Shadowproof

From the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: “Grappling with mental health’s most vexing question: Who is dangerous?”

Imminent Danger: Grappling with mental health’s most vexing question: Who is dangerous?

Video interviews with people who lost family when Gabby Giffords was shot, and others who lost family to suicide are very compelling.

The upshot of what’s essentially national reporting, is that: “Law creates barriers to getting care for mentally ill.”

This graph behind this link shows that from 2007 – 2010, 286 commitment petitions were granted in Milwaukee County. In that same four-year interval, 21,790 commitment petitions were filed. Please accept my apologies for not knowing how to display the graph directly.

The author of this series is reporter Meg Kissinger, a union steward.

IMHO, she should have won the Pulitzer back in 2006 for “Abandoning Our Mentally Ill. It’s worth a view at

AbandoningOurMentallyIll.pdf

The photo journalist who took the riveting photos in the “Abandoning Our Mentally Ill” series, Kristyna Wentz-Graf, was arrested in October while photographing arrests at an Occupy demonstration in Milwaukee.

Mayor says it’s ‘very clear’ arrested photographer was journalist

In 2010, Meg and a collegue, Steve Schultze, did another series: “Patients in Peril”

Gov. Scott Walker was County Executive of Milwaukee County from 2002 – 2010.

In 2008 an eighteen-year-old with a history of mental illness shot two Milwaukee police officers.

2 police officers shot on south side; suspect in custody

One officer lost an eye and part of his face, but both have returned to active duty. The incident caused such ethnic unrest that Packer President Mark Murphy had to ask Charles Woodson (yeah, Heisman Trophy winner, #21) to attend a rally for Milwaukee Police officers to act as a diplomat.

…..Green Bay Packers cornerback Charles Woodson made a guest appearance. “This is a great event, and I’m glad everyone is here to support the police officers,” he said…….

While I’m not a fan of Big Pharma, they may be an important (and mostly untrustworthy) ally in helping get better support for the mentally ill.

I have not addressed in this piece some of the serious civil liberty issues that this reporting touches. That doesn’t mean they don’t matter, they do. As far as I know, a lot of the dynamic behind this is hospitals and insurance companies getting out of having to cover serious mental illness.

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