ILLINOIS MENTAL HEALTH PLANNING AND ADVISORY COUNCIL
Meeting of the Adult Inpatient Subcommittee
December 27, 2021
Attendees: Shirley Davis; Mike Davis; Dr. Sid Weisman
The meeting began with a discussion of our presentation of the minutes at our previous IMHPAC meeting. There seems to be no question that the tracing system for available inpatient hospital beds is in place, somewhere. With the establishment of the 988 Program, it appears imperative the crisis evaluators need current information of available mental health beds in the community, in addition to other resources. With the current situation of insurance coverage, a client is likely to be admitted to an inpatient setting only to be stabilized and discharged in 3 to 4 days. So other resources are needed when the client is discharged to a less restrictive environment. It is an "uphill battle" attempting to connect potential clients with available beds when such accurate information is not handy. The group talked about the availability of adolescent beds in Hyde Park and Evanston. Many community hospitals no longer have psychiatric beds for adult clients. Also needed are people who have training to deal with clients, including lived experiences. Consequently the client is admitted, medicated, and released. A follow up appointment is often sought for the discharged client, but such therapeutic services may not be available. So the question remains, who are the providers of services (peer, outpatient, etc.) and where are they? The 988 idea is "great", but the services are scarce. The amount of monies required to keep inpatient beds available make it impossible for hospitals to at least break even. The government entity needed is taxation dedicated to providing inpatient beds becomes burdensome for hospitals to maintain, no less increase inpatient hospital beds.
From a client perspective, the only way to become admitted to an inpatient bed is to say you are suicidal. Then the implications of making such a statement follow you everywhere. You no longer can have a FOID card; you may be kept from obtaining meaningful employment; and would you be given a business loan even though you have been successful in previous business ventures. Probably not. The stigma is endless. Everything is looking toward partial hospitalizations, where you receive treatment four days per week and go home at night. Such services are also scarce. And criminals complicate the matter. Most people who commit crimes do not have a mental health history. Yet society attributes such crimes as mass shootings to be the result of a mental health problem. This just adds to the stigma.