Rally demands more help for mentally ill

April 11, 2011 1:48:56 PM PDT
A rally Monday called for the state to do more to help people with mental illnesses move into community-based housing.

Members of the Mental Health Justice Task Force gathered outside the Thompson Center.

In 2005, a lawsuit was filed claiming the state violates the rights of mentally ill people by placing them in large nursing homes or "institutions for mental disease."

A settlement was reached last fall to help transition people into community-based housing.

Those at Monday's rally have concerns about implementing the agreement. They shared their stories.

"I have lived in nursing homes for 17 years, since I was 12. While I was living in nursing homes I was physically, sexually and emotionally abused by residents and by staff," said Jessica Patrick, a mental health advocate.

Those at Monday's rally want the state to spend more to help people making the transition to community-based housing. They are asking the state not to cut funding for mental health and addiction services.