Advocacy E-News December 6, 2018

December 6, 2018


‘I Want to Live Like a Human Being’: Where N.Y. Fails Its Mentally Ill

It begins with the assumption that most people in adult homes — group facilities that often house hundreds of residents — can live on their own with the right help. Adult home residents are given a subsidized apartment, called scattered site supported housing, and assigned a team of social workers and others to help navigate bureaucracies, housing problems and everyday tasks. But more than 200 interviews and thousands of pages of medical, social work and housing records show that for some residents, the sudden shift from an institution to independence has proved perilous, and even deadly.

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Psychiatric advance directives allow patients with serious mental illness to specify the treatment

As the pendulum has swung from institutionalization to outpatient care, psychiatric directives also offer a middle path by allowing patients to designate family members to speak for them when they’re too sick to do so themselves. Early research and experience suggest that PADs, authorized by law in 27 states and possible in others as part of conventional medical advance directives, could help some of the millions of people with serious mental illness cope better and guide doctors treating them.

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Learn about Psychiatric Advance Directives in New Jersey


N.J. to overhaul how it tracks police force following investigation

New Jersey’s scattershot system for monitoring how often police officers use painful holds, punches, kicks and other types of force in the line of duty will get an overhaul following an NJ Advance Media investigation. New Jersey’s attorney general — along with local, county and state law enforcement officials as well as the heads of the Garden State’s major police unions — said they would be “working together to design a new system for obtaining use-of-force data in New Jersey.”

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N.J. has one of the highest rates of deaths in county jails.

New Jersey jails have the highest per-capita death rate among the 30 states with the largest jail populations. And suicides committed by those suffering from untreated drug addiction and mental illness are a big driver of that number. The rate of suicide in New Jersey jails rose an average of fifty-five percent each year between 2012 and 2016, according to documents provided by officials.

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