Month: May 2016

VOM&O AND RIGHT 2 TREATMENT FIGHT  PROP 63 MISUSE

VOM&O AND RIGHT 2 TREATMENT FIGHT PROP 63 MISUSE

MAY 24, 10am California State Capitol West Steps.

Right 2 Treatment, VOM&O and other mental health activist rally to protest the use of Prop 63 tax dollars being used to fund a “Mental Health Matters” event put on by the State Director of Mental Health. Prop 63 was passed by voters over a decade ago with the intent of providing services for our most mentally disabled, this event is another example of how Prop 63 funds continue to be misspent on “feel good” programs and events. Misuse of Prop 63 tax dollars are one reason funding and services for mentally ill people are not being provided and why many continue to cycle through the revolving doors of unsupported mental health treatment.

Catch the story on ABC 10 News http://www.abc10.com/mb/news/protesters-call-for-mental-health-awareness/214050441

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WHO’S WHO AT U.S. SENATE SUMMIT ON MENTAL HEALTH

Continue reading “WHO’S WHO AT U.S. SENATE SUMMIT ON MENTAL HEALTH”

8 MYTHS ABOUT SMI by D. J. JAFFE

These  myths about serious mental illness in the United States are believed by many mental health advocates and cause Congress to waste money and fail to implement policies that can improve care and keep patients, the public and the police safer.

Continue reading “8 MYTHS ABOUT SMI by D. J. JAFFE”

JOHN GEORGE HOSPITAL RELEASES PATIENT WEARING HOSPITAL GOWN – NOW MISSING

News reports that 44 year old Jason Morton was released prematurely from Alameda County’s John George psychiatric facility and has been declared missing.

Two days after Morton was brought to John George he was released wearing a hospital gown.

Ray Morton, Jason’s brother, is quoted as saying, “He’s not afraid to walk for miles at a time. He’s not afraid to get into vehicles with people and this is somebody who doesn’t have the mental capacity to stay safe.”

Ray Morton said he called John George to ask why, and says he was told it was a mistake.

Continue reading “JOHN GEORGE HOSPITAL RELEASES PATIENT WEARING HOSPITAL GOWN – NOW MISSING”

“THE ALAMEDA MODEL” CREATES CRISIS IN MENTAL HEALTH CARE

“The average amount of time for ER boarding of psychiatric patients in California is 10 hours. Using the Alameda Model, the time was reduced over 80 percent to 1 hour 48 minutes.”
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There is a crisis in Mental Health Care in this country, and especially in Alameda County.

Many of us have been dealing with this situation for years, if not decades, and we have had little help from the Alameda County Mental Health System. This is endangering our loved ones and others, and has been going on for far too long.
I’ve been seeking treatment for my adult schizophrenic son for nine years.  He’s still on the streets, getting no help or treatment and getting more and more agitated and delusional.  I fear he’ll end up in prison where he’ll get no help at all.

Continue reading ““THE ALAMEDA MODEL” CREATES CRISIS IN MENTAL HEALTH CARE”

PROP 63 PROTEST

Tuesday May 24th  California State Capitol

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RIGHT TO TREATMENT supporters and other advocates rallied to protest the use of Prop 63 funds that are being used to fund this event. Prop 63 was passed by voters over a decade ago with the intent of providing for those suffering severe mental illness. The “Mental Health Rally” event is another example of how Prop 63 funds continue to be misspent and one of the reasons enough services for SMI are not being provided and why many continue to cycle through the revolving door of the mental health system.

Catch the story on ABC 10 News http://www.abc10.com/mb/news/protesters-call-for-mental-health-awareness/214050441

DISABILITY AGENCY BLAST TREATMENT OF MENTALLY ILL PRISONERS

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People stricken with severe brain illnesses do not belong in  jails. Disability Rights as usual missing the big picture –  blaming the jails for not providing appropriate medical treatment instead of advocating for sustained care  they need so they  are not arrested for  crimes due to  symptoms of their illness. 

 

KQED’s Lisa Pickoff-White and Julie Small recently reported that conditions the DRC report found in Sonoma County’s main jail are a reflection of what mental health experts say is a disturbing reality nationwide: After decades spent “deinstitutionalizing” the mentally ill — removing them from settings like state hospitals in favor of community mental health facilities that have rarely been adequately funded — correctional facilities are now de facto treatment centers for those suffering from acute psychiatric disorders.

A 2010 study found that in California, nearly four times as many mentally ill people were in jails and prisons than in hospitals.

The report, produced by the National Sheriffs’ Association and Treatment Advocacy Center, said that “in historical perspective, we have returned to the early 19th century, when mentally ill persons filled our jails and prisons.”

Experts say conditions like those in Sonoma County show jails are simply the wrong place to treat the mentally ill.

KQED reports:

Two Deaths In One Jail In One Month: How Are We Treating Mentally Ill Inmates?

Read the DRC report:

https://www.scribd.com/embeds/312796345/content?start_page=1&view_mode=&access_key=key-82NPse3T6uqW4SkTGA5g

LOCAL NEWS TO FLOOD AIRWAVES WITH HOMELESS COVERAGE

The New York Times writer Thomas Fuller has reported media organizations in the Bay Area are planning to coordinated coverage on the homeless crisis in the city. The Chronicle is dispensing with traditional news article formats and will put forward possible solutions to the plight of around 6,000 homeless.

Bay Area television and radio stations, The Chronicle, The San Francisco Examiner, Mother Jones and online publications, among others, agreed to publish their reports on homelessness on June 29.

Thirty news organizations have confirmed their participation. KQED, a public television and radio station, is also taking a lead role in the campaign.

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http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/16/us/san-francisco-homelessness.html?smprod=nytcore-iphone&smid=nytcore-iphone-share

TREATMENT ADVOCACY CENTER

More than Million Americans suffer with severe mental illness.

There are 356,000 people with severe mental illness in jails and prisons. And10x more people with SMI behind bars than receiving treatment in a hospital.

ONE THIRD of the homeless population suffers with an untreated severe mental illness, more than 200,000 people

At least ONE QUARTER of all law enforcement fatalities involve someone suffering with untreated severe mental illness.

People with severe mental illness and their families deserve better than jail, homelessness and death. They deserve 

#aBedInstead.

For more information visit www.TreatmentAdvocacyCenter.org.

 

IGNORANCE HURTS

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Ignorance Hurts; Fight Back! – personally speaking

“If I wasn’t so mad, I’d laugh.”

That was the message Candy DeWitt sent us this week along with an appalling letter to the editor of a local newspaper. The letter accused the DeWitt family of not doing anything to prevent their 23-year-old son Daniel – who suffers from  untreated schizophrenia – from allegedly beating a popular businessman to death in February.

Parents could have done more for son” was the headline. Here’s what the letter said.

 “I read with tremendous grief about the murder of Peter Cukor at the hands of Daniel DeWitt. I find appalling the fact that his family was fully aware of his insanity yet they did nothing to get him off the streets. His father went as far as to blame ‘the system.’

“Here’s my question: Did the parents go to the facility he was released from in December with videotape of their visits to their son where ‘he only whispered to them through an apartment door and thought he was being poisoned’? Did they go to the local police department, did they contact the mental illness hot line, did they rally other family members or friends to get him in a treatment facility? How was he supposed to get better if no one was advocating for him?

“As the mother of a young daughter I have no intention of ending my parenting when my daughter turns 18 or if she becomes mentally ill or if she turns to drugs or violence.

“Family is the backbone of this country. How can parents turn their back on their adult children? Wake up, parents. You have a responsibility to the person you brought into this world.”

Ignore the self-righteousness. The ignorance expressed by the letter-writer is mind-boggling, infuriating and just plain sad. Any of we who – like the DeWitts – have futilely begged, petitioned, manipulated, bought and otherwise turned our lives inside out to get help for loved ones with untreated severe mental illness know the desperate ends family members pursue in vain.

The letter writer – and many of the people who read this letter – don’t know what we know. They need to, not just because ignorance hurts the immediate target but because people who believe that treatment laws and policies are adequate won’t support changing them.

Talk back!  Click here to send a letter of not more than 175 words to the editor. Click “Parents could have done more for their son” and scroll about halfway down to find the original letter.

With and on behalf of Candy DeWitt, mother of Daniel DeWitt

For more information about how lack of insight into untreated mental illness leads to tragedy, read our backgrounder about anosognosia.

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