Serial No. 113-130: Where Have All the Patients Gone? Examining the Psychiatric Bed Shortage, Hearing Before the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations of the Committee on Energy and Commerce, House of Representatives, One Hundred Thirteenth Congress, Second Session, March 26, 2014   [open pdf - 6MB]

This is from the March 26, 2014 hearing on "Where Have All the Patients Gone? Examining the Psychiatric Bed Shortage" held before the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce. From the opening statement of Tim Murphy: "Right after the December 14, 2012, elementary school shootings in Newtown, Connecticut, the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations began a review of federal programs and resources devoted to mental health and serious mental illness. Recent events have shown the continuing importance of this inquiry, including the September 2013 Navy Yard shooting just a couple of miles from where we sit this morning, in Washington, D.C. Other tragic cases, like Seung-Hui Cho, James Holmes, Jared Loughner, and Adam Lanza, all exhibited a record of untreated severe mental illness prior to their crimes. It is a reflection of the total dysfunction of our current mental health system that despite clear warning signs, these individuals failed to receive inpatient or outpatient treatment for their illnesses that might have averted these tragedies. […] Part of the problem is that our laws on involuntary commitment are in dire need of modernization. It is simply unreasonable, if not a danger to public safety, that our current system often waits until an individual is on the brink of harming himself or others, or has already done so, before any action can be taken. The scarcity of effective inpatient or outpatient treatment options in the community, as illustrated by the premature release of Gus Deeds, son of Virginia Senator Creigh Deeds, from emergency custody because of the lack of psychiatric hospital beds, is also to blame, and it is a sad, sad ending. […] Nationwide, we face an alarming shortage in inpatient psychiatric beds that, if not addressed, will result in more tragic outcomes." Statements, letters, and materials submitted for the record include those of the following: Lisa Ashley, Jeffrey L. Geller, Jon M. Hirshon, Michael C. Biasotti, Thomas J. Dart, Steve Leifman, Gunther Stern, Hakeem Rahim, Lamarr D. Edgerson, and Arthur C. Evans, Jr.

Report Number:
Serial No. 113-130
Public Domain
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