Recommended Reading for Thursday May 20 2010

An image of a beach with blue sky, dotted with clouds. A figure sits in the sand by the waves. In the foreground, a wheelchair sits on the sand.
An image of a beach with blue sky, dotted with clouds. A figure sits in the sand by the waves. In the foreground, a wheelchair sits on the sand.

“….” by mataikan, seen at binary canvas.

Ghana News Agency – Mental Health System on the verge of collapse

Dr Akwasi Osei, Chief Psychiatrist of the Ghana Health Service, on Monday said the mental health system would soon collapse if the Mental Health Bill was not passed to correct the abuses and injustices in mental care. He said it was unfortunate that the Bill, drafted in 2004 and completed 2006, was still lingering at the Ministry of Health. Speaking at a workshop on the State of the Mental Health Bill and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, (UNCRP) for media practitioners, in Accra, he stressed that there was the need for the law to protect the rights and interest of patients and to overhaul the entire mental health system.

Guernica – Jonathan M. Metzl: In Medical Records, a Story of the Racialization of Schizophrenia

Ionia held these men using little-known loopholes in deinstitutionalization amendments that stipulated that the hospital would continue to receive or contain patients deemed too violent for state correctional institutions, or who posed “dangerousness to the community” even after most other patients were set free. The word negro appeared on the upper right corner of the face page in eight out of every ten of these charts. And schizophrenia, paranoid type was overwhelmingly the most common diagnosis applied to these men, these institutionalized black bodies that deinstitutionalization left behind.

the personal hurricanes of kirsty mitchell – quote from siri hustvedt, the shaking woman

the DSM does not tell stories. It contains no cases of actual patients or even fictional ones. Etiology, the study of the cause of illness, isn’t part of the volume. Its mission is to be purely descriptive, to collect symptoms under headings that will help a physician diagnose patients. there is a companion DM-IV casebook, but notably, these narratives about real doctors and patients are gathered in their own volume, seperate from the diagnostic tome.The fact is that all patients have stories, and those stories are necessarily part of the meaning of their illnesses. This may be even more true for psychiatric patients, whose stories are often so enmeshed with the sickness that one can’t be untangled without the other.

Toronto Sun – Family denied residency because of disability

A French family denied permanent residence in Canada because one of the kids has cerebral palsy may have to leave the country following a federal court decision Tuesday. David Barlagne has been working in Montreal since July, 2005. He applied for permanent residence status for his family but was turned down because of the extra costs of putting his daughter Rachel, who has cerebral palsy, through elementary and secondary school. Under Canadian law, immigration officials have no choice but to deny applicants whose health condition could cause excessive demand on social services. Barlagne appealed but the federal court upheld the original decision.

Caltics – Don’t Fall For Arnold’s Wedge [California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger recently issued a proposed state budged with drastic cuts to essential programs for low income Californians and Californians with disabilities.]

Now it must be said that it’s not just the poor who will suffer under this budget. But the budget cuts are quite obviously calculated to hit those Californians without a voice, who are seen as marginal, whose funding can be cut with the least public outcry. The elderly who will lose some or all of their IHSS benefits and the children who will lose health care services are not necessarily “poor”; those cuts will hit the middle-class as well. We can’t fall for Arnold’s wedge. Arnold is shifting tactics because he’s scared of us – scared of the public reaction against three years of austerity. Now is the time to ramp up the attack on that austerity, to move beyond tired old Reaganite claims that there’s some difference between the needs of the middle-class and the needs of the poor. Many middle-class families have benefited from the very safety net programs Arnold now proposes to cut or eliminate, and many more middle-class families benefit – at their jobs and businesses – from less fortunate families having at least some state assistance.

2 Comments

  1. In terms of california, i think its important to see the budget as a whole– so many people can say, oh this service I used to have is no gone, what BS. But, in reality, Arnold is cutting services from everywhere- except our prison and police departments. California cages more people then any where else in the country, in a country that cages more people than anywhere else in the world. The money that should be being used for SSI and IHSS and the education system is being funnelled to not just maintain but build more prison beds in california.

  2. I just wanted to introduce myself to this blog. I’m so glad I found you! I’m pursuing a graduate degree in literature with an emphasis on feminist disability studies, and I’m so intellectually and politically inspired by all of these posts. I hope to get more involved in the disability rights movement, and I think this is a great place to start. So, hello!