Articles Posted in Mental Disability

Carrie_Fisher_memorial_star-225x300Although advocates ended 2016 cheered by new legislation that increased funding and raised the priority of mental health in the nation’s health policy, the year also closed with stark reminders of how far the United States has lagged in this vital area.

Two separate news investigations have painted dire portraits of how the lack of mental health care has led to criminal violence and killings, while another media probe found disturbing signs that a major hospital chain was too quick to question patients’ mental competency and then to hold them against their will. The deaths of two of Hollywood’s elites—a mother and daughter—also brought to fore the stigma that many still bear due to mental disorders.

Neglect’s huge toll

When the guidelines for taking statins were changed last year, it made lots of noise. The revision for the drugs, which are prescribed to control blood cholesterol and prevent heart disease, classified millions more people as candidates for daily use. The new recommendation, by the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology, ignored lifestyle changes that should be tried before drugs, which can always have side effects.

Now, a new study invites concern that among the potential side effects of statins, which include the well-known Lipitor, Crestor and Zocor, is a heightened risk of severe muscle pain and impaired thinking among older people.

The study was published last month in the Annals of Internal Medicine. The researchers expressed concern that the benefits of taking statins do not outweigh the risks for this group of patients.

Letters to the editor in the New York Times come with the provocative headline: “Can There Be Good Mental Asylums?” As the father of a 25-year-old son with severe autism, I think about this a lot.

Our son Brendan now lives in a group home which we helped set up in Silver Spring, Maryland. It seems to work for him, although for a parent, eternal vigilance is required. Brendan is out and about in the community every day: at his day program sheltered workshop, and with his “one-on-one” at weekend activities like Special Olympics, trips to museums, dinner at our house, and all sorts of good fun. That’s the ideal for any human being.

But look around you. Huddled in the doorway of an office building, sitting in a prison cell — lots of mentally disabled people have no real home.

Patrick Malone & Associates, P.C. listed in Best Lawyers Rated by Super Lawyers Patrick A. Malone
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