Listen to Robert Marbut discuss how to solve the mental health crisis with radio host Ari Hoffman on KVI. Listen now to the August 29 episode.
Downtown Insanity Late Tuesday morning, Seattle Police (@SeattlePD) officers swarmed the encampment at the corner of 3rd Ave and Cherry St, just a block away from City Hall. The officers conducted a master class on responding to this mental health crisis. Look at the patience and care shown to this women who was literally spitting in the face of these officers. Thankfully the incident ended peacefully. Now imagine an unarmed social worker going into this scene without police? Well, that could happen very soon in this city. As Katie Daviscourt (@KatieDaviscourt) first reported, Councilmember Lisa Herbold (@Lisa_Herbold) is leading the charge to hire six unarmed “crisis responders” instead of police officers for emergency calls through a new 911 Dual Dispatch/Alternate Read More ›
Last week on Fix Homelessness and in my monthly OlaskyBooks newsletter, I gave highlights and lowlights from Andrew Scull’s Desperate Remedies: Psychiatry’s Turbulent Quest to Cure Mental Illness (Harvard University Press, 2022). He notes that many mentally ill people are now homeless and on the streets instead of in state-funded mental hospitals. (Those institutions, like Michigan’s Lapeer State Home and Training School, housed sufferers. Then the 1960s brought in new drugs and new Washington-paid health plans, Medicare and Medicaid.) I didn’t have room last week to dive into an important question: Which came first, medical panaceas (that turned out not to be so) or money incentives? Scull says money, in many instances: “In at least seventeen states, inpatient censuses had Read More ›