Advocacy E-News January 19, 2016
January 19, 2016
CHRISTIE -MAKING ACCESS TO MENTAL HEALTH TREATMENT A PRIORITY
Governor Christie proposes:
A financial commitment of over $100 million in State and Federal funds to increase mental health and substance use treatment rates.
Expand New Jersey’s Training Programs For First Responders (CIT)
New Standards for Involuntary Outpatient Commitment
CHRISTIE PROPOSAL FOR MENTAL HEALTH, ADDICTION ISSUES INTRIGUES ADVOCATES
Before offering too much praise, advocates say they want more specifics on Gov. Chris Christie’s proposal to commit more than $100 million for mental health and substance abuse treatment, and to increase Medicaid reimbursement rates.
It’s not clear if the money will come from federal and state funding, or if it will come from existing spending.
NJ LAWMAKERS HOPE TO TAKE BETTER CARE OF FAMILY CAREGIVERS
Family members and others who serve as caregivers frequently play a central role in meeting the needs of people with disabilities, those with mental illnesses, and seniors. But there’s no one organization in New Jersey that gathers information on the work that caregivers perform, the services available to them, and the challenges they face. State legislators are looking to change that.
INVOLUNTARY OUTPATIENT COMMITMENT IS A VALUABLE OPTION
As many of my readers know, I suffer from bipolar disorder, and I have experienced civil commitment. Many of my peers opposed this new program, saying it is just another opportunity for them to be controlled by others. This is flatly untrue. What people have to realize is that no one has the right to harm another person, regardless of the reason. AOT is another tool in the arsenal that will enable someone who is a danger to himself or others to receive treatment in the community rather than in a hospital. It’s an alternative to inpatient commitment.
SafeTALK TRAINING TEACHES WARNING SIGNS OF SUICIDE
At any given two-week period, one in 20 people — or 5 percent of the community — are thinking about suicide and at least one of them is very likely to be thinking about it at this moment. In a partnership between the Sussex County Mental Health Board and the New Jersey Chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, free interactive suicide prevention training, called safeTALK, was held at The Center, in Newton. The safeTALK training — the word “safe” is an acronym that stands for Suicide Alertness For Everyone — was filled to capacity and aimed at training individuals 15 years old and older on how to become suicide alert helpers.
POLICE TRAINING TO HANDLE MENTAL HEALTH CRISES AVAILABLE
The Sussex County affiliate of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) will host a program to discuss the goal of bringing mental health Crisis Intervention Training (CIT) for police officers. CIT is a 40-hour, weeklong training on how to effectively and safely interact with a person in a mental health crisis. Since the program originated in Memphis, Tennessee in the 1980’s, CIT has been used to train law enforcement officers and other community stakeholders in many areas of the country, including 10 counties in New Jersey and the New Jersey state police.