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A free floating commentary on culture, politics, economics, and religion based on a passionate commitment to the truth and a desire graciously to refute that which is contrary to it….
"He must hold firm to the sure word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to confute those who contradict it."
--Titus 1:9, Revised Standard Version
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Too many people don't get the proper treatment. Every day, as I drive in Los Angeles, I see people who need help and aren't getting it.
Partly this is because of the costs and limitations of healthcare. I once gave a talk to a self-help group in Pasadena, and was approached afterward by a recent high school graduate who had been kicked out of his house by his parents. He was living with his grandmother, who told me that he had exhausted the number of therapy sessions his insurance allowed. She didn't know how he could get affordable help in the future.
Other people are too sick to know they need help. It's hard to know how much of the region's homelessness problem is because of mental illness. But a 2007 count of the homeless by the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority found that of the county's 68,608 residents identified as homeless in the study, 52% suffered from depression and 31% reported experiencing more serious mental illnesses.
Many mentally ill people living on the streets have refused treatment. I understand this. When I was on my trek, if a doctor had come up to me, I would have been terrified that he was going to harm or even kill me.
It is much better to encourage, rather than force, the mentally ill to get treatment. But what if they don't respond?
A long time ago in a land far away I served a chaplaincy internship at the second largest VA hosptial in the country. A number of the patients on the floors I worked on were like this man. These are troubling questions, but they have to be faced. Read it all--KSH.
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