Advocacy E-news February 10, 2020
February 10, 2020
MURPHY ANNOUNCES YOUTH MENTAL HEALTH INITIATIVES
Gov. Phil Murphy is moving to spend $6 million to train at least one teacher or education support professional from every school district in the state on ways to recognize youth mental health issues. And his administration is also forming a working group of educators and experts to develop best practices and other resources to better provide students with the mental health supports they need.
NEW JERSEY’S PAROLE AND PROBATION MERRY-GO-ROUND
State-run parole and probation programs are designed to keep persons convicted of crimes, including a very large number of nonviolent crimes, out of prison. But in New Jersey, according to a recent Council of State Governments study, “On any given day, 2,698 people are behind bars as a result of a probation or parole violation, many of whom struggle with a mental illness.”
BILL TO ESTABLISH MENTAL ILLNESS RESOURCE HOTLINE PASSES COMMITTEE
With nearly one in five U.S. adults living with mental illness, including more than 933,000 in New Jersey alone, Assembly Democrats have sponsored legislation to establish a Mental Illness Resource Hotline and improve the services of other hotlines throughout the state. The bill (A-1847) recently passed the Assembly Human Services Committee.
MOM AND AUTISTIC CHILD SPENT SIX DAYS IN A HOSPITAL ER. SHE WANTS A NEW LAW TO HELP OTHERS
In 2018, her 9-year-old son, Ronnie, spent six days in a South Jersey emergency department raging and in the midst of a suicidal crisis. Diagnosed with autism and bipolar disorder, Ronnie was sedated with medications every six hours while waiting for an appropriate treatment facility. No hospital in the state could provide proper care for Ronnie, the family was told. So they waited in a plain white cubicle with a bed, a bathroom and little else, until a treatment bed opened at an in-patient facility in Pennsylvania.
RESEARCH LOOKS TO BOLSTER MENTAL HEALTH RESOURCES FOR POLICYMAKERS
A University of Minnesota professor is working to help policymakers better understand mental illness. The project aims to create an information portal that centralizes research for policymakers to reference before making decisions on mental health screenings for adolescents. To create the portal, Weber has been working with NAMI New Jersey to apply data collected on how mental health is communicated at a state level. Afterwards, they will train volunteers selected by NAMI New Jersey on how to implement the information they have gathered.