Advocacy E-news April 29, 2020
April 29, 2020
DEPT. OF HEALTH ANNOUNCES NEW HOSPITAL VISITORS POLICY
Department of Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli announced a new policy on April 25th requiring hospitals to allow a designated support person to be with a disabled patient during hospitalization. This designated support person can be a family member, personal care assistant or another disability service provider knowledgeable about the patient’s care and must be allowed to remain with the patient while in the hospital, subject to the restrictions. The patient’s disability may be due to altered mental status, intellectual or cognitive disability, communication barriers or behavioral concerns.
DISABILITIES RIGHTS NJ TO HOLD VIRTUAL TOWN HALL MEETING
DRNJ the State’s Protection and Advocacy will be holding a virtual listening session on Wednesday, April 29, 2020, 7:00 PM 8:00 PM to hear about what is working and what is not in the time of COVID-19. This listening session is an opportunity for individuals with serious mental illness, their advocates, and family members to speak to DRNJ and one another, and to promote the sharing of resources, information, and experiences. You may send questions in advance of the Town Hall to: PAIMIquestions@drnj.org
EXPECT MENTAL HEALTH CRISIS FOR FIRST RESPONDERS ON CORONAVIRUS FRONTLINES, NJ PHYSICIAN SAYS
The COVID-19 crisis is putting first responders at a dangerously high risk for a variety of mental health problems, psychiatric experts say. CarePlus NJ — a non-profit organization that provides primary care, mental health care and substance abuse rehabilitation services — is launching a mental health trauma hotline for first responders on May 4.
COVID-19 IS AFFECTING AMERICA’S PSYCHIATRIC FACILITIES
As we struggle to comprehend the new reality that coronavirus has forced upon us, our national mental health is rapidly deteriorating and we need the services of psychiatric facilities more than ever. Psychiatric facilities are especially vulnerable to the spread of respiratory diseases for many reasons. The inpatient psychiatric treatment model rests heavily upon group therapy and communal interaction where patients and staff in psychiatric facilities are at grave risk of contracting coronavirus.
AFRICAN AMERICAN COMMUNITY EXPERIENCES PHYSICAL, MENTAL EFFECTS FROM COVID-19
As the COVID-19 crisis continues, being in public increases the risk of contracting the virus, but then staying at home in quarantine causes issues such as stress, anxiety, depression and feelings of isolation to arise. African Americans, like many minority communities, are likely to experience socioeconomic disparities such as exclusion from health, educational, social and economic resources, which may contribute to worse mental health outcomes.
“In the African American community, the effects of mental illness are not so much governed by any biological defect in DNA but rather the artificial, but very real, barriers to treatment that unfairly challenge their ability to manage the disease of mental illness as individuals and a community” said Lisa Powell, program coordinator for NAMI New Jersey’s AACT-NOW, African American Community Together NOW program.