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Schaer & Brenner: ‘The Innovative Ideas NJ Can Use to Better Care for Mental Health Patients’

(TRENTON) — Assemblyman Gary S. Scaher and Dr. Jeffrey Brenner had the following published recently in the Star-Ledger:

“Seventy years ago, patients with mental illness were locked away in expensive, state-funded institutions where they languished for years in poor conditions receiving ineffective treatments. Since 1960, many public psychiatric hospitals have been closed or their size reduced dramatically, because of a mix of patient advocacy, improving treatments, court decisions and financial pressures.

“We stand at a public policy crossroads. Hospital leaders, mental health professionals and families are demanding change. It’s time to move from short- to long-term solutions that will serve this population best.

“Our dilemma: With our limited public resources, how do we invest in community-based alternatives?”

To read the rest of his op-ed, co-authored with 2013 MacArthur Fellow Jeffrey Brenner, M.D., click here.