The plight of seriously mentally ill people has been much in the news lately. Unfortunately most of the coverage has been sensationalized in way that spawns more fear and prejudice than information. Typically the discussion alludes to floridly psychotic people (usually not senior citizens) who become violently assaultive. This creates the impression that people with psychoses are, as a rule, dangerous. Anyone who works in the field who promotes this notion is irresponsible.
You might ask how is this discussion relevant to Ryther as we deal with children? First, the term child covers a wide range of ages. For Ryther it has come to mean kids from two years old to 24. To be sure only a fraction of these children are over 18. That being said, it is not uncommon for people who develop schizophrenia to experience their first psychotic break in the years from 18 to their mid-twenties and there are those adolescents who experience drug induced psychotic episodes. Ryther does in fact serve these kids.
After forty years in the mental health field, with about 30 of those years heavily involved with seriously and persistently mentally ill people (schizophrenics) I can tell you from first-hand experience that the vast majority of these people are more afraid of you than you can imagine. Visual and auditory hallucinations, as well as many delusional systems are terrifying and horrible beyond comprehension. Using force indiscriminately to subdue such people is itself dangerous to all concerned. Whether they’re 15 or 24 people afflicted with psychoses need help and are not dangerous. Our job is to heal them and keep everyone safe; not to make things worse.
– Lee E. Grogg Executive Director/CEO