Advocacy E-News May 20, 2016

May 20, 2016

 

ASSEMBLY PANEL MOVES IOC BILL

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Yesterday the Assembly Human Services Committee voted unanimously to release Bill A2189 that modifies the standard for commitment to outpatient treatment. Congratulations to those NAMI advocates whose advocacy helped to move this bill forward. A good deal of work remains to be done as opponents are rallying in hopes of derailing this important legislation.

Thank Assemblyman Singleton asmsingleton@njleg.org for his sponsorship of this bill that helps to decriminalizes mental illness by permitting involuntary commitment to outpatient treatment because a “person’s mental illness, as demonstrated by recent acts, if untreated, could reasonably result in deterioration of the person’s mental condition” rather than requiring that the person become dangerous for involuntary action to be taken.

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BERGEN REGIONAL HOSPITAL ASSAULTS TRIGGER CALL FOR HEARING

The chairman of the state Senate Health Committee on Monday called for a hearing about Bergen Regional Medical Center to examine hundreds of alleged assaults by patients in recent years at the hospital, including attacks on mentally ill children, seniors and other vulnerable patients. Despite repeated warnings of violence, the Bergen County Improvement Authority — the arm of county government that oversees the hospital — did little to ensure patient and staff safety,

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NO NEW FUNDING FOR PROGRAM THAT PAIRS PSYCHIATRISTS, PEDIATRICIANS

Two years ago the state launched a pilot program to help bridge a divide between psychiatrists and pediatricians and physicians involved said it has already helped more than 600 children. Despite this initial success supporters were disappointed to learn there was no money included in the coming year’s budget for the Primary Care Child Psychiatry collaboration.

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WHAT HAPPENS WHEN CELEBRITIES TALK ABOUT ANXIETY AND DEPRESSION

Mental-health issues have always been shrouded in stigma, despite data showing they affect about 18 percent of American adults. Because people tend to mimic the actions and opinions of celebrities they admire, interviews like Kristen Bell’s make a small dent in that stigma. Add those to the comments by Sarah Silverman, Lady Gaga, Jon Hamm, Gwyneth Paltrow, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Lena Dunham, Ryan Phillippe, J.K. Rowling, Jim Carrey and others, and you can feel the stigma shrinking. And you can see it in research.

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