You just don’t understand.

I, like many of my internet acquaintances, am appalled by this morning’s story from the MJS regarding services from the Milwaukee County mental health facility.

What needs to happen? An absolute mob demanding improvement.

A brief chat with anyone working in this system will let you in on the burnout and impossibly low staffing that comes from providing mental health services. I spent a year working in schools in the inner city about a decade ago and knew it wasn’t something I could do year after year. This is emotionally and physically draining work. Sometimes the best defense is to stop caring, and no doubt, that’s contributed to the current problem. Plus, mental health care isn’t sexy. No politician wants to bolster services as a platform.

Mental health cuts deeply into our society. Heck, in biblical times at least one who suffered got to blame possession by the devil. Now all we do is blame the afflicted. I have said many times, and I will say it again, mental illness provides no more reason for blame than one being born with brown eyes instead of blue. Why do we treat the situation so very differently?

I may be fairly conservative, but my core still says the hallmark of a society is how we treat those truly unable to care for themselves. This deficiency in Milwaukee County absolutely needs to be conquered. If the politican(s) won’t do it, the people will.

Faith demands we try.


  1. Yes, Ma’am, to all above. Well put.

  2. I just want to (I edited out “punch”) b**** slap someone. Or several someones. From the lawyers who make asinine laws and then charge to defend them, to those who were entrusted with these people’s health and well-being, and ending up at the county board members and one candidate for governor.

    Those poor people….

  3. Well said, Cindy. This is simply unacceptable. Even worse is the fact that instead of taking ownership of the problems and working to correct them, all pertinent parties are too busy scrambling to cover their butts.

  4. Randy in Richmond says:

    The Mental Health facility houses males and females together or allows unsupervised access ? To my knowledge not even ‘regular’ hospitals places those of the opposite sex in the same room or ward. Throw in the criminal aspect of the suspected father and one wonders about those in charge of this facility.

    I do, however, have serious pause about the fact that the story states the purported father had sex with the mother on the first day she was admitted. It does not say he raped or assaulted her. Why is the actual day of her admittance not provided ? And why has the supposed father not been charged criminally for this ? Was it consentual sex ? Given the date of her baby’s birth–this is critical. Had she been involved in sexual activity on the previous days and weeks ? Yes, this doesn’t change the other reported aspects of this very sad story but one would think someone would order a paternity test to determine who the father is–or isn’t. The lack of criminal charges against the supposed father raises these, and perhaps other, pertinent questions.

  5. Cindy, you are absolutely right. This is a tragic and disheartening story. Randy is right as well – housing those of the opposite sex in the same room or ward is archaic. My mother had a relative with mental illness who was put in a ward with the opposite sex back in the 1940’s when she was in her late teens. When her parents saw her withdrawing they brought her home. They never really knew if anything happened but they didn’t like the idea of what could. We’re in the 21st century now and we do know better.

  6. Randy, I agree with your comments that questions were not answered…although the article gave a sequence of events and the players, it left a lot of gaps in understanding the entire story. Dates, supervisory responsibility, the lack of accountability by law enforcement. Is there any type of communication between the County’s chief executive and this institution? Either way, Walker needs to explain. Either he was involved and part of a cover-up of horrible, unethical mismanagement or he was not involved and too busy with other activities to pay any attention to those most in need of county supervision. Or incapable of knowing how to fix the problems. Which one? Regardless. How can he possibly pretend he his capable of running our state. Time to take a serious look at this issue and really get to all the facts.

    This horrible situation needs to have something good come from it. I expect to see immediate action at the local, state and federal levels to right these wrongs. Just wait until the national media gets on to this….Milwaukee’s sewage joke is going to be nothing compared to Milwaukee’s horrific health care management.

  7. The rooms aren’t mixed gender (unless they go sneaking into each other’s rooms). The wards are, but that is not unusual. I have worked in several psych hospitals, and visited clients in each one in the area, and they are all mixed gender wards.

  8. Capper, I’ve read where mixed wards are thought to temper violent males. Is that a general consensus?

  9. I know that’s what Walker’s administrator at BHD argued, but I have not personally seen it make much difference.