Advocacy E-News December 11, 2015
December 11, 2015
RISK OF BEING KILLED BY POLICE IS 16 TIMES GREATER FOR THOSE WITH MENTAL ILLNESS
The risk of being killed during a police incident is 16 times greater for individuals with untreated mental illness than other civilians, according to a new report by the Treatment Advocacy Center (Tac). The report suggests that a variety of institutional and policy failures have often left law enforcement as the only available resource to deal with people in mental health crisis, sometimes with fatal results. The study comes just as the FBI and Department of Justice have announced plans to expand and relaunch each of their individual efforts to collect data on fatal interactions between civilians and police.
STATE AIMS TO KEEP N.J.’S MENTALLY ILL OUT OF JAIL
With a growing number of people with untreated mental illness lodged in jail, prosecutors in Gloucester, Hunterdon and Warren Counties will each receive $150,000 to divert inmates who belong in psychiatric care, acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman announced Tuesday.
The funds, spread over a two-year period, will be used to contract with private professionals who will screen, treat and provide case management to offenders diverted from jails, Hoffman said. The case managers will monitor and report back to judges, prosecutors and defense attorneys whether the person is adhering to treatment the treatment plan.
THE GIANT DISCONNECT BETWEEN GUN DEATHS AND MENTAL HEALTH
Here’s a look at the correlation between rates of serious mental illness and gun deaths on a state-by-state basis. There is less evidence to suggest that mental illness and firearm murders go hand in hand. In fact, for several regions, the opposite trend emerges: namely, that low rates of mental illness tend to accompany high rates of firearm-related homicide. The discrepancy is particularly notable in the West, the South and the Northeast. Data from the National Center for Health Statistics further refutes the connection between mental health and gun deaths. According to its database, fewer than 5 percent of the 120,000 gun-related killings from 2001 to 2010 were committed by people diagnosed with mental disorders.
ANCORA CEO OFFERS FEW SPECIFICS DURING ANNUAL MEETING
Ancora Psychiatric Hospital is working to reduce its restraint use, CEO Christopher Morrison acknowledged during the hospital’s annual public meeting Tuesday, but the newly appointed hospital administrator shared few specifics. Despite winning awards for reducing its restraint use several years ago, Ancora’s restraint use is high when compared to the state’s other hospitals.
JUDGE ORDERS BACK PAY FOR FIRED HUDSON COUNTY WORKER SUFFERING FROM DEPRESSION
A state Office of Administrative Law judge has ruled that a Hudson County employee should receive back pay from July 2012 to March of this year after she was terminated from her position after she sought additional medical leave for depression the year before. She was ordered to undergo a fitness for duty examination and was found to be fit to return to work. But on her first day, she became distressed when she heard from coworkers that an administrator had told them that she was on medical leave for “mental illness.”
HOW COLLEGE STUDENTS ARE RESISTING THE MENTAL-ILLNESS STIGMA
Kelly Davis arrived at college carrying heavy baggage—bipolar disorder and an eating disorder. Dragged down by severe depression, she barely made it through her first two years. When she felt hopeless, she would tell herself that she would one day be better and try to prevent what happened to her from happening to others. Davis is among the hundreds of college students who no longer care to hide their mental illness—or be judged by it. Student advocates are passionate about decreasing stigma and expanding campus mental health services.
BERGEN HOSTS STIGMA FREE SYMPOSIUM’ TO DISCUSS MENTAL ILLNESS
In her entire life — which included a suicide attempt and being hospitalized when she was a college student in the 1960s — Judy Banes said, “I don’t recall anyone saying ‘I’m sorry,’ about a mental illness.”
Banes, who overcame her illness and eventually obtained a social-work degree, was one of several speakers Wednesday as Bergen County hosted its first-ever “Stigma Free Symposium,” at The Fiesta banquet hall in Wood-Ridge.
About 200 people, including several freeholders, mayors and other local officials, attended the event, aimed at fostering ways for the mentally ill to find greater public acceptance within their communities.
TAKE THE NAMI HEALTH INSURANCE COVERAGE SURVEY
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