and learning tools for recovery, the goal at the hospital is to “move you on to another city, another state, ANYWHERE, but NO WHERE! It is called “greyhound bus therapy” or just plain “bus therapy.” The hospital pays the tab and there are lists upon lists of people and how much their bus fair was according to where they went. Many folks that worked at Rawson-Neal have left due to the guilt they were experiencing as they were told to explain to a patient that they would be much better off in California where there was a shelter waiting for them and they would be taken care of mentally. Once they are dropped off in California (can you imagine being dropped off in a place where you know no one nor does anyone want to know you?) they walk off that bus and search for the shelter they were promised. If the person is lucky they will find a shelter but are usually told it is full and they must go somewhere else. That is when the person realize they are were lied to because the shelter was not told that they were coming. The person has no where to go but to sleep outside somewhere praying for help.
There are over 100,000 people who are homeless in Las Vegas…living among the shadows where the bright lights and glitter don’t shine on them. Many of them are in full blown states of psychosis but obviously, many are deeply depressed, hence, the suicide rate in Las Vegas is the highest in the country!
The director of one of the three Emergency Rooms stated that tragically they have had to truly SHUT DOWN the three local ER’s all at once due to an overpopulation of mentally ill people. The ER’s were full. He said they they are allowed to stay one week in the ER and are medicated but when they leave, there is no where to go for help. Obviously, the people who need medical attention from a physical ailment can be shut out of the ER’s and possibly die if they are that sick because of this overpopulation.
Maybe some of you say this type of treatment is okay because who would want these folks around anyway…and it all boils down to the tax payers money unto which state they are bussed to.
Let me just say that this illness is just that, just an illness! Treatable! Not a group of “losers” but a group of talented, warm and loving people who are put into a position that they can’t get out of. What if everyone who had heart disease were given this treatment? Protestors? Of course! This mentally ill bus therapy is something that people don’t usually discuss, it is easier to turn the other way and pretend it’s not happening. Something needs to be done about it but no one seems to know what to do about it!!! I don’t know what the answer is either but I am praying for God to show me an answer.
If you want to learn more about this problem google “Dan Rather Presents: ONE WAY TICKET TO NOWHERE America’s Mental Health Crisis” and see for yourselves. I have only watched it four times and thank God with all my heart that this didn’t happen to me in Denver.
Happy Memorial Day and God Bless You!