Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Is the Veterans Home using "Greyhound therapy" to solve its problems?

The term "Greyhound Therapy" was coined some time in the late 70s or early 80s when state mental institutions would put unwanted patients on Grey hound buses with one way tickets to cities in other states. In other words, they would pass their problems on to others, instead of taking care of them.

Is the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans, guilt of the same thing? In a state of which the US Federal government has blasted for its lack of providing proper benefits to veterans, one must wonder why the Michigan Veterans Home in Grand Rapids appears to making things worse for veterans, instead of helping them, and thus justifying the criticism coming out of W.D.C.

All involuntary discharges from the Grand Rapids Home for (?!) veterans, for the last 48 months need to be looked at more closely. I think you will find that 74 percent of them qualify for the status as "Grey hound therapy" even if the bus lines were not used as part of the home's solution.

When Veterans needed mental help, there was none available. So the home discharged them. A professional Psychiatrist has not been on staff since 2009. The Federal VA clinic seems to be more focused on those veterans who are suicidal, and those that have severe mental issues that are combined with anger and acting out.

But what about the veteran that has depression which is the result of major surgery or a catastrophic incident that has taken place in their lives lately? Some of these guys suffer from the human version of what in computers, they call "information overload".  These guys need help dealing with daily issues, or coping with long term problems. The stress created by these problems can be as  debilitating as any combat wound.

For example, A veteran who served 10 years from 1980 to 1990. Went out to the civilian world and became self sufficient, paying his own way thru life. Then BAM! Nafta hits. Within 2 years, this man has used up all his savings, trying to stay afloat, and has exhausted all government unemployment benefits, yet still cannot find a job. He finds himself homeless and destitute.  That would qualify him to apply for residency at the veterans home. But as a result of having to deal with all that, he now is angry all the time, gets irritated easily, or withdraws into himself and walks around mumbling to himself.

Or perhaps he just doesn't know how to function anymore, and has lost his self confidence. Guys like this need help too - help they are not getting at the veterans home. 

These are the guys the home has failed to help. And instead of helping them when they have an episode of anger or whatever, the home discharges the veteran rather than address the issues. And when you get discharged under these conditions it demeans you. A discharged veteran cannot return to the home as a resident. He/she is not allowed on the campus, even to visit during regular hours. If they do come for a visit, they are subject to being arrested for trespassing according to handbook policy.

Is that why Michigan taxpayers are paying for a veterans home?  So we can run them thru for a short period of time, then throw them to the street when the home is done using them?

According to the recent State of Michigan Audit, a Certified professional Psychiatrist was supposed to be on staff, but since 2009, they have not had one. Why? Can't the state afford to pay one? Or are the working conditions so bad, that none in the profession wants to work at the Veterans Home?
There is no excuse as to why the home does not have one on staff, especially in light of the Audit's report of the kinds and types of psychiatric drugs being issued to veterans at the home.

And if the home cannot cope with a veteran, its greyhound therapy - they kick him out. This is another reason why this Home has become a disgrace to veterans, and why Michigan should be ashamed that it has let it happen to the very people who put their lives on the line for this countries continual freedom.

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