Advocacy E-News October 17, 2017
October 17, 2017
GOVERNOR CHRIS CHRISTIE FILES DIRECT APPOINTMENTS
Governor Christie appointed members of NAMI New Jersey to the Community Mental Health Citizens Advisory Board, Governor’s Council on Mental Health Stigma and Medical Assistance Advisory Council. NAMI appointees include Sylvia Axelrod, Winifred Chain, Wayne Vivian, Robin Cunningham and Phil Lubitz.
COMMUNITY MENTAL HEALTH, ADDICTION SERVICES WOULD BE EXPANDED UNDER BLUNT, LANCE BILL
A program originally established by U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) and U.S. Rep. Leonard Lance (R-NJ) to enhance community mental and behavioral health services would be expanded and extended under legislation announced on Oct. 3. The Excellence in Mental Health Act pilot program aims to improve community mental and behavioral health by setting high-quality standards and offering additional services like 24-hour psychiatric crisis care, counseling and integrated services.
WHY ARE MORE TEENAGERS THAN EVER SUFFERING FROM SEVERE ANXIETY?
Over the last decade, anxiety has overtaken depression as the most common reason college students seek counseling services. In its annual survey of students, the American College Health Association found a significant increase — to 62 percent in 2016 from 50 percent in 2011 — of undergraduates reporting “overwhelming anxiety” in the previous year. Those numbers — combined with a doubling of hospital admissions for suicidal teenagers over the last 10 years, come as little surprise to high school administrators.
PSYCHIATRISTS CAN’T STOP MASS KILLERS
In the wake of the Las Vegas massacre, politicians are once again promoting the politically expedient notion that better mental health care could stop such mass killings. The public appears to share this view. A 2015 poll found that 63 percent of Americans blamed deficient mental health care rather than deficient gun regulations for these shootings. But of the 92 documented mass killings from 1982 to 2017, only 15 percent of the perpetrators had any known previous contact with mental health professionals.
N.J. HAS SOME OF THE NATION’S TOUGHEST GUN LAWS — AND AMONG THE LOWEST GUN DEATH RATES
As the nation reels over the deadliest mass shooting in recent American history, lawmakers and advocates of gun control are urging Congress to consider tightening regulations in an effort to prevent future atrocities. New Jersey has some of the strongest gun laws in the nation. The state is also among those with the lowest gun-related death rates. People who have ever been committed for a mental disorder to any hospital, mental institution or sanitarium are also banned from buying guns, unless they have certification from a doctor or psychiatrist that they are no longer suffering from a mental disorder.