Advocacy E-News June 1, 2015
June 1, 2015
DEMI LOVATO IS THE FACE OF MENTAL HEALTH IN NEW CAMPAIGN
When Recording star Demi Lovato was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, she was actually relieved. After a family intervention, she sought treatment and learned she has a mental illness.
Lovato is sharing her story and encouraging others to do the same through Be Vocal: Speak Up For Mental Health, an initiative launched Thursday by a pharmaceutical company, the National Alliance on Mental Illness and other mental-health advocacy groups. Its aim is to improve treatment options at all levels and erase the stigma around mental illnesses.
MENTAL ILLNESS IS NO CRIME – BY NEWT GINGRICH AND VAN JONES
America’s approach when the mentally ill commit nonviolent crimes — locking them up without addressing the problem — is a solution straight out of the 1800s. When governments closed state-run psychiatric facilities in the late 1970s, it didn’t replace them with community care, and by default, people with a mental illness often ended up in jails. There are roughly as many people in Trenton, New Jersey, as there are inmates with severe mental illness in American prisons and jails, according to one 2012 estimate. The estimated number of inmates with mental illness outstrips the number of patients in state psychiatric hospitals by a factor of 10. Most surprisingly in these partisan times, Republicans and Democrats in Congress are standing shoulder-to-shoulder to support mental health reform.
WITH A PUSH, SOME STATE PSYCHIATRIC PATIENTS FIND HOMES
The Christie administration will not withhold payments from community health providers who failed to meet a May 1 deadline to find homes for hundreds of psychiatric patients deemed ready for discharge from a state hospital, a spokeswoman for the Department of Human Services says. As of May 21, only 12 patients remained at one of the three state-run hospitals who no longer met the legal criteria for involuntary commitment. Historically, New Jersey has a mixed record of warehousing its psychiatric patients, largely because it had no place to discharge them safely and where they could receive support to maintain their independence.
MCGREEVEY: INVEST IN BEHAVIORAL HEALTH
At Gloucester County’s first mental health and addiction resource fair Tuesday, former Gov. Jim McGreevey preached to the choir. His sermon? New Jersey’s behavioral health system needs more money and innovation. He said New Jersey needs to look at new ways to provide assistance, from short- and long-term hospital stays, to providing permanent housing with support services for people with mental health disorders.
OPPONENTS OF GREYSTONE DEMOLITION RALLY
In what Preserve Greystone calls “an unprecedented demonstration of solidarity” with New Jersey, rallies were held Sunday in two other states to oppose the tearing down of Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital in Parsippany. On Sunday, “These Places Matter” demonstrations were held at two Kirkbride locations – Traverse City State Hospital in Michigan and Fergus Falls State Hospital in Minnesota. Although rallies only occurred at three locations, opponents of the demolition sent photographs using the hashtag #ThesePlacesMatter from other Kirkbride buildings – Danvers State Hospital in Massachusetts, Weston Hospital in West Virginia and Buffalo State Hospital in New York, said Christian Van Antwerpen, the founder and director of Preservationworks, a group that works to save historic asylums from demolition.