Submitted by Nathan Steffenson on
Recently there has been many articles dehumanizing patients and people deemed with mental illness, over acceptance of bad science, and overlooking the rights of everyone.
Brainerd/Baxter currently has at least 3 locked medical facilities. One on state ave in Brainerd and one in Baxter on Grand Oaks run by the State of Minnesota.
The other is at Essentia Health St Joseph's Medical Center in Brainerd.
People deemed with mental illness are often misdiagnosed, mistreated, dehumanized and other physical symptoms and causes overlooked. Workers are violent.
I think if mental health services are to continue, they need to outpatient, not forced and private(confidential). Possibly more urgent care for mental health instead of emergency visits and proper treatment of physical causes (like rest for brain injuries, or severe physical problems). Group home placement should be voluntary as well both with place and whether to be in one.
Guardianships, conservatorships, and assigned payees are often bad because often even with best intentions the needs are not met of the individual and the individual is sometimes cared less by other people. Rent payments late because of payees, not having adequate money and things to live off of and sometimes embezzlement by the assigned payee (trustee).
People want people deemed with mental illness to be able to tell others about it but parts of society has become much worse in tolerating it (especially in cable news and print media), in addition to if the person deemed doesn't accept and won't accept the diagnosis.
Treatment doesn't just hurt those getting treated and those that work there, but can be painful for family, friends, employers, and those that rely on the person getting treated.
In addition besides misdiagnosis, many treatments can make people worse both physically and mentally. This goes for both behavior therapy and drug therapy. Behavior therapy often removes people from their routine and can bring people to dwell on the bad things rather than living their life to the fullest. Medication can contribute to weight gain,(this is rarely mentioned as part of the obesity problem as a whole) diabetic problems, dental problems, and sometimes make mental health conditions worse.
People that receive medical treatment for illegal activities such as drug addiction sometimes get more privacy than those that are stigmatized and labeled mentally ill.
There was a fire in St. Joseph Medical Center within the past year reportedly caused by a patient. In my view staff were negligent by allowing it to happen. How was the patient allowed to have a device that lit the fire and why wasn't it caught before the alarm and sprinkler went off?
I had a earlier blog post focusing more on the mistreatment of just those deemed mentally ill back in March of 2015 which was accidentally deleted after this site was sabotaged with junk posts in late August.
Also to make it clear I want these places shut down, but as far as I know they are still operating.
Update Nov 5 2017 I am glad Essentia Health has taken steps to stop involuntary locked in patients, however more steps are needed and better treatment of patients and people with perceived problems is needed. Essentia health employees are still very abusive and sending people to other towns against their will.
Calling on Minnesota Human services commissioner Emily Piper to be more compassionate or consider resigning. Sometimes "helping is hurting".
Essentia health and ISD 181 may want to consider ending contracts with GSSC for their abusive behavior.
Facebooks action (and media in general) with targeting mental health is wrong since it promotes violent behavior and unnecessary assumptions about people that have no intention of harming themselves or anyone. Targeting anyone with a disability of any kind is discrimination, and in USA discrimination is illegal.
-Nathan Steffenson a former commissioner (elected customer representative) 2010-2016 for Brainerd Housing and Redevelopment Authority (my views are my own but I am advocate for those who I have served), former election judge 2012 & 2016, and currently self-employed with Nate's Computer services which includes this web site.
Update: Feb 28 2018
There is a lot of push for people "to get screened" "treated for" and "take medication" and sometimes even still pushes to take rights away from people. This is wrong, oversimplified, and not scientifically based. Many of these treatments and even "calling for help" have not been proven effective. Many people diagnosed with problems are neither hurtful to themselves nor others.