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.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis - Preventing Tragedy

PRESIDENT OBAMA - PLEASE LISTEN TO CONGRESSMAN MURPHY!




Sunday, June 8, 2014

In case you missed it earlier tonight on 60 Minutes ...

Untreated mental illness an imminent danger?

Thursday, June 5, 2014

And across the border in Canada today ...

Moncton-RCMP-ShootingNew Brunswick RCMP have confirmed that three officers were shot and killed and two other officers were wounded by a heavily armed gunman Wednesday evening in Moncton. A police manhunt is still underway for Justin Bourque, 24. The RCMP say Bourque is considered "armed and dangerous."

Brother of Seattle shooter says "he was mentally ill"

Seattle shootings: day of horror, grief in a shaken city | Local News | The Seattle Times

And today, another ...

Image: First responders work at Seattle Pacific University after a shooting.
Seattle police said a man with a shotgun entered Otto Miller Hall, the engineering and math building on the campus in Seattle's Queen Anne neighborhood, and shot the four people before he stopped to reload.
A student security guard pepper-sprayed the gunman and subdued him, Seattle police Detective Renee Witt said. Police said other students jumped on the man and pinned him to the ground until authorities arrived.

Privacy Law Frustrates Parents Of Mentally Ill Adult Children

Read and listen to the NPR story here:  http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2014/06/04/318765929/privacy-law-frustrates-parents-of-mentally-ill-adult-children
When someone has cancer, you can make the assumption that their brain is working normally so that they can make an informed decision as to whether or not they want their loved ones to know exactly what the details of the cancer is. You can't make that assumption about people with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder.
- Dr. E. Fuller Torrey

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

American jails have become the new mental asylums – and you're paying the bill


It's true.  Link to story here: 

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/may/28/-sp-american-jails-mental-health-funding



Great Series on America's Mental Health System Crisis in The Guardian: A MUST READ!

Mental health
America's mental health system is in crisis.

Despite Obamacare designating access to treatment on the same level as regular healthcare, there is no system to deliver it, with broad variations by state and county. 


The Guardian talked to families left to pick up the slack from this broken system.

Find the link to the entire compelling series here: http://www.theguardian.com/world/series/us-mental-health-crisis


Nevada County: First in the State - Assisted Outreach Treatment Program



An example of how AOT could work here in Tennessee.


Monday, June 2, 2014

Our View: Mentally ill people must be treated, like it or not

Read more here:  http://www.modbee.com/2014/05/27/3359466/our-view-mentally-ill-people-must.html?sp=%2F99%2F1641%2F

Debate Over Forced Treatment Of The Severely Mentally Ill

Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown speaks at a press conference regarding murder suspect Elliot Rodger in Goleta, California. Rodger, 22, went on a deadly rampage in Isla Vista near the University of California at Santa Barbara campus. - ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images
Listen to my friend and fellow mom advocate, GG Burns, as she brings her personal experience and viewpoints to this morning's discussion about forced treatment of the severely mentally ill on NPR. 
The Diane Rehm Show is produced by member-supported WAMU 88.5 in Washington DC.
Guests
Dr. E. Fuller Torrey 
founder and former president, Treatment Advocacy Center.
Curtis Decker 
executive director, the National Disability Rights Network.
Rep. Ron Barber 
congressman (D-Ariz., 2nd District); he was critically wounded along with Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and others in a 2011 shooting in Arizona.
Rep. Tim Murphy 
congressman, (R-Penn., 18th District).
Chrisa Hickey 
mental health advocate and the mother of a mentally ill son.
G.G. Burns 
advocate on mental health issues and the mother of a mentally ill adult son.
Link here:  Debate Over Forced Treatment Of The Severely Mentally Ill