Psychiatric ‘Patient Dumping’

Oh, how poorly we Americans treat our mentally ill.

James Brown, who has been diagnosed with psychosis, spent three days at Rawson-Neal Psychiatric Hospital, in Las Vegas, in February 2013. Depressed and thinking of suicide, Brown ended up there after problems at his group home.

But just three days after he was admitted, the doctors felt James was stable enough to go.

Then, Brown says the doctor asked him what state he wanted to go to.

“I said, ‘I don’t want to leave Nevada,'” Brown told ABC News. “He said, ‘California sounds like a really nice state. I think you’ll be happy there.'”

Although Brown had never been to Sacramento, he says he was told he would get better mental health care there. Brown was driven to a Greyhound bus station with a $306 one-way bus ticket, six Ensure nutrition shake bottles and just a three-day supply of psychiatric medications.

Brown’s discharge papers even listed his “address on discharge” as “Greyhound Bus Station to California.”


You’d never see Catherine Zeta-Jones treated this way.

This is nothing less than human trafficking.


You are right on with this post. People think they understand mental illness because they watched Silver Lining Playbook. But what will force people to a deeper level of empathy? I don’t have the answer. Anyway, meaningful post. Thanks.

You’re welcome. Anyone who sees this story and isn’t moved to outrage isn’t human. (Well, neither are the people who have done this to patients, but there you go.)

A very good post. Yes, that is the hand mentally ill individuals are dealt. It was not much better where I worked at a federal installation which I won’t mention here. The patients that were swinging door type came for a respite and then went back out to the streets. But most or all were addicts of drugs or alcohol. In this man’s case that is a different story. I hope that presently, somehow and someway he is getting proper care and housing. The trauma of being treated as a non-human (yes that is my assessment) has to be so degrading. That alone would be the last straw for many individuals.

You are absolutely right. Being treated as a non-human/stigma is the reason why I don’t freely disclose my illness. My heart breaks for this man – and all the others who are treated this way. It makes you want to take action – but what can you do? What should be done first? The system is such a mess!

I wish I could say this is unbelievable, but unfortunately it’s not. Just add that the man was a Viet Nam combat veteran, and you’ve got the whole package rounded out. This is why we have so many people living under bridges.

Sigh. Yup. Exactly.

This is one of the reasons why I am literally afraid to return to the US. I have an absolute gem of a husband who takes very good care of me when I need it. But what happens if he’s gone one day and the bipolar demons rear their ugly heads? I could very well wind up with three days of med and a one-way ticket myself. These poor people are living my worst nightmare. The care here is so much better than in the US. Can I afford to return? It’s stories like this that make me start to believe I will be held hostage to where I live because of my illness.

I know what you mean. I live in the UK for 7 years. Everyone complains about the healthcare there, but ours is far worse. It’s been the worst thing about moving back to the U.S.

It’s OK here, not bad at all. I’m just so American that some times I find it very hard to assimilate. I’m sure you understand…what it’s like to be living in a place when your heart is somewhere else.

WTF?! Treating people like a bag of dirty diapers? Throw it over the state line and let someone else deal with the stink? Jeez! It makes me want to do bodily harm.

It is deplorable. when some of the patients in the Psychiatric Center my Dad worked at were released to the community, some I personally know ended up being taken advantage of by local bar owners, etc. No the rich and famous don’t have to put up with that!

This story has haunted me since the moment I first heard about it. I’m so glad to see that it’s touched others as well. Thanks so much for the reblog! Spread the word!


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