Follow us:

Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

October 19, 2014 at 9:05 AM

Mental health: Let’s start talking about fixing the system

Thank you for including Jonathan Martin’s column, “Escaping the mental-health abyss” [Opinion, Oct. 13]. He speaks to a major issue facing our state.

Washington’s mental-health system has been struggling for years to maintain enough beds. We’ve seen this very clearly with the large increase of psychiatric boarding over the last few years. In 2012, there were 2,160 instances of hospital boarding in King County alone.

With the recent ruling to stop the warehousing of people in need of mental-health care, we are left with some difficult choices to make. Many people already wait in jails to receive care, and this number will likely only increase if people are turned away from hospitals.

It’s true that people should not have to be forced into situations that only make them more ill, languishing in hospital rooms or jails. I hope this opens a greater dialogue about how our state can improve our mental health-care system.

It’s one thing to point out that the system is broken. We need to be able to step forward and talk what fixing the system really looks like. It’s not that we only need more beds in inpatient care, the whole system needs to be strengthened.

Anastasia D. Hill, Seattle

Comments | More in Mental illness | Topics: Anastasia D. Hill, boarding, King County

COMMENTS

No personal attacks or insults, no hate speech, no profanity. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate this thread by reporting any abuse. See our Commenting FAQ.



The opinions expressed in reader comments are those of the author only, and do not reflect the opinions of The Seattle Times.


The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited seattletimes.com access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►