Continued Stigma Keeps Housing Scarce For Mentally Ill
Worried about rising crime and plunging property values, a citizens group is fighting efforts to convert a shuttered Ventura County jail into a treatment center for the mentally ill. Emphasis on smaller, community-based treatment over the past three decades has dramatically reduced the number of beds in secured facilities. While one study showed that mentally ill people were no more violent than those without mental illness as long as they were complying with treatment, another has shown that most news stories portray the mentally ill as violent. Consequently, facilities for the mentally ill often end up in isolated areas or poor urban centers, said Stephen Mayberg, director of the state Department of Mental Health.
Thanks to David Gest