The Tea Party has become a fixture in American politics. But the Sanka Party? Not so much. Other than an interest in hot beverages, the two activist groups have little in common. The Sanka Party got started last summer near Tacoma, Wash., in the unlikeliest of places: inside the walls of the state’s largest psychiatric institution.
A recent study from the Centers For Disease Control has found that nearly one-third of mentally ill adults are smokers. In fact, they’re 70 percent more likely to smoke than adults without mental illness. The relationship between cigarettes and mental hospitals is a complicated one. Historically, smoking was common in mental hospitals. It was even used as an incentive for patients at times. Now, more and more treatment facilities are becoming smoke-free. What does this mean for patients who rely on the habit for comfort? Pam Belluck has been writing about these issues. She covers health and science for The New York Times.
King County is facing a major problem. It doesn’t have enough beds for mentally ill people going through the court system. The county has nowhere to send them, and some are being released without treatment.