“God help us all.”

“It was Reagan’s fault.”

This was the expected response to my essay, “The Politics of Mental Health”:

“Ronald Reagan pursued a policy toward the treatment of mental illness that satisfied special interest groups and the demands of the business community, but failed to address the issue: the treatment of mental illness.”

How did he do this?

“Conventional wisdom suggests that the reduction of funding for social welfare policies during the 1980s is the result of a conservative backlash against the welfare state.”

The only problem is that Reagan didn’t cut funding for social welfare …

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The politics of mental health

Joe needed his meds or bad things would happen.

I met him several times. Nice guy.

A buddy of mine employed him in his little restaurant in a food court downtown, kind of an act of Christian charity. Here’s the thing: Joe could do the job when he was on his meds.

But he lived at the YMCA and had no one to monitor whether or not he took the pills that kept him sane. You see, Joe had some sort of severe mental illness.

One day, Joe didn’t show up for work. He was never heard from again. Ever.

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