(10-16-17) Public outrage about how Americans with mental illnesses were treated inside state mental hospitals helped spark de-institutionalization. So where is that anger and fury now when it comes to abuses of Americans with mental illnesses currently being warehoused in our jails and prisons? This week, the Chicago Sun Times newspaper reported: “Thousands of (IllinoisClick to continue…
Teenagers and young adults with severe autism are spending weeks or even months in emergency rooms and acute-care hospitals, sometimes sedated, restrained or confined to mesh-tented beds, a Kaiser Health News investigation shows.
These young people — who may shout for hours, bang their heads on walls or lash out violently at home — are taken to the hospital after community social services and programs fall short and families call 911 for help, according to more than two dozen interviews with parents, advocates and physicians in states from Maine to California. Continue reading Nowhere To Go: Young People With Severe Autism Languish In Hospitals
The federal government has given California bad marks on monitoring the well-being of children in foster care.
State officials were slow to investigate complaints of abuse or neglect, failed to notify investigators of serious sexual abuse allegations and didn’t follow up to ensure cases were resolved, according to an audit released late Monday by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Inspector General. Continue reading Federal Audit Gives California Poor Marks On Monitoring The Welfare Of Foster Children
“This morning, we were awakened to the horror of the largest mass shooting in United States history. It is hard to ignore the shock of such news, and impossible at this early stage to determine the motive of the 64-year-old shooter.
“What we do know is this. The families of the at least 58 who died and the 500+ who were injured will be affected by this event for the rest of their lives. Long after the physical wounds have healed, the trauma will remain. It is critically important that we recognize and understand this, and do all that we can to offer the help and support that these individuals, families, and loved ones need. Continue reading Statement by Paul Gionfriddo, MHA president and CEO, on Las Vegas Shooting | Mental Health America
Just a few months ago, you helped defeat health reform efforts that would have left millions without insurance and cut insurance protections. But Senators Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) just introduced a new bill that is even more dangerous for people with mental illness.
For any health reform bill, NAMI asks the simple question: Will Americans have more mental health coverage and better care? With the Graham-Cassidy bill, the answer is unequivocally no.
While it is being promoted as offering more flexibility, their bill will make it harder for people to get psychiatric medications, case management, and mental health services—and other people with mental illness will lose their coverage entirely.
The Graham-Cassidy bill:
- Allows states to drop the requirement to cover mental health care. Today, Exchange plans are required to cover essential health benefits, which include treatment for mental health and substance use conditions. Under this bill, each state will have the freedom to drop or change these requirements, putting mental health benefits at risk.
- Shifts Medicaid funding to a “per capita cap” system.Shifting to per capita cap funding (a fixed amount of funding per person) may sound reasonable, but would not keep up with growth in costs and needs. This would result in states being forced to cut Medicaid services and eligibility, which would harm children and adults with mental illness.
- Effectively ends Medicaid expansion. One in three people covered by Medicaid expansion plans lives with a mental health or substance use condition. Under this bill, Medicaid expansion would be converted to a smaller, temporary block grant that states could use for health coverage or any other health purpose, with no guarantee of mental health coverage.
- Reduces help to purchase health insurance. Block grants would provide a fixed amount of temporary federal funding to replace insurance subsidies, severely cutting federal help for people to buy insurance. This will leave many people unable to afford the coverage they need for mental health treatment.
In 2012, Elyn Saks gave a TED talk describing her struggles with schizophrenia. | Ted.com (8-28-17) Forcing persons with serious mental illnesses to take medications has been a hotly debated issue for decades. It often causes problems between caregivers and those who are ill. This Thursday (August 31), the federal committee created to advise CongressClick to continue…
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255
- National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI) Helpline at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264)or firstname.lastname@example.org
- SAMHSA Treatment Locator at 1-800-662-4357
- The National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233
You are worthy. ❤
Over 5 million individuals visit hospital emergency departments each year with a primary mental health diagnosis.
- Families, individuals, law enforcement and others rely on emergency departments to provide timely, competent and compassionate medical care during a psychiatric emergency.
- California hospitals have decreased inpatient psychiatric beds by 22% over the last decade, while the total number of acute care beds in the state has remained stable.
- Up to 63% of individuals living with a mental illness also live with a significant medical condition which may require care during a psychiatric medical emergency.
- California has made significant progress in recent years in training law enforcement to respond appropriately to situations that involve mental illness. (Crisis Intervention Training)
- We should expand on the success of SB 82 (2013) by supporting additional capacity in the community through mobile crisis teams, crisis stabilization units and peer respite.
- Due to the current lack of crisis stabilization services in many counties, hospitals and emergency departments are over capacity and working to provide emergency psychiatric care.
- Emergency departments should be staffed with mental health professionals, and should provide mental health training to staff, including emergency physicians.
- We should encourage partnerships between hospitals, health systems, counties, law
enforcement, families and individuals in order to maximize our current capacity and provide the best care.
For questions, please contact Advocacy@namica.org.
Federico Guzmán moved from Mexico to San Francisco in 1992, fleeing anti-gay sentiment and searching for AIDS treatment.
He couldn’t find a job and sometimes went hungry until friends introduced him to Project Open Hand, a nonprofit organization that began serving free, nutritious meals to HIV patients in 1985. Continue reading California Funds Nonprofits To Serve Food As Medicine