Friday, May 29, 2015

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Today is the day! Help spread the word by sharing this with your friends! Our new Walk-in Clinic opens today! 5-8:00 pm. Ages 12 and up, uninsured, don't have to be a current patient. Base fee $35, with small additional fee (shots/etc) if needed! First come-first served! We are excited to offer this new service to the public!

KPD: Homeless man's body found in North Knoxville creek

They are homeless & seriously mentally ill. 
They live under bridges, next to creeks. 
They self medicate themselves to a state of numbness and
accidentally fall into creeks or stumble into the path of traffic
and they die. 
Their sad story makes the headlines, then they're forgotten again.
A health & safe society is not what they're getting --
But it's what they deserve.
I have to wonder if he was one of the 300+ served
Under the Bridge last night.

Update on the "I'm Schizo-phrenic" butane lighters.

Good news!  Several of us received a response from Gibson  Enterprises that the "I'm Schizo-phrenic" lighters have actually been out of production for awhile. Thank you, Gibson, for the information. And thanks to those of you who wrote to Gibson to express their views.

If you should ever encounter stigma on your store shelves, I encourage you to call it to the attention of the store manager and request the item be removed.  Think of it as an opportunity to raise awareness about serious mental illness and that although people may "have" an illness, no one "is" an illness.

Let's continue taking small bites of the stigma elephant, wherever we see it.

It really does make a difference ...

Monday, May 25, 2015

Crisis Hotline for Tennessee Veterans

Is there someone to call if a veteran is in crisis or at risk of suicide? YES

The Veterans Crisis Line is a toll-free, confidential resource that connects Veterans in crisis and their families and friends with qualified, caring VA responders.

Veterans and their loved ones can call 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1 or chat online at* to receive free, confidential support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, even if they are not registered with VA or enrolled in VA health care.

The professionals at the Veterans Crisis Line are specially trained and experienced in helping Veterans of all ages and circumstances—from Veterans coping with mental health issues that were never addressed to recent Veterans struggling with relationships or the transition back to civilian life.

Did you know? #TB4T

Knoxville Community Men's Health Fair

We will have free shuttles running around the city to pick up and bring you home. No insurance is needed. No doctor referral needed -- Dentist, doctors, we even have vision people who can check the vision of infants! Everything is FREE! Bring your men! We need healthy men to ensure our families and communities are strong!! If you need a certain screening call the number on the flyer.

On Memorial Day, we must remember that homeless and at-risk veterans need more than just shelter.

Image result for homeless veteran

Friday, May 22, 2015

Tennessee: Prison Health Care Spending (December 2014 report)

State Prison Health Care Spending: State Fact Sheets

Check your state here:

Time Served in Tennessee


Go to link here:

In Tennessee, another sentenced to jail instead of treatment. #Tb4T #aot4TN

Naked man accused of attacking Hawkins County deputy on bridge

ROGERSVILLE, Tenn. — A nude man caught walking across a bridge near Rogersville is accused of attacking a Hawkins County deputy who refused to shake his hand.
The Kingsport Times-News reports that Hawkins County Sheriff's Office Cpl. Keith Long says he received a complaint around 3:20 a.m. Thursday morning about a naked man walking in the roadway. Upon his arrival, Long says he saw 22-year-old Derrick Dalton Goins and tried to speak with him, but Goins only said his first name repeatedly.
Long says Goins reached his hand out and tried to shake hands. When Long refused, Goins punched him.
Goins is charged with assault on an officer, resisting arrest and indecent exposure. It is unclear if he has a lawyer.

Severe Mental Illness Found to Drop in Young, Defying Perceptions

From today's New York Times:

The rate of severe mental illness among children and adolescents has dropped substantially in the past generation, researchers reported Wednesday, in an analysis that defies public perceptions of trends in youngsters’ mental health.

The new report, published in The New England Journal of Medicine, comes at a time of fierce debate over the rates and treatment of childhood mental disorders. Critics argue that modern psychiatry is over-diagnosing and treating an increasing number of the worried well or merely quirky.

Read the article here:

Trends in Mental Health Care among Children and Adolescents — NEJM

Trends in Mental Health Care among Children and Adolescents — NEJM

Scam victims & brain disease: there's a connection.

A study by the University of Iowa has found that there might be a physiological reason that the elderly are so often the victims of scams. The study points to the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) which is an area of the brain that controls belief and doubt. This part of the brain deteriorates as we age. According to the study, "vulnerability to misleading information, outright deception, and fraud in older adults is the specific result of a deficit in the doubt process that is mediated by the vmPFC."

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Callous and Cruel in the U.S.

Across the United States, staff working in jails and prisons have used unnecessary, excessive, and even malicious force on prisoners with mental disabilities such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Recognizing the value of Kindness in healthcare

A Wakefield Research survey shows how much a dose of kindness can affect patients and their care.

With the Accountable Care Act, the call for transparency in quality and performance metrics, and more attention paid to the patient experience, physicians easily can find their focus diverted from their most important responsibility — their patients. One of their most important tools, human kindness, sometimes can get lost. Over the years, those who have gravitated to health care have done so because they feel it is a calling to serve others at one of the most vulnerable points in their lives. I believe it's that vulnerability that makes human kindness so important.
Read the article here:  Healthcare Quality | Patient Experienc

Monday, May 18, 2015

Treatment Before Tragedy in Washington DC

* * * MEDIA EVENT * * * WEDNESDAY* * *
Congressman Murphy Addresses 
Treatment Before Tragedy
Families come to Washington to petition for a loved one with Serious Mental Illness
For Immediate Release: Monday, May 18, 2015
Contact: Gretchen Andersen, 202.225.2301
(WASHINGTON, DC) –  Congressman Tim Murphy (PA-18) will join nearly 100 families from across the nation to share their stories of loved ones with serious mental illness to call on Congress to repair our broken mental health system and reform laws that deny treatment to those who need it the most.
Rep. Murphy, author of the landmark Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act,” will outline pending the legislative actions to help millions of Americans dealing with mental illness nationwide, and their families.
Hosted by the Treatment Advocacy Center, a nonprofit dedicated to eliminating barriers to treatment for people with severe mental illness, Chairman Murphy will be joined by the organization’s Executive Director John Snook and family members and advocates who will share their personal stories of struggle in accessing mental health care for their loved ones. 
Wednesday’s event arrives a few weeks after Congressman Murphy introduced a bipartisan congressional resolution declaring “May as Mental Health Month,” which seeks to remove the stigma associated with mental illness and promote public awareness of mental health. 
WHAT:     Press Conference
WHO:      Congressman Tim Murphy (R-PA)
            John Snook, Executive Director, Treatment Advocacy Center
            Anthony Hernandez, California (statement)
            Jennifer Hoff, California (statement)
            Candie Dalton, Colorado (statement)
            Teresa Pasquini, California (statement)
            Michele Hicks, New York (statement)
            Pamela Blodgett, Rhode Island (statement)
            Nearly 100 family members and advocates
WHEN:     Wednesday, May 20, 2015 at 9:15 AM
LOCATION:   Room 2325 Rayburn House Office Building
# # #
In his seventh term representing Pennsylvania’s 18th congressional district encompassing suburban Pittsburgh including parts of Allegheny, Washington, Westmoreland and Greene Counties, Rep. Tim Murphy also serves as a Lieutenant Commander in the Navy Reserve Medical Service Corps as a psychologist treating Wounded Warriors with post-traumatic stress and traumatic brain injury.
Murphy Press | Congressman Tim Murphy (PA-18)
2332 Rayburn House Office Building | Washington, DC  20515
(202) 225-2301 | (202) 225-1844 (f)
Press List Sign Up 

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Taking DC by Storm on May 20th!

via Treatment Advocacy Center


Before members of Congress from both sides of the aisle, families of people with serious mental illness will share their stories and implore lawmakers for change.

This event is expected to be the largest gathering of families of the nation's most vulnerable people with serious mental illness.

“My son is slowly dying from hopelessness and fear in a jail cell. I worry that I may never see him walk back into our house,” said Teresa Pasquini, the mother of a young man with paranoid schizophrenia and a speaker at the event. “I did my job to keep him safe and others safe. It is the health system that failed us both.”

Representative Tim Murphy, author of the “Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act,” is expected to make a major announcement.
WHEN: Wednesday, May 20th, 2015 from 9:30 am to noon
WHERE: Rayburn House Office Building, Room 2325 (third floor), Washington, DC

Monday, May 11, 2015

There IS a law. Just not in Tennessee.

Dear Tennessee Legislators:  

YOU have the power to make Tennessee the 46th state our nation with AOT laws on its books, ensuring a safer, healthier society for all Tennesseans. 

There has been a grassroots effort to accomplish this since 2007. How many more lives will be lost and how long will it take?

A plan of aftercare by the Tennessee Mental Heath Facility was lacking in ensuring Cloar will not ditch his medicine and go on a rampage.

Read  the article here:

DAVID CLOAR IS ANOTHER REASON TENNESSEE NEEDS A MANDATORY ASSISTED OUTPATIENT TREATMENT LAW, mandating individuals to ongoing and consistent court ordered treatment following release from hospitals, jails and prisons.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Since a shocking number of mentally ill Tennesseans end up in prison instead of treatment, shouldn't we be building a hospital instead?

(7.9.2014) TROUSDALE COUNTY, Tenn. — The Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), the nation’s largest owner of partnership correctional and detention facilities, has agreed to finance, design, build and operate a 2,552-bed correctional facility in Trousdale County, Tenn. According to a release issued by CCA, the facility will meet the responsibilities of a separate intergovernmental service agreement (IGSA) between Trousdale County and the State of Tennessee regarding correctional services.
CCA expects the facility, which will be operated under a five-year contract, to be completed in late 2015. Current CCA estimates put the total cost of construction at $140 million, of which approximately $31 million has so far been invested.

A shocking number of mentally ill Americans end up in prison instead of treatment

In its survey of individual states, the Treatment Advocacy Center found that in 44 of the 50 states and the District of Columbia, the largest prison or jail held more people with serious mental illness than the largest state psychiatric hospital (see map below). The only exceptions were Kansas, New Jersey, North Dakota, South Dakota, Washington and Wyoming. "Indeed, the Polk County Jail in Iowa, the Cook County Jail in Illinois, and the Shelby County Jail in Tennessee each have more seriously mentally ill inmates than all the remaining state psychiatric hospitals in that state combined," the report says.

Read it here:

Getting your loved one help in Tennessee:

In a psychiatric emergency, the more you knowabout your state’s laws and treatment options, the better prepared you will be to respond in the most effective way possible. These resources will help:
Estimated Prevalence of Severe Mental Illness in Tennessee (2014)
  • Total adult population: 5 million
  • Individuals with schizophrenia: ~ 55,000
  • Individuals with severe bipolar disorder: ~ 109,000

Mandatory Treatment Laws in Tennessee

Like every state, Tennessee has civil commitment laws that establish criteria for determining when involuntary treatment is appropriate for individuals with severe mental illness who cannot seek care voluntarily. Tennessee is one of only five states that do not authorize involuntary treatment in the community, often called “assisted outpatient treatment (AOT)" or “outpatient commitment.”.
For inpatient treatment, a person must be meet the following criteria:
  • be substantially likely of serious harm, which includes:
    • be unable to avoid severe impairment or injury from specific risks or;
    • place others in reasonable fear of serious physical harm.
Emergency Evaluation C Find relevant statute here
Outpatient Commitment F Find relevant statute here
Inpatient Commitment FFind relevant statute here

Public Psychiatric Beds in Tennessee

A minimum of 50 beds per 100,000 people is considered necessary to provide minimally adequate treatment for individuals with severe mental illness. Like every state, Tennessee fails to meet this minimum standard.
Beds in 2010Beds in 2005Beds lost or gained% of beds lost or gainedBeds per 100,000 people% of target beds neededState ranking in beds per capita

Criminalization of Mental Illness in Tennessee

Like every state in the nation, Tennessee incarcerates more individuals with severe mental illness than it hospitalizes.
Total inmate population 2005Estimated population of SMI inmatesTotal psychiatric inpatient population 2004Likelihood of incarceration vs. hospitalization
43,6786,9882,2213.1 to 1

Criminal Diversion in Tennessee

Criminal justice officials are responding to the criminalization of individuals with innovative programs designed to divert individuals with severe mental illness away from the criminal justice system. Two of the most promising programs are: mental health courts and crisis intervention training (CIT).
Percentage of population served by a mental health courtPercentage of population served by CITCombined averageGrade

Policy Recommendations

  • Stop eliminating public psychiatric beds
  • Restore a sufficient number of beds to create access to inpatient care for qualifying individuals in crisis
  • Make active use of the state’s civil commitment laws to provide more timely treatment to individuals in need of treatment for symptoms of psychiatric crisis and reduce the consequences of non-treatment on them, their families and their communities

Additional Tennessee Resources

In Tennessee, a 2011 Justice Department investigation of the Robertson County Jail, north of Nashville, found that officials denied treatment to seriously mentally ill inmates, instead isolating them in long-term "therapeutic lockdown," where they were denied any interaction with staff, including health providers.


Sunday, May 3, 2015

The criminalization of mental illness - The Vanderbilt Hustler: Opinion

ZOOROB: The criminalization of mental illness - The Vanderbilt Hustler: Opinion: The largest provider of psychiatric care in the state of Tennessee is the Shelby County Jail, which treats more people with mental illness tha…