Tag: mental health reform
My role within the Mad in America community has been to provide a perspective largely conditioned by six years as a state mental health commissioner. I believe that, realistically speaking, psychiatry isn't going away. Cultures in everything from state hospitals, to community-based inpatient programs, to crisis services, to outpatient settings don't change quickly.
Many will direct their efforts toward repealing involuntary outpatient commitment statutes in their states—an extremely challenging and uphill battle—or reforming abuses. Their arguments will be strengthened immensely by the findings in MIA's report. What follows are suggestions about what kinds of interventions to consider.
For the past several years, my blogs have centered on how policy can affect practice, especially in public mental health systems. But I haven't taken a deeper dive into strategies, especially focused for advocates who seek significant and even radical changes. I think it's now time.
One of the issues we face in mental health is that everyone knows the system is broken, but there is no replacement yet. So the question is, what are the mental health design principles to build a replacement? How do you build a functional mental health system that isn't disease-based? How do you make it robust, scalable and spreadable?
It is true that there are many great programs and initiatives out there, but when a system leaves so many without recovery-oriented supports it's like swimming upstream. Here are 20 indicators that if fully implemented would represent a complete system reform.
The leadership of our mental health advocacy groups agree that money has corrupted democracy in the US and this has resulted in blocking potential for real reform. But they aren’t willing to act on connecting their small single-issue efforts with the larger movement against corruption. Why?
We seldom have a chance to hear from someone who combines the perspective of a longtime psychiatric survivor and activist with that of being a psychiatrist. I disagreed with only one significant point — that a person does not have to be off all medications to show “complete recovery” from “mental illness.”
There is indeed a crisis in the mental health business. The crisis derives from psychiatry's spurious and self-serving premise that all significant problems of thinking, feeling, and/or behaving are brain illnesses that are correctable by psychiatric drugs.
...but how realistic is it to expect that the biological skew of Western psychiatry can be sustainably changed one small step at a time?
The Boston Globe paints a picture (in the vivid way that they so love to do) that pins the system’s decline primarily on budgetary issues, but there is more than one way for a system to be ‘broken.’ In fact, where the Globe goes most wrong in their latest piece, ‘Community Care,’ is in their failure to adequately recognize that the system has always been broken in one way or another in this country.
Organized psychiatry, committed irrevocably and wholeheartedly to drug pushing and to their corrupt and corrupting relationship with pharma, simply will not countenance the fact that their primary product is fundamentally flawed and destructive. So they hire a PR company; they fund and lobby politicians; they parrot slogans; and they encourage one another to ever-increasing heights of self-congratulation. But they will not commission a definitive study to clarify and assess the scale of this problem once and for all. And the reason for this inaction is because they know that it would be bad for business. It would "cause a lot of people to stop taking their medications."
The National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery is calling upon all people of like minds, who care about individuals who need mental health services, to ACT. It is urgent. Please call your representative in the House of Representatives to vigorously oppose HR 2646 on Tuesday, July 5, 2016. And, call your Senator to insist that the Senate reject any amendments or changes to mental health legislation from the House by Friday, July 8, 2016. For more information about this Call to Action, please click here.
As you read this, people with lived experience all around the country are mobilizing to educate our federal legislators about why the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act (H.R. 2646) should be defeated. Education is the key. As executive director of the National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery, I am issuing a call to action. We need to ramp up our efforts before this backward piece of legislation becomes law. We need to get in touch with our legislators and their staffs, contact the media, make some noise! We need to exercise the proverbial strength in numbers. And we need all of this now!
Legislation is being advanced that would speed up the FDA’s approval process for new drugs and medical devices, according to a report by the Pacific Standard. Pharmaceutical and medical device companies have been lobbying heavily to reduce regulations and are winning over bipartisan support by attaching these measures to increased mental health funding.
The Toronto Star reports on a 40-page analysis of the criminalization of mental illness released by the John Howard Society of Ontario last week. The crime and justice non-profit claims that “jails have replaced asylums as repositories for people who don’t have adequate resources to cope with community living,” with the unintended consequence that people in need of treatment “are forced to navigate a system that was never intended to be therapeutic.”
If you haven't heard about the Village Shalom shooting yet, it happened. This time it's my own community. So I when I list these 9 ways to stop the next Village Shalom shooting know that I speak with full love and compassion. The main thing I want to share is the real story about mental health. Emotional distress can be temporary and transformative. Recovery can mean, "All this goes away."
Recently one blogger pointed out how managed care systems might be a violation of human rights. I've also been recently posting about how the...