Choosing treatment over incarceration for people with mental illness
“Our mental health services are like fast food. You have an episode, you get 4-5 days at Hillcrest, you get put back on the street, you get picked up by the police. You start all over again…until you end up homeless or in prison.”
When the mental institutions were closed down, nothing replaced them. There are only 14 group homes in all of West Virginia, and zero north of Marshall County.
Amy Gamble is a former Olympian, author, and the Executive Director of the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI). Their Marian House in Wheeling is starved for state funding, but her first priority as Governor would be to put a Mental Health Center in every school so kids could get the help she needed growing up.
Why? “Because half of people with mental illness present symptoms by age 14.”
It doesn’t have to be this way. WV can’t wait to create the needed funding to make sure our kids have the care they deserve.
See some of our plans to address these issues: