The Fight for the Right to Treatment

Mary Palofox, Family member, nurse, Advocate-Orange County writes: 

The “right to medical treatment” is based on the FACTS that the brain diseases of bipolar and schizophrenia manifest PHYSICAL symptoms. They are not “made up” or “all in someone’s head”. Lumping all human behaviors into the category of “mental illness” confuses the hell out of everyone. The right to medical treatment is BECAUSE certain ILLNESSES are physical NOT mental. The NIMH knows this! Based on their own brain research>>>they should be called upon to lead the way to pull these brain illnesses out of behavioral health care (which has ZERO liability and a full shield of immunity under the LPS act-which keeps the system broken)

There will never be true parity when we segregate health into two streams of health care delivery>mental and physical

If we cant fully integrate these two systems>then at least lets drawn the line and relocate the brain diseases of bipolar and schizophrenia under physical health

Many physical health conditions (like lung cancer) need “psychosocial/behavioral “services -like a stop smoking program.

The disparity is in the label and federal oversight.its time to reclassify brain illness under physical…and behavioral health can “treat”conditions within their “scope of practice” >like cognitive behavioral therapy, counseling, relaxation techniques. They have “contracted” with Medicine long enough. They policies and procedures are extremely inadequate to manage ILLNESS. They are essentially “practicing medicine without a license”

Families in crisis are screaming for help>when they see the physical symptoms of psychosis, hallucination, delusions, and agitation medically ignored. They see these physical symptoms treated for conditions of sepsis, electrolyte imbalances, other neurological brain/CNS disorders, etc….

Brain disease is not “human experience” and their reaction to stress in their environment (behavioral health care/science)

Every illness has “environmental” factors (like diabetes with obesity) but we FIRST treat and acknowledge it medically >not behaviorally 

And that’s the problem…

Behavioral health care is an extremely substandard health care system to set policy and procedure for complex diseases of the brain

if i had my way, BHCD’s would be demolished and money given to medicine to provide medical care and treatment based on genetics, neuroscience, cytology, biology, immunology, radiology, laboratory testing, and physical exams. Behavioral health is based on human behaviors with an emphasis on counseling, recovery and therapy. Its akin to “cardiac rehab” after coronary bypass surgery>> But here we are heavy on the rehab side with out providing the surgery. 

Behavioral health needs to be a “service” like occupational health…an adjunct to Medicine>>not a whole separate health care delivery system 

^^^^^That’s the fight^^^^ for “right to treatment

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