Friday, January 31, 2014

Consumer Advocate discusses AOT, HR 3717 and the need for advocates join efforts - not argue

Frustrated Consumer, Parent, and Advocate!

Mental Health in America is Lacking
It’s frustrating to read daily about the split among the “advocates” for mental health care in the United States.
The sad thing I see happening is that we need a full and comprehensive system of care for mental health and we don’t have that. Some consumers are “high functioning” and some consumers are unable to function at all. America needs a system that addresses all the people with mental health needs and a system that is able to address mental health needs on any part of the spectrum, depending on the needs of the person.

Court-ordered Treatment
AOT is a good treatment option. In my home state of Minnesota, the courts regularly court order people  to drug and alcohol treatment, and to psychiatric treatment if the court deems it necessary. Is Minnesota way ahead of the game? Minnesota courts have been doing this for a good 20 years. It works, again, as another viable treatment option. Not everyone needs a court order but some people do.
I know many people who were court ordered into various treatments and court-ordered treatment worked for them. They didn’t realize they had a drug or alcohol problem until they began learning about their disease of addiction  in their court ordered treatment. In chemical dependency treatment, one may also discover that they have an underlying mental health issue. They would deal with their needs in mental health also.
I have seen the same results with court ordered psychiatric treatment. It’s a tool to help those who need the help. First you do a psychiatric assessment and from that assessment, you find out if you in fact live with a mental health diagnosis. Learning about your mental health diagnosis and how to treat it is one of the very rewarding lessons that come from court-ordered treatment. Education and treatment works to help people towards recovery.

Please read more here as Amy describes how AOT works in Minnesota, the value of Peer Specialist and also the need to support HR 3717. 

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