Thursday, February 27, 2014

Outstanding report from Ripon on our nation’s Mental Health Crises

3 national view points on the broken mental health system and how to fix it!

The Fight to Rebuild Our Broken Mental Health System by: Rep Tim Murphy 

For far too long, those who need help the most have been getting it the least, and 

"where there is no help, there is no hope." 

We can, must, and will take mental illness out of the shadows of ignorance, despair, and neglect and into that bright light of hope. It starts with the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act (H.R. 3717)

Read more:


According to advocate and activist DJ Jaffe, Murphy’s plan is based on a fundamental truth about the issue -- namely, that the problem is not one of dollars. It is one of misplaced priorities. 

There is a crisis. It involves people with untreated serious mental illness, not all others. Throwing money at mental health as Congress has done will not help those with serious mental illness. Passing HR 3717 is the best chance Congress has at addressing the real problem.  Read more:


The Cost of Doing Nothing  by MARY GILIBERTI, new ED of NAMI

When taxpayer dollars aren’t spent on evidence-based, cost-effective programs, cost-shifting occurs across different systems. The criminal justice system is one of the most dramatic examples. Investing in mental health care at the front end can result in cross-system savings overall. In state prisons and local jails, 20 percent of inmates live with mental illness. In the juvenile justice system, the prevalence is 70 percent. 

Correction facilities are probably the worst places to treat 
mental illness. The goal should be to divert individuals from incarceration into treatment and to provide supports and services so they don’t enter the criminal justice system in the first place. 

Police Crisis Intervention Teams (CIT), mental health courts and community services like assertive community treatment (ACT) serve both diversion and prevention purposes. With ACT, teams of mental health professionals visit individuals where they live rather than expecting them to come to an office. This proactive approach helps people stay on a path to recovery -- and protects against relapses. ACT programs in the Chicago and Rochester, NY areas have shown savings up to $20,000 and $40,000 per person over the cost of hospitalizations or jail sentences. Read more:

NOTE: I agree with Mary that jail is the worse place for individuals with mental illness/brain diseases. But the goal should NOT wait until these 
individuals arrested! I will be writing to Mary Giliberti soon, because without Assisted Outpatient Treatment (AOT) programs or 'treatment first,' none of the evidence based programs such as supportive housing, supportive employment or ACT will benefit individuals who are at risk of violence or lack insight to their illness/anosognosia! She obviously doesn’t have lived experienced in understanding this subset group of individuals who are most at risk and end up being pushed into the expensive revolving door.
Jail diversion is "NOT PROACTIVE" -- it's reactive.
If you feel the same, please write to Mary at: