Advocacy E-News January 6, 2015
January 6, 2015
SOLUTIONS TO WOES OF MENTALLY ILL EXIST BUT AREN’T USED
Most communities ignore mental health until there’s a crisis, such as the school shootings in Newtown, Conn., two years ago. Though people are initially horrified by such acts of violence, Americans forget all too quickly – and move on. This story shines a spotlight on programs aimed at helping people who suffered from a lack of treatment that led to repeated arrests and hospitalizations. The last piece in the series will examine what happens when people receive intensive help early in their lives, before mental illness has cost them their jobs, their families or their freedom.
NJ STATE POLICE TRAINING TO DEAL WITH MENTALLY ILL
Two mental health organizations are working with the State Police to improve training for interacting with mentally ill people.
“There is another way to deal with people. You use tactics, strategy, rather than force,” said National Alliance on Mental Illness New Jersey Associate Director Phillip Lubitz.
HEALTH CARE PREDICTIONS FOR 2015
These are times of constant upheaval in health care: Hospitals are merging, the Affordable Care Act is expanding health coverage (and coverage issues) and employers are simply struggling to find health plans that they and their workers can afford.
The behavioral health system, (mental health and substance abuse treatment), will receive closer scrutiny. Three fourths of high-users of hospital inpatient services have behavioral health diagnoses. The behavioral health and medical care delivery systems have long been separate. In 2015, we will see a re-thinking of how best to increase behavioral health service capacity and better integrate it with medical care delivery.
FEDERAL GRANT TO NJ AIMS TO IMPROVE HEALTH SYSTEM
New Jersey will receive up to $3 million in federal grants to improve health-care quality and lower costs. Rutgers University’s Center for State Health Policy, the recipient of the grant recently issued a report finding that a great majority of the people with the very highest hospital expenses have mental health or substance abuse problems. Rutgers will be charged with developing partnerships between public, behavioral and primary health-care providers as well as strengthening the health-care work force through education programs, primary-care residencies and better community health worker training.
WHY CAN’T DOCTORS IDENTIFY KILLERS?
One of the biggest misconceptions, pushed by our commentators and politicians, is that we can prevent these tragedies if we improve our mental health care system. It is a comforting notion, but nothing could be further from the truth. The sobering fact is that there is little we can do to predict or change human behavior, particularly violence.