The Intersection of Calm Markets and the Crisis in Mental Health Care

Ben H.

Hatched by Ben H.

Jul 24, 2023

4 min read


The Intersection of Calm Markets and the Crisis in Mental Health Care


In recent months, the stock market has exhibited an unprecedented calmness in the face of various economic stressors. Simultaneously, there has been a surge in the number of mentally ill individuals languishing in jails due to a lack of adequate psychiatric facilities. This article explores the connection between these two seemingly unrelated phenomena and delves into the underlying issues and potential solutions.

The Revenge of the Quant Funds:

Historically, economic stressors such as banking system turmoil, inflation, and interest rate hikes have caused significant disruptions in the stock market. However, in recent times, these events have been met with a surprising sense of indifference from investors. One possible explanation for this is the growing influence of quant funds. These algorithm-driven investment strategies rely on complex mathematical models to make trading decisions. While they have been successful in navigating market volatility, there are concerns about whether they are detached from reality. Is the calm we are witnessing a result of rational markets or delusional algorithms losing sight of reality?

The Crisis in Mental Health Care:

Conversely, the crisis in mental health care is becoming increasingly evident as jails across the United States struggle to accommodate a rising number of mentally ill inmates. A Wall Street Journal analysis reveals that psychiatric hospitals are overwhelmed, leaving inmates to languish in jail without access to court-ordered treatment. The question arises: who is responsible for rectifying the supply and demand imbalance for psychiatric facilities? Are the incentives aligned to allow the private market to address this pressing issue?

The Inept System:

The current system is clearly flawed, as evidenced by the long waitlists and inadequate provisions for mentally ill inmates in jails. In some cases, health officials have resorted to medicating inmates within the confines of the jails, attempting to restore their competency for trial. However, unlike psychiatric hospitals, jails lack the authority to force inmates to take medication. This, coupled with limited prescription options and a lack of monitoring, exacerbates the problem. Furthermore, the scarcity of behavioral-health services and workers further compounds the crisis.

The State of Psychiatric Hospitals:

The shortage of psychiatric beds in state-run hospitals is a significant contributor to the mental health crisis in jails. With an increasing number of mentally ill individuals entering the criminal justice system, the demand for psychiatric beds far exceeds the available supply. For instance, in Missouri, there are currently 229 inmates waiting for one of only 897 psychiatric beds, all of which are already occupied. These numbers highlight the urgent need for a comprehensive solution that addresses the capacity and efficiency of the psychiatric hospital network.

Connecting the Dots:

While seemingly unrelated, the issues of calm markets and the crisis in mental health care share commonalities. Both highlight the need for a more holistic approach to addressing systemic flaws. In the case of the stock market, the influence of quant funds necessitates a reassessment of their impact on market rationality. Similarly, in the mental health care system, there is a need for a comprehensive approach that incorporates increased investment in psychiatric facilities, improved medication administration protocols, and enhanced behavioral health services.

Actionable Advice:

  • 1. Increase Investment in Psychiatric Facilities: Governments and private organizations should allocate resources to expand the capacity of psychiatric hospitals and address the shortage of beds. This would provide mentally ill individuals with timely access to court-ordered treatment and prevent them from languishing in jails.
  • 2. Enhance Medication Administration Protocols: Jails should collaborate with mental health professionals to develop efficient and comprehensive medication administration protocols. This would ensure that inmates receive appropriate medication and have access to monitoring services, reducing the risk of exacerbating their conditions.
  • 3. Invest in Behavioral Health Services: The scarcity of behavioral health services and workers is a critical factor contributing to the mental health crisis. Governments should prioritize investment in training programs and incentives to attract and retain behavioral health professionals. This would help build a robust network of support services that can prevent individuals from entering the criminal justice system in the first place.


The calmness of the stock market and the crisis in mental health care are two pressing issues that demand attention. By recognizing the common points between them, we can begin to develop comprehensive solutions that address the flaws in both systems. Through increased investment in psychiatric facilities, improved medication administration protocols, and enhanced behavioral health services, we can work towards a future where calm markets coexist with a compassionate and effective mental health care system.

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