Advocacy E-News December 18, 2017
December 18, 2017
OPINION: N.J.’S LARGEST PSYCH HOSPITAL IS A DANGEROUS PLACE
New Jersey is not meeting its moral obligation to care for some of our most vulnerable citizens, the patients of Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital. The situation is complicated by the fact that many of these people, citizens with mental illnesses, developmental disabilities and often elderly, cannot speak for themselves. Their voices and those who advocate for them, usually families at their wits’ end, and staff, must be heard. What the voices tell us is that Greystone is overcrowded, understaffed and dangerous.
MILLIONS OF CHILDREN COULD LOSE HEALTH COVERAGE STARTING NEXT MONTH
Lawmakers have yet to renew federal funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program, also known as CHIP, which insures nearly nine million children in low-income families. Most states will run out of money in the next few months if Congress does not act.
A FEDERAL VISION FOR IMPROVING MENTAL HEALTH CARE
In 2016, the 21st Century Cures Act included a provision requiring the establishment of a Federal Intergovernmental Serious Mental Illness Coordinating Committee (ISMICC). Last week the Committee released an interim report to Congress containing many recommendations for improving the national response to adults with SMI and children and youth with SED, including providing guidance, resources and training on HIPAA and communications with families and caregivers. NAMI’s Mary Giliberti was a featured speaker at a press conference to announce the release of the report.
7 TEEN SUICIDES HAVE SUPERINTENDENTS ‘CALLING FOR ACTION’
The superintendents of each public school district in Mercer County issued a “a call to action” Friday to address what they say is an alarming trend – teen suicides. In the past 20 months, seven students have taken their own lives, the 10 educators said in letter form. Each was a resident of or attending a public school in the county. They have a plan, and it begins with an event next month, the educators say. The aim is start a “countywide focus on mental health.
OFFICIALS EXPLAIN NEW PROGRAM TO KEEP VETERANS OUT OF JAIL
Acting Cape May County Prosecutor Robert Johnson readily admits he’s more familiar with putting people in jail than keeping them out. However, as part of a new statewide program, Johnson’s office will be tasked with helping veterans with mental health issues avoid the criminal justice system if they are charged with a nonviolent, low-level offense. The Veterans Diversion Program, which was established by a bill approved by Gov. Chris Christie in May, is aimed at connecting eligible veterans with agencies that provide mental health services.