The ongoing debate and decision making around the closing, sale, and development of the Mayview property and the announced closing of the Braddock Hospital present us with an occasion to determine how we will serve and support persons with mental illness and behavioral health concerns.
The closing of UPMC Braddock Hospital, is yet another body blow to the Braddock community. Because UPMC Braddock also housed a comprehensive behavioral health/drug and alcohol detox and rehab program, the closure also significantly impacts persons with behavioral disabilities seeking treatment and recovery.
These persons and the broader community impact can not be ignored. Needs not met due to a bottom-line decision result in population increases in jails, homeless shelters, emergency rooms, and, yes, dumpsters. Services and supports we fail to provide today result in higher costs for needs too easily ignored and people to readily dismissed.
In this city of neighborhoods and bridges (to quote a certain non-profit’s commercial) what is foundational for us — people or profits? Community or commercial interests? The “better angels of our nature” or the bottom line?