The writer brings focus to a fundamental problem: What should a society do about its mentally ill members?
For perspective, realize that psychology began to develop as a scientific discipline only in the late 1800s (see William James). Until very recently it was impossible to distinguish between the sick and the merely unusual, and we are still learning how to do so.
But here is a truth we have learned: Families and communities cannot cure severe mental illness on their own. A mentally sick person cannot be made well by good wishes, good intentions, or even love.
The severely mentally ill are not criminals, but they are like criminals in the sense that only government can deal with them.