Advocacy E-News March 29, 2016
March 29, 2016
DESPITE LAW, PARITY IN MENTAL HEALTH TREATMENT CAN BE ELUSIVE
Eight years after the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act became law, it is not effectively enforced in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and many other states, advocates said. Patrick Kennedy, a former Rhode Island congressman who has battled addiction and who championed the law, described the federal parity law as a “medical Civil Rights Act” at a Feb. 23 meeting in Washington. U.S. Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy III (D., Mass.), Patrick Kennedy’s cousin, introduced a bill in December that would require insurers to release much of that information.
OFFICERS COULD BE SUED OVER TASER USE
A federal court recently put police on notice: They could lose on-the-job immunity from civil lawsuits if they use a Taser to shock suspects in the face of nonviolent resistance. A panel of judges found it unlawful to use a Taser on an unarmed, mentally ill man who was holding on to a pole to avoid being taken into custody. The man died afterward. That was one of several rulings in recent years in which judges deemed it excessive force to use a stun gun on suspects who are resisting arrest but pose no immediate danger.
19 COPS KILLED THEMSELVES LAST YEAR IN NEW JERSEY: HERE’S WHAT WE CAN DO TO HELP
Police officers in New Jersey are 30 percent more likely to commit suicide than the general population — and the numbers appear to be getting worse despite state programs designed to help officers. Police and corrections officers are more likely not to seek help, the 2009 state task force found, thanks to a law enforcement culture that emphasizes strength and control.
CHRISTIE VISITS MONMOUTH MEDICAL CENTER’S RECOVERY COACHES PROGRAM
Highlighting the importance of increased intervention options to help overdose victims get the treatment needed for a path to recovery, Governor Chris Christie today visited with recovery coaches and consumers of Monmouth Medical Center’s Recovery Coaches program. The initiative is a direct result of the work of the Governor’s Facing Addiction Task Force, which identified this critical period following an overdose as a missed opportunity to intervene and provide treatment and assistance to individuals who suffer a drug overdose.