Sunday, September 14, 2014

Rebecca Deeds Shares Her Story

Rebecca Deeds knows first-hand the toll that mental illness can take. She recalls her family's struggles to care for her brother, who was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. And she says the day her brother attacked her father, State Sen. Creigh Deeds, and then killed himself was the worst day she'll ever have.

Nowhere to Go: Creigh Deeds speaks out Mentally Ill Youth in Crisis.

Aired on 60 Minutes tonight.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Naked man running onto interstate, fighting with officers

This story reminds me of a few years ago when a man was caught on videocam walking across Market Square naked. His name was even published in the local newspaper. Reader comments were unmerciful. As it turned out, he was psychotic and delusional, suffering from an untreated serious mental illness. His name and the story were quickly retracted from the paper. I have to wonder if this is the case here? If so, what a tragic way to get someone the help they need. #Tb4T Treatment Before Tragedy

Read here:  Naked man running onto interstate, fighting with officers disrup

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Hundreds of NAMI families gather for Dr. Murphy’s keynote speech on HR 3717

The Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act provides grants to police departments so officers understand how to approach an individual in the midst of a psychotic episode.At a standing-room only event, Congressman Tim Murphy thanked more than 600 parents and mental health advocates at the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) national convention this week for their efforts to rebuild the nation’s broken mental health system.

“You are tireless advocates for your sons, daughters, parents, brothers, and sisters who must battle each day, through no fault of their own, an illness that is misunderstood and stigmatized. And in doing so, you must also battle a system that is inherently discriminatory, cruel, and inhumane. It is a system that is caused by and causes stigma. It is a broken system that must be changed,” he told the crowd.

Murphy, who received two standing ovations, outlined his vision for how the mental health system should function. The Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act (H.R. 3717), which “delivers care to those with severe mental illness who need better treatment — real treatment — not excuses and not delays.”

The Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act is the result of a year’s work of research and review of the nation’s mental health system. Local Southwestern PA feedback proved crucial in drafting the bill, as Murphy held six public forums in Southwestern Pennsylvania open to all constituents, as well as town hall meetings, and dozens of events to discuss with parents, providers, and law enforcement about the committee’s findings and ideas to improve care for the severely mentally ill.

During his speech, often interrupted by spontaneous applause, Murphy emphasized fixing the federal health rules that prevent doctors from sharing information or even speaking to parents about their mentally ill child. Confusion over the privacy standard has prevented well-meaning families from helping loved ones who are unable to maintain a their own treatment plan and need help from family caregivers, such as the most basic elements of medical care like keeping scheduled doctor appointments and filling prescriptions.

Rep. Murphy explained when a patient is discharged from a hospital with anything from a minor cut to a heart transplant, there is a written treatment plan that is readily shared with family members who will assist with follow-up.

“But not so with serious mental illness. We would not do this to someone with Alzheimer's. We would not say, ‘I can't treat your grandmother until she is well enough to tell me to treat her, but I can't tell you about her treatment until she gives you permission.’ The HIPAA privacy rule was put in place to protect people from being mistreated. But now they’re used to prevent the seriously mentally ill from being treated, and keeping well-meaning family members from helping."

Family members wear "Support the Murphy Bill" pins at meetings in US Capitol

Prior to addressing the convention, Rep. Murphy hosted a dialogue with family members and supporters of the bill from across the country, including Pennsylvania, to learn more about their difficulties navigating a disjointed and broken mental health system. Many participants shared heartbreaking stories of the doors to treatment literally being shut in their face as their loved ones spiraled downwards. A particularly harrowing tale involved a seriously mentally ill young man who died tragically in an altercation with local law enforcement that did not understand the signs of psychosis and not trained in how to de-escalate a crisis situation with someone experiencing delusions.

Advocates from NAMI chapters in New York state, Oklahoma, California, and Ohio then went to other congressional offices to drum up support for the bill.

“I know we will be successful because your love is stronger than any financial interests, than ignorance, or political gamesmanship,” Rep. Murphy said.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Proud of You, Mrs. Burns!

Washington received a surprise advocacy visit this week from my dear friend, GG Burns of Kentucky. She brought a small army with her.  Washington will never be the same.

Click the links below to see her and others in action.  Way to represent us, GG!  Way to Make a Difference! TreatmentBeforeTragedy.Org

Read all about GG's Big Adventure here:

Monday, August 25, 2014

Rep Murphy Invited to North Carolina for Roundtable & Meetings on HR 3717

cid:image001.gif@01CE6085.30391FD0Tim Murphy
U.S. Congressman for the 18th District of Pennsylvania

* * * MEDIA ADVISORY * * * 
* * * Tuesday - 9:30AM * * *

Murphy Continues Nationwide Review Of Mental Health System
Invited to North Carolina for Roundtable and Meetings on HR 3717

For Immediate Release: Monday, August 25, 2014
Contact: Murphy Press, 202.225.2301 
(PITTSBURGH, PA) – Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Chairman Tim Murphy (PA-18) will continue his ongoing review of the nation’s broken mental health system this Tuesday, August 26th, in Raleigh, North Carolina at the invitation of Congresswoman Renee Ellmers (NC-2). Murphy will meet with community stakeholders to discuss reforms that would help the mental health system in North Carolina, as well as to speak at several stakeholder meetings on the growing nationwide momentum to pass federal reforms.
Murphy, who is the author of the bipartisan Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act (H.R. 3717), has been traveling throughout the nation to learn how the broken mental health system impacts different communities, and discuss how H.R. 3717 would help meet the needs of patients and families.
Murphy will begin his day with a tour of a mental health telemedicine facility operated by mental health and substance abuse services provider Daymark Recovery Services. Daymark has various outpatient services, 24-hour crisis services, and psychiatric inpatient crisis/detox services in North Carolina. Murphy will address assembled members of the media about his visit and legislation at 9:30AM at Daymark. Murphy’s bill has been described as the most significant overhaul of the nation’s broken mental health system since the Kennedy Administration, and has been endorsed by physiciansparents of children, and a dozen-plus newspapers including the Washington PostWall Street Journal, and Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
WHAT:          Rep. Murphy Tour of Daymark Recovery Services

WHEN:          Tuesday, August 26th, 2014
9:30AM – 10AM

WHERE:       Daymark Recovery Services
                        901 Jones Franklin Road, Raleigh, NC 27606

WHO:             Congressman Tim Murphy (PA-18)
Billy West, Executive Director, Daymark Recovery Services
Jerry Earnhardt, Regional Operations Director, Daymark Recovery Services
CONTACT:   Brad Grantz, 202.225.2301 (office), 412.478.4197 (cell)

# # #
In his sixth term representing Pennsylvania’s 18th congressional district encompassing suburban Pittsburgh including parts of Allegheny, Washington, Westmoreland and Greene Counties, Rep. Tim Murphy also serves as a Lieutenant Commander in the Navy Reserve Medical Service Corps as a psychologist treating Wounded Warriors with post-traumatic stress and traumatic brain injury. Prior to serving in Congress, Dr. Murphy, author of “The Angry Child” and “Overcoming Passive-Aggression,” was a practicing psychologist specializing in child and family treatment.
Murphy Press | Congressman Tim Murphy (PA-18)
2332 Rayburn House Office Building | Washington, DC  20515
(202) 225-2301 | (202) 225-1844

Friday, August 22, 2014

News and Commentary from the Treatment Advocacy Center August 18 - August 22, 2014

"GET HELP: When Mental Illness Leads to Criminal Justice Involvement"
More than 40% of individuals with severe mental illness end up behind bars at some point in their lives. As a resource to family members whose loved ones become involved in the criminal justice system, the Treatment Advocacy Center has created a web page of steps caregivers can take both before and after a family member or friend becomes involved with law enforcement, the criminal justice system or both. READ IT ALL....

"RESEARCH: Minorities Less Likely to Get Care After Hospitalization"
One study shows that poor follow-up after psychiatric hospitalization leaves many individuals, particularly minorities, with substandard treatment. More attention must be given to reducing racial-ethnic disparities in outpatient mental health treatment following hospitalization.READ IT ALL...

"The Brain on Antipsychotic Drugs: What Happens?"Antipsychotic drugs are an important part of the picture in most people’s journey to recovery from serious mental illness. Evidence that they produce structural changes in the brain should not come as a surprise. READ IT ALL....

"If I Could Turn Back Time" - personally speaking "I grieve and reminisce for the son I once raised by love and support the new child before me now. If my son had a heart attack, cancer or was in a car accident, my life would be different", writes mother Nina McDaniel in a powerful plea. READ IT ALL....

A big thank-you to Judge Ginger Lerner-Wren, whose op-ed was published in the Huffington Post.

If you have a letter or commentary published, please email a link or a copy so we can save it, acknowledge your reform efforts and share it with others.