Advocacy E-News June 16, 2015
June 16, 2015
SHAKEUP RATTLES ANCORA
Three top administrators at Ancora Psychiatric Hospital were reassigned Monday, and the hospital’s Medicaid certification is under review, employees learned during a surprise “town hall” meeting held at the facility. Additionally, employees were told they will learn within the next week if the facility has lost its Medicaid certification.
COMMENTARY: HOUSING THE MOST VULNERABLE
For low-income people with disabilities, New Jersey is not a welcoming place to live. Social services organizations are inundated with calls from people desperate for a place to call home. New Jersey has to start thinking differently about how to house its most vulnerable citizens. With a safe, affordable place to live that is close to family and friends, access to transportation, socialization and jobs, these individuals can contribute to society in positive ways.
ECONOMIC IMPACT OF OUR CURRENT MENTAL HEALTH SYSTEM
There are a number of important segments of the society taking interest in improving the situation and raising awareness about mental health issues. However, there is still a lot more to be done to improve the system, since the mental health care system in the U.S. desperately cries out for resources and increased funding. The system of mental health care seems to have taken a step back with jails being the largest mental institution in the U.S. today. This means that the state funding is now being used on state prisons instead of mental health system hospitals.
DATING WITH SCHIZOPHRENIA
Dating is hard. Dating when you are overweight is harder. Dating when you are a big dude with a serious mental illness is nearly impossible. I’ve had a little success dating in the nearly 10 years I’ve lived with schizophrenia. But there are a lot of obstacles. Sometimes the stigma of mental illness is a deal breaker. Other times I’ve noticed it’s me who can’t take the idea of being in a relationship.
LET’S TALK TASERS
It’s easy for people without knowledge, information or understanding to say that police should carry stun guns and be able instantly decide whether to draw and fire them or their service weapons. The New Jersey Attorney General’s Office has strict, comprehensive guidelines governing the use of the “conductive energy devices” that are considered the strictest in the nation. Any officers who are issued them must undergo extensive training that includes instruction on recognizing mental illness and dealing with emotionally disturbed people.