Dominican University of California
 

Location

Guzman 113, Dominican University of California

Start Date

4-20-2017 5:00 PM

End Date

4-20-2017 5:15 PM

Department

Humanities and Cultural Studies

Faculty Mentor

Gay Lynch, Ph.D.

Presentation Format

Oral Presentation

Abstract/Description

Our country’s healthcare system is at a moral and ethical crossroads. The way we treat those whom we call “the homeless” is deplorable. Many of the homeless are mentally ill and need treatment. Those with the severe brain diseases of schizophrenia, schizo-affective disorder, and bi-polar disorder should be treated just as those with Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease are treated. Those with severe mental illness, who have no insight into their illness, should not be allowed to dictate their own treatment. If a homeless person is brought to San Francisco General Hospital and is found to be a schizophrenic in psychiatric distress, and concurrently found to have active tuberculosis, this patient can be forced to be treated for tuberculosis, but is not forced to be treated for schizophrenia. Both of these diseases have serious consequences, not only for the patient, but for the public. Effectively treating mental illness must become a national imperative. No American citizen should be forced to sleep in their own filth or be “warehoused” in jail for being sick. We must treat them with compassion, providing the mentally ill and their families with the tools necessary to be healthy members of society.

This is the story of the mental health system in California and its effects on my mother and her four children. Homeless mentally ill Americans are dying on our streets, and on December 15, 1999, one of them was my mother.

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Apr 20th, 5:00 PM Apr 20th, 5:15 PM

Schizophrenia and Its Effects on an American Family: A Call to Action for the 21st Century

Guzman 113, Dominican University of California

Our country’s healthcare system is at a moral and ethical crossroads. The way we treat those whom we call “the homeless” is deplorable. Many of the homeless are mentally ill and need treatment. Those with the severe brain diseases of schizophrenia, schizo-affective disorder, and bi-polar disorder should be treated just as those with Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease are treated. Those with severe mental illness, who have no insight into their illness, should not be allowed to dictate their own treatment. If a homeless person is brought to San Francisco General Hospital and is found to be a schizophrenic in psychiatric distress, and concurrently found to have active tuberculosis, this patient can be forced to be treated for tuberculosis, but is not forced to be treated for schizophrenia. Both of these diseases have serious consequences, not only for the patient, but for the public. Effectively treating mental illness must become a national imperative. No American citizen should be forced to sleep in their own filth or be “warehoused” in jail for being sick. We must treat them with compassion, providing the mentally ill and their families with the tools necessary to be healthy members of society.

This is the story of the mental health system in California and its effects on my mother and her four children. Homeless mentally ill Americans are dying on our streets, and on December 15, 1999, one of them was my mother.