PAR Urges PA State Senators to Support COLA Legislation for Community MH/MR Services

PAR Urges PA State Senators to Support COLA Legislation for Community MH/MR Services










Harrisburg, PA (PRWEB) October 14, 2006

The Pennsylvania Association of Resources for People with Mental Retardation (PAR) calls upon the members of the state Senate to vote yes on House Bill 1813 when it comes up for a vote on Monday, October 16th.

This bill – which has passed the House of Representatives, the Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee and the Senate Appropriations Committee unanimously – will help ensure stable funding for essential community mental health and mental retardation services and supports provided to over 250,000 persons with mental retardation and mental illness throughout Pennsylvania.

Community-based mental retardation and mental health services and supports, although completely reliant on state and federal funds to provide essential services to Pennsylvanians with mental retardation and mental illness, have been starved for years with either no increases or only 2% increases in the state budget while inflation and the costs of providing these services – food, fuel, housing, salaries, health and other insurances, etc. – continue to rise.

If enacted, HB 1813 would establish an annual cost-of-living adjustment for community-based MH/MR services based on the federal government’s Home Health Market Basket (cost of living) Index. HB 1813 does not remove the authority and discretion of the legislature in the budgeting process; rather it places community-based MH/MR services on a level playing field with the other major Medicaid provider groups who obtain annual funding through a similar mechanism. These mechanisms simply require the Executive Branch to request an appropriate cost-of-living adjustment in the budget each year, which is still subject to the Legislature’s review and approval.

“We are asking the Commonwealth not to shun the 250,000 individuals with mental retardation or mental illness who are eligible for services and supports. Pennsylvania has a commitment to provide for its most vulnerable citizens. Community providers are dedicated to the persons they serve and their families but services and supports need regular cost of living adjustments (COLA) to survive,” stated Shirley Walker, PAR’s President and CEO.

Walker continued “A consistent lack of adequate funding and absence of a fair COLA has clearly negatively impacted tens of thousands of Pennsylvania workers who are still earning poverty-level wages and there are over 23,000 individuals with mental retardation who are waiting for services – 3,452 of which are in critical, life-threatening situations. It is unconscionable that our great Commonwealth would allow this to happen to its own citizens. Voting yes on this bill is an opportunity to make a change.”

The Governor’s Office has publicly stated that Governor Rendell will most likely veto the legislation if it comes to his desk, citing primarily that they believe HB 1813 would cost too much money. PAR must ask – how can legislation that would provide the opportunity for stable funding for services that are an essential responsibility of government be ignored?

As Pennsylvania’s state budget has continued to grow, funding for mental retardation services has made up a smaller and smaller percentage of it. This bill will not reverse that trend but it will help keep the gap from widening.

It is time for individuals with mental retardation, their families and the people who support them to be treated as a priority of state government. Therefore we urge members of the General Assembly and the Governor’s Office to make that happen by supporting House Bill 1813.

PAR, incorporated in 1970, is the only statewide provider association in Pennsylvania dedicated exclusively to ensuring that the quality of supports and services to individuals with mental retardation and their families is continuously improved. PAR members provide the full range of supports and services to tens of thousands of individuals with mental retardation in over 4,500 locations in the Commonwealth. PAR members also employ over 27,000 Pennsylvanians. PAR is a founding member of the MH/MR Coalition which has worked diligently to support people with mental retardation or mental illness.

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Less Than One-Third of Adults with Mental Illness Will Get Help In 2009

Less Than One-Third of Adults with Mental Illness Will Get Help In 2009











Mental Illness Awareness Week — Oct. 4-10


Belleville, Ill. (Vocus) September 24, 2009 –

One in four Americans over the age of 18 experience a mental health disorder in any given year, but a significant number go untreated, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, which is observing Mental Illness Awareness Week (MIAW), Oct. 4-10, 2009. Organizations, including Allsup, a nationwide provider of Social Security disability representation and Medicare services, are working to highlight the availability of support to individuals and their families.

Mental illness includes major depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and anxiety disorders. About 6 percent, or one in 17 Americans, live with the most serious disorders such as schizophrenia. Less than a third of adults and less than half of children with a diagnosed illness receive treatment in any given year. Half of all lifetime cases of mental illness begin by age 14, according to NAMI.

“We know that with early detection, appropriate treatment and support from family and friends, people with mental illness can lead healthy, rewarding lives,” said Michael Fitzpatrick, NAMI executive director.

NAMI provides a number of resources and support including:

    Find Your Local NAMI: Locate a support group in your area with this online directory.
    Medications: Find details on specific medications, dosages and treatment information.
    Information HelpLine: Reach a volunteer with your questions on information, referrals and support by calling (800) 950-6264, Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern time.
Mental illness can affect anyone at any time. Treatment works, but only when those who are affected seek help. The entire community benefits when it recognizes the importance of mental health to everyone’s well-being and overall health.

Allsup is observing Mental Illness Awareness Week with free posters available to hospitals, clinics and other community groups by calling Karen Hercules-Doerr at (800) 854-1418, ext. 5770.

MIAW contact:

National Alliance on Mental Illness

Christine Armstrong

(703) 524-7600

Free posters:

Allsup

Karen Hercules-Doerr

(800) 854-1418, ext. 5770

http://www.allsupcares.com

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NAMI Offers Local Communities Support Amid State Mental Health Crisis

NAMI Offers Local Communities Support Amid State Mental Health Crisis











Arlington, VA (PRWEB) September 1, 2010

In a newly released interview filmed at the 2010 NAMI national convention, Mike Fitzpatrick, executive director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), underscores the ongoing impact of the economic recession on state mental health services and highlights the local NAMI supports offered to people affected by mental illnesses such as major depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.

The economic downturn continues to affect individuals and families in every state. For those living with serious mental illness, state budget cuts continue to jeopardize mental health programs, which results in added pressure on hospital emergency rooms, crisis teams, the criminal justice system and other aspects of society. Many people also are experiencing depression or anxiety for the first time and may be struggling to navigate the mental health system.

“Each year, NAMI members and supporters from virtually every state in the country to come together at the national convention to talk about their lives, what works, what’s effective, now to make change,” said Fitzpatrick. “During these difficult times, when people may not have access to the supports and treatment they deserve, people need NAMI more than ever.”

There are many ways people can find help and become involved with a local NAMI affiliate. NAMI offers a wide variety of education, training and peer support programs led by trained facilitators who have experience living with mental illness themselves or care for a loved one living with mental illness. In addition to these programs, NAMI advocates are active in their communities, educating local leaders and the public about mental health care issues. Find a local NAMI contact today.

About NAMI

NAMI is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to improving the lives of individuals and families affected by mental illness. NAMI has over 1100 state and local affiliates that engage in research, education, support and advocacy.

http://www.nami.org

twitter.com/namicommunicate

facebook.com/officialNAMI

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American Psychiatric Nurses Association Honors Seven Nurses for Outstanding Contributions to Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing

American Psychiatric Nurses Association Honors Seven Nurses for Outstanding Contributions to Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing











Barbara Drew, PhD, APRN, BC and Shirley Smoyak, PhD, RN, FAAN


Arlington, VA (PRWEB) June 14, 2011

The American Psychiatric Nurses Association announces the recipients of its 2011 APNA Annual Awards. These awards honor individuals who exemplify a superior dedication to and passion for the psychiatric mental health nursing profession. Awards recipients were nominated by their peers and chosen by a committee of their APNA colleagues. The awards will be presented to seven psychiatric mental health nurses at the APNA 25th Annual Conference in October.

This year’s recipient of the prestigious APNA Psychiatric Nurse of the Year award is Barbara Drew, PhD, APRN, BC. The Psychiatric Nurse of the Year award recognizes a psychiatric mental health nurse who demonstrates vision, perseverance, dedication, initiative and facilitation in the delivery of mental health services to individuals, families and their communities. Dr. Drew is a past president of APNA and an Associate Professor at Kent State University’s School of Nursing, where she established a successful child and adolescent psychiatric nursing program. Most recently, she has been heavily involved as Chair of the APNA/ISPN LACE Implementation Task Force, working to create a framework for the implementation of the Consensus Model for Advanced Practice Nursing within psychiatric mental health nursing. “Barb demonstrated her ability to visualize a need for a future where the public would have a clear understanding of what advanced nursing practice is, who advanced practice psychiatric mental health nurses are, and a more coherent conception of what to expect from these practitioners,” says Jeanne A. Clement, one of the psychiatric nurses who recommended her for the award. “She is…a leader who leads and inspires by her ability to have a vision of the future.”

APNA is also honoring Shirley Smoyak, PhD, RN, FAAN with the Distinguished Service Award in recognition of her commitment, initiative, loyalty, integrity, and exceptional and meritorious service to the American Psychiatric Nurses Association. “Perhaps more than any other living individual, Dr. Smoyak has helped shape, teach and preserve the body of knowledge that is psychiatric nursing. Truly, our profession owes her a debt of gratitude because of her long standing advocacy; she truly represents distinguished service and is deserving of this award,” says nominator and mentee Teena McGuiness, PhD, CRNP, FAAN. Dr. Smoyak, a professor at Rutgers’ College of Nursing and editor-in-chief of the Journal of Psychosocial Nursing and Mental Health Services, is a respected researcher and author in the field of mental health. She is known internationally as an advocate for psychiatric mental health nursing as well as for her pioneering work on the relationship between family systems and the patient with mental illness. A charter member of APNA who has served on its Board of Directors in the past, Dr. Smoyak continues to be an active and vocal member in the association.

APNA further honors the following psychiatric mental health nurses for excellence in practice, education, leadership, and innovation in the field of PMHN:

Award for Excellence in Education:

M. Jane Suresky, DNP, PMHCNS-BC

Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing, Case Western Reserve University

Cleveland, OH

Award for Innovation – Individual:

Michael Terry, DNP, FNP, PMHNP

Hahn School of Nursing & Health Sciences, University of San Diego

San Diego, CA

Award for Excellence in Leadership – Advanced:

Lisabeth Johnston, PhD, APRN, CS

Independent Practitioner

West Hartford, CT

Award for Excellence in Practice – APRN:

Patricia Cunningham, DNSc, APN PMHNP/CNS-BC, FNP-BC

Memphis, TN

Award for Excellence in Practice – RN-PMH:

Marcia Melby, RN-BC, PMH

Community Mental Health Center

Fresno, CA

The American Psychiatric Nurses Association is a national professional membership organization committed to the specialty practice of psychiatric-mental health nursing and wellness promotion, prevention of mental health problems and the care and treatment of persons with psychiatric disorders. APNA’s membership is inclusive of all psychiatric mental health registered nurses including associate degree, baccalaureate, advanced practice (comprised of clinical nurse specialists and psychiatric nurse practitioners), and nurse scientists and academicians (PhD). APNA serves as a resource for psychiatric mental health nurses to engage in networking, education, and the dissemination of research.

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NAMI San Diego’s Walk in Balboa Park Recognizing San Diego Residents Affected by Mental illnesses

NAMI San Diego’s Walk in Balboa Park
Recognizing San Diego Residents Affected by Mental illnesses










(PRWEB) December 26, 2003

San Diego, CA – Mental Illness is a National crisis, affecting 1 in 4 families in the United States. With limited funding, San Diego’s mental health programs don’t even come close to serving its mentally ill population. On any given night, there are approximately 1,900 homeless mentally ill in San Diego County. These, essentially, ‘ignored residents’ will be recognized in Balboa Park on April 17, 2004 at NAMI San Diego’s Walk for Wellness – Strides for Mental Health.

NAMI is a nonprofit, grassroots, self-help, support, education, and advocacy organization dedicated to improving the lives of all those affected by mental illnesses. As San Diego’s voice on mental illness, NAMI SD provides education and support for families and persons affected by mental illnesses.

“Our community needs mental health support now more than ever. Our community needs to know where they can reach out for help and obtain resources. Many people in our community are affected by San Diego County’s diminishing Mental Health Services. Our walk is an opportunity for our entire community to walk together and reach out to families, friends, colleagues, fellow workers, agencies, businesses, and the community,” said Bettie Reindheart, Executive Director of NAMI SD.

The walk will begin at 9 a.m. at the intersection of Quince and 6th Avenue in Balboa Park. Registration begins at eight. There is no fee and free refreshments provided by Henry’s Marketplace, Coffee Ambassador, Penta Water and Ne-Mo’s.

Major sponsors like, Qualcomm, 24Hour Fitness, Henry’s Marketplace, Penta Water, Carl’s Jr., Coffee Ambassador and TimelessNow.com are supporting this worthy cause. Resources will be provided by organizations like United Behavioral Health, California Association of Marriage and Family Therapy, County Mental Health, Mental Health Services, Paradise Valley Hospital and UCSD’s Department of Psychiatry.

“There are a number of organizations in San Diego that provide support, information and resources to those affected by mental illnesses,” said Karen Guneck, President of NAMI SD. “We want our community members to know we’re here for them, we encourage them to reach out and get educated”.

Register yourself today! Visit NAMI SD at http://www.namisandiego.org and click on WALK.







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