Sunday, July 20, 2014

HOORAY! TREATMENT BEFORE TRAGEDY -- NEW NONPROFIT ORG -- GOES LIVE TODAY!

Treatment B4 Tragedy
Introducing Treatment Before Tragedy

For the past year and a half, an inspiring and courageous group of family members and community leaders has worked to create a new national organization, Treatment Before Tragedy, or Tb4T.

Treatment Before Tragedy was founded to advocate for better treatment, services, research and a cure for those with serious brain disease, known commonly as mental illness, and their families.


Treatment Before Tragedy members live with the consequences and impacts of untreated mental illnesses every day, and understand mental illness to be a brain disease requiring significantly more medical research. We believe that serious mental illness should receive medical treatment as a physical, medical illness of the brain, not a behavioral disorder.

Treatment Before Tragedy’s members strongly advocate for significant changes in our nation’s approach to the care and treatment of those with serious brain diseases. We support H.R. 3717, the “Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act,” which seeks to improve the nation’s broken mental health system by refocusing programs and resources on medical care for patients and families most in need of services. 
 
Become a member here: http://www.treatmentbeforetragedy.org
 
Please follow us on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/TreatB4Tragedy

Please join us on our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/treatmentbefore.tragedy
 

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

(865) 539-2409 new MOBILE CRISIS HOTLINE for youth 18 & under in Blount, Knox, Loudon, Monroe & Sevier counties

The Helen Ross McNabb Center will begin providing mobile crisis services for children and youth in several East Tennessee counties starting Tuesday.
The mobile crisis provides a 24-hour response team for children under 18 experiencing a behavior health crisis.
In May, state officials regionalized the way mobile crisis services are provided in the state. They awarded Helen Ross McNabb Center coverage for the region which includes Blount, Knox, Loudon, Monroe and Sevier counties.
Starting Tuesday, there will be a new number for the crisis hotline number, (865) 539-2409

Friday, June 27, 2014

We are making a making a mockery of Civil Rights - Personally Speaking

(June 23, 2014) I was the probate judge in Contra Costa County for 11 years. I am here to support the implementation of Laura’s Law in our county.

gavelLaura's Law provides a very thorough protection of the civil rights of the persons with severe mental illness. But, you will hear claims that Laura's Law is an infringement of civil rights.

At the core of our civil rights is our ability to choose to do what we want. When a person is unable to understand the nature and consequences of their decisions because of their illness, that person is fundamentally deprived of the ability to exercise any civil rights.

When we consider civil rights in this context, we should consider the annihilation of the civil rights of victims of homicide by persons with untreated severe mental illness.

We should consider the civil rights of people who are severely injured, whose lives are changed forever.
We should consider the civil rights of the families of the victims of the violence by persons with mental illness.

We should consider the horror for someone who is treated successfully, then learns they have done terrible things while untreated. They will find no comfort in being told we only cared about their civil rights and not at all about giving them the treatment they needed.

We should consider the civil rights of the vast majority of persons with mental illness who are shunned because of the public’s fear that all mentally ill people are violent, making it harder for consumers to find places to live and to get jobs.

We make a mockery of civil rights when we ignore people with severe mental illness, leaving them on the streets until they do something we characterize as a crime, then we lock them in our overcrowded jails and prisons.

Laura’s Law will fill a gap in our mental health system. We currently have no option treating people with severe and persistent mental illness who have demonstrated violent tendencies and do not accept treatment voluntarily.

DON EDWARD GREEN
TESTIMONY FROM CONTRA COSTA COUNTY, CALIFORNIA


Monday, June 23, 2014

Kenneth Bartley ordered to refrain from using drugs, alcohol after weekend incident at father's. Perhaps court ordered treatment instead of discouraging self-medication would have been a better option?

Kenneth S. Bartley (CAMPBELL COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE)
Check out this story, just happened at a bond hearing in a courtroom here in Knoxville.  



So ... rather than force treatment for his previously documented and long history of mental illness, the judge ordered him not to drink or use drugs, and returned him to the custody of his father whom he'd just assaulted along with two deputies? 

This same young man, Kenny Bartley, killed his high school principal a few years ago when he was "only 15" but only served limited time in prison due to technicality of his plea deal.  

Where is the treatment here? #TreatmentBeforeTragedy #TB4T

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Mental Illness 101: Overcoming Harsh and Hateful Comments (Sometimes Our Own Families Just Don't Understand)

originalWise words from my dear friend Leisl Stouffer's blog on "when reactions from loved ones are hurtful."

Read it here:
Mental Illness 101: Overcoming Harsh and Hateful Comments (Sometimes Our Own Families Just Don't Understand) 

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Louisiana Legislature Passes Resolution Urging Passage of Murphy's Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, June 10, 2014
Contact: Brad Grantz202.225.2301

(WASHINGTON, DC) – The Louisiana State Legislature formally passed a resolution through both chambers urging enactment of the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act (H.R. 3717). Congressman Tim Murphy (R-PA), a clinical psychologist with thirty years’ experience, introduced H.R. 3717 following a year-long investigation of the nation’s health system that he conducted as Chairman of the Energy and Commerce Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee.

With nearly 90 bipartisan cosponsors, the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act has been endorsed by numerous newspaper editorial boards, physician groups, and countless parents and caregivers of loved ones with serious mental illnesses. Unlike other legislative efforts that have been in the behavioral wellness realm, the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act tackles the needs of persons with serious mental illnesses, such as chronic and persistent schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and major clinical depression. This subset of the mentally ill are often unaware of their own illness, and are less likely to be self-motivated to seek care, often resist treatment, reject the support of family, friends and peers, and are at highest risk for deterioration leading to incarceration, suicide, homelessness, and violence.

Congressman Murphy thanked State Representative Henry L. Burns for his leadership in moving the resolution, which can be read here, through the Louisiana State House and Senate.

“I congratulate Rep. Burns for his courageous efforts in tackling this issue and his accomplishment in getting his resolution passed through the Louisiana legislature. The Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act rebuilds the broken health system by delivering acute psychiatric treatment to those who need it the most, but have been getting it the least. By working together at the state and federal levels, we will finally take mental illness out of the shadows of ignorance, despair, and neglect and into the bright light of hope and recovery,” said Rep. Tim Murphy (PA-18).

First, I want to thank Congressman Tim Murphy for his bold and timely initiative addressing this very important issue of mental health by bringing it out of the shadows. We can no longer ignore its impact on family life and it is a necessary first step in embracing this misunderstood, but in many cases, a treatable condition. I am encouraged and grateful that we, at last, are moving forward and the hope that it will bring to millions of families,” said State Representative Henry L. Burns (District 9, Louisiana).

###

Background on the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act:
Murphy conducted a year-long investigation that included a dozen forums and hearings, hundreds of interviews with providers, patients, and parents, and countless hours of investigative staff work . A report released last month by the Subcommittee documented the failures of the current mental health system to help individuals with serious mental illness. These findings were crafted into the bipartisan Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act, which was introduced in December 2013. Nationwide support for the legislation has come from newspaper editorsphysiciansand parents of children with mental illness.
Murphy’s Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act has been described as the most comprehensive overhaul of the mental health system since the Kennedy Administration. With a focus on delivering acute psychiatric care to the most challenging cases of serious mental illness, it also includes provisions to expand access to inpatient and outpatient psychiatric treatment, training for law enforcement and first responders to understand how and when to properly intervene when a person is experiencing a mental health crisis. Murphy’s bill also encourages states to adopt a “need for treatment” standard of commitment rather than the imminent danger standard and breaks down convoluted legal barriers preventing family members from helping a loved one with a serious mental illness.

Michigan Legislature Latest State to Adopt Resolution Urging Passage of Murphy's Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act

For Immediate Release: Thursday, June 10, 2014
Contact: Brad Grantz202.225.2301

(WASHINGTON, DC) – The Michigan State House has become the second state legislature to pass a resolution urging enactment of the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act (H.R. 3717). Congressman Tim Murphy (R-PA), a clinical psychologist with thirty years’ experience, introduced H.R. 3717 following a year-long investigation of the nation’s health system that he conducted as Chairman of the Energy and Commerce Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee. Louisiana passed a similar resolution earlier this year.

Congressman Murphy thanked State Representative Aric Nesbitt for his leadership in moving the resolution, which can be read here, through the Michigan State House.

“I congratulate Representative Nesbitt for his courageous efforts in tackling this issue and his accomplishment in getting his resolution passed through the Michigan state house. The Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act rebuilds the broken health system by delivering acute psychiatric treatment to those who need it the most, but have been getting it the least. By working together at the state and federal levels, we will finally take mental illness out of the shadows of ignorance, despair, and neglect and into the bright light of hope and recovery,” said Rep. Tim Murphy (PA-18).
“I would like to thank Congressman Murphy for his hard work and dedication to address this important issue that affects many families across the country. It is imperative that we continue to work together to find real solutions that provide better assistance to those struggling with severe mental illnesses,” said State Rep. Aric Nesbitt (66thDistrict).  
Background on the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act:
Nationwide support for the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act has come from newspaper editorsphysiciansand parents of children with mental illness. Unlike other legislative efforts that have been in the behavioral wellness realm, the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act, which was introduced in December 2013 and has nearly 90 bipartisan cosponsors, tackles the needs of persons with serious mental illnesses, such as chronic and persistent schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and major clinical depression. This subset of the mentally ill are often unaware of their own illness, and are less likely to be self-motivated to seek care, often resist treatment, reject the support of family, friends and peers, and are at highest risk for deterioration leading to incarceration, suicide, homelessness, and violence.

Murphy conducted a year-long investigation that included a dozen forums and hearings, hundreds of interviews with providers, patients, and parents, and countless hours of investigative staff work. A report released last month by the Subcommittee documented the failures of the current mental health system to help individuals with serious mental illness. These findings were crafted into the bipartisan Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act.
Murphy’s Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act has been described as the most comprehensive overhaul of the mental health system since the Kennedy Administration. With a focus on delivering acute psychiatric care to the most challenging cases of serious mental illness, it also includes provisions to expand access to inpatient and outpatient psychiatric treatment, training for law enforcement and first responders to understand how and when to properly intervene when a person is experiencing a mental health crisis. Murphy’s bill also encourages states to adopt a “need for treatment” standard of commitment rather than the imminent danger standard and breaks down convoluted legal barriers preventing family members from helping a loved one with a serious mental illness.