Sunday, December 29, 2013

If you missed it earlier this month, this Webinar on AOT is a MUST WATCH!

WATCH: A recording of the seminar on assisted outpatient treatment (AOT) held by Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. The seminar examined the benefits, costs and implications of using court-ordered treatment for people with severe mental illness. The Treatment Advocacy Center's policy director, Brian Stettin, is a panelist.

View it here: http://services.choruscall.com/links/samhsa131202.html



Close the mental health revolving door [Commentary]

Couldn't we all just work together to slam this door shut for good?

Read the commentary here:  Close the mental health revolving door [Commentary]


This article is entitled "Involuntary commitment isn't as bad as you think" ...

... a.k.a. "How they are saving lives in Arizona".

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Time to talk - a parent's perspective on children's mental illness: Liza...

Caring for a Family Member with Mental Illness 03/21 by Denise Brown | Caregiving Podcasts

When you care for a family member with a mental illness, you find yourself struggling to get help in a system that makes you feel helpless. Join Denise and her guest, Támara Hill, MS, an integrative therapist, for a discussion on how to help your caree with a mental illness.


Listen here beginning around the 4:30 mark:  Caring for a Family Member with Mental Illness 03/21 by Denise Brown | Caregiving Podcasts

Governor releases Virginia mental health recommendations, follow - WSLS 10 NBC in Roanoke/Lynchburg Va

Governor's office news release:
RICHMOND -- Today, Governor Bob McDonnell released recommendations stemming from Health and Human Resource Secretary Bill Hazel's review of last month's tragedy in Bath County.

Read the article here:  Governor releases Virginia mental health recommendations, follow - WSLS 10 NBC in Roanoke/Lynchburg Va

If they could receive treatment BEFORE becoming accused criminals, there would be less need for mental health courts. AOT helps prevent incarcerations.

Michigan is stepping up efforts to help accused criminals with mental issues get the medical assistance and guidance they need instead of housing them in the state’s crowded prisons.

From The Detroit News:
http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20131228/METRO06/312280023/1409/METRO/Courts-mentally-ill-gain-steam-Michigan

Thursday, December 26, 2013

cid:image001.gif@01CE6085.30391FD0Tim Murphy
U.S. Congressman for the 18th District of Pennsylvania
ICYMI: Wall Street Journal Editors Praise The Helping Families In Mental Health Crisis Act

For Immediate Release: Thursday, December 26, 2013
Contact: Brad Grantz202.225.2301

(WASHINGTON, DC) — House Energy & Commerce Oversight Subcommittee Chairman Tim Murphy (PA-18) unveiled his landmark mental health reform legislation, the Helping Families In Mental Health Crisis Act (H.R. 3717), following a year-long investigation into the nation’s broken mental health system.

Today, the editors of the Wall Street Journal wrote in their lead editorial that Murphy’s legislation is “an informed attempt to overhaul a broken system” that “might even prevent the next Newtown.”

Praise and support from parents, the nation’s leading mental health professionals, and newspaper editorial boards is quickly pouring in from across the country for the Helping Families In Mental Health Crisis Act (H.R. 3717). Read the Journal editorial below:

https://t3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRJMLR9g_MJ3diwE5QFc0oeXDIWPCIXjiDE34An8df89KS3tlAQpw
A Mental-Health Overhaul
A Congressman produces a set of good ideas for a difficult problem.
A year has passed since the Newtown massacre, and Americans this month marked the somber moment. The most fitting tribute Congress could pay the 26 victims would be to return in January to take up Pennsylvania Representative Tim Murphy's thoughtful overhaul of federal mental-health policies.
Severe mental illness is the common link among the recent mass shootings, and for decades the political class has ignored the systemic dysfunction in a mental-health system that fails the sickest. Getting to the root of this problem is hard, which is why Congress defaults either to spending more money or brawling over gun control.
***
Mr. Murphy, a psychologist, has spent the year since Sandy Hook studying the problem. His House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations has dug into federal policies, and his reform is aimed at helping the next Adam Lanza before he strikes.
The feds spend a stunning $125 billion a year on "mental health" via programs ranging from Medicaid to the Social Security Administration. Yet the Murphy committee discovered that most of this cash goes to vague and ineffective services rarely focused on treating the most serious illnesses—schizophrenia, bipolar disorder or severe depression. There is little interagency coordination, little government data collection on treatment outcomes, and no central effort to drive evidence-based care.
A prime example is the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration in the Department of Health and Human Services. Samhsa every year pushes $460 million in block grants to community mental-health centers. The agency is a fan of "patient driven recovery," which allows the mentally ill to craft their own treatments and stresses "hope" and "empowerment." Samhsa has little or no focus on medically driven care, and of its 537 full-time employees only two are physicians.
***
The Murphy bill would reorient all of this and create a new HHS assistant secretary for mental health and substance-abuse disorders who would lead federal mental-illness efforts. The secretary would have to be a medical professional and would be responsible for promoting the medically oriented models of care adopted by the National Institute of Mental Health, or NIMH.
An example: One NIMH project showed that identifying the first sign of psychosis in an individual, and immediately treating it with lower-dose medication, could prevent a patient from developing full-blown schizophrenia and allow a functioning life. These are the treatments that federal dollars need to be supporting.
The new assistant secretary would take over the grant process; community centers that want money will have to prove they are meeting evidence-based standards. The new position will also be responsible for collecting data on treatment outcomes and shifting federal efforts based on the results.
The Murphy bill also uses grant money to push states to modernize their mental-illness laws. Some 23 states still allow for involuntary commitment only if a mentally ill person is an imminent danger to himself or others. This standard is nearly impossible to meet, and even psychotics are often able to present a brief façade of normality. Many are unaware they're even ill and won't voluntarily get help.
Community mental-health centers would only receive grants if their state's commitment laws include a "need for treatment" standard, which gives families and physicians greater ability to get help for the mentally ill. Grants would also flow only to centers in the 44 states that have assisted-outpatient treatment laws, in which courts can require the mentally ill, as a condition of remaining in a community, to receive treatment. New York's Kendra's Law has been a model for how these outpatient treatment laws can help the most vulnerable and save lives.
The bill includes other pressing reforms, like removing the federal bias against hospital psychiatric care. Medicaid currently won't reimburse for psychiatric care in any hospital that has more than 16 psychiatric beds. This restriction has led to the dismantling of psychiatric hospitals, releasing the mentally ill to commit crimes and receive subpar treatment in jails. Seventy years ago the U.S. had 600,000 inpatient psychiatric beds for a country half its current population. Today it has 40,000.
A similar shortage of psychiatric professionals—especially for children—has meant the average time between a first episode of psychosis and initial treatment can be 110 weeks. The Murphy bill addresses this by advancing tools like tele-psychiatry, which links primary physicians in underserved areas to psychiatric professionals. Speaking of children, the law finally fixes the federal privacy law known as HIPAA, once again allowing mental-health professional and families to share information about loved ones.
The Murphy legislation also addresses one of the more destructive forces in the mental-health system: the legal lobby. Many Americans may be shocked to know their tax dollars are funding a small army of self-anointed "advocates" who encourage the mentally ill to avoid treatment, and who fight parental and court attempts to get them care. The Murphy bill stops this funding. It also gives physicians legal safe harbor to volunteer at understaffed mental-health centers, something many currently won't do for fear of malpractice suits.
***
These provisions may inspire the opposition of some Democrats beholden to the trial bar and ACLU. The Obama Administration may also resist a GOP initiative, and libertarians may oppose giving professionals more authority to intervene with care or object to creating a new government position.
They should think anew. The alternative is Vice President Joe Biden's proposal to throw another $100 million willy-nilly at a failed system. All the money in the world won't help the mentally ill if it isn't getting to them or is squandered on ineffective treatments. The Murphy bill is an informed attempt to overhaul a broken system. It might even prevent the next Newtown.
Read the editorial online HERENon-subscribers can read it online HERE.
Additional information on the Helping Families In Mental Health Crisis Act (H.R. 3717), including bill text, a summary, and letters of support, can be viewed HERE.

###
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 disorder 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
Click here and sign up for Rep. Murphy’s Weekly E-News
cid:image002.gif@01CE570F.536F4490  cid:image003.gif@01CE570F.536F4490 cid:image004.gif@01CE570F.536F4490

With a crisis facing states, communities and hospitals across the country, experts say no clear solution has emerged. But in Raleigh, NC, the goal is keeping psychiatric patients out of the hospital emergency room altogether.

News from my advocate friend DJ Jaffe at Mental Illness Policy Org this morning:  Big story in NY Times today on North Carolina cutting use of emergency rooms by people with serious mental illness and taking them to local for profit specialty psych hospitals instead. Note that the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act (Rep. Tim Murphy) amends the IMD Exclusion so these hospitals can receive medicaid funds to treat these individuals.

Read the NY Times article here: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/26/health/er-costs-for-mentally-ill-soar-and-hospitals-seek-better-way.html?pagewanted=1&partner=rssnyt&_r=0#h[WacILH,2]

Wednesday, December 25, 2013


Homeless, Mentally Ill and Christmas

Have you ever stopped to think what happens to the homeless on the holidays? Christmas and all the other holidays are just another day of struggle and survival for them. Serious mental illnesses disrupt people’s ability to carry out essential aspects of daily life.  Mental illnesses may also prevent people from forming and maintaining stable relationships or cause people to misinterpret others’ guidance and react irrationally. This often results in pushing away caregivers, family, and friends who may be the force keeping that person from becoming homeless. As a result of these factors and the stresses of living with a mental disorder, people with mentally illnesses are much more likely to become homeless than the general population (Library Index, 2009). 

A study of people with serious mental illnesses seen by California’s public mental health system found that 15% were homeless at least once in a one-year period (Folsom et al., 2005). Patients with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder are particularly vulnerable.

Poor mental health may also affect physical health, especially for people who are homeless. Mental illness may cause people to neglect taking the necessary precautions against disease. When combined with inadequate hygiene due to homelessness, this may lead to physical problems such as respiratory infections, skin diseases, or exposure to tuberculosis or HIV. In addition, half of the mentally ill homeless population in the United States also suffers from substance abuse and dependence. Some mentally ill people self-medicate using street drugs, which can lead not only to addictions, but also to disease transmission from injection drug use. This combination of mental illness, substance abuse, and poor physical health makes it very difficult for people to obtain employment and residential stability.

Better mental health services would combat not only mental illness, but homelessness as well. In a survey by the United States Conference of Mayors (2008), 20% of cities listed better coordination with mental health service providers as one of the top three items needed to combat homelessness. 

Contrary to popular belief, many homeless people with severe mental illnesses are willing to accept treatment and services. Outreach programs are more successful when workers establish a trusting relationship through continued contact with the people they are trying to help.

Reference: www.nationalhomeless.org



Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Mental Blocks, Part 1: Needing a Psychiatric Bed, Ending up in Jail

Maine spends more per capita on mental health services than almost every other state. Still, there are big gaps in the system. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, only about a third of Maine adults with serious illness are getting the help they need. We'll explore the consequences of those barriers over the next two weeks in a multi-part series, "Mental Blocks." Our first story takes us to the Penobscot County Jail, a common destination for people with persistent and severe mental illness. (Part 1 of a series.) 
Read more here:  Mental Blocks, Part 1: Needing a Psychiatric Bed, Ending up in Jail

This Christmas Eve, don't take your warm home and good brain health for granted. There are many who don't have either. There, but for the grace of God, go we all ...

I saw this quote on my friend's Facebook page this morning and had to share it with you: 
On Christmas, when you're at mass or church services, please pray for the homeless and ask for love for your fellow man in all your hearts. Hopkins estimates that 78% of homeless men are severely mentally ill, 65+ % of women. Sick people, the lowest of the low, stripped of everything we take for granted, including their ability to reason and trust and love and sometimes, even their ability to pray.
- Laura Pogliano

Monday, December 23, 2013

What they're saying is good! Praise and support from parents, the nation’s leading mental health professionals, and newspaper editorial boards is quickly pouring in from across the country.

cid:image001.gif@01CE6085.30391FD0Tim Murphy
U.S. Congressman for the 18th District of Pennsylvania
What They’re Saying: Dr. Sally Satel Weighs in On Need To Enact The Helping Families In Mental Health Crisis Act

For Immediate Release: Monday, December 23, 2013
Contact: Brad Grantz202.225.2301

(WASHINGTON, DC) — House Energy & Commerce Oversight Subcommittee Chairman Tim Murphy (PA-18) unveiled his landmark mental health reform legislation, the Helping Families In Mental Health Crisis Act (H.R. 3717), following a year-long investigation into the nation’s broken mental health system.

Today, Dr. Sally Satel, a nationally-renown psychiatrist and lecturer at the Yale School of Medicine, called Murphy’s legislation “a refreshing change” and “the most ambitious mental-health legislation since the Community Mental Health Act of 1963.”

Praise and support from parents, the nation’s leading mental health professionals, and newspaper editorial boards is quickly pouring in from across the country for the Helping Families In Mental Health Crisis Act (H.R. 3717). Read Dr. Satel’s entire editorial below:

https://encrypted-tbn1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSeK5EhSiIB-NO-eBk4mgqdX5UxlYoDIXII-n2B2-VaAtxe5-NEM0TDDiQf
A Law to Fix Mental-Health Care
In the wake of gun violence such as occurred at Sandy Hook Elementary School and Virginia Tech, commissions are organized and institutional reviews are conducted. Rarely, however, are meaningful reforms proposed.
The legislation recently introduced in the House of Representatives by Tim Murphy, a Pennsylvania Republican, is a refreshing change. The Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act of 2013 addresses a long list of inadequacies in services for people who suffer from schizophrenia, bipolar illness, major depression and other severe conditions -- problems that Murphy uncovered in his yearlong investigation of the U.S. mental-health system.
These flaws begin with the dubious “recovery model” of treatment, extolled by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the federal agency charged with administering $440 million in state block grants to fund community mental-health facilities. The recovery model is based, in Samhsa’s wording, on “change through which individuals improve their health and wellness, live a self-directed life and strive to reach their full potential.”
This may work for certain high-functioning patients. But for those languishing in back bedrooms and flophouses because they are too paranoid, oblivious or lost in psychosis to “self-direct” their lives, it amounts to malpractice.
By focusing on “recovery,” Samhsa promotes only a handful of treatment programs aimed at the sickest patients.
Meanwhile, the agency fails to recommend “assisted outpatient therapy,” a form of civil-court-ordered community treatment for patients who are known to be self-destructive or dangerous when off their medication. Much research has shown this therapy to be extraordinarily effective for people with severe mental illness.
The Murphy bill would set things straight by taking away Samhsa’s authority to administer the mental-health block grants and turning it over to a new assistant secretary for mental-health and substance-use disorders. It would also fund assisted outpatient therapy programs and require that each state have a law on the books to administer them as a prerequisite for receiving block grants.
A second big weakness in the system is a shortfall of hospital beds -- estimated to be 100,000 nationwide. This came into the spotlight last month when Gus Deeds, the son of Virginia State Senator R. Creigh Deeds, stabbed his father and then shot himself, fatally. A day earlier, Gus had undergone a psychiatric evaluation under an emergency custody order, but because no local bed was available, he wasn’t admitted to a hospital.
The Murphy bill would increase access to acute-care beds for the most critical patients by lifting Medicaid rules that prohibit reimbursement for patients over age 21 and under 65.
The bill would also curb excessive secrecy surrounding patient information under the scope of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. Respectful confidentiality regarding psychiatric treatment is one thing, but too often frantic family members are not even told that their loved ones have been hospitalized. Murphy’s legislation would allow parents (psychotic illness often begins in late teenage years) and other “personal representatives” to communicate with patients’ doctors and caretakers.
Finally, there is the need to help disturbed people who never get to a hospital -- for example, Aaron Alexis, who killed 12 people at the Washington Navy Yard in September. Several weeks earlier, Alexis, paranoid and delusional, had called police from a hotel room, but the responding officers were unequipped to handle the situation.
The Murphy bill would provide training to law enforcement and correctional officers on how to recognize mental illness and intervene to help people get treatment.
The bill includes other innovations -- for example, funding for a National Mental Health Policy Laboratory to identify more effective treatments. It also directs the Justice Department to monitor crimes committed by people with serious mental illness and develop strategies to prevent them. And it requires states to refine commitment statutes to encompass involuntary care for people who are unable to seek the psychiatric care they need to prevent further physical or psychiatric deterioration.
It is the most ambitious mental-health legislation since the Community Mental Health Act of 1963, which funded federal community clinics as a way to accelerate the emptying of big state asylums. Unfortunately, the outpatient clinics set up 50 years ago weren’t prepared to treat the most gravely ill, many of whom were abandoned to streets and jails.
Greater funding remains a critical need, but if Murphy’s bill can be passed in the year ahead, the federal government will have begun major repairs to our flawed mental-health system.
Sally Satel is a psychiatrist, author, and a lecturer at Yale University School of Medicine. Her articles have been published in The New Republic, the Wall Street Journal, and the New York Times. Satel also served on the advisory committee of the Center for Mental Health Services of SAMHSA. She is also a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. To contact Dr. Satel visit http://www.sallysatelmd.com/.
 Read the editorial online HERE. 
Additional information on the Helping Families In Mental Health Crisis Act (H.R. 3717), including bill text, a summary, and letters of support, can be viewed HERE.

###
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 disorder 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
Click here and sign up for Rep. Murphy’s Weekly E-News
cid:image002.gif@01CE570F.536F4490  cid:image003.gif@01CE570F.536F4490 cid:image004.gif@01CE570F.536F4490

According to Carla Jacobs of the California Treatment Advocacy Center, “Moms with children known to be seriously mentally ill, and known to need help, can’t get help for their loved ones no matter how they beg and plead for it.”

Read the article by DJ Jaffe and Theresa Bish here: 
http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2013/Dec/19/reforming-treatment-of-seriously-mentally-ill/#article-copy


Sunday, December 22, 2013

Murphy’s bill a step toward mental health reform | Observer-Reporter

The editorial board of the Washington Observer-Reporter weighs in support of the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act in today's edition. 


"Richman and Hensel dream of advances in brain imaging that might one day enable routine brain "checkups," much like the way doctors measure blood pressure. They've been meeting with lawmakers ... to lobby for more awareness and training that they say could help identify those prone to violence, like the gunman at Sandy Hook and elsewhere."

Jennifer Hensel and Jeremy Richman with a portrait of their daughter, Avielle Richman, at a news conference in Newtown, Conn., in January. The parents have created a foundation to fund research into the biochemical and environmental factors that drive violent behavior.
Jennifer Hensel and Jeremy Richman with a portrait of their daughter, Avielle Richman, at a news conference in Newtown, Conn., in January. The parents have created a foundation to fund research into the biochemical and environmental factors that drive violent behavior.
With his training in neuropsychopharmacology and her background in infectious disease, the couple is pushing for more integrated research — examining both nature and nurture — to understand the biochemical and external factors that drive violent behavior.

To that end, Richman and Hensel launched the Avielle Foundation, shortly after the shooting. "It is our responsibility to be outraged, to take action, to ensure this doesn't happen again," Richman said at a press conference in Connecticut in January. "With this foundation, it is our hope to honor our beautiful Avielle and others who have fallen to such senseless violence."

Understanding the underpinnings of violence, Richman and Hensel hope, will eventually lead to treatment for people with violent tendencies. The foundation's tagline, "You can imagine," is a nod, the couple say, to what's possible — and to the need for people to not turn away.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Laura and Zac's story. A brave mom and courageous son speaking out, raising awareness and stamping out stigma.

Link to story and video: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/stigma-of-mental-illness-a-setback-for-patients-society/

"The Newtown school shooting ignited a furious debate about gun ownership and gun laws. But beneath the shouting, there was a quieter, less contentious conversation about overhauling the way the United States treats those who are mentally ill. Now, a year later, it appears that mental-health measures—and not gun control—could be the tragedy's legislative legacy."

Read the article here: http://www.nationaljournal.com/health-care/is-america-finally-ready-for-mental-health-reform-20131218

Taking Care of the Caregiver. Thanks to Laura Pogliano for sharing this!

If you're a caregiver for a loved one with schizophrenia, you already know how to be caring and giving toward someone else. But who takes good care of you?

Read the article here:
http://inhealth.cnn.com/getting-schizophrenia-under-control/taking-care-of-schizophrenia-caregivers?did=t1_rss1

Too many remain caught in the Revolving Door of the current mental health system. Here is a civil approach to stopping that.

Stopping the Revolving Door - A Civil Approach to Treating Severe Mental Illness from Treatment Advocacy Center on Vimeo.

"There is such a stigma ... and it's not okay."

Laura Pogliano, my dear friend and mom advocate in Maryland, writes about her experience of having a child with serious mental illness vs. a child with any another type of illness:

“Your child is not homeless. Your child is not incarcerated for years. Your child is not maligned in general by society. Your child's illness is not romanticized or mythologized with ideas like "Madness is Genius." Your child’s illness is not part of the Gun Control debate. Your child is not automatically part of the legal system. Your child does not have a Preventable Tragedies national database. Your child is not a throwaway. Mine is all of these things.” – Laura Pogliano, mother of mentally ill child, Baltimore, MD

More from Laura:

Your child's illness gets 500, 000 likes on Facebook when you post a picture or ask for prayers --
My child's illness gets about 5, from people who already know us and know of our struggle

Your child's illness gets copious amounts of tax dollars to fund more research for cures; your child's illness has a congressionally approved budget --
My child's illness gets funds cut by 25-40% due to the sequester, or whenever social services are on the chopping block, which is nearly every single time a budget is passed

Your child's illness gets the sympathy of complete strangers, world wide --
My child's illness gets labeled by people in the press every day: pscyho, headcase, lunatic, maniac, nutjob, monster, freeloader.

Your child's illness gets insurance coverage so he can actually get well --
My child's illness gets 30 days coverage per year, with an average inpatient stay of 11 days, with no social workers, therapists, or psychiatric coverage.

Your child gets after care support, medically, socially, economically --
My child's illness is left to the charity of dot.orgs, with programs we don't qualify for due to income or non-compliance with medication

Your child's illness gets treated in the ER, and quickly --
My child's illness gets ignored in the ER for an average of 24 to 30 hours before he's seen.

Your child's illness has specialists trained in care, both inpatient, and afterward --
My child's illness has policemen to handle it, who know nothing thing about appropriate care

Your child gets a diagnosis through medical means and exhaustive testing --
My child's illness is diagnosed through symptomology, depending what he does that day in front of a doctor, and gets readiagnosed multiple times

Your child's illness has a typically standardized treatment plan and medical path forward to health, even with rare conditions --
My child's illness is a quagmire of trial and error with medicine until you hit a combo that works: average is 10 different medications over 3 to 5 years

Your child's illness, unless terminal, is aggressively treated due to a high expectation of recovery and health --
My child's illness has an overall low expectation for recovery and he's relegated to a back ward and warehoused, if there's even a spot available

Your child's illness gets everything that can possibly be done medically to alleviate symptoms or put the disease into remission --
My child's stabilization period is 10 years. TEN.

Your child's illness gets fundraisers that people gladly attend and give to, generously --
My child's illness bankrupts almost every family, with self-pay services, and no fund raisers

Your child's illness has medical records that are robust and shared with cooperating and follow-on hospitals and doctors --
My child's illness has medical records caregivers are banned from seeing, which never follow the child to the next medical facility or ER

Your child's illness is a medical tragedy --
My child's illness is a "social problem"

Your child's illness is treated in hospitals, with the full attention of caring staff --
My child's illness is treated in JAIL, in solitary confinement, often without medicine

Your child's illness is a family heartbreak story --
My child's illness requires a standard of dangerousness be met before anyone is allowed to intervene, and when he does meet the standard, it's often too late

Your child's illness is never a legal dispute or legal issue: it's scientifically and medically verified --
My child's illness requires laws be passed, that are then not funded or implemented, just to get him to life-saving measures

Your child's illness is acknowledged as a medical condition --
My child's illness is a labeled bad behavior and parents get the blame

Your child's illness is considered a medical disability on its face --
My child's illness requires lawyers to apply for disability, with an average number of applications: 9

Your child's illness, when very active or critical, is immediately treated as an emergency and forwarded to a specialist for follow on care --
My child's illness, when very active or critical, gets him, at best, a 72 hour hold, then he's released to the streets with a recommendation for follow on treatment and no medicine

Your child's illness is afforded the cooperation of caregivers and parents to attend to it --
My child's illness is left to the Right to Refuse Care Laws, leaving him to get as sick as he can possibly be, and choose suicide, death, starvation, continued illness with severe brain damage

Your child is never arrested or jailed because he's sick --
My child is almost always arrested at some point

Your child's illness is comforted by those who love him, and you --
My child's illness means friends drop us, family turns away, and jobs are lost

Your child's illness indicates the need for family involvement and care --
My child's illness indicates the need for family involvement, but we're excluded unless he signs waivers, which he often too sick to do

Your child's illness, if you did not treat it, would mean a criminal charge against you for neglect and child welfare agencies would remove him from your care --
My child can't be brought to treatment unless he chooses it, when he's incapacitated cognitively, and he can die at the hand of policemen, be shot at, hang himself or kill someone else.

Your child's illness means he's helpless and needs attention, and he gets it --
My child is expected to pick himself up by his bootstraps and Try Harder

Your child can have any bed in any hospital in the country, across the board --
My child can ONLY have a psychiatric bed, and there's an estimated deficit of 100, 000 beds in this country, and the wait for one can take 6 months or longer in some places

It's encouraged to ask about your child's illness and progress and sympathize with your plight and ask what help they can offer --
No one ever asks about mine, and when they do, I get low-brow, upsetting questions like: How many personalities does he have? Do you let him have a gun?

Your child can tell people he's sick --
My child cannot, or he won't get a job, or a date, or an apartment.

Your child can get a fun trip sponsored by an organization that assists sick children --
My child can't go on any trips, usually, and neither can his family...

Your child is not homeless. Your child is not incarcerated for years. Your child is not maligned in general by society. Your child's illness is not romanticized or mythologized with ideas like "Madness is Genius." Your child is not part of the Gun Control debate. Your child is not automatically part of the legal system. Your child does not have a Preventable Tragedies national database. Your child is not a throwaway. Mine is all of these things.

Your child got sick through no fault of his own. So did mine.

Friday, December 20, 2013

APA's Dr. Jeffrey Lieberman Praises Murphy Mental Health Reforms

What They’re Saying III: The Helping Families In Mental Health Crisis Act


cid:image001.gif@01CE6085.30391FD0Tim Murphy
U.S. Congressman for the 18th District of Pennsylvania
Dr. Tim Murphy’s ‘historic’ legislation draws more praise

For Immediate Release: Friday, December 20, 2013
Contact: Brad Grantz, 202.225.2301

(WASHINGTON, DC) — House Energy & Commerce Oversight Subcommittee Chairman Tim Murphy (PA-18) recently unveiled his landmark mental health reform legislation, the Helping Families In Mental Health Crisis Act (H.R. 3717), following a year-long investigationinto the nation’s broken mental health system.

Praise and support from parents, the nation’s leading mental health professionals, and diverse media outlets is quickly pouring in from across the country for the Helping Families In Mental Health Crisis Act (H.R. 3717):

http://s.huffpost.com/images/v/logos/v4/homepage.gif?v9
New Bill Decreases Mental Health Funding, Increases Mental Illness Funding
By DJ Jaffe,  Executive Director, Mental Illness Policy Org
Dec. 18, 2013

“Rep. Murphy proposed the "Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis" Act (HR 3717) to reorient the mental health system away from it's focus on serving the largest numbers of the highest functioning and back towards providing treatment for the most seriously mentally ill. Hereforms the bureaucracy, eliminates programs that don't help or are harmful, and invests the savings in programs known to reduce incarceration, homelessness, suicide and hospitalization in the most seriously ill.”
Read more HERE.

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Focus On Mental Illness
By the Editors
Dec. 31st print edition

“While 10 million people in America suffer from serious mental illness — including 200,000 on our streets, and 300,000 in our prisons — the federal government has in recent decades placed a higher priority on treating those with mild problems than on the worst cases. Representative Tim Murphy (R. Pa.), a psychologist, has introduced a bill that would finally begin to revise this. The Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act would focus federal funding on serious mental illness, rather than spread it across milder ailments, and empower families to seek treatment for those who cannot make such decisions for themselves.”
Read more HERE.
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Reforming treatment of seriously mentally ill
By DJ Jaffe & Theresa Bishformer member of the San Diego County Mental Health Advisory Board
December 17, 2013

“Congressman Tim Murphy recently introduced a bill to require the federal government to focus its mental health budget on the most seriously mentally ill, rather than the highest functioning patients. California and San Diego County should do the same… Rep. Murphy, R-Penn., proposes to reign in mission-creep at the national level by creating an assistant secretary position for mental health who would reorient services toward the most seriously ill.”
Read more HERE. 
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When it Comes to Mental Illness, Canada Could Use Help From a Republican Congressman
By Marvin Ross, Mental Health Reform Advocate
Dec. 19, 2013

If only a Canadian politician would do this. Republican Congressman Tim Murphy of Pennsylvania recently introduced a bill into Congress called Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act…The key pieces in that proposal…empowering parents and caregivers; increasing the number of psychiatric beds; providing alternatives to inpatient care via assisted outpatient treatment orders; promoting evidence-based care and strengthening oversight of programs; providing alternatives to jail for those with serious mental illnesses.”
Read more HERE. 

Additional information on the Helping Families In Mental Health Crisis Act (H.R. 3717), including bill text, a summary, and letters of support, can be viewed here.

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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 disorder 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
Click here and sign up for Rep. Murphy’s Weekly E-News
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What They’re Saying II: The Helping Families In Mental Health Crisis Act


cid:image001.gif@01CE6085.30391FD0Tim Murphy
U.S. Congressman for the 18th District of Pennsylvania
Dr. Tim Murphy’s landmark legislation draws praise from wide range of media 

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, December 17, 2013
Contact: Brad Grantz, 202.225.2301

(WASHINGTON, DC) — House Energy & Commerce Oversight Subcommittee Chairman Tim Murphy (PA-18) recently unveiled his landmark mental health reform legislation, the Helping Families In Mental Health Crisis Act (H.R. 3717), following a year-long investigationinto the nation’s broken mental health system.

Praise and support from diverse media outlets is quickly pouring in from across the country for the Helping Families In Mental Health Crisis Act (H.R. 3717):
Can the U.S. find consensus in better mental health access to curb gun violence?
Excerpted TranscriptDec. 16, 2013

Jeffrey Lieberman,  president of American Psychiatric Association: 
“…though, our treatment of mental illness has not gotten any better. And over half of the mass killings that have occurred in the last five years have been from untreated people with mental illness. But I think there has been some forward movementCongressman Tim Murphy of Pennsylvania introduced historic legislation this week on the anniversary of the Newton tragedy to try and reform how mental health care services are delivered.
Watch the video HERE.
Mental Illness Reform and Policy Innovation
By Reihan Salam
December 17, 2013

President Obama would never let the banks write his tax policy, but he has no problem letting the mental-health industry write his mental-health policy. Rather than funding mission creep, Representative Murphy focuses on mission control. When President Obama took office, he said he would listen to good ideas wherever they came from. Representative Murphy has good ideas. The two of them should talk.
Murphy drew on the expertise of scholars who’ve been critical of the mental-health industry, some of whom, like Sally Satel of the American Enterprise Institute, are affiliated with center-right think tanks that devote their efforts to crafting workable policy solutions. Mental illness is not one of the most pressing issues on the minds of U.S. voters, yet it is an issue that comes up every time there is a mass shooting or some other spectacular crime committed by a person plagued by mental illness. And when this happens, critics of expanding government as the first resort often find themselves at a loss. There is also a labor market dimension to mental illness, as people with severe mental illness often find it impossible to work, a problem that has grown in severity quite dramatically over the past quarter-century. So this is the kind of issue where you’d want an intelligent and resourceful backbencher to specialize, and to craft a proposal that can attract broad support within the caucus.
Murphy’s proposal, in broad outline, aims to achieve savings across the public sector as a whole by deploying mental illness resources more effectively. It does, however, involve restructuring existing government agencies, empowering some bureaucracies at the expense of others, and devoting resources to a segment of the population that generates large social costs. In short, Murphy’s bill has the federal government do more than get out of the way. Rather, it represents an attempt at making government more effective, one of the core objectives of reform conservatives. One hopes that Murphy’s bill will attract positive attention, as it might then convince other GOP backbenchers to pursue policy innovations of their own.
Read more HERE. 

A year after Newtown, 10,000 gun-related deaths and no congressional action
By Editorial Board
Dec. 14, 2013
One potential glimmer of hope came earlier this week when Rep. Tim Murphy, R-Pa., a psychologist, announced legislation that seeks to restructure federal mental health funding to focus more heavily on serious mental illness. Democrats ought to join his effort.
Read more HERE. 
Additional information on the Helping Families In Mental Health Crisis Act (H.R. 3717), including bill text, a summary, and letters of support, can be viewed here.

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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 disorder 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
Click here and sign up for Rep. Murphy’s Weekly E-News
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News and Commentary from the Treatment Advocacy Center
December 16 - December 20, 2013

PLEASE HELP THE TREATMENT ADVOCACY CENTER GROW TO MEET THE NEED AND OPPORTUNITY TO IMPROVE MENTAL HEALTH POLICY IN AMERICA. 
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"Was the Boston Marathon Bombing Preventable?"
The Boston Globe published a stunning investigative piece this week on Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, perpetrators of the Boston Marathon bombing in April. Among the article’s many revelations: new reason to believe that Tamerlan, the elder brother, suffered from an untreated severe mental illness. 
READ IT ALL....

"Mental Illness and the Criminal Justice System"
Another series has emerged that focuses on severe mental illness. Reporter John S. Hausman explores the intersection of mental illness and criminal justice in a series of articles published this week on MLive.com in Michigan. 
READ IT ALL....

"A Personal Message from Dr. Torrey"
"Fifteen years ago, we started the Treatment Advocacy Center to be that 'effective lobby' for individuals with severe mental illnesses," writes Dr. E. Fuller Torrey in this open letter to supporters about what has happened since.  
READ IT ALL....

"A Year of Firsts for Mental Health"
We have seen more progress this year than in any other. Just last week, the White House announced it will devote $100 million to increasing access to “mental health services.” 
READ IT ALL....

"My First Time in An Institution" - personally speaking
"I vaguely remember lying awake that first night in a large room with maybe twenty beds occupied by other patients. Weird thoughts and fantasies raced through my brain as I tried to reconcile events and apparent reality with my recent grasp of what I had thought real." 
READ IT ALL.... 

A big thank-you to Gary Tsai, whose opinion piece was published in the Sacramento Bee, and to Marylin Copeland, whose letter was published in the Virginian Pilot, Norfolk.

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