Schizophrenic State Mental Health Policy

Should the state control mental health?

The correct answer is, “Only if you believe in putting schizophrenics in charge of the asylum.”

Clearly, mental health care will be what the state says it is, as long as the state pays for it, regulates it, decides who may practice it or build new facilities, and plays politics with it. All of which the State of Michigan is pursuing with all its might.

It’s understandable for local institutions to address complaints of bullying so-called “sexual minorities” – lesbian, gay, and bisexual individuals. However, the state has leapt past appropriate local anti-bullying measures straight into a statewide prohibition for any form of counseling away from same sex attraction or gender dysphoria.

Patient and counselor beliefs, knowledge, First Amendment rights – none of it matters to the state.

Never mind the question of state competence. Any real-world mental health professional can give you an earful about inflexible, bureaucratic state program and institutional barriers.

That’s enough reason to want the state out of mental healthcare. However, that’s not what makes it schizophrenic.

You get more of what you pay for

Importantly, the State of Michigan pays for mental health in two ways.

Billions of dollars go to programs, regulators, and institutions. But the state also pays into mental health with “emoluments” – public promotion with praise, reward, or special attention. If you’ve heard state mental health advertising, you’ve been exposed to both aspects of state policy.

It’s common knowledge that mental disorders and substance abuse go together. Less well-known are their connection to sexual behavior. Specifically, “sexual minority” behavior.

2023 SAMHSA Report

The US Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) just released the Lesbian, gay, and bisexual behavioral health: Results from the 2021 and 2022 National Surveys on Drug Use and Health.

In both men and women, the straight lifestyle is by far the healthiest. Of 14 unhealthy behaviors assessed, excessive alcohol was the only one stable throughout all men surveyed.

“Sexual minority” status corresponded with two, three, or even more substances abused (cigarettes, opioids, illicit drugs, stimulants, inhalants, hallucinogens, tranquilizers) AND mental health disorders (listed as Serious, Major Depressive, co-occurring, Suicidal, and Any).

Obviously, we should all be concerned that these are not happy or healthy people. Arguing chicken versus egg becomes moot when lives are at stake. The important thing is to break the cycle.

And that’s where state schizophrenia comes in.

Schizophrenic state policy:
Restrict drugs but promote sex no matter what.

The State of Michigan ardently makes war against substance abuse, yet promotes the sexual behavior closely associated with it.

Furthermore, Michigan insists we all promote it, too.

The University of Michigan/ Michigan Medicine promotes these behaviors, too. It advocates against conscience exemptions to mandatory insurance coverage for Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (prevents HIV if used before risky sex or intravenous drugs).

The SAMHSA Report inserts this disclaimer: “these findings do not explain the reasons for these differences, such as the influence of stressors that are unique to people who identify as.…”

But not knowing all the reasons argues for more freedom to choose counseling options, not less. It certainly doesn’t justify state intimidation of free speech and forced approval of “sexual minority” behavior.

We should limit state control of mental healthcare and advocacy for unhealthy lifestyles.

 

— lightly edited for length and clarity on January 17, 2024.