Abele Proposes Budget Increase For Community Mental Health Alternatives

The Journal Sentinel’s “Chronic Crisis” series has exposed the county’s reliance on expensive emergency care, cycling those in psychiatric crisis through the system instead of finding them stable care within the community. It has also shown how the system has been impervious to reform efforts. The series focused on 25-year-old Rob Sweeney, who cycled between bouts of homelessness and hospitalizations that failed to stabilize him. The newspaper also reported on repeat violations of care standards at the complex, including patient assaults and the death of another 25-year-old man, from complications of a broken neck. The smorgasbord of services Abele is proposing also includes $115,000 for adding a clinician to ride with Milwaukee police on psychiatric crisis calls, which is aimed at curbing unnecessary emergency detentions. He also is seeking $247,000 for five staffers to work with people with both mental illness and developmental disabilities; $154,000 for an expanded crisis response team; and $739,000 for raises to community service providers, who have had no raises since 2000. Abele’s mental health budget would clear out the patients in two long-term care units at the complex by the end of 2014 and further shrink the hospital’s acute care units, said Hector Colon, the county’s director of Health and Human Services.
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://www.jsonline.com/watchdog/watchdogreports/abele-proposes-budget-increase-for-community-mental-health-care-b99102723z1-224727792.html

Americans Fault Mental Health System Most for Gun Violence

How Much Factors Are to Blame for Mass Shootings in the United States, 2013

We are committed to working with the Department of Veterans Affairs to ensure service members have a smooth transition to the VA after their military service.” Wilkinson also pointed to ways that the Department of Defense works with the VA on mental health issues through the Centers of Excellence, such as an around-the-clock outreach center that provides psychological health information, resources and referrals to military members, veterans and their families. The Centers of Excellence also manage a program to ensure that military members who receive psychological health care do not “fall through the cracks” when moving from one duty station to another, deploying or transitioning from the military to the VA’s care. Coaches enhance the continuity of care and help service members maintain their treatment gains while they transition, the document said. Alexis, 34, a Navy veteran, on Sept. 16 shot and killed 12 people at the Navy Yard in Washington.
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://www.newsday.com/news/health/schumer-better-mental-health-programs-could-prevent-future-tragedies-1.6118881

A Picture of (Mental) Health

For a man experiencing depression in Lebanon, the social stigma associated with revealing his illness and seeking a diagnosis might make him unmarriageable. A Liberian woman may discount her symptoms of depression and anxiety because she feels that after 25 years of civil conflict and widespread suffering throughout the country, her feelings are undeserving of specialized mental health treatment. The children of a single mother with postpartum depression in a Rio de Janeiro favela may become malnourished while their mother battles feelings of listlessness, fatigue, and loss of appetite. These situations are far from rare — and far from harmless. Around the world, an estimated 1 million lives are lost annually due to suicide stemming from depression.
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://www.huffingtonpost.com/meredith-perry/a-picture-of-mental-health_b_3950092.html

Schumer: Better mental health programs could prevent future tragedies

Booking photo of Aaron Alexis, arrested in September

At the same time, fewer blame easy access to guns now (40%) than two years ago (46%), making the mental health system the perceived top cause of mass shootings. Gallup conducted the new poll Sept. 17-18, the two days immediately after a shooting at the Washington Navy Yard in Washington, D.C., in which, apparently, a lone gunman — a government contractor and former Navy reservist — went on a rampage, killing 12. Much of the news coverage has focused on the shooter’s questionable mental state in the days, weeks, and even years leading up to Monday’s events. The January 2011 trends reflect public opinion shortly after a massacre in Tucson, Ariz. , in which six people were killed and 12 others wounded, including U.S. Rep.
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://www.gallup.com/poll/164507/americans-fault-mental-health-system-gun-violence.aspx


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