Rep. Murphy describes mental health system as an immoral embarrassment on the nation. Help for the mentally ill in America will soon be available if H.R.3717 is passed by the U.S. Congress. H.R.3717 provides for (1) inpatient psychiatric treatment using Medicaid insurance, (2) special training for police officers, which should reduce injuries and deaths during lunacy arrests, (3) a national awareness campaign to reduce the stigma associated with serious mental illness, and (4) implementation of assisted outpatient treatment (AOT) programs, which mandate outpatient psychiatric treatment for participants and provide subsistence assistance for food and housing. AOT programs reduce homelessness, arrests, incarceration and hospitalization by over 80% among program participants when compared to their experiences three years before entering an AOT program.
"New Bill Decreases Mental Health Funding, but Increases Mental Illness Funding," by D.J.Jaffe
H.R.3717 "Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act of 2013" (read the summary)
Our special guests for March 28, 2014, on "Human Rights Demand" Blogtalkradio show are Bob Darby, an advocate for the homeless mentally ill, and Elizabeth L Gaskins, an elder in the Cherokee Nation.
Call-in number (347) 857-3293. Listen live at 3pm Eastern Time or hear the archived tape using the link above.
Bob Darby has a B.A. in psychology from Emory University and has attended graduate schools in psychology and theology. He is a former employee of Georgia Regional Hospital, Boston State Hospital, and New Hampshire's Hanover-Darthmouth Hospital. In 1994, he founded Atlanta Food Not Bombs and has been an advocate for the homeless mentally ill for more than twenty years.
Elizabeth Gaskins is a human rights advocate who hosts a weekly radio show on Human Rights Demand called "Native American Affairs - Freemen." Her show airs Wednesdays at 3pm. Listen to her debut broadcast, taped at this link
Elizabeth Gaskins will discuss how mentally ill people are subject to wrongful arrests rather than receiving proper care and treatment. We will discuss Jerome Murdough, a homeless Marine Corps veteran who suffered from schizophrenia and bipolar disorder who was arrested in Riker's Island jail and died there of overheating in a solitary jail cell in February 2014. Murdough essentially baked to death. Bob Darby will discuss how deinstitutionalization of the mentally ill during President Regan's term and simultaneous removal (through lack of funding) for the "safety net" of detoxification centers, group homes and outpatient treatment programs contributed to Murdough's avoidable death and the negligence of America's most vulnerable population. Jails and prisons have replaced hospitals for chronic mentally ill Americans.
Dr. Mustafa Ansari, an international human rights attorney and Dean of the American Institute for Human Rights, spoke about Jerome Murdough's death on Riker's Island during his radio show on March 26. Murdough is the homeless, mentally ill veteran who was baked in a solitary confinement cell in February.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness says that if they get the chance, eighty percent of bipolars and sixty percent of schizophrenics could be successfully treated to fully participate in mainstream society. But such treatment and medications are not currently available to many of them, because the new "atypical anti-psychotics" and other new drugs are expensive and must be professionally administered under in-patient supervision. Inpatient treatment under Medicaid Insurance would be resumed in certain facilities under provisions of H.R.3717 "Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act."
Assistance to the Incarcerated Mentally Ill hosted radio shows wherein the audience enthusiastically discussed H.R.3717, such as our February 12 broadcast, archived at:
Representative Tim Murphy's congressional bill is a legal victory that has the capacity to help resolve one of the nation's most horrific human rights problems: the criminalization of mental illness. The bill enjoys support from mental health advocacy organizations and congressional representatives throughout the country. People are urged to contact their congressional representatives and support H.R.3717: the bill that can help decriminalize mental illness in the United States.
Paragraph 1 repeated: It is a Legal Victory that Representative Tim Murphy (R-PA) introduced H.R. 3717 "Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act" in the U.S. House of Representatives in December 2012. The bill has 48 co-sponsors presently, 8 of whom are Democrats. Rep. Tim Murphy was a practicing psychologist before running for public office. He has served in the U.S. Congress as Pennsylvania's representative from the 18th congressional district since 2003. Rep. Murphy understands mental illness and the failures of the mental health care system. He discussed the bill in an interview with CNN's Jake Tapper (YouTube video): http://youtu.be/gsUd8hMBAbA