Indonesian human rights

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As we Fight for Animal Rights, I wish to bring your attention to the plight of the mentally ill in Indonesia… this link gives insight to the lack of care for the institutionalized individuals with mental disorders… As activists we fight not just for animals, we fight for the rights of all living beings, including these people…
This country needs intervention of some kind.. Humanitarian folks from perhaps the states and or another country that have the ability to help facilitate a new way of caring for their mentally ill… I truly don’t think this is to be cruel so much as they are uneducated on how to deal with them and we…

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Why Was A Mentally Distressed Man Shot By Police?

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Photo courtesy of

“When you call police for medical attention, you shouldn’t be killed by the same people there to give you assistance.”

This was said by Mayor Bartlett, the attorney for the family of a mentally distressed man who was shot to death by police in New Rochelle, NY (

The article by (published Oct. 22) says about the incident, which took place five months ago:

This is the second time in the last two years that a 911 call to police in Westchester County ended with a mentally distressed man being shot dead inside his home by an officer.

Cruz’s wife, daughter and attorneys are now suing New Rochelle Police for $21 million for having “failed to train or supervise its officers in properly responding to incidents involving emotionally disturbed persons.”

The lawsuit also calls for a court order requiring New Rochelle to adopt the Crisis Intervention Team Model. Developed in Memphis, it’s recognized as the “gold standard” in police response to mental health crisis.

In Westchester County, cutbacks eliminated a 24-7 Crisis Intervention Unit that could’ve come to help Mrs. Cruz’s husband, instead of a police officer that may not have known enough about mental illness to know what to do.

The point of this post, though, is not to speak ill of the New Rochelle police force. Obviously, their crisis system needs to be updated in order to prevent these things from happening, and hopefully that will be done in response to the lawsuit. The problem that I’d like to address here is the use of deadly force in a case where it may not have been necessary. The article states that the man was armed only with a knife when police approached him. So why was he shot!? Was that necessary, even if the officer felt threatened? Couldn’t the officer have found another way to subdue him?

And the biggest question is this: Without a gun, would the outcome of this incident been different?

The Uninsured Mentally Ill

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Photo courtesy of

Here’s a scary fact: A single hospital admission for a mentally ill patient paid for by the taxpayer-financed state medical-assistance program costs more than a year of private outpatient care. It makes little financial sense, yet it happens every single day in America.

Everyday, a mentally ill person is admitted to an ER in the throes of a psychiatric emergency, desperately needing care and having nowhere else to go. No psychiatrist, no therapist, no case manager, no nothing. So they rely on ER doctors and nurses- and tax payers. But after the patient gets emergency care, they are back on their own. Until it happens again.

So why do these patients lack proper, long term psychiatric care that could provide regular treatment? Why do they end up in this endless cycle? The answer is simple, yet still disturbing- they have no health insurance.

Psychiatrist Christine Montross wrote an article,”The Woman Who Ate Cutlery,” about this quandary that many mentally ill people who lack health insurance face on a regular basis. The article was featured in the New York Times on August 3, 2013.


PROVIDENCE, R.I. — M is a 33-year old woman who swallowed silverware. Each time she ingested utensils, she went to the emergency room so that doctors could remove them from her esophagus and stomach.

Then the hospital transferred M to the psychiatric unit, where she was assigned to my care. When I met M she had already been hospitalized 72 times.

M’s case is dramatic. But she is one of countless psychiatric patients who have nowhere to turn for care, other than the E.R.

It is well known that millions of uninsured Americans, who can’t afford regular medical care, use the country’s emergency rooms for primary health care. The costs — to patients’ health, to their wallets, and to the health care system — are well documented. Less visible is the grievous effect this shift is having on psychiatric care and on the mentally ill.

How could this cycle of self-injury be disrupted? M and other psychiatric patients who turn to emergency rooms for care need regular outpatient appointments with a doctor they know and trust who can monitor their symptoms and assess the efficacy of their often complicated medication regimens.

Sadly, M’s history of recurrent hospital admissions is not uncommon. Recently I treated a 65-year-old man caught in a chronic cycle of homelessness and suicide attempts who had been in and out of the E.R. 246 times. If M had insurance, or enough money to pay out of pocket, she might see a therapist every week for an hour and a psychiatrist once or twice a month.

For full article, go to