Mental Health Reform: What It Would Really Take

Tipper Gore has brought a welcome focus on the problem. But millions of mentally ill Americans aren't getting the treatment they need. And there's no easy fix

Gerald Minsk used to drop acid and smoke pot to help quell paranoid delusions that Boston's North End mafiosi were conspiring against him. Yes, it's crazy to take hallucinogens to soothe your hallucinations. But that's what untreated mental illness does to you. It can also leave you jobless and sleeping under the Boston University bridge. That's what happened to Minsk, anyway, in the 1970s. For years, his bipolar disorder was virtually ignored as he cycled in and out of jails, mental hospitals and community centers, none of which took the time, or had the resources, to treat him properly.

Millions of...

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