The Community Mental Health Crisis

Today we have a serious problem with community mental health services. I am speaking of non-profit mental health organizations who treat mental health patients with a mindset of a factory manager. This is beneficial if you are Ford Motors not to treat people with serious diseases.  But that is exactly what is taking place.

Our health care system is not motivated by patient care rather it is a money motivated system ran by chief financial officers who are not practitioners. Most mental health practitioners within community mental health centers care for their patients. They have spent at the minimum 6 years of formal education 2 years of graduate work involving internships and supervision. Providers need another 2 years under direct supervision before receiving a independent license.

Burn Out!


We always hear of the burn out rate with mental health care counselors. Why is this? I have first hand knowledge of this field, so I will explain why burnout takes place. A new graduate of a master’s program in mental health takes a job at a mental health care facility with a mission to help people. They know the pay is not great, the job is a public service. Yet to receive a full license to practice you need 2 years of supervision. Mental health care facilities take advantage of this necessity. They can bring on fresh graduates and pay them under market rates because they know that they need the supervision.

The day in the life of a therapist who work at community mental health care facilities is that of a production line. They even call it “productivity.” In an 8 hour shift the therapist is scheduled with 10 clients who will see the therapist for 45-minute sessions. That is seeing people back to back without a break. These therapists are lucky to get a lunch and employers can get away with it because they are salary. Of course, they try to account for cancellations. God forbid that the therapist can get caught up on paperwork.  Patient care which is touted as the highest of goals is the last thing the leadership, if they like it or not cares about.

Patients are not getting adequate care because they are seeing burnt out therapist who are trying there best to survive in a system that is money driven. Ask anyone who has ever worked in community mental health; the work load verses compensation is greatly unbalanced. Yet these warriors will continue for the love of their patients even if they become patients themselves.

It is time for a change in community mental health services. People need quality mental health services, and this will not happen when the providers are burnt out. Counselors can’t wait till they can land a job outside of the non-profit world. I understand that these organizations need money to survive, the problem is much deeper than the organizations. The major problem involves lack of funding and support for mental health in general.

How do we fix this problem? We need to find a way to place patient care above money. We need to give mental health counselors a break between patients to decompress from intense sessions which takes a toll on the provider. Mental health organizations should not be running like a factory.

Mental Heal Crisis!


The United States has a serious mental health crisis and within this crisis is the ones who provide the counseling services. Without change we will not be able to better help those who spent years of their lives to learn to serve those in need. Our mental health care providers are heroes who go into the worst of the worst scenarios with patients. These unsung heroes deserve a life. They deserve adequate pay without the slave labor.

I know my answer to the problem will not be beneficial because there is not enough funding for this change. I propose that a counselor see only 5 patients per day. Providers should be required to take breaks and lunches. Providers should receive adequate pay for the services they provide. Counselors should never have to do paperwork at home. Seems simple, but if this was put in place the community mental health centers would close their doors for lack of funds. How do we fix this problem?


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One Quad City School Drops the Ball on School Bullying

The 2017-2018 school year has just begun and already there are reports of violent attacks taking place at one Quad City school. Bullying has become a national topic; there is no parent immune from this epidemic. One week into the new school year a Davenport Central student was attacked and thrown into the trophy case as he was walking in between classes. Fortunately the student was not seriously injured but did need to seek medical attention requiring several stitches. You are probably thinking that the attacker was suspended or even arrested for the incident. You are correct the student has been suspended and as of now no arrest has been made. What you may be disappointed to hear is that the victim of the assault was also suspended from school.

How can we send our students to school when they are not properly protected? What do we do when a crime has been committed against one of our students and they are also made out to be a perpetrator? This stems from a line of thinking that if the student is attacked then he or she should automatically and miraculously find their way to safety. If the student attempts to defend themselves in any way they are then listed as an aggressor. The father of the Davenport Central student spoke to assistant principal Ed Veasey. I may also remind you that Davenport Central also dropped the ball by not contacting the parents of the victim. A call did come from the school nurse explaining that the student needed medical attention. The father learned of the student’s suspension from his son, not the administration. When speaking to assistant principal Ed Veasey the father asked some simple questions. Q. Why was my son suspended? A. Because he was in an altercation. Q. He was attacked does he not have the right to defend himself? A. Yes he has the right to defend himself. Q. Then why is he suspended? As you can see the father became frustrated and decided that the argument was circular and coming to no reasonable conclusion.

Later that day the students Father contacted the Davenport schools administration office in order to make sense of the situation. Obviously someone with authority must have some common sense? Or so you would think. The student’s father had to repeatedly call the administration office only to be told an administrator would call the next day around 10:00 AM. This is a phone call the student’s father never received. The student’s father had to call the Administration office only to be told he needed to talk with the senior principal Jon Flynn before he was able to take his case to one of the administrators.

Jon Flynn was contacted and did answer the father’s questions with similar answers as that of assistant principal Ed Veasey. Mr. Flynn did seem surprised that the administration did not contact the parents of the student about the attack, but he also stood his ground on the suspension. Jon Flynn also admitted that a student could defend him or herself but they must make an attempt within an unknown time frame to escape the attack. This does not seem to make sense especially when a student is thrown into a glass trophy case later requiring stitches. The father reports that Jon Flynn was respectable and understanding but he could not lift the suspension. I doubt that, but that is reportedly what he stated.

So here is the deal. What if it is your son or daughter next? We send our kids to school thinking that they will be safe and when they defend themselves They are treated as a victim, instead as part of the problem. This should not take place in any school. Davenport Central High School has in my opinion placed a green light on bullying. Students must live in fear knowing that they will also be suspended if they try to defend themselves. This should never have to be on the minds of students in a supposedly safe learning environment. The father should never have had to deal with an obtuse school district and high school administration. Neither should you. No student should ever feel as if they are a perpetrator if they are attacked by another student and punished for defending themselves. This may cause who knows how much harm to their young minds. This author believes that some actions should take place in order to make it right for the student involved.

  1. The principals involved reprimanded in writing.
  2. A direct apology to the student by the administration.
  3. A change in policy so that students feel safe again.
  4. Better training methods in handling cases of school bullying.
  5. An apology to the father of the student in writing assuring him that this behavior by school staff will never happen again.


Please help! I urge you to call the Davenport school administration office and tell them school bullying will not be tolerated. That those who are bullied are not offenders but victims.

You can reach the Davenport offices at 563-445-5000

Hope for the Quad Cities 

Thinking about the recent crime wave in the Quad Cities I asked myself what could I do as a citizen?  How can I better understand what brings about such crime. My two thoughts were that of hope and poverty.  We all can find ourselves in what seems to be hopeless positions. For some It may seem impossible to wrap our minds around actually making something of our lives. I know, I have been there.  

Hope, is a tangible goal, a reason to do something in order to gain your desire. Hope gives you motivation to live a life to bring about your desire. Hope says despite the situation there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Yet when one has no hope trapped in the grip of poverty, one may take an identity that leads to destructive behavior to both self and community. 

It truly does take a village. It takes the cooperation of business leaders, politicians, clergy, and lay volunteers to help bring hope to who some labeled  hopeless. To bring life to those whom some say, lock up and throw away the key.  

Yes jobs are important, jobs that pay a living wage. Greater than that is finding a passion a purpose for existence outside of the criminal activity so many of our young people are pursuing and dying over. The Bible state’s in Proverbs 29:18 “Without a vision my people perish.”  Our young people lack vision, many only see the cycle of poverty, drugs, and correctional institutions.  

Let us as leaders and willing participants reach out and be empathetic to those who at the moment lack hope. They are not forgotten, let us do our best to plant the seed of a positive vision, and to volunteer in local organizations. 

When we don’t allow people to realize what they can be, they won’t become anything but what they believe.  The problems of drugs, gangs, violence, and poverty are not corrected through prison walls but rather through praying hands and feet willing to work to make a difference. 

Let us create vision, share it and not be intimidated but instead retaliate with the love of Christ and the hope of a better future for each individual within our community.