A brief note on Tennessee (Murphy is not everywhere)

I listened to Doug Varney Commissioner of Mental Health for Tennessee talk to the governor about what his department was doing and their needs for next year.

The word Murphy was never spoken.

AOT was never mentioned.

No talk about adding more hospital beds.   They had closed one state hospital 4 years ago.   The savings allowed them to serve 10,000 extra people in the community.

They never mentioned one word about the need to protect the community from “violent mentally ill” people.

He talked about the people he served as his neighbors not his enemies.

He thought that people with mental health issues needed more than jail.

He said that if Tennessee expanded health care it would increase money to the mental health system by 30-40 million dollars.

(This was not in the talk but….) He works with PAIMI. He doesn’t fear them or regard them as the enemy. PAIMI actions have qualitatively improved the system and he knows that.

He had a lot to say. For me the loudest was what he didn’t say.


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