Those with mental health issues find themselves on the street and now a new investigation by the Sacramento Bee shows many have been dumped there. The article says the
Doug Thomas is the Assistant Director of Substance Abuse and Mental Health for the State’s Department of Human Services. He told ABC 4 News, "It's not standard of practice no one in our state does it."
No hospital in
“It's very bad practice and very bad care for people that are psychiatrically unstable,” said Thomas. “When you go into in-patient care you have that level of care to help you maintain your functioning, when you discharge you're at risk to go back in."
The story came to light when one of Rawson-Neal's patients turned up suicidal and confused at a
Dr. Coni Kalinowski is the medical director for Mohave Mental Health. She says the transient problem and severe budget cuts have put
“So we have a huge number of people who have acute psychiatric needs who need to be in a hospital but absolutely no place for them to go,” said Kalinowksi.
Still Doug Thomas says that does not justify putting sick people on a bus and shipping them off to places they've never been.
"The only reason why any of our hospitals, or providers, would put anyone on a bus would be to return them to family members or a community where they had a support system and often they would go with that person."
An investigation into Rawson-Neal’s practices has begun and as a result a more rigorous review and approval process for patient discharge is now in place.