From NAMI California
By Jessica Cruz
NAMI California Executive Director
The recent New York Times report, “When the Hospital Fires the Bullet,” and corresponding This American Life segment, “My Damn Mind,” dramatically portray the challenges faced by individuals and family members seeking emergency psychiatric care – and the tragedies that can follow when staff are not prepared to care for someone in crisis.
Alan Peon, like many individuals experiencing a psychiatric crisis, sought help at a local emergency room. He and his family rightfully expected trained mental health professionals to evaluate and treat his psychiatric emergency condition with compassionate, quality, culturally appropriate and timely care in a safe, nonthreatening environment – exactly what we expect when we seek treatment for any medical condition. Instead, he was shot in the chest and nearly died.