By Leah Todd
September 7, 2016

Steven Ledwon woke with his arms strapped to a hospital bed.

Police had picked up Ledwon, 55, in late April from a local shelter in Alamosa, Colorado, where he was hallucinating and speaking garbled Spanish. Likely triggered by a change in medication, Ledwon’s psychotic episode was compounded by crippling anxiety. Police dropped him off in the emergency room—common destination for mental-health patients, but one that may cause as much harm as good.