Minnesota Hasn’t Truly Built a Mental Health System

By Sue Abderholden/ A recent article in the Star Tribune reported how a man with a serious mental illness was kept in jail for several months (“Psych bed shortage leads to blowup,” July 6). He was on a provisional discharge, meaning that if he didn’t follow his treatment plan, he would be brought back to a state-operated facility. He stopped taking his medications and ended up in jail — for months — and was not admitted to a state-operated facility.

Some people, particularly sheriffs, point to the closing of the state institutions as the problem and cite the need for more hospital beds — particularly state-operated ones — as the solution (“Patients need hospitals, don’t deserve jail cells,” Opinion Exchange, July 1). Solutions that only get people out of the jails won’t take care of the broader and underlying problems. (See StarTribune article to continue.)