The sad reality is that jails and prisons have become the new asylums. According to the Treatment Advocacy Center, 383,000 individuals with severe psychiatric disease were behind bars in the United States in 2014- roughly equivalent to the size of the city of Cleveland, Ohio. It is tragic and unacceptable that many people who deserve mental health treatment are instead thrown behind bars where they are exposed to trauma and further deterioration.
At Orbit Health, we are determined to disrupt the cycle of mass incarceration of the mentally ill by inserting telepsychiatry at every stage of the criminal justice system. This ensures that people who are vulnerable to incarceration have access to the right care at the right time.
Why is it important to provide mental health care throughout the legal system? People who are in the active phase of a mental illness (psychotic, depressed, manic, etc), are not able to function appropriately within the legal system and can disrupt the courts and correctional facilities. By contrast, when people are adequately treated for the mental illness, they are better able to navigate within the legal system, care for themselves, and stay out of trouble.
Perhaps most importantly, we have an ethical obligation to take care of our fellow man to reduce suffering and protect our communities. Orbit Health is there to help people get the care they need, whether it is at the time of arrest, in court, behind bars, or on parole.
At Orbit Health, we believe that a healthier person means a healthier society. Its time to #endthecycle of mass incarceration of the mentally ill.