Rusty’s Life, Just Like Mental Illness Recovery

You don’t know what you’re missing until you’re there!

https://www.thedodo.com/dog-chained-up-for-a-decade-has-the-sweetest-reaction-to-being-set-fre-1282367546.html

 

 

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Letter to Executive Director Mark Miller

Dear Mr. Miller:

Is the Medicare Payment Advisory Committee’s (MedPAC) recent draft recommendation removing two classes of medication – antidepressants and immunosuppressants – from the Six Protected Classes under the Medicare Part D program?

Removing these two drug classes would violate the longstanding policy of ensuring that patients have access to the full range of life-saving and life-enhancing medications and restrict a physician’s ability to prescribe a regimen that is both effective and considerate of the challenges that co-morbidities and medication interactions can pose.

I urge you to reconsider removing both antidepressants and immunosuppressants from the Six Protected Classes, and to instead enshrine the protection of all six classes as a pillar of the Medicare program going forward. PROTECT the protected classes!

Thank you for your attention to this important issue.

Sincerely,

Kathleen Powers, AAS

Body Bag Project: Mental Health Movement

 

An excellent write-up of the Mental Health Movement’s Body Bag’s Project is found at http://streetwise.org/2016/03/body-bags-project/!

Many people do not realize the need for public mental health safety nets to help persons with mental illness stay out of prison, stay out of nursing homes, become homeless and/or not suicide.

So far, the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) dragged their feet since Obamacare came out and STILL has not contracted to any managed care organization. The Community Mental Health Advisory Board that consists of clinic users and shuttered users continues to ask the important safety net questions and advise the CPDH on proven effective methods for treating the pandemic spread of mental illness. The closed clinics need reopening because not all of the neediest areas are covered: there are only 5 clinics on Chicago’s south side and only 1 on Chicago’s north side. All of this while Cook County Jail teems with persons with serious mental illness.

Bodybag Flyer

Illinois Home Services Program Attempts to Cut Lifeline Services to Persons with Disabilities

Home-Care-WorkerAs an advocate concerned about the Home Services Program (HSP), I find capping IP services hours egregious! HSP, critically important to thousands of people with disabilities across the state of Illinois, ensures that everyday HSP customers receive care from their Individual Providers (IPs).
Capping the hours that IPs can work at 40 will mean that people with disabilities will not be able to access personal care assistance. In most places throughout Illinois, HSP consumers cannot find, hire and keep decent good IPs.
Parents, siblings and other relatives who act as IPs, with whom Illinois desires to cut work hours below 40 hours, jeopardizes financial and supportive IP, positive outcomes and quality of life. Until more effective policies emerge for persons with disabilities, this reduction of IP hours becomes cumbersome, undo-able and strict.
HSP customers and IPs deserve flexibility, not rigidity. Please eliminate the cap hours a week is too harsh and will put too many people’s lives at risk.
Photo from http://blog.abbeyspanier.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/Home-Care-Worker.jpg

STATE OF OUR STATE: ALLIANCE IN ACTION on the ROAD TO RECOVERY 

By James Jones – Metropolitan Family Services
January 26, 2016

This morning we are embarking on a trip to try to save stable and productive lives, at least in Illinois. Cutting the programs for mental health facilities in this state shows an apathy that could very well cause a travesty that could also prove tragic. We have seen on buses, on the streets, and even in programs for help, people with oftentimes severe mental disturbances that could be potentially dangerous. This is why this trip is so mandatory to many of us who need these programs just as much as any with a physical impairment. If someone had a broken arm or shattered ribs, you would want them to get medical attention immediately. But a broken psyche or shattered nerves, then what would you do? The answers to that do not come as easily because of the intricate workings of the mind. This is just one of the many reasons we must protest in numbers against the cuts to our communities, to stem the illnesses before they grow out of control.
Also, the stigma attached to mental illness is far greater than the physical could ever be. Derogatory terms for mental illness are plentiful, many used in everyday conversation. If the same would be said about someone in a wheelchair or crutches, it would be deemed cruel and distasteful. But mental illness, at whatever level it would be, is fair game for ridicule unless it is hushed up, swept under the rug, or in lower levels, ignored. These have not been effective methods to achieve mental wellness.
That is why this Road to Recovery to Springfield is so important; to have our voices heard. If no one speaks out there will be no attention or empowerment, and without these, there can be no recovery. We must stress the need for these programs clearly, distinctively, and in no uncertain terms. We have the right to stand firm and express that we cannot take this lying down. Remember that many would most likely be closer to stability had it not been for previous cuts; those many who could have lived productive lives and helped more clients in need by giving their stories as examples. We have gained great strides in the education and treatment of mental disturbance and made far too much progress to stagnate or regress. We will not slow down as we approach the finish line, or listen to nay-sayers who say we will not make it or try to cast us idly aside.
This is why it is so invigorating to be part of such a huge assemblance of different mental health services coming together for such a needed common cause, battling for the soul of Illinois. Not only did we experience unity in numbers but truth in numbers, which is one of the most powerful strengths of all, giving us a renewal of spirit in case the foibles of red tape leave us frustrated and downtrodden.
It is also ironic that I felt a sense of mass therapy with so many groups converging on Springfield showing that we care enough to come to the heart of the state to let our feelings be heard, if not heeded. It is a gamble if our showing will make a difference…Whether or not the [legislators] actually do anything legislatively, they can’t say they didn’t hear our voices loud and clear. That the funding for our facilities cannot be sliced to the bone. They cannot ignore that we made a bold statement in the state capitol. We pitched straight, now it’s up to them to catch.

Mpowered | Government Affairs & Strategic Initiatives
Metropolitan Family Services
One North Dearborn, Suite 1000 | Chicago, IL 60602
P: 312-986-4227 (direct) | F: 312-986-4334
www.metrofamily.org | jenningt@metrofamily.org
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