The Globe’s outstanding articles by Michael Rezendes about abuses at Bridgewater State Hospital reveal what those family members and their mentally ill adult children have experienced, and feared, since the state drastically reduced publicly funded psychiatric beds over the last decade.
Overburdened and underfunded, our psychiatric hospitals are transferring patients to face the prospect of “prison” at Bridgewater instead of proper psychiatric care.
With proper care, those with mental illness can recover. With neglect, or imprisonment, they deteriorate and require more expensive services, and we lose the wonderful people they could have become.
The state Legislature has an opportunity right now to restore the mental health funding that can help to reverse this tragic trend, as well as to correct the dire conditions at Bridgewater.
The writer is a member of NAMI Cambridge-Middlesex, an affiliate of the National Alliance on Mental Illness.