Thursday, August 04, 2005

People Who Need People are the Loneliest People

I do not think that it would be unfair to say that Patrick Haab has a mental health condition that would benefit from treatment. It seems I am not alone in holding this opinion.

Two months after arriving in Kuwait, the records state, Haab was pulled out of the cultural awareness class by his superior and ordered to talk to a chaplain. A few hours later, he became distraught, threatened to commit suicide and got into a scuffle with military officials attempting to take away a hidden knife.

There will be more of our service men and women returning to our shores with problems similar to, and greater than, those displayed by the unfortunate Sgt. Haab. That, after all, is just what war is all about. It's about ruining people.

According to the records, he received counseling for five months and a military official said "he did not think Sgt. Haab was ready to return to duty or become a functioning part of society." Military officials found out that while on "med hold" at Fort Bragg, Haab spent $12,000 on a .50-caliber sniper rifle. They were concerned enough to contact the Surgeon General's Office.

Robert Anglen has the whole story here.

This comes to light after the revelation of President Bush's 2006 budget, which of course includes huge cuts to federally-supported mental health care programs. It is possible that Sgt. Haab may not get sufficient treatment to allay further problems.

I do not think that the unfolding tragedy of his life is yet over. I truly fear for what is yet to come.

I am also wondering why Bush would wish to cut funding for the treatment of people who suffer as Sgt. Haab does. Perhaps Bush really doesn't think that such people even need medical help. So why fund it?

Maybe Bush thinks there's nothing wrong with Sgt. Haab.

Let me also say this: because so many of the homeless and mentally ill are military veterans, any cuts to programs that serve the homeless and mentally ill are budget cuts against veterans themselves.

Again, any cuts to programs that serve the homeless and mentally ill are budget cuts against veterans themselves.

Maybe the Bush Republicans think there's nothing wrong with that. It's really better to give Barbara Streisand a large permanent tax break, no?

4 comments:

Jodie said...

Doncha know that you're just supposed to pull yourself up by your bootstraps and it's all in your head anyway? Sheesh.

I work in the mental health field part time and that is the sort of thing far too many of my patients hear from family, friends, and society in general.

Jodie said...

I want to add (just in case someone gets the wrong idea) that I do NOT share that opinion.

SassyNurse said...

In Indiana the governor has passed some kind of medicare reform that is supposed to cut nursing home admissions by 50% by next year. Lately our facility is spending a lot of time fighting to keep patients at the home because medicare says they no longer meet the guidelines to be there. Assisted living is what they should be referred to accoridng to medicare. Which of course medicare will not cover assisted living, so they get out of paying for anything. I generally agree that some patients could be in assisted living, but we are transferring a patient to another state, because in that state the pt. meets their medicare guidelines. The pt. is incontinent, paralyzed on the entire left side and unable to transfer theirself. It is sad. I want to tie these politicians left arms and legs down. Put them in a wheelchair and make them function by themselves for a day.

DisappearingJohn said...

Don't feel too sorry for poor Mr. Haab. He and his lawyers are now suing Sherrif Joe and US for $1 million, for unlawful arrest because the DA didn't file charges because he held 8 people at gunpoint because they were illegal aliens....

I love the American Justice system