Bette Midler blames deinstitutionalization on Ronald Reagan

So the “patient rights” movement pushed by the mental health advocate community and set in motion by the Kennedy Administration in the early 1960s had nothing to do with deinstitutionalization. Yeah, right.


Clayton Cramer, Madness, Deinstitutionalization & Murder

Clayton Cramer, Deinstitutionalization of the Mentally Ill: The Crisis That No One Talks About

  • David Bruce

    The ACLU made it almost impossible to institutionalize anyone .

  • ceemack

    If we’re suddenly going to prevent the mentally ill from owning firearms, I think we need to start with Bette Midler.

    In reaction to the poor conditions (and, often, poor treatment results) in most mental hospitals in the 1950s, a bunch of nutty psychologists pushed deinstitutionalization in the 1960s. This was also the time of the “community” model of treating mental illness.

    This stuff is usually covered in Psych 101.

    • WisconsinPatriot

      …..unless you are famous, then facts are really pointless.

    • bluewaternavy

      Right on the mark! Here in NY, they closed some of the biggest in the nation (Pilgrim!) and turned everyone loose. They still have Creedmoor-and most of the “patients” wander the streets nearby-Union Turnpike among them. You are warned by locals to be VERY careful at night.
      Sad, but true…

      • Eric Huber

        So true, Patrick. My hometown had the same problem called the EpiCenters. These poor folsk had their SSI taken from them, lived in less than ideal condition, and instead of care, they roamed the streets.

      • jimmy s

        Pilgrim, CI and Kings Park. So how can you define who is mentally ill, when you (as in our wonderful politicians) decided they were sane enough to be on the streets?

    • TJ

      Poor conditions and poor treatment was the plot of a ton of hollywood movies, which contributed to pubic support for the closings of these much needed medical care facilites. They had a great slogan, “Patients rights”

      • Stephen Zeigler

        yeah right out the door

      • Jeanette Victoria

        Yes the mentally ill now have the right to live on the street and dumpster dive. That is much better isn’t it?

      • CherDash

        One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest (1975 – before Reagan).

    • Gail Buckley

      Chris, you are awesome!!!!

      • ceemack

        Thanks! Glad to hear I didn’t sit through all those Psych. classes for nothing.

    • Jeanette Victoria

      The so called poor treatment was mostly sensationalized and was the exception.

  • nc

    I guess she doesn’t remember the libbies insisting “Patient’s Rights! Patient’s Rights!”

  • riddler1620

    Democrats passed laws making it almost impossible to incarcerate people, so as a result funding was lowered to take into account empty hospital beds. As usual we have uninformed liberals trying to white wash the harm that democrat policies have done to America.

  • BeyondPolls

    Those institutions were horrible. The churches need to be doing this stuff.

    • bluewaternavy

      Taking care of the mentally ill? No, that’s the responsibility of Doctors. Most religious cannot afford to run these places.
      The state simply needs to do a helluva better job, though. They need new rules to run these places

      • Gail Buckley

        we spend billions on abortions, but we do nothing for the mentally impaired….that’s screwed up.

        • TocksNedlog


      • BeyondPolls

        I think the biggest paradigm shift that needs to happen in our society is realizing that everyone is mentally ill to some extent. The root of most mental illness can be traced back to the sinful natures we all have. This is why the church is most qualified to take care of most ‘mentally ill’ people.

        • OzCop

          Speak for yourself there Beyond…No one grew up in any worse conditions than me…your annalysis is simply without merit. Churches generally do a decent job of feeding and taking care of the poor, but they are not psychologists…and they cannot prescribe medicines.

          • BeyondPolls

            The institutions were horrible but the government certainly did not have any solutions for it.
            Who said that medications would help these people? That’s what the problem was in the first place in these mental institutions. These people don’t need to be locked up and drugged up. Their deeper spiritual issues need to be resolved. The Lanza family could have been helped long before Adam went crazy.

    • $23629333

      The push to De-institutionalize the mentally ill was propelled by horror stories about what was going on in mental institutions. Those stories fired up the grandstanders,* and they – together with the government officials happy to cut costs** – succeeded in releasing thousands of people. The grandstanders were happy, the taxpayers were happy, many of the people released wound up on the street or in prison, and the families of the people released were not happy.

      There are horror stories coming out of our old age homes, and any other residential institution you can name, all the time. Shall we close them; or shall we improve these places, and monitor them far more closely than we do now?

      (* this is the appropriate term for the so-called “bleeding hearts”)

      (* yes, Virginia, we did – once upon a time – have elected officials and bureaucrats like that)

      • BeyondPolls

        There were horror stories, and the government should have never gotten involved in the first place.
        Most mental issues can be solved by the church, without medication.

  • dmacleo

    I do wish reagan had been able to fight that issue and win but couldn’t. so he signed the law the DEMS submitted.

  • GTFOBigGovt

    Deinstitutionalization started under Kennedy with the Community Mental Health Act 1963. Because they thought psychotropic drugs would cure everybody. Oops how to make them take them, hmmmmm. They also wanted to shift costs/control to the Feds, the Liberals’ sacred cow. So how’d that work out?

    Midler was busy hanging in the bath houses and missed all that.

    • Gail Buckley

      great post….and 100% correct!!!

    • Stephen Zeigler

      maybe that is when they thought to posion us all and call it cancer.

    • Jeanette Victoria

      Then the ACLU sued. Reagan close the hospital as a result of the lawsuit.

    • 1NJNurse1

      Kennedy is the one who did that so why is anyone listening to Bette Midler who is only a singer and actor. You are correct, Thanks

      • VideoByLarry

        and if you have seen her show, not a good singer or actor.

        • 1NJNurse1

          I can’t comment on that. I do hope she does something right or we will be keeping her butt like the rest.

        • Shelby is a Patriot

          I don’t know, she played a pretty good witch in Hocus Pocus… >_>

    • $30423294

      Brilliant post. May I draw a very germane conclusion from it?

      The very first attempt of the democrat party to micro-manage medical service delivery on a national scale was an unequivocal catastrophe.

      After fifty years, these democrats have still not lifted a finger to fix what they destroyed.

  • WisconsinPatriot

    NO ONE has ever accused Bette Midler of being Stephen Hawkings love child. This is kinda like the trolling lefties trying to sell the KKK in cahoots with white republicans crapola. Re-writing history just doesn’t fly lefties!

  • Steve_in_RR

    Good thing he did or she’d still be locked up.

  • grais

    Long ago, I found her amusing. Now I realize the ditzy act is not an act.

    Bless her heart.

  • fishydude

    hospitals closed. Drugs that were supposed to help actually now have black box warnings that the drugs can (and do) cause suicidal and homicidal behavior.
    All of the mad murders since the 80’s have been on a prescribed psychiatric drug. The only exception is Fort Hood. And he was under the influence if a drug called Islam.
    I am now very grateful that my father declined to put me on drugs for ADD in 6th grade. I had 90+% of the characteristics of the mass murderers. Loner. Bullied by students, teachers and father. Quiet, introverted, few friends. But I’d still vote door the death penalty if i was on the jury for any of these scum bags regardless their excuse.

  • Garth Haycock

    Ms. Midler, you would do well to heed the words of Abraham Lincoln, though it’s far too late for anyone to believe that you aren’t a fool.

  • stuckinIL4now

    So how did the divine miss “m” as in mad get out–did she escape the asylum?

  • Georgine Kratzer


  • Ronnie Cagle

    This coming from a Jew that sings Christmas songs for profit.Who cares what these liberal elitist celebrities think or say

    • Tammy Litz

      unfortunately other Democrats and liberals who think like she doesand the sheeple that believe every word that comes out of her or others like hers mouths

  • Guest

    Yes American, today’s tyrants are becoming more brazen & stupider….

  • Rocky

    Wow, we’ve gone beyond blaming Bush to blaming Reagan…

  • susan apicella

    all of hollyweird should be in mental institutions….why anyone would put in credence in anything they spout off is beyond me……they are the biggest goofs in this country

  • J.D.

    Why do the actors and actresses all think we want to hear their opinions. They are just entertainers, not experts on anything except acting. I wish they would all learn to just keep their mouths shut.

  • JDSoCal

    Actually, what Reagan did was, in a nod to federalism, changed federal revenue sharing mandates with block grants. It was the states who decided what to do with their now no-strings-attached money, and many spent on things other than mental illness treatment.

  • OrionElectra

    Bette Midler knows all the circumstances and who to blame? I’m simply amazed at how well informed show business types are!

  • Gail Buckley

    why is it that we can afford to spend billions on abortions, but we haven’t the money to help the mentally impaired?

    • GTFOBigGovt

      No matter how much money, the inability to force mentally ill people to accept treatment doesn’t fit the Liberal fairy tale. There are plenty of laws on the books to do involuntary committals (like for almost ALL of these recent murders) but their FAMILIES and SHRINKS shirked their responsibilities. The Newtown mother waited too long and by the time she apparently lined it up he found out and the rest is history. IF they ever reveal the facts, which, I bet they’re trying to cover up. And in HIS case the family had plenty of money themselves to get him top notch help.

  • disqus_uw65kigO6w

    By the way, Bette, when did they release you?

  • Tammy Litz

    well you know she can’t put the blame on the other Democrats and liberals such as herself where the blame belongs. she’s a pinhead

  • bart

    i do believe that mental health in general has been pushed to the way side by most people. I have been ” institionalized” 9 times in the past few years. the longest was for 3 weeks. i was in an outside program for over a year without going to the hospital while in the program an then it had to be shut down due to goverment funding. I am not on medicare as my wife makes money but do get ssdi i worked since i was 15.fell off a ladder and hit my head. most people in these hospitals do belong in some type of group home or somewhere with min. care. they have been abused by the goverment and are lost with little chance of getting the help that they need. there was a point during the time after i hit my head that i tried to kill myself and there is little the government was willing to do to help. it is sad that there is a stigma about mental health. by the way i sold all my guns but that was my choice i do not believe in gun control by the government.

  • MovingToNevada

    In California, someone has to FIRST do something, and then he/she can be taken by cops for a 5150 3-day hold. But if someone is acting nuts, there’s nothing you can do about it until he either hurts himself or someone else.

    • GTFOBigGovt

      That’s not really true, though. They may not be following the law but the law states (as in every state I know) a police officer or professional person can act if:

      “has probable cause to believe that the person is, as a result of mental disorder, a danger to others, or to himself or herself, or gravely disabled.”

      Just saying you want to commit suicide qualifies. Or being unable to psychiatricly care for yourself. And for that matter, if you’re inebriated, a police officer can throw you in a drunk tank under 5150 till you sober up.

  • Eric Huber

    Jails are the new mental health hospitals. So much so, that the true criminals aren’t spending any time behind bars.

  • Verity Media

    Facts are stubborn things… #tcot

  • Walter Warren

    To be more factually accurate, Ms. Midler, in 1970, then Governor Reagan and the state legislature of California, facing the repercussions of the CMHA of 1963, decided to scale down and consolidate several of the states’ smaller, and less efficiently run mental health facilities into some of the larger ones in order to meet federal guidelines, and still operate the system within the budget. Yes, many of the ” less dangerous ” patients ended up being released, and about 2500 state workers were given the choice of either relocating to the larger state hospitals or ending their careers . 1500 relocated. My mom was one of those. The unions never forgave Reagan – specifically the CSEA, and the Screen Actors Guild, of which Reagan was once the president.

  • James W Parker Jr

    Shut up Bette!

  • digitalPimple

    meh. dumb.

  • Jack Deth

    Memo to Ms. Liberal Moron:

    As per usual. Your gums are flapping while your brain is in idle.

  • Jeff Chrzanowski

    My mother-in-law blamed Reagan, too. I guess she forgot about the ACLU and Kennedy, but it’s hard to blame the left when you’re a leftist.

  • $22639970

    Good God Almighty. Is every repressive Hollywood has-been a retard, or do they really use that much dope?

    • BeeKaaay


      • $22639970

        Got it!

  • Randi Starr

    Well, she should personally thank him then, it provided someone to go see her short movie career.

  • Randy C. Lindsey

    Are you sure it wasn’t George W. Bush’s fault?

  • vanderfk

    She must have been in a coma during the Carter years… i just hate it when they open their mouths and remove all doubt…. better to remain silent and be thought intelligent than to open your mouth…

  • Frustrated Teacher

    Hey Bette….learn the facts or STFU!

  • TocksNedlog

    This explains why she’s been loose for over 30 years.

  • RonP

    I felt just the same way when they stopped doing lobotomies. Bring back the lobotomy!

    • BeeKaaay

      Start with the leftwingwackos. Oh wait, how will we know the difference between before and after :)

  • jminsandiego

    I think I recall he was pressured to do it by “rights” groups for the mentally ill. Something about unfair confinement without trial being unfair, unconstitutional, inhumane … the usual collection of accusations by those people.

    I’m about the same age as Bette Midler, but I’m a Conservative. Maybe that’s why we remember things differently.

    • RightThinking1

      That, and you probably didn’t spend as much time hanging out in bath houses as Bette did.

  • TocksNedlog

    Why, it’s a problem so “intractable” that neither
    St. Clinton nor The Lightworker have been able to get a handle on it!

  • Christoph DeHaven

    Bette seems to be suffering from dementia. The greatest phase of deinstitutionalization occurred under Jimmy Carter.

  • DebEast

    Bette Midler ought to explore mental health treatment.

  • Deborah

    There is plenty of blame to go around! Reopen the institutions! We can’t continue putting these poor people in our prison system. Even our prisoners don’t get rehab there!

  • Lloyd Purvis

    Don’t mind me……I’m just flying over the cuckoo’s nest…….Hollyweird…..

  • $23629333

    Anyone lucky enough to have a family member with serious mental health problems – such as bipolar disorder – knows two things: such people can be – at times – dangerous to themselves and others, and – at such times – need to be institutionalized; and – at such times – it is nearly impossible to do so. The person afflicted wants no part of it, and the institution wants no part of him/her. I well recall the time I pushed very hard to have my very sick younger brother institutionalized, and finally succeeded; within 48 hours he was released because he was “too much of a handful.” Guess where he wound up? In another institution.

    The grandstanders* – who wear their bleeding hearts on their sleeves – have to give their empty heads a shake. If they don’t want to see people like my brother living on the street, or sitting in a jail cell, they better accept that the only alternative to those two options is institutionalization. Surely even a portsider can see that that is the lesser evil.

    • beebop1952

      I rented an unused sleeping room to a college grad. She was a typical SLOB of 25 years. There was an odor coming from her bedroom and since it is my home, I went in and retrieved a neglected plate from inside her closet. There were four small pill bottles and I wrote down their names and googled them. Oddly enough? It would have been simpler to find out whether she owned a gun than to find out she was bi-polar. She played insanely violent video games for hours and then would sleep her entire day off. I terminated our landlord/tenant relationship and have never regretted it. Her mother and step father live five minutes from me and THEY didn’t want her in their house ….

      • $23629333

        I can foresee your former tenant pairing off with someone like my younger brother, and they’ll maintain themselves and their drug habits with criminal acts. The only thing more dangerous than a bipolar person – in the midst of a serious manic episode – is such a person drug addled and in search of his/her next fix, and the money to purchase it.

  • beebop1952

    Maybe that’s when Bette got out?

  • moonsbreath

    What an idiot. I suppose this airhead doesn’t remember that these so-called institutions were nothing short of being hell holes. I recall back in the 80’s Geraldo Rivera doing stories on them.

  • J.N. Ashby

    She has a point. Not the Reagan part. She’s a dope there. We need to stop coddling loonies and put them in the funny farm.

    • BeeKaaay

      Yeah, let’s start with the leftwingwackos in government :)

  • Teresa Davis McCormick

    I’m not as old as Bette but I remember my parents in shock over de-instutionalization during Jimmy Carter’s time in office, Of course I could be wrong. Anyone know?

  • Bruce Mccoy

    It started in the 70s as the mentally ill had civil rights not to be institutionalized – Bett is probably not old enough to know tha

  • Kelly Costin

    A sure sign of mental illness might be the ability to blame Republicans for anything that happens that might rub you the wrong way. Bette no doubt actually supports the ACLU!