Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Ex-Patients Police Mexico's Mental Health System

Olivia Simpson

In Mexico City, a group of former patients examined the grounds of a psychiatric hospital and documented its conditions. They formed this movement to to hold the mental health system in Mexico accountable for a record of neglect and abuse and to protect their rights. There is a growing number of people with severe mental illnesses who are not being taken seriously. The president of Mexico has promised to clean up the mental health system and signed a bill to "relieve overcrowding, improve treatment, and reduce the stigma of mental illness" by reintegrating people with these disorders into the general population. But experts are saying that these attempts are failing because they are focusing on short-term improvements instead of the development of rehabilitation programs and long-term care. Hospitals inspected were found keeping patients indoors with no activities or in dirty rooms while doing little to improve their facilities. In Mexico mental health issues are misunderstood but efforts are being made to empower sufferers of psychological disorders.

The fact that many patients are experiencing mistreatment and little human contact is upsetting. Those with mental disorders should be handled with care and respect. The treatment these patients in Mexico are recieving is a violation of their human rights. It is good that these hospitals are being inspected because change needs to happen. People with mental disorders deserve just as much care as everyone else.

the New York Times by Karla Zabludovsky

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