How Do We Fix America’s Mental Health Care System?

MAR. 12, 2015

Broadcast live streaming video on Ustream

At the end of February at the Newseum in Washington, D.C., the Hill hosted a event on the economic and human consequences of policies that limit access to treatment to mental health services. The event, entitled Fixing America’s Mental Healthcare System, featured policy leaders in a discussion about limited access to treatment for people living with mentally illness.

The event included a keynote interview with Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Congressman Tim Murphy (R-Pa.), followed by a case study presented by Dr. Seth Seabury, of the USC Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics and a panel discussion with four leaders in the mental health care movement.

In light of the significance of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the overall goal of the event was to discuss the gaps that still exist in America’s mental health care system and possible actions we as a the nation could take to close them.  

Editor-in-chief of the The Hill, Bob Cusak, gave opening remarks and introduced Sen. Murphy and Rep. Murphy who then discussed the key challenges with the current mental health system, many of which they hoped to rectify with proposed legislation. The most critical issue regarded the treatment and approach to mental illness—how it is often treated as an attitude problem as opposed to a medical condition.

Rep. Murphy stated that only a small fraction of the nearly $130 billion appropriated by the federal government for mental health finds its way down to families or communities. “We do not have to wait for another tragedy to pass this bill,” Sen. Murphy declared.

Following the interview Sen. Murphy and Rep. Murphy, Dr. Seabury presented a case study on findings related to Medicaid access and restrictions on psychiatric drugs. He noted that costs are cut through prior authorization, a procedure that requires a prescriber to obtain permission to prescribe a medication prior to prescribing it, and step therapy restrictions, the practice of starting drug therapy for a medical condition with the most cost-effective and safest drug, then progressing to other more costly or risky therapy. However, the cost savings did not improve outcomes and were not beneficial to the actual people receiving medication.

Seabury argued that removing these restrictions would benefit those living with mental illness and would not harm federal government spending.          

The panel discussion with four mental health experts closed the event. Here is a brief summary of what each of the experts had to say:

Matt Salo, Executive Director of the National Association of Medicaid Directors, supported the implementation of comprehensive mental health reform, but was wary of federal expenditures. He stated that the federal government would consider providing more integrated mental health care only if the costs were low.

Allen Doederlein, President of the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance, described the benefits of integrating his personal experience when advocating for patient-centered therapy. Doerdelein’s experience suggested that a peer-specialist who has experienced a patient’s hardships firsthand could provide more effective methods of treatment, leading to more successful recovery.

Dr. Ron Manderscheid, Executive Director of the National Association of County Behavioral Health and Developmental Disability Directors, believes that the public needs to change its language when discussing mental health. He stressed the importance of early mental illness identification, since early targeting can lead to quicker recoveries.

Dr. Azfar Malik, the CEO and Chief Medical Officer of CentrePoint Hospital, emphasized the lack of focus on mental health among health care professionals. In the field, Dr. Malik has been forced to prescribe ineffective medications to people simply because of prior authorization and step therapy regulations currently in place.

While the event itself wasn’t able to implement an immediate plan of action to solve the situation that we are still faced with, it did offer up a few excellent ideas that set the table to come up with a solution. With each suggestion, the federal government and American public has hope of filling the gaps and providing comprehensive mental healthcare in the near future.

Teaser photo courtesy of The Hill. The Hill's Bob Cusack, Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), and Rep. Tim Murphy (R-Pa.) makes a keynote speech during a policy briefing entitled "A Discussion on Fixing America's Mental Healthcare System" sponsored by Takeda Pharmaceutical, Lundbeck and The Hill at the Newseum in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, February 26, 2015.


JUN, 18, 2018 07:24:40 AM
As a veteran of the army I was given a chapter 5-13 personality discharge in 96. I've been seeking help since 2001. I have seen psychiatrist's...I say psychiatrist's because I'm on my 8th one and therapists I've given up keeping count. I've been put on a plethora of medications over the years some barely help while others made things worse. I've heard different titles for my condition though my responses to their questions never took me involving outside intervention to even get my disability pension increased due to the va constantly stating I couldn't be due to my saddens me that the va health care system is this horrible in that regard among other problems...after reading this article its no wonder people both civilian and veterans who have been suffering commit sucide. I truly feel it is the "lets try to ignore the issue" so it just goes away

AUG, 01, 2016 07:44:01 PM
matthew wood
hypothetical idea

1. I qualify for medicare or medicaid
2. i qualify for mental health counseling.
3. I receive a tablet in the mail. i turn it on. there is a blue button.
4. i press the blue button and i am connected to a ph.d. or psy.d. for counseling as medical plan coverage allows.
5. therapists enjoy safety and a reduced cost option to practice.

OCT, 06, 2015 08:06:22 PM
Jeff Bach
Hi I am frustrated to the inth degree with my experience with what must be new rules in the mental health system in this country. I have a sister that has been battling bi-polar psychotic mental illness for 35 years. She has been in and out of mental institutions and even jail periodically throughout this period. She always bounces back from even her most severe episodes after a stay once she gets thereputic levels of the proper medication in her system. She even manages to function normally holding down a job and living on her own. Each time she reaches a level of normalcy though she gets the idea that she can function without her meds. That starts the slippery slope of declination back to severly psychotic behavior which never ends well and usually ends up wrapping the whole family into her drama and always ends with us trying to get someone to take her in to the hospital to get her back on medication. This latest round has resulted in a new situation in which she stayed two weeks exactly in the psych ward and then they released her without bringing her back. She has reached what this new doctor is stating as "her baseline without medication" This is a 46 year old woman (my sister that I love) who believes that she sees and hears things and people that arent there and has moved her refrigerator into the middle of her kitchen and unplugged it. Has tables stacked against the doors in her house to keep out the evil. Has wrecker her car while driving into things she sees as evil, told me not to challenge certain oncoming traffic such as the school bus as she has determined that they won't flinch like the evil oncoming cars will. This poor girl is in no shape to be determining things for herself or others. This week when the police took her back to the psych ward with orders for a 72 hour hold for evaluation was released again in three hours with only a phone call to her doctor who told them that if she was no worse on her baseline without meds than she was before to let her go. This is such rediculous bullsh*t that a mentally ill patient has the option to control their own medication when she was court ordered in the past to be medicated by shot for 5 years while on probation after a high speed police chase in which she tried to run down cops....well suffice it to say that after all the attempted help we (the family and friends) have exhausted our options to get help for her against her will in the health care system it seems that they are determined that until she comits a crime which will end her up in the penal system first....nothing can be done. This the very kind of situation (I'm sure others are experiencing similar circumstances) that results in the types of tragedies we read about in the news that could be avoided if there are enough of us that can get someone to listen and help change this broken system. The friends and families of mentally ill people are the first ones that know when their loved ones are in trouble beyond their ability to handle and yet they are the most stiffled when it comes to trying to ring the warning bell or get help for them.

SEP, 11, 2015 04:21:29 AM
I have been taking care of my brother for 30 years. He probably was bipolar 30 years ago because he responded so well to a Stanford program with Lithium. Unfortunately the two Doctors that started this program went back to NY and the program at Stanford was dropped. My brother was then given Malarial, Stelazin and whatever other drugs that were used at that time, and as a result ended up diagnosed schizophrenic. I consider myself lucky because my brother is very passive and behaves like a 12 year old. Here is my issue: Institutions were closed for many reasons but it is time to bring them back. The issues of the past can be over come with the technology we now have and the new drugs available. Familys need a place for loved ones they are concerned about (no matter the age) to be observed , medicated and rehabilitated. Right now a family member has to do something to upset society before they are picked up and observed and even then they stay for no more than 72 hours which is not enough time to make a diagnosis, shotgun meds that work and give any type of counseling that might help. How many times do you read that the family of someone who commits a horrible act of murder, was concerned but no one would listen? I remember my mother telling me about her wealthy boss who sent his daughter to Europe and found a doctor willing to treat her with the best doctors had to offer at the time. Through drugs and lots of treatment she is living her life married with children. It is the middle and lower class that desparately need institutions that force the mentally Ill to be diagnosed and made to take their medicine. Unfortunaly this issue is not backed by enough people with money and power. Just like so many other issues , if you have the money you can get the best of care. This is the gaping hole in the health system. Even Stanford doesn't know how to handle mentally ill patients. 20 doctors asked my brother what hurt when he was there for pnemonia and they got 15 different answers which cased major confusion for both doctors and nurses. Institutions should be like any other major hospital except that they can handle the mental issues of their patients as well as any other issues. Mental illness is not going away- guns are not going away, we need to press for families who know something is not right to have help.

JUL, 28, 2015 08:58:49 AM
My son has schizoaffective disorder for 25 years. My hands were tied in participating with his treatment by the privacy laws and I ended up having to get guardianship of him. POA which I've had for 10 years was no good for mental health. He took Lithium for 20 years which destroyed his kidneys. He has stage 4 kidney failure and is facing dialysis soon. He finally agreed to take his antipsychotic meds which has improved our relationship. Even though he was classified as disabled 11 years ago and receives Social Security Disability payments, I still contribute over half his support each year, but I'm not able to claim him as a dependent because he doesn't live with me!! The whole system is broken and needs a gigantic overhaul.

JUN, 26, 2015 01:54:57 AM
Janet Nilsson
Please HELP me ,,, my son is 30 , last year he was locked up for six weeks in Costa Mesa mental hospital , I begged the Doctor to inpatient him or get him a consevertor , I was denied they injected him with invega and released him, he refused another injection , on April 28 th my son heard voices that told him to kill himself , he jumped off an over pass and broke his neck ,back and pelvic 21 days later the hospital released him
To a hotel with zyprexia and vickodin, he was alone in the hotel for five days, I flew him
To oregon he has swallowed 18 Vickodin in a 24 hour period , I bought him home, I've been trying for 7 weeks to get him
Care here In oregon , it's insanity , currently I drove two hours to another hospital and had him
Committed to a detox center he was drinking a case of beer a day and vodka , he needs to be committed and I keep
Getting the same answers , if h doesn't want to get help we can't make him, this Heath care system *****s OBAMA *****s my son will die if I can't get treatment for him, anyone out there that can help
Him? I'm suing Obama and this useles piece of ***** health insurance

JUN, 19, 2015 07:55:28 AM
ELois Poole-Clayton
The issue I(personally), have with the title "mental Illness", is when my brother is constantly being forced to prtake n these drugs;now for 20 years and as recent as 06/05/2015, he has stated(before the treatment team), again, that, "I am tired of taking these drugs"(yet after every monthly TPR, the "treatment" team is FORGING his consent to taking them by TYPING an X in the box claiming that my brother chose for noone(including us, his family), to be notified (when we are always informed by him, if he is having problems of any sort)!...There has been a massive COVERUP of sexual and other ABUSES on he and other patients at Chester MHC (and the IAG is assisting at COVERING UP these abuses on vunerable patients such as my brother)!..Those drugs(psych drugs), are MIND ALTERING and are nopt of any help to my brother!..Those drugs ARE ADDICTIVE(after Dr. Mary Hennesian hesitated at admitting so(with words such as "they are somewhat addictive");the SAME Dr. Mary Hennesian who got angry with I and planted a guard in on my visit on Nov. 2, 2014, who LIED on I saying that I was being "rude" towards her;using that LIE as an axcuse to illegally stop my visits (again)!..Those drugs caused ACUTE CONSTIP{ATION to my brother (which is not treated in time, could cause his BOWELS to LOCK, which could kill him)..When I expressed to this "Dr." Hennesian that the same thing could happen to her if she is ignored when asking for constipation relief, she got angry and hung up the phone on I(after arrogantly stating that she "hope you have a good visit tomorrow". She KNEW that I had planned on visiting my brother David the next day(Nov. 2, 2014).
David has NEVER agreed to take psych drugs (and has been beaten for complaining and now, this 2015, he is still forced to take these drugs while his TRANSFER OUT of Chester, is still being delayed, because of a LIE that was told on him in Elgin(but Elgin are the ones who confirmed his transfer TO Elgin, on 04.02.2012)!
This is STILL a COVERUP of the RAPES and OTHER ASSAULTS done to my brother(by mainly guards and some of the inmate/patents there;including by one OLDER inmate who raped my brother at Chester).
My family is PLEADING for HELP to receive justice for our David.
I(Mrs. Clayton;David's sister), can be contacted at (773)826-2591, if you are interested in HELPING us receive justice for our David.
Thank you(in advance), for your HELP!
Sign, Mrs. Clayton

JUN, 19, 2015 03:47:53 AM
JuLonda ketron
Although, we have made progress with the "Insurance Parity" we still struggle movement in area of Long Term Disability & Short Term Disability. After working 12 to 24 hours per day in the employment of a Healthcare Corporation operationing in Missouri, I tried to get and keep the long term disability. After a suicide attempt an outside company filled for my long term disability and Social Security Disability. During this I required a combination of medicine ant ECT to get my bipolar illness under control. The process is ongoing medicine management and to find the right combination. However, after two and a half years of regular ECT treatments and a loss of both long term and short term memory. The Prudential Co providing the LTD and STD was supplied a completed application containing all information including all treating providers, medication being tried, as well as use of ECT and wellness questions. They were aware that ECT had a long-term effect on both LT and ST memory. Since they had all the medical reports from each treating therapists, physicians, and psychiatrists who were working together to get me balanced out; Prudential should have requested additional health and treatment records from them. With the medicine and aggressive ECT, I was unable to put two words together or remember what I was talking about. I was told by all of the healthcare providers I would try to talk with the and forget was I was saying. Unfortunately, I had no family near or able to assist with my day to day affairs nor a Guarding ad litem to assist with daily financial and medical issues. Therefore they have stopped by benefits that under the Parity law required I receive the benefit until the age of 63. I need help getting the benefits reinstated, I have no fund to pay someone at this time. Please let ME know of someone who can help. We are sit work on getting the right combinations of med to again some day will get me back in the work force. Thank you!!!!!

JUN, 18, 2015 02:24:53 AM
I do not think it is worthwhile throwing money at a system that makes people worse. The best thing for a mentally ill patient (and perhaps society as a whole) may be to avoid the system and try to fix their problem themselves. The people in the mental health industry need to make themselves accountable and prove (you know, by real scientific methods and questionnaires) to society they are making people better. If that doesn't happen, then there is no use getting politicians to spend money. Having a limited mental health system is better than a larger one that is bad. How can people in a mental health system claim to be good (if even competent) when they treat a severely mentally ill patient with an anger problem by making them more angry (perhaps throwing them in the slammer) for something they obviously have little or no control over? Their only option would be to figure the problem out themselves, which begs me to ask the question ... are getting help at all? If they can't figure out the problem themselves, then they will suffer. The people who they interact with will suffer... and maybe a tragic event will occur. We all know this.

APR, 07, 2015 11:51:09 PM
michael paul smith
Even though I suffer from schizoaffective disorder and some other disorders I was hoping someone would look into product and secure document destruction businesses for us. My Heart goes out to you all!

MAR, 30, 2015 03:05:30 AM
JuLonda, I was really affected by what you said about the DL discrimination. And Gerianne, I was struck by what you said about ACA insurance coverage not be accepted by the mental health care provider (Carrier) who is really helpful. I have Medicare/Disability insurance and cannot find a psychologist who will take my insurance. Meanwhile, my husband, on insurance through his work, had no trouble at all finding a great psychologist right away. I have to say, I am barely holding it together. I'm being discriminated against by my physician, who has decided my migraines are largely psychological and and he's going to treat all my pain with steroids out nothing at all. So I took steroids for months, literally, and I'm still in pain. But he feels I do not need pain medication. I have had migraines since I was 15 and have received good care for them until eight months ago, when I moved to Kentucky. Now, I can't get any relief from them anywhere. No medication at all for migraines! It seems downright abusive. I saw a nurse about it last month and she said its probably because I take so many meds already and the doctors are afraid of addiction. I responded that most of my meds are psychiatric, and she said I should cross the river to Ohio, where doctors are less paranoid about narcotics addictions - then I should get to know a doctor at a pain clinic across the river for a while, and then hope for the best. I was thinking, "and all that time, I'll be in pain and have no psychologist." It's just very difficult to deal with chronic untreated pain on top of no psychologist. It's ridiculous, really. I've gone from being a highly productive member of society to a mentally ill woman who's literally barely holding it together.

MAR, 28, 2015 07:15:38 PM
amy lyne
I say we hold those abusive hospitals and criminal pharma companies accountable for their crimes against humanity.

Prescribe me a pill tell me its safe then I get sick them years later its in the newspaper that they hid studies and side effects.

Those hospitals... Strip searches, threats and forced drugs , they are hell holes.

But go on keep ignoring the psychiatric survivors and fix it yourselves.

MAR, 28, 2015 10:58:10 AM
Bonnie Allan
Please consider re-opening some of the State Mental Hospitals which once served as a respite place for mentally ill people. Punishing people by tossing them in jail does NOT help those who are sick, nor the police whoa re only doing their jobs. Up until the 1980s, the Federal Gov supported this cause until deciding that it was State problem and that it must be dealt within a local level. I can hardly believe the number of doctors and health care workers who have gone along with this "Herd Mentality" for so long. The jails are overcrowded because there are so many people in them who SHOULD be in a hospital--maybe even on a LOCKED WARD. Isn't that more humane than throwing them in with others who actually might warrant incarceration
I see things getting worse not better. Please at least TRY this alternative with a doctor who has yet to be purchased by some drug company--talk about irrational! Sorry to be so sarcastic, but I do remember when things were certainly not perfect--at least they had the individual in mind, not the "metric"...

MAR, 28, 2015 08:48:49 AM
Due to feelings of shame and embarrassment, it literally took over a decade for me to seek appropriate treatment. I felt my depression was one of the following: a moral failing, a spiritual issue, an inherited condition that could not be treated, or "it's just who I am." I based these beliefs on the lies our society propagates about mental illness. Miraculously, my health plan (via my employer) has been phenomenal when it comes to long term treatment. Through proper treatment with a therapist and psychiatrist, who have closely monitored my condition, my life has improved exponentially. I am one of the very few fortunate ones. The care given to those with minimal or no insurance in my area is horrendous. Drugs get thrown at people with very poor follow up, "therapists" (often grad students or very recent grads) change constantly. All the while the public provider pats itself on the back. We, the consumers and families effected, must be the ones to engage others about mental illness being just that - an ILLNESS - take every opportunity to share your story and do not be ashamed. God bless those of you here who are on this journey.

MAR, 27, 2015 04:40:41 PM
Pamela Sticker
My son needs a group of his peers . He needs opportunities.he is a drummer who loves music . The kids can help each other with support and hope and music.

MAR, 26, 2015 06:09:59 PM
Teresa Lynne
I just don't understand the idea of throwing more money at an inhumane system that is largely a failure. I have clients that have huge financial resources and have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars at so called top notch facilities and their loved one comes home an even bigger mess than when they left. We need to stop the punitive, drugging and isolating nature of the current mental illness industry and use inclusive, empathetic and holistic healing. The DSM is a sham and big pharm is nothing less than a cartel. If drugs were working then why are mental disability roles skyrocketing to match the prescription rate. Now we are allowing the industry to poison and ruin the brains of our innocent children. Finland has a program called open dialogue for people with schizophrenia with an 85% success rate and they don't use drugs. If we don't start addressing trauma and the brain, we are wasting our time. That's where the money needs to go.

MAR, 26, 2015 05:22:08 PM
Teresa Lynne
I just don't understand the idea of throwing more money at an inhumane system that is largely a failure. I have clients that have huge financial resources and have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars at so called top notch facilities and their loved one comes home an even bigger mess than when they left. We need to stop the punitive, drugging and isolating nature of the current mental illness industry and use inclusive, empathetic and holistic healing. The DSM is a sham and big pharm is nothing less than a cartel. If drugs were working then why are mental disability roles skyrocketing to match the prescription rate. Now we are allowing the industry to poison and ruin the brains of our innocent children. Finland has a program called open dialogue for people with schizophrenia with an 85% success rate and they don't use drugs. If we don't start addressing trauma and the brain, we are wasting our time. That's where the money needs to go.

MAR, 26, 2015 02:13:48 PM
Pamela Sticker
I am simply appaulled how the high school quidance counselor and the hospital psychiatrists bullied my son and our famaily. He was an honor student who cared about school and his grades. He had anxiety from failing trig math and from being disappointed from a girl he liked. He was sweet and quiet and respectful. After 5 months in the hospital being over medicated and 6 ect treatments. He came out very hurt and angry !!!! The power struggle and bringing the courts into our lives when my son was such a sweet boy not a fighter , he is afraid with no friends and no groups and no phone calls to reach out and ask about him . He did graduate high school 3 months off schedule aug/2014. But his hurt and anger and fears have kept him out of college. My whole family has been hurt and we will never be so trusting again. The Psychiatrist have to be weeded out the ones that are cold callous and can not take the time to explain things to the families ,God forbide you disagree with them!!!! They make you look like a fool. Listen to the pain and the hurt communicate,,those are the doctors that will be helpful in psychology dealing with the mentally ill and emotionally damaged .

MAR, 26, 2015 11:38:48 AM
michael vaphides
Cynthia, I agree with you and I am also am ready to start a family movement. Lets start it. I am not just blowing smoke. I am tired of being a hypocrite , sitting on my couch ,complaining about the currant situation. As for another comment that I read from another person that said the political people are lazy, that's true but more then that they don't want to dig in their pocket and give up a little of that bonus that they got for Christmas every year. I am so ready to help try and do something about the whole situation. I am ready now . My email address is

MAR, 26, 2015 10:18:21 AM
Michael Vaphides
I have a son with schizophrenia. He has been for the last 15 years. We are talking about the wrong thing here. We should be talking about changing the laws. I am so frustrated with this law that ,to be honest with you , protects us from having to do anything for our people with a mental illness. How do you give a person the right to make up their mind when they are not in their right mind. Also , and I've said this a thousand times , 5150 is not what it was originally intended to be "a 72 hour hold " we should not re evaluate after 8 hours and then cut them loose. I understand that the treatment needs to be better but first we have to keep them long enough to be able to effectively treat them. My son has been walking into hospitals crying out for help only to be treated for 3 or 4 days, then given bus tokens and shown the door. 5 or 6 times in the last 2 or 3 months. We need to be helping our loved ones not turn our backs on them.

MAR, 26, 2015 08:40:36 AM
Pat Constant
Agree with Karen - discussion without action is no real help and provides only false hope. I have been in this fight 35+ years and I know that "discussion" alone has gained us very little, So tired of the talk not backed up by action. Back when NAMI was formed by a few family members of folks suffering from schizophrenia, it was stronger and achieved more. It appears it is now just a business void of passion and far removed from families. If advocates for other illnesses can be heard and achieve, I think we need to have the courage to admit our failures and seek another way to success. Our loved ones are just as valuable as those suffering from cancer, heart disease, diabetes, etc and deserve our honest efforts and not just talk.. How many more years of only talk?

MAR, 26, 2015 04:22:41 AM
Mandating specific starting levels of medication is ineffective because everyone reacts differently to varying meds and doses. It is a process of trial and error to find the right fit. As to the peer specialist model,great idea - I am working toward something like this, having begun a private online support group specifically for women having lived thru trauma, illness, loss, depression, etc. I was diagnosed nearly five years ago, and have made great strides, but it can be such a long road - even with support of loved ones, which not everyone has.

MAR, 26, 2015 04:00:26 AM
70 year old female who is suffering from depression and loneliness in Pismo.

MAR, 26, 2015 03:38:48 AM
Norma J Hernandez
I have so many ideas how we can improve mental illness. I tend to believe there are a lot of people with no support system there just over medicated by the doctors. Some family members give up on them and they become abandoned to work it out themselves and that can be very difficult. The state run clinics can be shameful. The poor get lost.

MAR, 26, 2015 02:09:45 AM
Joanne Hoemberg
Let's do what we can to help Senator Murphy get his bill passed. I have a loved one with mental illness and know how broken our current mental health system is. It's appalling that patients are stabilized and then released from the hospital with no further care. The only help available is through private treatment centers which are extremely expensive and which insurance deems unnecessary. Therefore, if one can't afford private pay, there is very little help out there.

MAR, 26, 2015 01:53:25 AM
JuLonda Ketron
Being a recipient of the current Healthcare systems treatment of mental illness within the Mental Health Care restrictions are as devastating as the illness its self. What we should be doing is listen to those who have experienced the problems and discrimination first hand by the current systems. The setting of treatment limits for the illness known as mental health is not only a form of discrimination, but leads to the deterioration of the affected person and a drain on the individual, family, friends, and health care as a whole. If proper follow-up and ongoing therapy is required for mental Healthcare as required for phyicial illness the long term cost would be reduced over time through medicine, therapy, and follow-up. Life time limits are not set for patients who have physical illness (I.e., Heart, lungs, kidney, knee and hip ailments, High Blood Pressure, diabetes, and many more).
I recently endured the inequality related to mental illness. I tried to get my Missouri DL convertrf to an Oklahoma DL AND BRECAUSE I mentioned I was Bipolar, I was advised Oklahoma was tracking the number of accidents and tickets received by a person with a mental illness. I reachered the guide lines only to find the DMV was miss reading the STATUATE. I was required to submit a complete list of all medicines with additional PHI information entered in to a. System recently HACKED. I did finally receive my DL after I showed them the error of how they were inturpting the revoked section contained in the statue. So, the problem is far reaching and we will not get any resolution unless we start with Mental Healthcare overview.

MAR, 25, 2015 10:51:23 PM
We need to do a lot more for people with serious mental health issues. It is pathetic to see young and old suffer with illness. Law enforcement is not the answer for mentally ill people. Politicians are lazy and do not care. Need more politicians to be caring and compassionate.

MAR, 25, 2015 10:05:37 PM
John Hitchens
Vicki Snyder please contact me.

MAR, 25, 2015 09:41:02 PM
Karen Kelly. I'm with you. Let's connect. Contact me at bossn64@ gmail.Com

MAR, 25, 2015 09:37:12 PM
As I sit and read each blog it saddens me to hear the helplessness. I too have a 25 year old son with schizoaffective D/O. I have just become Co-president on NAMI Dekalb Ga and too me right now for me to make a difference in my sons life this my ONLY recourse. I get support here for me to push on. I will be instrumental in developing and enhancing programs that will help. We as parents gotta get involved. My husband and I decided we must get involved that's a priority in our lives. Otherwise you deal with the hurt disappointment anger and dispair. I love my son as I'm sure each of you love your family member but only WE have the power collectively to make change. Change in you home ( how you respond to the disease) , change in our communities, change with state officials and then governmental officials. The game has changed with Mental illness. What never worked before surely is not a treatment plan for today. I urge all of you to join NAMI get involved to make change not only for your family member but for your own sanity. If you want to start a Family movement for Change let's get it going. Help starts with you!!!

MAR, 25, 2015 09:35:45 PM
Vickey Snyder
Call me. I'll listen.

MAR, 25, 2015 07:34:00 PM
Dianne Gatlin
My son suffer from Bipolar and Schizophrenia. Four doctors says, he has the illnesses, since, he take "Vega shot" and 1000 mg of Dekpo and 1mg of sleeping pill. This lady dr. who's new on the block, states, he doesn't in her lay term. Is this why so many fall through the crack! When we have a person doesn't care and lead them on the wrong thinking. Not on my watch! We have to be our kids dr. and advocacy! My son is 31 and has the mind of a 12yrs! So, if he has that state of mind, I demand the same service as a 12 year old.
SincereThanks, pray that we be that advocate, strong and Wise.

MAR, 25, 2015 06:59:30 PM
Karon Tubbs
My family and I are appalled that in this great nation, there is absolutely no help for our son. We have simply given up on obtaining any kind of help.

MAR, 25, 2015 06:56:25 PM
Cheryl Dove
Only when people suffering from mental illness are treated with the same compassion and respect as those with "physical" illnesses, will there be hope and help for these patients and their families. These types of illnesses are often so complex that treatment and therapy is difficult, costly, and time consuming. We Americans need to continue to work for comprehensive care for the "whole" individual. That would include mental illness issues.

MAR, 21, 2015 12:49:24 AM
Vicki Snyder
As a Peer Specialist, I can say that I have found numerous ways that peers can effectively provide treatment and support to clients. Many of us have higher education and even some of the same credentials as providers in addition to our personal experiences.

I have a universal recovery plan which I feel would be very therapeutic and inspiring to clients/consumers/patients (whichever term is more comfortable for individuals) If implemented, it would reduce trauma, and promote successful healthy living in the community while also being much more cost effective than current programs offer.

As a "Mary Poppins" sort of teacher, I believe that we can make recovery a fun learning experience and a give the people the proper tools and supports they will need to maintain a healthy rewarding lifestyle.

I would love to share this information with someone who would be willing to listen and could possibly help me in this endeavor.

MAR, 16, 2015 05:53:09 AM
Suzette Albright
I have a family member mental illness The biggest problem is getting help for the person. The family members suffer greatly. We need HIPA laws changed. I had to go to court to get guardianship to be able to manage the treatment . Also the court has ordered him to take medication because he would not otherwise We pay for medication that is very costly .But we have no other choice

MAR, 14, 2015 11:27:25 PM
martina nicholson
Maybe you can get more traction by giving us a petition through Move-On. We need to have several bullet points, aimed at fixing the problem of really allowing appropriate medications without these "prior authorization" demands.

MAR, 14, 2015 09:33:15 PM
Maria Parsons
I would sure like to know this too! I am horrified by the treatment of my family member caught up in the system currently....absolutely horrified! Its like something out if a movie.
I am heart broken as anyone would be to witness the treatment of human beings who suffer from mental illness. It is devastating and absolutely disgraceful and sinful.

MAR, 13, 2015 09:12:57 PM
Gerianne Bruce
It seems to me that the ACA only forces hospitals to admit people suffering from Bi Polar, Anxiety etc., not to treat them with the same compassion as those with physical ailments. Places such as Carrier offer compassionate care and respect. Now that my daughter has coverage through the ACA., which is not accepted by places such as Carrier, she has been poorly attended to by hospitals that can't seem to help and the conditions are deplorable. I am so disappointed and frustrated , no one seems to care enough to help her, just load her up on medicines and treat her as if she were an addict.

MAR, 13, 2015 05:44:23 PM
Maria Buatti
kudos to these true representatives of we who have a mental illness.

MAR, 13, 2015 04:32:52 PM
Karen Kelley
Why are we still having this discussion? Something happens, everyone says we have to do something and nothing happens. Even with a couple of high profile suicides, we let time pass and nothing changes. Not to sound like a broken record but if this was diabetes we were talking about it would have never been allowed to break down in the first place. Stop discussing, start helping, start working.

MAR, 13, 2015 03:45:32 PM
Sam Spencer
Thanks for the article . . so sad!

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