Advocacy E-News April 14, 2015
April 14, 2015
A CAMPAIGN TO PROVIDE HOMES FOR 1,000 PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES
Providers, families and individuals with disabilities are working together to create greater access to housing through employment opportunities that increase income, creation of housing that is cost effective and by assisting consumers and tenants in accessing all benefits that are available to them. During this budget season we urge Governor Christie and the legislature to increase the number of state rental assistance vouchers to house an additional 1,000 people at a cost of $10 million or $10,000 per person per year. By doing this our state leaders will further address the housing needs of those living in poverty with disabilities.
MENTAL HEALTH PARITY PROPOSED RULE FOR MEDICAID AND CHIP
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced a proposed rule to align mental health and substance use disorder benefits for low-income Americans with benefits required of private health plans and insurance. The proposal applies certain provisions of the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 to Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). The Act ensures that mental health and substance use disorder benefits are no more restrictive than medical and surgical services. The proposed rule ensures that all beneficiaries who receive services through managed care organizations or under alternative benefit plans have access to mental health and substance use disorder benefits regardless of whether services are provided through the managed care organization or another service delivery system.
THE MIND OF THOSE WHO KILL, AND KILL THEMSELVES
He was described, in the immediate aftermath of the Germanwings crash, as a cheerful and careful pilot, a young man who had dreamed of flying since boyhood. But in the days since, it has seemed increasingly clear that the plane’s co-pilot, was something far more sinister. Mental health experts who study mass murder-suicides said that depression and thoughts of suicide, which are commonplace, fall far short of explaining such drastic and statistically rare acts. Studies over the last decades have begun to piece together characteristics that many who carry out such violence seem to share, among them a towering narcissism, a strong sense of grievance and a desire for infamy.
SUICIDE PREVENTION FOR VETERANS ACT SIGNED INTO LAW
President Obama signed a measure into law on Thursday to fight a wave of suicide among veterans struggling with post-traumatic stress, a problem that has won increased attention as American troops have returned from Afghanistan and Iraq. The measure, passed by unanimous votes in the House and Senate, was designed to make it easier for veterans to find mental health resources, do more to recruit and retain professionals to help them and increase accountability for the government programs serving them.
JUDGE ORDERS BACK PAY FOR FIRED HUDSON COUNTY WORKER SUFFERING FROM DEPRESSION
A state Office of Administrative Law judge has ruled that a Hudson County employee should receive back pay from July 2012 to March of this year after she was terminated from her position after she sought additional medical leave for depression the year before. She was ordered to undergo a fitness for duty examination and was found to be fit to return to work. But on her first day, she became distressed when she heard from coworkers that an administrator had told them that she was on medical leave for “mental illness.”
KIDS ON ANTIPSYCHOTIC MEDS MORE PRONE TO DIABETES
A new study of 1.3 million American children has found that certain antipsychotic medications raise their risk of type 2 diabetes. The drugs fall into a category of “second generation” antipsychotics, and include brand names such as Risperdal, Seroquel, and Abilify, which are well known to cause weight gain. The use of antidepressants alongside antipsychotics raises the risk for diabetes even higher, effectively doubling the risk for diabetes compared to children who use neither medication.