Pentagon Document Calling Gays Mentally Ill: 65,000 Military Service Members Are Without Adequate Mental Health Care

Pentagon Document Calling Gays Mentally Ill: 65,000 Military Service Members Are Without Adequate Mental Health Care










Arlington, VA, (PRWEB) June 22, 2006 -–

A recently discovered Pentagon Instruction (1332.38) classifying homosexuality as a mental disorder, along with mental retardation, impulse control disorders and personality disorders, prompted swift response from several members of Congress in a letter to Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld calling for an immediate review. Nine members of the House Armed Services Committee asked the Department of Defense to update the classification noting that the American Psychiatric Association (APA) removed homosexuality from its list of mental illnesses in 1973.

“The classification of homosexuality as a mental disorder by the Department of Defense (DoD) in direct contradiction with the broader mental health community as well as social and medical research creates yet another significant barrier to over 65,000 gay service members seeking mental health care, responded Tony Smith, Executive Director of Military Community Services Network (MCSN), a non-profit organization focused on ensuring confidential social services are available to all service members regardless of sexual orientation or sexual identity.”

“Any barrier to service members seeking mental health services has a detrimental impact on unit cohesion and mission accomplishment. The inconsistent directions and implementation of the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT) policy as well as this outdated DoD instruction leaves active duty mental health providers to decide individually how and when to maintain confidentiality of the service members seeking counseling. Therefore, gay service members have no assurance of confidentiality, risking investigation and discharge based solely on their sexual orientation. The result is that many of the 65,000 service members don’t seek mental health care even when critically needed such as combat related stress or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder after combat deployments, Mr. Smith continued.”

“It’s critical that active duty service members are able to access all of their health care benefits, including mental health care, replied Elizabeth Carr, Psy.D., Lieutenant Commander (IRR), Medical Service Corps, United States Navy.” Service members, who don’t feel they can speak freely to their military health care providers, generally won’t have alternative resources while deployed or stationed in remote locations. This leaves them to suffer in silence and potentially puts their unit’s readiness in jeopardy, Dr. Carr concluded.”

The topic stirs many different responses from mental health providers. “The fact that the Pentagon holds on to this scientifically debunked view that homosexuality is a “mental disorder” shows just how homophobic the military is and how dangerous it is for service members. Many gay and lesbian service members were well on their way to long and successful careers in the military when the DADT policy was put into effect. The real mental disorder is not homosexuality, but homophobia and extreme religiosity, passionately responded Tamara J. Hawk, a licensed specialist clinical social worker providing counseling to service members and veterans near Ft. Riley Kansas.”

“As the debate on DADT continues and regardless of where people fall on the issue, the fact remains there are thousands of gay service members who are serving honorably and deserve access to the best health care, said Mr. Smith. This is where MCSN stepped in and developed sensitivity training for military, civilian, and Veterans Health Administration (VHA) mental health providers that offer counseling to gay service members and veterans. This training, developed by former, retired, and reserve military mental health professionals, is intended to break down the barriers to accessing confidential mental health services. We are in the process of deploying the training to mental health providers in the communities surrounding military installations across the country. And mental health providers who share the concerns regarding breaking down barriers to accessing mental health care are all needed for the success of this effort.”

“As a U.S. Air Force veteran the motto ‘we take care of our own’ always stood out for me. And that is exactly what we work towards every day with MCSN. There are 65,000 of our own who sacrifice in military service every day. The least we owe them in return is to take care of their health concerns by providing access to confidential mental health and other medical services, Mr. Smith concluded.”

Military Community Services Network (MCSN) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that ensures confidential social services are available for all service members regardless of sexual orientation or sexual identity. If you are a mental health professional or volunteer and want to learn more about MCSN and our programs please visit our website at http://mcsn.org and contact us.

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New Book Encourages Community Action to Rescue the Mentally Ill

New Book Encourages Community Action to Rescue the Mentally Ill










Fort Wayne, IN (PRWEB) December 8, 2008

Communities can help people overcome mental illness by spreading awareness and assistance as modeled by award-winning author and mental illness advocate, Larry Hayes in “Mental Illness and Your Town” (ISBN 9781932690767, Loving Healing Press, 2008).

“Mental Illness and Your Town” is a roadmap for individuals to advocate within their community to help those who suffer to find relief, joy and a return to normalcy. Written with authority and compassion, author Larry Hayes retells the stories of people who have triumphed over mental illness and how local communities can transform themselves so the mentally ill are cared for in a manner that benefits everyone.

Anyone concerned about the mentally ill will find “Mental Illness and Your Town” a revealing study of how individuals and communities can fight for a treatment revolution to enrich and save lives. Hayes discusses not only the history of mental illness and how the closing of institutions have relegated mental illness to doctor’s offices, but why more funding is needed and more community education is imperative to improve the current situation.

Hayes writes with first-hand knowledge about mental illness, having been hospitalized himself with depression, and having watched family members struggle with mental illness. Hayes calls people to lobby locally for the mentally ill by writing to newspaper editors, becoming involved in local chapters of NAMI (National Association for the Mentally Ill), and inviting experts on mental illness to speak to local organizations and churches. Mental illness affects everyone in a community directly or indirectly. The time has come for this illness to be understood and for action to be taken to resolve the situation at the community level.

Experts applaud “Mental Illness and Your Town.” Stephen C. McCaffrey, President of Mental Health America of Indiana declares, “Larry Hayes provides families with a real self-help manual that is personal and compassionate, yet practical and hands-on.” Pete Early, author of “CRAZY: A Father’s Search Through America’s Mental Health Madness” says, “Larry Hayes uses his family’s story to offer practical suggestions about how communities can help persons with mental illnesses recover and thrive. This is a wonderful blueprint….” James Howell, Ph.D. and Juvenile child researcher, states, “Larry Hayes demonstrates…the ability to reduce complex social problems to simple terms. In addition, he fills the book with practical solutions and ways to reduce the sometimes debilitating effects of mental illness.”

About the Author

Larry Hayes has won over fifty state and national awards for editorials and columns in the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette. In 1986, he was a Pulitzer Prize finalist in recognition of his editorials challenging his city to desegregate its schools. Hayes was instrumental in Indiana’s victorious fight to win parity of health insurance for persons with a mental illness. He introduced the Crisis Intervention Team to help city police better respond to mental health crises, and he won support for the creation of the Suicide Prevention Council and a county-wide Mental Health Coordinating Council. Hayes played a key role in building public support for the Carriage House, a highly acclaimed rehabilitation center, and he successfully lobbied Indiana University Purdue University, Fort Wayne to create the Institute for Behavior Studies. Hayes is also the author of the memoir “Monday I’ll Save the World.”

“Mental Illness and Your Town” (ISBN 9781932690767, Loving Healing Press, 2008) can be purchased through local and online bookstores. For more information including podcasts, visit http://www.communitymentalhealth.us. Publicity contact: http://www.ReaderViews.com. Review copies available upon request.

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Who Is The Mentally Toughest Person In America? Dr. Jay Granat Launches A New Contest To Find This Remarkable Individual

Who Is The Mentally Toughest Person In America? Dr. Jay Granat Launches A New Contest To Find This Remarkable Individual











Jay P. Granat, Ph.D.
Psychotherapist, Author, Columnist
Founder, www.StayInTheZone.com


River Edge, NJ (PRWEB) January 6, 2011

What does it really take to be mentally tough? Are women mentally tougher than men? Why do some people perform well under pressure and why do others crumble and choke? What can be done to help people achieve what they want to achieve when the pressure is really on? How can we use mental toughness to perform our best in our daily lives? Can kids learn how to be mentally tougher around sports, school and bullying? What really constitutes mental toughness?

Jay P. Granat, Ph.D., Psychotherapist, Founder of http://www.StayInTheZone.com and author of numerous books and programs on sport psychology and mental toughness will conduct a video and essay contest to discover the mentally toughest person in The United States.

“This contest and its winners will serve as inspiring role models and the will teach us about mental toughness, sports psychology and being focused resilient when faced with a challenging situations,” says Dr. Jay Granat.

Who Should Enter?

This contest is open to parents of athletes of all ages, coaches, therapists, teachers, athletic associations, soldiers, policemen, firefighters, entrepreneurs, health care professionals, cancer survivors and super achievers from every field.

Anyone with an inspiring and motivating story can enter. If you or someone you know has a personal mental toughness story that you would like to share and be recognized for, this is your opportunity to gain the recognition and notoriety you deserve. This is your chance to teach others about what it takes to perform your best when the pressure is on. These super achievers exist in many fields in addition to sports. Anyone with a compelling story is encouraged to share their stories, their secrets and their life experiences via video or via email.

What You Can Win

The winner of the contest will receive $ 1,000 plus round trip air fare to New York City and two nights of hotel accommodation in New York City. The winner will also get two tickets to a New York Yankees game. This is a team with a long history of being mentally tough. The winner will also be featured on the Stay In The Zone website. The winner will also get free copies of some of Dr. Granat’s most popular mental toughness programs and books.

The second and third place winner will also get a copy of How To Get Into The Zone And Stay In The Zone With Sport Psychology And Self-Hypnosis. They will also get copies of Who Will Win The Big Game and How To Get Into The Zone In Just One Minute. These are two of Dr. Granat’s most popular books. Younger athletes who finish second or third in the contest can get a copy of Dr. Granat’s sports psychology program for kids Bedtime Stories For Young Athletes.

Charitable Contributions

“I will also make a cash donation to The Special Olympics on behalf of myself and the contest winner. I worked with developmentally disabled adults early in my career. I would like to give something back to these inspiring and mentally tough people, “says Dr. Jay Granat.

How To Enter

To enter the mental toughness contest, simply send your mental toughness story in either video form or written form to info@stayinthezone.com or call Dr. Granat at 201 647-9191. Be sure to include all your contact information with your submission.

All of your materials will become the property of http://www.StayInTheZone.com and your stories may be featured in promotional material used by this company.

Feel free to contact Dr. Granat anytime at 201 647-9191 or email him with questions about this unique contest at info@stayinthezone.com.

Why This Contest?

“Every day, I get calls from people who want to perform better. These calls come from athletes, coaches and parents of athletes. They also come from people who want to perform better on their jobs, in their businesses and at school. They all want to learn how to be focused, confident, relaxed and mentally tough.

And over the years, I have counseled mentally tough, top achievers from sports, business and the military. Some of my patients have overcome huge obstacles in their lives. I have coached many people who have bounced back from war, from serious injuries, from bitter divorces, from financial setbacks and from many of life’s significant and powerful setbacks.

Some of the people have impressed me with their great resolve, focus, resiliency, spirit and mental toughness when facing very difficult situations.

These remarkable individuals have some fantastic stories about forging ahead and succeeding when the pressure has been substantial and significant. We all admire these kinds of people and we can learn a great deal from them,” says Dr. Jay Granat, who has coached world class athletes from every sport from around the world including Olympic champions.

Dr. Granat has appeared in major media outlets including, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Good Morning America, The British Broadcasting Company, The International Herald Tribune, ESPN, Sports Illustrated, ESPN Radio, Tennis, Tennis Lifestyle Magazine, The Canadian Broadcasting Company, WCBS, Forbes.com, The New York Post, The New York Daily News, The Iowa Golfer, Executive Golfer Magazine, The Bergen Record and The Newark Star Ledger. Golf Digest named him one of America’s Top Ten Mental Gurus. He is also the author of How To Lower Your Golf Score With Sport Psychology And Self-Hypnosis Zone Tennis, 101 Ways To Break A Hitting Slump, Bedtime Stories For Young Athletes and other programs to promote mental toughness and peak performance.

To Reach Dr. Jay Granat

Dr. Granat is available for individual coaching and for seminars to teams, organizations and clubs. To schedule a session with him or to schedule a seminar for your team or organization, email him at info(at)stayinthezone(dot)com or call him at 888 580-ZONE.

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International Celebrities Condemn Torture through Solitary Confinement of Mentally Ill American Prisoners

International Celebrities Condemn Torture through Solitary Confinement of Mentally Ill American Prisoners










New York, NY (PRWEB) February 1, 2006

Mental Health Alternatives to Solitary Confinement, a coalition of over 65 organizations, including Community Access, Human Rights Watch, and the Urban Justice Center, has issued statements from Maya Angelou, Margot Kidder, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Andrew Solomon, and Alvin F. Poussaint, MD denouncing the inhumane practice of placing prisoners with psychiatric disabilities into solitary confinement. This outcry surfaces in conjunction with the unanimous January 10th Supreme Court decision, United States v. Georgia, No. 04-1203, which held that under the American With Disabilities Act, the State of Georgia lacks immunity from a lawsuit brought by a disabled prisoner, Tony Goodman; and the December 30th signing into law of the McCain Amendment, prohibiting cruel, inhumane, or degrading treatment of prisoners in American custody.

Vuka Stricevic, Director of Public Policy at Community Access, stated, “We are delighted that these outspoken celebrities have given their support of the Mental Health Alternatives to Solitary Confinement coalition’s efforts to stop the torture of prisoners with psychiatric disabilities currently being inhumanely housed in solitary confinement cells. Irreconcilable with the Americans With Disabilities Act, allowing prisoners with psychiatric disabilities to be sentenced to solitary confinement is an egregious practice that results in sensory deprivation, severe mental decompensation, and oftentimes suicide.” Ms. Stricevic is available with background information and personal stories for reporters.

Margot Kidder, actress and political activist:

“Putting mentally ill and possibly delusional prisoners in solitary confinement is torture, no more, no less. We were all shocked and shamed by the disgustingly inhumane treatment of prisoners in Abu Ghraib in Iraq. Should we not be equally shocked by the disgustingly inhumane torture of mentally ill prisoners here at home?”

Maya Angelou, best-selling author of “Amazing Peace: A Christmas Poem” and “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings”:

“The mentally ill are already alone. They live in a world that is broken, terrorized and desperately alone. Putting such people who are already shattered into solitary confinement is unnecessary cruelty. It is the rust on the razor which threatens the throat. They need health, at best and human company at least.”

Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Director of the W. E. B. DuBois Institute for African and African American Research; Chair of Harvard University Department of African and African American Studies:

“[The solitary confinement of mentally ill prisoners is) a horrific problem, where life itself becomes a grueling punishment and too often an unbearable torture.”

Andrew Solomon, author of best-selling National Book Award winner and Pulitzer Prize finalist “The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression;” board member of the National Mental Health Awareness Campaign:

“There are few practices in modern American that are more barbaric than our jailing of people who suffer from mental illness, many of whom do not receive appropriate clinical interventions, do not have the control of their illness that such interventions might enable, and are left desperate and incoherent to the worst of prison abuses.

Mental illness and the regimented life of prison do not sit comfortably together. Prisoners with mental illness will be seen as aggressive, troubled, and inchoate. These qualities are frustrating to the guards whose duty it is to monitor such prisoners. They result in ever-stronger disciplinary measures. This is horrible for all concerned. Treating such prisoners for their mental health complaints would improve the quality of their lives; of the lives of other prisoners; and of the lives of the guards. It would also be humane and decent.

It would be horrible to have an overpowering psychological impetus to commit criminal acts; there is no need to compound that horror with solitary confinement, a state that would drive even the most sane among us close to the edge.”

Alvin F. Poussaint, MD, Director of the Media Center of the Judge Baker Children’s Center in Boston; Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School; co-author of “Lay My Burden Down: Unraveling Suicide and the Mental Health Crisis Among African-Americans”:

“Solitary confinement of mentally ill prisoners is archaic and only aggravates difficulties for all concerned. Psychotic and paranoid inmates become more psychotic and paranoid when placed in solitary. Individuals with major depression will deteriorate with a greater likelihood of become suicidal. For the mentally ill, their condition often precludes comprehending the purpose of such confinement in the first place. Frequently, the disturbing behavior leading to placement in solitary confinement is a manifestation of mental disorder and not a willful disobedience toward authority. Psychiatric management is more likely to lead to improved behavior than the use of harsh punishment.

To help inmates, we must begin to provide quality mental health services within our neglected so-called houses of correction. Mental health care is critical to facilitating prisoners’ successful reentry to society. In addition, inmates need appropriate follow-up services to ease adaptation to the outside world.

Placing inmates with mental illnesses in solitary confinement is inhumane, representing the antithesis of good mental health and treatment practices.”

Contact:

Vuka Stricevic

Director of Public Policy

Community Access

vukas@communityaccess.org

(212) 780-1400, ext. 7792.

http://www.boottheshu.org

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