Reitz: Mental Health Policy History Has Lessons

Mind Your Health: Time for conversations on mental health

What can we do? We can save lives, those with mental illness as well as the possible victims of acts of violence – which are rare, but always devastating. We can drive down costs through consistent care instead of emergency care and prison-based care. We can invest in Assisted Outpatient Treatment and Assertive Community Treatment, recognizing that “treatment before tragedy” saves lives. We can learn who has a history of medication noncompliance and potential problems resulting from that, such as misdemeanor crimes and chronic homelessness, and monitor the treatment of those who are the most ill, mandating them to remain in treatment, the basis of Assisted Outpatient Treatment, in order to remain in the community.
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit

The goals are simple too: Break down misperceptions, promote healthy communities, and work together to find local solutions to mental health needs. Each one can be surely be accomplished in Chester County. Working together is the key. Our community conversation formats will vary, depending on the individuals or groups involved. Chester County MH/IDD and its partners will organize some structured informational sessions for the public, but just as important, the county will support others who want to participate in this effort, as well. For example, a faith-based organization may hold a series of discussions on the topic each week, while a youth-driven group may use a more informal setting to tackle specific issues related to mental health.
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit


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