Former Legislator Rues Misjudgments Made When Connecticut Emptied Mental Hospitals.

In a special piece for the Washington Post (10/16), Paul Gionfriddo, a former Connecticut legislator who has worked for more than 30 years in the fields of health and mental health policy and the father of a son with schizophrenia, writes, “We legislators in Connecticut and many other states made a series of critical misjudgments” during the 1980s when the state emptied many of the mental hospitals. For instance, “we didn’t adequately fund community agencies to meet new demands for community mental health services — ultimately forcing our county jails to fill the void.” In addition, “we didn’t realize how important it would be to create collaborations among educators, primary-care clinicians, mental-health professionals, social-services [professionals], even members of the criminal justice system, to give people with serious mental illnesses a reasonable chance of living successfully in the community.”

Related Links:

— “My son is schizophrenic. The ‘reforms’ that I worked for have worsened his life., “Paul Gionfriddo, The Washington Post, October 15, 2012.

Posted in In The News.