Advocacy E-News September 2, 2014
September 2, 2014
JOIN NAMI’S NATIONAL DAY OF ACTION ON SEPTEMBER 4TH!
NAMI’s National Day of Action is a national campaign in which we are asking supporters all across the country to stand up for the issues that are important to us. We are asking Congress to take action, pass legislation and support individuals living with mental illness and their families and we need your help.
Reach out to your member of Congress by calling, emailing or tweeting and tell them it is time to make mental health a priority in America. Check out all of the ways you can join the conversation.
EXPANSION OF MENTAL HEALTH CARE HITS OBSTACLES
The Affordable Care Act has paved the way for a vast expansion of mental health coverage in America. Under the law, mental health treatment is an “essential” benefit that must be covered by every private plan sold through the new online insurance marketplaces. The new law is a big opportunity for mental health providers to reach more people of all income levels. But in Kentucky and the 25 other states that chose to expand Medicaid, the biggest expansion of mental health care has been for poor people who may have never had such treatment before. Still, private providers face considerable headaches in taking on Medicaid patients, beyond the long-term deterrent of low reimbursement.
MCGREEVEY WANTS TO RECRUIT LOCAL POLICE TO KEEP ADDICTS, THOSE WITH A MENTALLY ILLNESS OUT OF JAIL
As former Gov. Jim McGreevey works to keep ex-prisoners from returning to jail, he’s embarked on an initiative that recruits Hudson County police officers to help divert some criminals from prison entirely. Known as pre-trial diversion, the idea is to identify men and women with substance-abuse or mental-health issues and provide treatment to them instead of jailing them. Courts across the nation have similar programs, but McGreevey and Oscar Aviles, the director of the Hudson County jail, want to get local police officers involved in a way that could bypass the court system entirely.
QUESTIONS SURROUND EX-CAMPAIGN STAFFER’S NEW JOB
The ascent of a Monmouth County freeholder’s former campaign staffer to a top job serving mental health and addiction is being derided as “politics at its worst” and prompted two members of an advisory board to resign in protest. The division already has two assistant directors, one who oversees the county’s mental health services and the other who oversees the addiction services. Two former Addiction Services board members, question whether William Bucco, 28, of Aberdeen is qualified for the role of acting assistant director role that pays him $50,000 per year.