Advocacy E-News November 22, 2013
November 22, 2013
SEN. CODEY AND WIFE, ANNOUNCE CODEY FUND FOR MENTAL HEALTH
Continuing his work helping people with mental illness, Sen. Richard Codey (D-Essex) and his wife, Mary Jo, announced they have created a private foundation to support programs benefitting families, homeless people and profoundly ill patients committed in psychiatric hospitals. The former governor said the Codey Fund for Mental Health already has raised $200,000 in private donations. He expects there will be many willing contributors because mental illness affects so many people.
PSYCHIATRIC EMERGENCY ENDS IN DEATH
Over the past four years, authorities had been called to the two-story duplex on Hannah Street eight times for disturbances a law enforcement source said. Around 6:30 Wednesday evening, the man’s mother called police again. Her son, she told them, was schizophrenic and had recently stopped taking his medication. When police arrived, he came to the door with a knife, authorities said. The officers retreated and called in the Middlesex County Special Operations Response Team. The stand-off ended four hours later when the man was shot and killed as police entered the house after negotiations broke down.
MAN RELEASED AFTER NO MENTAL HEALTH BEDS FOUND, STABS FATHER
At 6:30 p.m. Monday, Austin Creigh Deeds walked out of Bath Community Hospital following a mental health evaluation and a failed effort to extend his treatment, an official said. Thirteen hours later, he stabbed his father, state Sen. R. Creigh Deeds, and killed himself, police said. The senator survived. The events surrounding Gus Deeds’ evaluation and the search for available in-patient psychiatric treatment weren’t clear Tuesday but each incident, in which a person is denied the level of services determined by trained mental health professionals to be clinically necessary, represents a failure of the system to address the needs of that individual and places the individual, his family and the community at risk. Emergency measures designed to deescalate crises are increasingly threatened by cutbacks in both in-patient treatment capacity and community-based services, said Ron Honberg, policy director for the National Alliance on Mental Illness.
N.J. NURSING HOMES RANK FOURTH BEST FOR REDUCING ITS MISUSE OF ANTIPSYCHOTIC DRUGS
Nursing homes in New Jersey reduced their reliance on potentially dangerous antipsychotic drugs to treat people with dementia by about 12 percent last year, following a coordinated effort by six facilities that agreed to work with a team of Medicare experts to find safer alternatives. The problem with antipsychotic drug misuse was highlighted in a 2011 report by the Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The FDA approved these drugs to treat serious mental illnesses, such as schizophrenia. But the report found these “second generation” antipsychotics being the most often prescribed — are given to 88 percent of patients with dementia, “a population the FDA has warned faces an increased risk of death from this class of drugs”.