ERs ‘Flooded’ With ‘Mentally Ill’ Patients With No Place Else to Turn


From CNN: “A ‘huge and largely unreported problem’ is happening in ERs across the nation, one expert says.

‘The extent to which ERs are now flooded with patients with mental illness is unprecedented,’ said Dr. David R. Rubinow, chairman of the Department of Psychiatry at the School of Medicine at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. […]

A 2017 government report found that the overall number of emergency department visits increased nearly 15% from 2006 to 2014, yet ER visits by patients with mental or substance use disorders increased about 44% in the same period. […]

Dr. Catherine A. Marco, from her vantage point as an emergency physician professor at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio, said, ‘we commonly see depression, anxiety, substance-related conditions and suicidal behavior.’ […]

Emergency departments do not welcome patients like her, says [PTSD sufferer Karen] Taylor, who described the ER as ‘a bad place for a mental health patient.’

‘They strip away your dignity, your clothes, everything, and the doctor comes in and treats you like dirt because you’re taking up a bed,’ Taylor said. ‘I was told several times that I was just physically wasting space and I wasn’t really sick like the medical patients were.

‘They put me in a room where I stayed for hours on end. I’ve stayed in the ER for up to three days prior to going to a psychiatric hospital.’ […]

Leaving an ER can also be problematic for mental health patients, according to [depression sufferer Dan] Stephens: ‘Usually, you leave in a cop car in handcuffs.’ A 2016 national survey found that handcuffs were one of the ‘available tools’ used by security personnel in 96% of the hospitals surveyed. […]

‘If I come in of my own volition and say “Look, I need help,” they should just walk me back there without having to get a cop or security guard,’ says Stephens, who lives in a small town in Georgia. ‘People look at you funny, that’s what happens.’

When he was treated like a criminal, the whole process made him feel worse about himself, he says. […]

Rubinow says he first wrote about ERs crowded with mental health patients years ago.

‘At that time, it was a tsunami on the way,’ he said. ‘That tsunami has hit.'”

Article →


  1. This is because of the opioids, which our medical community oddly and incorrectly believe are “safe meds.” But it’s also because the ADHD drugs and antidepressants can make people manic, suicidal, psychotic and homicidal, among other problems.

    The benzos are highly addictive, too, and cause extremely depilating withdrawal effects.

    And the antipsychotics also make people ungodly sick and psychotic, via anticholinergic toxidrome poisoning. But the majority of our “mental health professionals” and doctors claim ignorance of this iatrogenic harm, because this medically known psychiatric drug induced toxidrome is conveniently missing from their “invalid” billing code “bible.”

    The psychiatrists and doctors must be so proud of all their, now becoming unmanageable, iatrogenic harm of the American public? It’s so very profitable to make people sick with drugs, then lie to the patients claiming this iatrogenic harm is “lifelong, incurable, genetic mental illnesses.” Wasn’t this clever of our medical community?

    Especially since, “It is now evident that the American medical system is the leading cause of death and injury in the US.”

    Report comment

  2. So many people going mental its like the canary in a coal mine.

    The always growing big brother police state combined with the lefts war on the family and all of that, society has been getting sicker for a long time.

    I guess we need more psychiatry.

    “The business of psychiatry is to provide society with excuses disguised as diagnoses and coercions justified as treatments”

    – Thomas Szasz

    Report comment

  3. Well duh. In a world on fire without any sustained emotional sustenance what would one expect?
    Church institutions are being exposed as viper nests of abuse, corporate interests of many ilks are holding up or putting into motion nefarious and malefesent power plays that have been building up for decades, museums and other art circles have been infested with money from for profit deliberate make us money at any cost short and long term thinking and acting strategies, the VA is trying to be taken over by a troika based out of Mar Lar Go, the environment is trashing and may be completely trashed, suicide rates are up in ever every human sector, isms continue to proliferate, folks are weighed down by every sector and vector of circumstance, lies abound,
    media is doing well because it’s soap opera time on the edge of what will be the next WTF moment, and help or soul caring for almost anyone – even the super rich is almost non existent.
    I keep waiting for the clean up crew to arrive for the end of our bread and circus global street parade, but the units and bands just keep on coming. I long to see the Zombini on ice or the humble street cleaner moving past toward the end of this endurance event not quite a full scale war but definitely not safe times, not a pre something or yet a post something. The hundred year war is my only go to thought and I truly hope that thought is wrong.
    And it is all folks. I cannot say police for all their issues are not in pain or acute or chronic distress. I cannot say that for staff in psych units either. I would only guess if truth be told admins at insurance companies, clergy, pollsters, are all in some sort of crisis.
    The ratings may be great for media companies but how long of an extended cycle of WTF continue. And illnesses, colds, ect how much of that is just a body metaphor for my life stinks.
    And the children. They are listening and watching and not only what is this DOING to them but what is it FOING to any possible future progeny? Intergenerstional Trauma begins in the womb.
    For some there is a hope for the future after but unless there is some sort of local, national, global plans of action or framework already being created- I don’t know.
    My hope would be for trauma centers run by all types of survivors and some how a level playing field for all. I don’t expect perfection it just would be nice to see hope in action a strong bonding of promise. Other wise the insane asylum will just become the earth itself.

    Report comment

  4. Thanks Alex I remembered to state your name at times just to triggered. However there is Alan Bates in “ King of Hearts” knocking at the gate. There is the madwoman if a certain part of Paris, France showing the stairs down to the Paris underground and locking the door behind the oil inspector and his friends. There is also this from Audre Lorde
    I have found that battling despair does not mean closing my eyes to the enormity of the tasks of effecting change, nor ignoring the strength and the barbarity of forcedignedagaibst us. It means teaching,surviving, and fighting with the most important resource I have, myself. and taking joy in that battle.
    So there is that. I am resting and will not be back for awhile. Best to all the inmates.

    Report comment

    • It can be hard to rest when the energy is moving so swiftly! I was inspired watching the Michael Cohen testimony. Could truth actually be coming to light, finally, in full view? Still resistance to it, but it is in the air, at least. I believe we’ve done our jobs.

      Thanks, and the very same to you 🙂

      Report comment