Friday, January 07, 2005

PA Closing State Hospital for the Mentally Ill

I honestly don't know enough about this subject to say if it's a good thing or not. Some very responsible people are lined up in favor of it. They say the money and the resources are there to care for the people streeted by the hospital's closing. I'm all in favor of keeping as many patients in the community as possible; for too many years, the psychiatric hospitals were dumping grounds, convenient warehouses for people nobody could--or cared to--treat.

So why don't I feel good about this?

Perhaps it's the rushed timeline: the hospital is set to be closed within a year.

Perhaps it's the sneaking suspicion that the hospital's 550 acres of real estate will somehow wind up in the private sector.

Perhaps it's some kind of reflexive empathy for people whose mental illness is, always has been, far worse than my own.

You tell me.

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