We need universal mental health care access.

Every week I encounter more stories about the vast number of mentally ill individuals who end up in prison, and yet again the following question of fundamental human well-being and safety recurs: “Why do we not have universal access to mental health care?”

This June 8, 2015, article in The Atlantic speaks to the motives behind drug crimes:

For those with mental illness, charges of drug possession can often indicate attempts at self-medication. “Even the drugs of choice will connect to what the mental illness is,” Petacque-Montgomery told me. People with severe depression might use cocaine “to lift their mood.” Those who hear voices and have schizophrenia or bipolar disorder often turn to heroin to regulate their sleep. Marijuana use “is just constant for kids with ADD and depression,” she notes.


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