Governor tours Western State



Henricksen, Inslee and Robinson

Henricksen, Inslee and Robinson

Gov. Jay Inslee toured Western State Hospital Nov. 13 with WFSE/AFSCME Council 28 President Sue Henricksen (left) and Local 793 President James Robinson. Inslee came to the mental health facility at the urging of the union to see firsthand the conditions that make it one of the most dangerous places in the state to work with its unacceptable rates of assaults on staff. The governor’s came the same day that The Olympian declared in an editorial that the “state woefully underfunds mental health”:

“It’s shameful. The state of Washington ranks 47th among the 50 states in access to psychiatric care.

“Of course, the blame reaches beyond the state Legislature. The ultimate responsibility rests with the federal government. Forty years ago it deinstitutionalized mental health care, closed too many psychiatric hospitals, and has never supplied sufficient funding to provide community-based treatment.

“It’s cruel to send people in crisis back onto the streets without treatment. It’s worse to lock them up in overcrowded jails, isolate them in solitary confinement, or strap them down in emergency rooms.

“State lawmakers must take action in the 2015 session before a federal judge slaps them with yet another court order. And this time, they should solve the problem, not just settle for halfway measures.”

 

See the entire editorial: http://www.theolympian.com/2014/11/13/3423018/state-woefully-underfunds-mental.html?sp=/99/109/

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