Strongly related to the story about foster care is the story about the decline of public mental health in this state. Oregon's state hospital is currently facing a federal probe and over the past 6 years there have been a number of police shootings of individuals with chronic and persistent mental illness. Many, if not most, of the children in foster care are there due to their parents' mental illnesses (I happen to include drug abuse as a mental illness). I read in a response to a posting about the public health crisis that you might not get to that topic for a while. However, this is a very important topic that is only going to get worse as the state and the country enter a possibly long recession and public funds dry out to help those in greatest need. The ER's, police and the justice system are overwhelmed already. Public health and public mental health are topics that will be very important to voters nationally this year as fewer employers can handle the growing cost of healthcare and the number of uninsured will likely grow. I'm aware that this is a large subject with many parts to it, of which foster care is a small area. Maybe a discussion on what voters think should be covered under "public health" or "public mental health" could be an option, or at least a start of a conversation on the bigger topic.
posted 5 years, 3 months ago
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