Sunday, March 30, 2014

Friday, March 28, 2014

Fixing the mental health care system: What Congress can do

Hearing held for Clarksville mom who said Jesus drowned her baby.

Police describe 'intoxicated' behavior after two children found unconscious.  

Mental illness is never mentioned ... no, not once.  

http://www.theleafchronicle.com/article/20140327/NEWS01/303270038/Hearing-held-Clarksville-mom-who-said-Jesus-drowned-her-baby?gcheck=1&nclick_check=1

#TreatmentBeforeTragedy



If you aren't watching this, you need to be. IT"S A MUST WATCH! Link provided.

Fixing the mental health care system: What Congress can do.

NOTE: Rep Congressman Tim Murphy (PA-18) states for those of us who can't attend, "watch the event live on this page". Full video will be posted within 24 hours. 



PRESS RELEASE: FEDERAL SUPPORT & FUNDING OF AOT! House Allocates $15 Million for Pilot AOT Programs.

This afternoon, the House of Representatives adopted two major components of HR 3717, the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act, a bill authored by Representative Tim Murphy, Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight & Investigations.

The House-passed Protecting Access to Medicare Act incentivizes counties to establish Assistant Outpatient Treatment (AOT) programs, a successful alternative to long-term inpatient care for those with mental illness cycling through the system but never receiving needed care. AOT has been proven to save money for state and local governments by reducing the rates of imprisonment, homelessness, substance abuse, and costly emergency room visits for individuals with a persistent and serious mental illness.

“The Assisted Outpatient Treatment model, which is a cornerstone of my Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act, has proven track record of success in helping those who need treatment lead productive lives in the community. Under Kendra's Law in New York, AOT has reduced homelessness, ended the cycle of repeat hospitalizations and incarceration of those with mental illness by more than 70 percent. The legislation passed today is a tremendous step forward in expanding mental health services, and gives our effort to bring mental illness out of the shadows a major momentum boost as the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act moves through the Energy and Commerce Committee,” said Rep. Murphy.

The Protecting Access to Medicare Act also includes another section of Murphy’s H.R. 3717 to expand access to community mental health services and strengthen the quality of care provided for those living with mental illness. This section was introduced in the Senate as a stand-alone bill by Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Roy Blunt (R-MO).

Hours after these mental health provisions passed the House, Chairman of the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health Joe Pitts (R-PA) announced he will be convening a legislative hearing on Thursday, April 3rd at 10:30AM to review Murphy’s Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act. Witnesses and additional information on the hearing can be found here.

“Our yearlong Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee investigation revealed that individuals diagnosed with a severe and persistent mental illness are more likely to end up in jail or on the streets because they aren't getting the treatment they need from our broken mental health system,” said Murphy. “The Helping Families In Mental Health Crisis Act will turn the sorrow of loss and tragedy into the joy of recovery for millions of families across the country by advancing evidence-based medicine, fixing misunderstood HIPAA rules, and expanding access to evidence-based treatment.”

Representative Tim Murphy To Make Major Announcement About the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act

Rep. Murphy and Dr. E. Fuller Torrey are among the five distinguished speakers at “Fixing the mental health care system: What Congress can do,” a 90-minute program that begins at 10 am (ET) this morning (Friday) and will be broadcast live online. Watch the webcast live here.


About This Event
The federal government’s approach to mental health has been a chaotic patchwork of antiquated programs and ineffective policies across numerous agencies. Sadly, patients often fall through the cracks and land on the street or in the criminal justice system.
Join Representative Tim Murphy (R-PA) for a panel discussion of his Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act, which seeks to direct resources at the patients and families most in need of psychiatric services. His proposed legislation is wide ranging, addressing bed shortages, the scarcity of proven treatment strategies, and the questionable priorities of America’s leading mental health care agencies.
If you are unable to attend, we welcome you to watch the event live on this page. Full video will be posted within 24 hours.
Agenda
9:45 AM
Registration

10:00 AM
Introduction:
Sally Satel, MD, AEI

10:10 AM
Presenter: 
Tim Murphy, US House of Representatives (R-PA)

Moderator:
Sally Satel, MD, AEI

10:50 AM
Commentators:
Patrick J. Kennedy, Former Congressman (D-RI)
Jeffrey A. Lieberman, MD, 
American Psychiatric Association
E. Fuller Torrey, MD, 
Stanley Medical Research Institute

11:30 AM
Adjournment
Event Contact Information
For more information, please contact Kelly Funderburk at Kelly.Funderburk@aei.org, 202.862.5920.
Media Contact Information
For media inquiries, please contact MediaServices@aei.org, 202.862.5829.
Speaker Biographies
Patrick J. Kennedy is the cofounder of One Mind for Research. He served 16 years in the US House of Representatives and was the author and lead sponsor of the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008, which sought to provide access to mental health treatment to millions of Americans who were previously denied care. Kennedy has authored and cosponsored dozens of bills to increase the understanding and treatment of neurological and psychiatric disorders, including the National Neurotechnology Initiative Act, the Genomics and Personalized Medicine Act, the COMBAT PTSD Act, and the Alzheimer’s Treatment and Caregiver Support Act. He is a winner of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology Distinguished Service Award, the Society for Neuroscience Public Service Award, the Autism Society of America Congressional Leadership Award, the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance Paul Wellstone Mental Health Award, and the Epilepsy Foundation Public Service Award. He is also founder of the congressional Down Syndrome Caucus and the 21st Century Health Care Caucus.

Jeffrey A. Lieberman, MD, is the Lawrence C. Kolb Professor and chairman of psychiatry at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and is director of the New York State Psychiatric Institute. He also holds the Lieber Chair for Schizophrenia Research in the Department of Psychiatry at Columbia University and serves as psychiatrist-in-chief at NewYork–Presbyterian Hospital. Previously he was vice chairman for research and scientific affairs in the Department of Psychiatry and director of the Neuroscience Center at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine. He has served as principal investigator of the Clinical Antipsychotic Trials of Intervention Effectiveness and currently serves as principal investigator on the newly awarded National Institute of Mental Health contract Recovery After an Initial Schizophrenic Episode. His work focuses on the natural history and pathophysiology of schizophrenia and the pharmacology and clinical effectiveness of antipsychotic drugs. Dr. Lieberman has authored more than 450 articles and has edited or coedited 12 books. He is a member of the Institute of Medicine and a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He is currently vice president of the Collegium Internationale Neuro-Psychopharmacologicum and chairs the Council on Research and Quality Care for the American Psychiatric Association.
Tim Murphy is currently serving his sixth term in Congress representing the 18th District of Pennsylvania. Rep. Murphy, a former psychologist with three decades of experience, advocates for meaningful reforms in the US health care system. A cochair of the Mental Health Caucus and founding member of the GOP Doctors Caucus, he authored the Seniors Access to Mental Health Act, which ended the practice of charging higher copayments to seniors on Medicare seeking mental health care services. He also introduced and passed into law the Mental Health Security for America’s Families in Education Act and passed legislation into law to get college students suffering from depression or other mental illnesses the help they need before tragedy strikes. In addition to his work in Congress, Rep. Murphy serves as a lieutenant commander in the US Navy Reserve Medical Service Corps, working with wounded warriors with traumatic brain injury and posttraumatic stress disorder.

Sally Satel is a resident scholar at AEI and the staff psychiatrist at Partners in Drug Abuse and Rehabilitation Counseling. Dr. Satel was an assistant professor of psychiatry at Yale University from 1988 to 1993. From 1993 to 1994, she was a Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Fellow with the Senate Labor and Human Resources Committee. She has written widely in academic journals on topics in psychiatry and medicine, and has published articles on cultural aspects of medicine and science in numerous magazines and journals. Her essays have appeared in the 2003 and 2008 editions of “Best American Science Writing.” She has testified before Congress on veterans’ mental health and disability, federal funding for mental health, and substance abuse. Dr. Satel is author of “Drug Treatment: The Case for Coercion” (AEI Press, 1999) and “PC, M.D.: How Political Correctness Is Corrupting Medicine” (Basic Books, 2001). She is the coauthor of “One Nation under Therapy” (St. Martin's Press, 2005) and “The Health Disparity Myth” (AEI Press, 2006), and editor of “When Altruism Isn’t Enough: The Case for Compensating Organ Donors” (AEI Press, 2009). She most recently coauthored “Brainwashed: The Seductive Appeal of Mindless Neuroscience” (Basic Books, 2013).
E. Fuller Torrey, MD, is a professor of psychiatry at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences and a research psychiatrist specializing in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. He is founder of the Treatment Advocacy Center and executive director of the Stanley Medical Research Institute (SMRI), which supports research on schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. From 1976 to 1985, Torrey was on the clinical staff of Saint Elizabeths Hospital in Washington, DC, where he specialized in the treatment of severe psychiatric disorders. From 1988 to 1992, he directed a study of identical twins with schizophrenia and severe bipolar disorder. His work at SMRI currently includes ongoing collaborative research on viruses and other infectious agents as a cause of psychiatric disorders. A frequent expert guest on radio and television, Torrey has written many guest opinions for national and regional newspapers and magazines and has authored 20 books and more than 200 lay and professional papers. He is also the recipient of two Commendation Medals from the US Public Health Service. .

Thursday, March 27, 2014

House Passes Key Provisions of Murphy's Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act!

House Subcommittee Chair Announces Hearing on H.R. 3717 Next Week

For Immediate Release: Thursday, March 27, 2014
Contact: Brad Grantz202.225.2301

WASHINGTON, DC) – This afternoon, the House of Representatives adopted two major components of HR 3717, the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act, a bill authored by Representative Tim Murphy, Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight & Investigations.

The House-passed Protecting Access to Medicare Act incentivizes counties to establish Assistant Outpatient Treatment (AOT) programs, a successful alternative to long-term inpatient care for those with mental illness cycling through the system but never receiving needed care. AOT has been proven to save money for state and local governments by reducing the rates of imprisonment, homelessness, substance abuse, and costly emergency room visits for individuals with a persistent and serious mental illness.

“The Assisted Outpatient Treatment model, which is a cornerstone of my Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act, has proven track record of success in helping those who need treatment lead productive lives in the community. Under Kendra's Law in New York, AOT has reduced homelessness, ended the cycle of repeat hospitalizations and incarceration of those with mental illness by more than 70 percent. The legislation passed today is a tremendous step forward in expanding mental health services, and gives our effort to bring mental illness out of the shadows a major momentum boost as the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act moves through the Energy and Commerce Committee,” said Rep. Murphy.

The Protecting Access to Medicare Act also includes another section of Murphy’s H.R. 3717 to expand access to community mental health services and strengthen the quality of care provided for those living with mental illness.  This section was introduced in the Senate as a stand-alone bill by Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Roy Blunt (R-MO).

Hours after these mental health provisions passed the House, Chairman of the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health Joe Pitts (R-PA) announced he will be convening a legislative hearing on Thursday, April 3rd at 10:30AM to review Murphy’s Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act. Witnesses and additional information on the hearing can be found here.

“Our yearlong Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee investigation revealed that individuals diagnosed with a severe and persistent mental illness are more likely to end up in jail or on the streets because they aren't getting the treatment they need from our broken mental health system,” said Murphy. “The Helping Families In Mental Health Crisis Act will turn the sorrow of loss and tragedy into the joy of recovery for millions of families across the country by advancing evidence-based medicine, fixing misunderstood HIPAA rules, and expanding access to evidence-based treatment.”

On Friday at 10:00 AM, Dr. Murphy will headline a public forum at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) in Washington, D.C. as part of a panel discussion entitled, “Fixing the mental health care system: What Congress can do.” Joining Murphy will be former Congressman Patrick Kennedy (D-RI), American Psychiatric Association President Jeffrey Lieberman, MD; AEI scholar Sally Satel, MD; and E. Fuller Torrey, MD, of the Stanley Medical Research Institute. Click here for more information.

Back in Pittsburgh, on Monday, March 31, 2014, at 8:30AM, Rep. Murphy will be at Allegheny General Hospital to provide the greater Pittsburgh community with an update on his legislation. The Allegheny Health Network invited Rep. Murphy to be a featured speaker at a special public forum on the need to reform the nation’s mental health system. Also speaking will be Dr. Anthony Mannarino, whowill discuss implications of the bill for mental health services for children and families, and proposed changes in HIPAA for clinicians. Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala, Jr.will discuss the law enforcement perspective on psychiatric treatment and the criminal justice system. Event details are as follows:
WHAT:                      Special Forum on The Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act
WHO:                         Congressman Tim Murphy (PA-18)
                                    The Honorable Stephen A. Zappala, Jr., Allegheny County District Attorney
Anthony Mannarino, Ph.D. Director of Allegheny General Hospital Center for Traumatic Stress in Children and Adolescents

WHEN:                      Monday, March 31, 2014
8:00 AM — Registration
8:30 AM to 9:30 AM — Program
                                    9:30 AM to 9:45 AM — Press availability

LOCATION:             Allegheny General Hospital
Magovern Auditorium
320 East North Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15212

CONTACT:              
With AHN – Dan Laurent, 412-330-4430 dlaurent@wpahs.org
With Rep. Murphy - Brad Grantz, 202.225.2301, brad.grantz@mail.house.gov

Background on AOT and the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act:

The Protecting Access to Medicare Act prevents an automatic cut in reimbursements to physicians treating Medicare beneficiaries. Due to a 1997 budgetary rule known as the “sustainable growth rate formula,” physician payments would be cut by 24% without congressional action. Rep. Murphy is a cosponsor of legislation to fully repeal the SGR and replace it with a system that reimburses based on quality and evidence-based medicine. Sections 223 of the bill is a demonstration program to improve community mental health services, and section 224 is the AOT grant program. Click here to read legislative text.

Between forty and fifty percent of individuals with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder do not recognize they have a mental illness, making it exceedingly difficult for them to follow through on a treatment regimen. This lack of insight leads patients to stop taking medication, which sometimes results in erratic behavior. The patient may need to be taken to an emergency room to be stabilized, or arrested if a crime has occurred. Family members want to get help for loved ones, but current law makes it exceedingly difficult to get a non-compliant patient — even one with repeated hospitalizations or arrests — into treatment. Assisted outpatient treatment, or AOT, allows courts to order certain mentally ill individuals with a history of arrest, hospitalization, and whose condition will worsen without medical care, to comply with treatment while living in the community.

Dr. Murphy, a clinical psychologist with thirty years experience, authored the bipartisan Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act (H.R. 3717) following a year-long investigation into the nation’s broken mental health system. Nationwide support for his legislation to grow fromnewspaper editorsphysicians, and parents of children with mental illness.

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MurphyPress | Congressman Tim Murphy (PA-18)
2332 Rayburn House Office Building | Washington, DC  20515
(202) 225-2301 | (202) 225-1844

Sen. Deeds to Give Major Speech on Mental Health

(March 27, 2014) Sen. Creigh Deeds, a Virginia Democrat advocating for better access to mental health care, will speak at the National Press Club Monday March 31. Deeds became an advocate after his son was denied a bed when in a psychiatric crisis and subsequently wounded his father before committing suicide.
deeds2“The system failed my son,” Deeds has said. “For too long we've been shoving ... problems with respect to the mentally ill under the table . . . We need to take a good long look at fundamental changes in our system of care."
Following the tragedy, Deeds introduced several bills that might have helped his son, including one that would create a real-time psych bed registry and another that would increase the duration of emergency psychiatric holds from four hours – currently the shortest in the nation – to 24.  
The speech on March 31 will be the first time Deeds addresses the topic in Washington.
Sen. Deeds is a former county prosecutor who authored a law allowing public access to the Virginia sex offender registry. He was elected to the Virginia House of Delegates in 1991 and left the House in 2001 to join the state Senate. He was the Democratic nominee for governor in 2009.
Lunch will be served at 12:30 p.m., with remarks beginning at 1 p.m., followed by a question-and-answer session ending at 2 p.m. Tickets cost $36 for non-Press Club members (click here to purchase tickets). For questions about the event, please email reservations@press.org or call (202) 662 – 7501.
To submit a question for the speaker in advance, put DEEDS the subject line and email topresident@press.org before 10 a.m. on the day of the luncheon.
To comment, visit our Facebook page.
Visit our blog archive to read all our recent posts.
www.treatmentadvocacycenter.org

Congressman Tim Murphy to Make Major Mental Health Announcement on Friday!

* * * MEDIA ADVISORY * * *

* * * FRIDAY – 10 AM * * *

Expert panel to discuss 
Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act

For Immediate Release: Wednesday, March 26, 2014
Contact: Brad Grantz202.225.2301

(WASHINGTON, DC) –  Representative Tim Murphy will make a major announcement about the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act (H.R. 3717) this Friday, March 28, 2014 at 10:00AM, during a special event at the American Enterprise Institute. Rep. Murphy has been invited by AEI to be the featured speaker for a panel discussion entitled, “Fixing the mental health care system: What Congress can do.” The forum, which will include former Rep. Patrick Kennedy, will be held in the AEI offices in Washington, D.C.

The federal government’s approach to mental health has been a chaotic patchwork of antiquated programs and ineffective policies across numerous agencies. Patients often fall through the cracks and land on the street or in the criminal justice system. The panel will discuss how Rep. Murphy’s Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act will address persistent problems like psychiatric bed shortages, the scarcity of evidence-based treatment, and the questionable priorities of America’s leading mental healthcare agencies.
To RSVP or for more information, click here.


WHO:                        
Rep. Tim Murphy (PA-18)
Former Congressman Patrick J. Kennedy (RI)
Sally Satel, MD, AEI Resident Scholar
Jeffrey Lieberman, MD, President of the American Psychiatric Association
E. Fuller Torrey, MD, Stanley Medical Research Institute

WHEN:                     
Friday, March 28, 2014, 10:00 AM — 11:30 AM

LOCATION:            
AEI, Twelfth Floor
1150 Seventeenth Street, NW
Washington, DC 20036

CONTACT:              
With Rep. Murphy - Brad Grantz, 202.225.2301brad.grantz@mail.house.gov
                                    
With AEI – Lauren Aronson, 202.862.5829lauren.aronson@aei.org

### 

MurphyPress | Congressman Tim Murphy (PA-18)
2332 Rayburn House Office Building | Washington, DC  20515
(202) 225-2301 | (202) 225-1844

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Answers to “Where Have All the Patients Gone?”

(March 26, 2014) “What would have happened if Aaron Alexis was not just given sleeping pills at the VA? Or if there was an available hospital bed or outpatient treatment available for others who later became violent, involved in a crime, unable to pay bills, or tossed out on the street?”
murphyThese were the questions posed by Rep. Tim Murphy  as he opened at this morning’s House subcommittee hearing on the shortage of psychiatric beds, the latest in a  series of hearings he has chaired on the nation’s broken mental health system.
For more than three hours, a panel of experts and family members described the devastating impact the psychiatric bed shortage has on patients and communities.
“Community programs serve those who seek and accept treatment. Those who refuse or are too sick to seek treatment voluntarily become a law enforcement responsibility,” said Chief of Police Michael Biasotti, Treatment Advocacy Center board member and immediate past president of the New York State Association of Chiefs of Police. “Hospitals are so overcrowded they often can’t admit new patients and discharge many before they are stable. They become what we call ‘frequent flyers.’” Read Biasotti’s testimony.
“My son was admitted on Friday morning and was in the ED that whole day, all day Saturday, all day Sunday and until late Monday afternoon because they could not find an open psych bed anywhere,” Lisa Ashley, the mother of a man with paranoid schizophrenia, told the committee. “He stayed in a room, tied to his bed for those four days and was heavily medicated. . . . I wondered ‘does it take that long to find a psych bed?’” Read Ashley’s testimony.
 “This is a crisis we must all care about – regardless of political affiliation – because it affects us all,” testified Sheriff Dart, who oversees Cook County Jail in Illinois, the largest jail in the country. “While some mentally ill individuals are charged with violent offenses, the majority are charged with crimes seemingly committed to survive, including retail theft, trespassing, prostitution and drug possession. . . . We have criminalized mental illness in this country and prisons and jails are where the majority of mental health care is administered.” Read Sheriff Dart’s testimony.
“Homelessness and mental illness are inextricably intertwined,” said Gunther Stern, executive director of Georgetown Ministry Center, which provides support to chronically homeless men and women in Washington DC. “Greg is someone I first met sitting on a bench in a nearby park. He was shabbily dressed and smelled bad. He would drink, I assume to tame the voices in his head. All of this belied the fact that Greg was once a gifted constitutional lawyer who delighted his children with his dry wit.” Read Stern’s testimony.
“It is an unplanned, albeit entirely unacceptable consequence of deinstitutionalization that the state psychiatric asylums, dismantled out of concern for the humane treatment and care of individuals with serious mental illness, have now effectively been replaced by confinement in prisons and homeless shelters,” Murphy said.
www.treatmentadvocacycenter.org

Saturday, March 22, 2014

News and Commentary from the Treatment Advocacy Center
March 17 - March 21, 2014
To get news as soon as we post it, follow us on Facebook or Twitter.

"The Knock on the Door" - personally speaking 
“Two very kind but somber police officers brought news I already had felt in my heart—that my son was never coming home again.” In this searing piece, a mother shares her futile attempts to get treatment for her mentally ill son and the last few moments of his life. 
READ IT ALL....

"Danger for the Mentally Ill at Rikers Island"
Conditions for the inmates and staff at New York City’s Rikers Island jail complex have reached noteworthy low points this year. In the last three months alone, at least 12 inmates have been victims of slashing or stabbings, and mental illness has complicated the situation considerably.READ IT ALL....

"New Jersey Takes Assisted Outpatient Treatment Statewide"
The administration of Gov. Chris Christie announced it has dedicated an additional $4.5 million to take assisted outpatient treatment (AOT) implementation to an additional 15 counties of New Jersey, taking the life-saving tool statewide. READ IT ALL....

"What It's Like to be Psychotic" - guest column
"We may be completely unaware that something has gone wrong with our thinking,” writes a man with schizophrenia about how he feels during a psychotic episode. “The illness will usually block out this awareness." READ IT ALL.... 

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

Friday, March 21, 2014

Chairman Murphy To Convene Hearing On Psych Bed Shortage

Continues Subcommittee Investigation into 
Nation’s Broken Mental Health System

For Immediate Release: Friday, March 21, 2014
Contact: Brad Grantz202.225.2301

(WASHINGTON, DC) – Representative Tim Murphy, Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight & Investigations and author of the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act (H.R. 3717), will convene a hearing on Wednesday, March 26, 2014 at 10:00AM entitled, “Where Have All the Patients Gone? Examining the Psychiatric Bed Shortage.”

Parents and expert witnesses from the judicial system, law enforcement, and medical provider community will testify about the impact of a severe shortage of psychiatric beds on both emergency room patients and persons with serious mental illness. The Majority Memorandum, a witness list, and witness testimony will be available here as they are posted.

In the fifty years since the passage of the Community Mental Health Centers Act, the number of dedicated psychiatric beds available at hospitals for psychiatric patients has decreased from 559,000 to 43,000, putting patients with serious mental illnesses at risk. Significantly diminished capacity for inpatient treatment contributed to a phenomenon known as “psychiatric boarding,” where patients are left to wait in hospital emergency departments until space becomes available for inpatient psychiatric care. This increases wait times in emergency rooms, sends ambulances to different hospitals, consumes significant hospital and law enforcement resources, and negatively impacts access for all patients requiring emergency care.

“Families are being torn apart because loved ones with serious mental illness cannot find the acute medical help they so desperately need due to a severe inpatient psychiatric bed shortage,” said Murphy. “At this hearing, witnesses will share their first-hand experiences on how this crisis has resulted in hundreds of thousands with mental illness in jails, on the streets, or most tragically, dying because appropriate care was not available.”
Dr. Murphy, a clinical psychologist with thirty years experience, authored the bipartisan Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act (H.R. 3717) following a year-long investigation into the nation’s broken mental health system. Nationwide support for his legislation to grow from newspaper editorsphysicians, and parents of children with mental illness.

### 

MurphyPress | Congressman Tim Murphy (PA-18)
2332 Rayburn House Office Building | Washington, DC  20515
(202) 225-2301 | (202) 225-1844

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

This sad occurrence is not a sideshow in a circus. It's a preventable tragedy.

The lady being interviewed who is "so shocked" that this would happen in her community should now realize that this is exactly what can happen when an actively psychotic person is allowed to remain untreated in the community - and especially if that person decides to self medicate with drugs and alcohol.  
This sad occurrence is not a sideshow in a circus.  It is a tragedy that could have been prevented with treatment.



Hawkins County woman blames devil after allegedly crashing car into church, stabbing husband

#TreatmentBeforeTragedy

Saturday, March 15, 2014

CHANGING LANES: Adam Lanza's father faulted for describing son as 'evil'

... the word “evil” is not a final explanation or a good excuse for a problem that was the result of a series of human failures.
Peter Lanza has done families with mentally ill children a grave disservice. By absolving himself of personal responsibility because his child was “evil”, Lanza scapegoats a broken boy and the mother who was inadequate in his care. It’s easy to be logical about how things should have been handled when you have the buffer of a separate and less complicated life.
Peter Lanza is a man who is haunted by regret. He knows that without his doing, Sandy Hook elementary school would never have had to be bulldozed and 20 more children would be third graders next fall. Andrew Solomon paints a picture of a tortured yet detached soul who still locates the destructiveness of Adam’s actions as coming from a metaphysical place.
Different legislative efforts have been made to address the weaknesses in a system that allowed Adam Lanza to slip through the cracks. Unsurprisingly, these well-intentioned efforts lost their momentum when their newsworthiness was eclipsed by the next news cycle. Yet our collective psyche ponders “why?” and we individually consider the importance of supporting/monitoring unstable older adolescents whose lack of supervision might possibly lead to mass murder.
Read the entire article by Katherine Bennett here: Adam Lanza's faulted for describing son as 'evil'


Thursday, March 13, 2014

‘Alien Boy’: documenting a mental-illness tragedy | Entertainment | The Seattle Times

James Chasse struggled with mental-health issues.A four-star review of “Alien Boy: The Life and Death of James Chasse,” director Brian Lindstrom’s documentary that details one man’s struggles with schizophrenia and his encounter with Portland police officers.



Read here:  ‘Alien Boy’: documenting a mental-illness tragedy | Entertainment | The Seattle Times

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Could Assisted Outpatient Treatment Have Helped Prevent This Tragedy?

Ten years ago in Loudon, Tennessee ...
... the morning Officer Scott was killed, E-911 received a call about a juvenile arguing with his mother because she was making him ride the bus instead of driving to school.  
“He hit her in the head with a fence post,” Guider said. “She went to a neighbor’s house and called 911.
Read here: http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2014/mar/12/memorial-service-to-honor-loudon-deputy-killed/

Michael Harvey was recalled by his friends as "a good person who just snapped"
... Harvey had spent some time at Peninsula Hospital, which offers inpatient mental health care.
"I knew he had some problems with depression, and that's normal enough. But he was in Peninsula for a little while," Hargis said.
Read here:  http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2004/mar/14/michael-harveys-death-friends-recall-teenager/

Deputy Jason Scott was 24 years old and expecting his first child.
Michael Harvey was 16.

#TreatmentBeforeTragedy


Mother finds a way to build hope for mentally ill out of sons tragic death

Image“Because my son needed services so badly, I was driven to be an advocate and find the best mental health services out in the community. Unfortunately, in Nevada, that’s a struggle,” she said this week.
Adam got caught in a common cycle beginning around age 13 — when he was faithful about taking his medication, he was healthy and productive. Then he would consider himself cured — wanting to free himself from the stigma of mental illness — and stop taking meds. When problems quickly arose, he self-medicated with drugs and alcohol. Jail, emergency rooms, institutions.
Read her story here:  Mother finds a way to build hope for mentally ill out of sons tragic death

#TreatmentBeforeTragedy

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Thank you, Congressman Tim Murphy!

CMS Reverses Course on Restricting Access to Mental Health Drugs
Murphy Claims Victory as Agency Makes About-Face

For Immediate Release: Monday, March 10, 2014
Contact: Brad Grantz202.225.2301

(WASHINGTON, DC) — House Energy & Commerce Oversight Subcommittee Chairman Tim Murphy (PA-18) released the following statement following the decision by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to reverse course on an “anti-medical” proposal that would have restricted access to mental health drugs for senior citizens on Medicare Part D plans.

In a letter to Murphy dated March 10th, CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner wrote that “given the complexities of these issues and stakeholder input, we [CMS] do not plan to finalize these proposals at this time.”
“A rule to cut off access to life-saving mental health drugs for seniors never should have been advanced in the first place. Had CMS done its homework and discussed this issue with psychiatrists, psychologists, and patients, the agency would have learned that not all medications are created equal. Each medication within a therapeutic class has different molecular composition, different side effects, different drug interactions and impact the brain and body in unique ways. That is why physicians and patients with serious mental illnesses often try different therapies until they find the right one that works. Eliminating access to a broad range of antidepressants and antipsychotic medications would have resulted in more suicides and hospitalizations,” said Rep. Murphy, who has led efforts to keep in place protected class status for mental health drugs.
Murphy’s Helping Families In Mental Health Crisis Act (H.R. 3717), would codify current agency policy known as “protected classes” for classes of antidepressants and anti-psychotic medications. In January, Rep. Murphy wrote to CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner requesting information about the clinical basis of the new agency proposal to remove “protected class” status for two categories of non-interchangeable mental health drugs.
In an email blast to the American Psychiatric Association on Sunday, President Jeffrey Lieberman, M.D., “applauded” Murphy for his work to stop the agency from removing protected class status for mental health medications. On February 26, Dr. Murphy chastised a CMS official during the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health hearing entitled, “How CMS’ Attack on the Part D Program Will Increase Costs and Reduce Choices for Seniors.” The full video is available on Dr. Murphy’s YouTube page.
“If you restrict access to these drugs, you restrict the treatment of mental illness, you impact increasing hospital stays, you impact suicide rates, which increase sharply above age 65. You forbid the use of life-saving drugs,” Murphy told CMS official Jonathan Blum. “You are the people’s worst fearsYou have no background, no education, no degree, and are practicing medicine without a license.
Rep. Murphy, a clinical psychologist, told Mr. Blum to withdraw the proposal, citing a letter from the American Psychiatric Association that disputed the clinical justification for the agency action. The APA stated that CMS had “misinterpret[ed] and misrepresent[ed] APA’s clinical practice guidelines multiple times as justification for limiting patient access to medically necessary psychotropic medications.”

For more information on the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act, click here.