March 2010 Newsletter
There is much good news to share. I am delighted to announce the National Coalition’s first certification in Emotional CPR (eCPR) is taking place in Kentucky in April 2010. For information about possible slots available for this training contact Sarah Welch. For the eCPR fact sheet, click here. Please email me for information on scheduling a certification in your community.
Thanks to everyone who gave input into our policy priorities for 2010. If you missed them in February’s newsletter, click here www.ncmhcso.org/priorities.htm; please share them widely.
Health care reform update:
On March 5th Reva Price from Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office spoke to the Mental Health Liaison Group. It is extremely important that we have a full-out effort to support health care reform. Once the health care bill is introduced, grassroots organizations and community stakeholders need to move fast; having draft letters ready to go will help. Organizations and community stakeholders should go on record in support of the bill, either through making calls to their representatives or writing letters to editors. This bill will impact one-sixth of the economy, and opens door to real change.
The word in Washington is that the Department of Justice is working aggressively to implement Olmstead. The recent NYS lawsuit ruling (see “news” for more info) will have ripple effects across the U.S. Further implications are for developing supports so people have the right and means to live in the community. The state has to contract with supportive providers to enact this and to address concerns from all stakeholders to create real and informed choice.
In February, several advocates (Lauren Spiro and Daniel Fisher (NCMHR), Kelly Buckland (NCIL), Mike Oxford (ADAPT), Ari Ne'eman (Autistic Self-Advocacy Network), Tom Nerney (Center for Self-Determination), James Conroy (Center for Outcome Analysis), Amy Goodman (Cerebral Palsy) and Eli Cohen had a thought- provoking discussion with Cindy Mann, Director of Center for Medicaid and State Operations and other senior Medicaid officials, about how CMS could further Olmstead enforcement and recovery in mental health. In preparation for the meeting I read a paper by Tom Nerney of the Center for Self-Determination in which he asks: “Can we ever have quality in a system that does not support freedom?” The paper further stated, “There is never an incentive to get better value for the dollars when the planning group’s self-interest depends on how the budget is apportioned.” We must all work together to overcome conflicts of interest inherent to the system. To read Tom Nerney’s summary about quality and the future, click here.
As we move forward in 2010 to promote our policy priorities among the general public and decision-makers, I draw inspiration from Margaret Mead’s “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
Wishing you an extraordinary month,
Victory for Community Living in NYS
New York mental health and disability rights advocates are hailing an important victory for adult home residents with psychiatric disabilities, following a federal judge’s ruling last week ordering state officials to afford all qualified residents the opportunity to move from institutional settings into supported housing in the community.
U.S. District Judge Nicholas Garaufis ruled March 1 that the state must create housing with 1,500 beds in each of the next three years. He ruled that state officials must change the way they manage their mental health system in order for adult home residents to have a choice to receive the services to which they are entitled to in supported housing rather than an adult home. Source: Mental Health Weekly, March 8, 2010.
Disability Coalition applauds passage of Preventing Harmful Restraint and Seclusion Legislation
The Justice for All Action Network (JFAAN), a coalition of disability-led organizations including our National Coalition, applauds the U.S. House of Representatives for passage of HR 4247, the Preventing Harmful Restraint and Seclusion in Schools Act. The legislation, which equips students with disabilities with federal protection from abuse in the schools, was approved in the House March 3 by a vote of 262-153. To read the full statement from JFAAN, click here.
Please note: The Justice for All Action Network is now the National Disability Leadership Alliance (www.disabilityleadership.org)
Mental Health Service Funding Update
The budget includes a $23-million increase for programs administered by the Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS), and an overall $110-million increase over last fiscal year for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).
The mental health block grant and the protection and advocacy program would be level-funded. For a full listing, see the Bazelon Center Mental Health Policy Reporter Volume VIIII, No. 1, February 4, 2010
Justice Department Sues Georgia for ADA Violation
In January the Justice Department filed a new federal court complaint against the State of Georgia, focused specifically on the state’s violation of the integration mandate of the Americans with Disabilities Act as upheld by the Supreme Court’s Olmstead decision. The complaint alleges that Georgia is unnecessarily segregating hundreds of individuals with mental illnesses and developmental disabilities in state hospitals and seeks to have the state serve these individuals in integrated community settings. The Justice Department also asked the court to grant a preliminary injunction to address the violations of the rights of hospital residents, both by ensuring that the hospitals are safe and by developing adequate and appropriate community services. Source: Bazelon Center Mental Health Policy Reporter Volume VIIII, No. 1, February 4, 2010
New Podcast Teaches Self-Advocacy Skills to Students with Disabilitiess
The Disability Law Lowdown podcast just posted a podcast about self-advocacy for high school students with disabilities. It is so important that students learn to advocate for themselves so that goals that are set, and plans that are made, include the desires of the student and not just those around the student. Click here to listen to The Disability Law Lowdown podcast: www.DisabilityLawLowdown.com.
Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) Advocates' Teleconference - Thursday, March 11, 2010, 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM ESTT
In USICD's continuing series of advocate teleconferences in support of U.S. ratification of the CRPD, this presentation will provide a brief update of recent ratification progress at the beginning of the call, and then present an in-depth review of Articles 1 through 9 in the treaty. Click here for details.
Mindfreedom Radio - "Label Jars, Not People" - Saturday, March 13, 2010, 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM ESTT
Guests Paula Caplan, Lennard Davis and Dan Fisher will answer your live call-in questions on the next MindFreedom Mad Pride Live Web Radio Show. Paula and Dan will challenge the expansion of psychiatry's label bible, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM). Dan will remember the legacy of the late Judi Chamberlin. Host is David W. Oaks, Director of MindFreedom International. Click here for detailss.
Training Teleconference: The Power of the Media and Its Impact on Mental Health Recovery - March 26, 2010 3:00 pm–4:30 pm EST
Registration will close at 5:00 p.m., ET, on Friday, March 19, 2010
This training teleconference will consider some of the media's positive messages that promote respect, acceptance, the dignity of difference, and the inclusion of people with mental health problems and explore the impact of media that perpetuate negative stereotypes. The teleconference will also provide education and awareness strategies for individuals and organizations to use with the media to promote accurate depictions of people with mental health problems. To learn more and to register, click here. This teleconference is sponsored by SAMHSA ADS Center, a project of the Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS), Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
SAMHSA 10x10 Wellness Campaign Training Teleconference: Focus on Wellness to Increase Life Expectancy and Healthy Living of Individuals with Mental Health Problems - Tuesday, March 30, 2010, 3:00 p.m.–4:30 p.m., EST
Registration will close at 5:00 p.m., ET, on Tuesday, March 23, 2010.
What are the implications of the findings of higher rates of illness and shorter life spans among people with mental health problems than among the general public, and how can the mental health community promote wellness? To learn more and to register, click here.
Presenters: Joseph Parks, M.D., Missouri Department of Mental Health; Margaret (Peggy) Swarbrick, Ph.D., O.T.R., C.P.R.P., Institute for Wellness and Recovery Initiatives, Collaborative Support Programs of NJ; and Lauren Spiro, M.A., Vanguard Communications/SAMHSA 10x10 Wellness Campaign.
To submit questions before the teleconference, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
This teleconference is sponsored by the SAMHSA 10x10 Wellness Campaign, a project of the Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS). CMHS is a center within the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
The purpose of the NCN is to share information that is consistent with our mission and values and that is significant for our constituency. We are not endorsing any particular organization.
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