Vote! Vote! Vote!

Maine Elections will be held on November 2, 2010.

Are you registered to vote? If not, did you know that you can register on election day? 

Do know that you can get an absentee ballot at your town office and vote before election day?

Here are some links to help you find the answers to the questions above or any other voting related question:

State of Maine Voter Information:       http://www.maine.gov/sos/cec/elec/voter_info/index.html

State of Maine Voter Guide:    http://www.maine.gov/sos/cec/elec/votguid06.htm

Easy to Read Voter Guide published by the League of Woman Voters:  Click here

Your vote is important in deciding who our next elected officials will be or if a referendum should pass or not! Make your voice heard by voting!

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Vote! Vote! Vote! Maine Election Day: November 2, 2010

Are you registered to vote? If not, did you know that you can register on election day? 
Do know that you can get an absentee ballot at your town office and vote before election day?
Here are some links to help you find the answers to the questions above or any other voting related question:
State of Maine Voter Information:       http://www.maine.gov/sos/cec/elec/voter_info/index.html

State of Maine Voter Guide:    http://www.maine.gov/sos/cec/elec/votguid06.htm

Easy to Read Voter Guide published by the League of Woman Voters:  Click here
Your vote is important in deciding who our next elected officials will be or if a referendum should pass or not! Make your voice heard by voting!
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Important Food Stamp Allowance Update!!!

Please see the attached letter from Maine Equal Justice Partners regarding the changes in the plan to reduce food stamp benefits:

Many people on the Food Supplement program received notice that their benefit would decrease in October.  The so-called Full Standard Utility Allowance (FSUA) deduction was increased to $700 per month in 2008 when oil prices went up and was scheduled to be reduced to $530 this month as prices have declined.  This reduction would have cause an average loss of approximately $42 for Maine Food Supplement households.

 
However, as Maine Congresswoman Chellie Pingree announced on September 30th, the federal Office of Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) has extended a waiver that allowed Food Supplement recipients to continue to claim the higher deduction for utility costs.  This means that the planned decrease in Food Supplement benefits will not happen at this time. 
 
FNS is reconsidering whether or not to reduce the Standard Utility deduction this year.  They will make that decision by January, 2011.  We will keep you posted on further action on this important issue.
 
People who do not pay their own heat are not affected by the FSUA so they may see a small increase in their Food Supplement in Ocotber as the allowance for telephones has increased.
 
 
Crystal M. Bond
Paralegal/Organizer
Maine Equal Justice Partners
126 Sewall Street
Augusta, Maine 04330
Tel: 1-866-626-7059 x 205
Fax: 207-621-8148
 
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Commissioner Questions Inclusion of SPMI Population in Managed Care Initiative

DHHS Commissioner Brenda Harvey is leaning towards excluding people with serious and persistent mental illness (SPMI) from Maine’s Managed Care Initiative. This news came as a complete surprise to the CCSM’s Executive Director at the Managed Care Stakeholder Advisory Committee meeting on Friday, October 15th. Office of MaineCare Director, Tony Marple, confirmed this at the meeting, saying he believed the Commissioner’s current thinking centered around issues with the AMHI Consent Decree. After hearing strong concerns raised by consumer representatives and advocates, Tony offered to request a meeting with the Commissioner for consumer leaders and advocates to discuss her pending decision. As of this writing, the meeting has not been announced.

Helen Bailey of the Disability Rights Center (and attorney for the plaintiffs in the AMHI Consent Decree) said in a later conversation that managed care would not interfere with compliance with the Consent Decree Plan. She also said that the Managed Care Initiative’s Specialized Services Committee, of which she is a member, raised serious concerns at their meeting on Oct. 12th about excluding people with SPMI .

A decision to “carve out” these people/services from managed care could have serious results. Some issues voiced initially are: 1) reinforces the stigma of setting people apart from ‘normal’ health care; 2) takes out of the picture the opportunity for alternative services good managed care could offer; 3) removes a ripe opportunity for peer services to be funded and included in a variety of settings; 4) slows down progress toward integrating health care and mental health care.

Please note that if the decision is made to exclude, it does NOT mean people will lose services. MaineCare services for people with SPMI (generally “Section17” services such as case management and medication management, etc.) will continue as they are now.

Please stay tuned for more information on this issue. Please leave feedback here and reach out to Commissioner Brenda Harvey ([email protected]) and MaineCare Director Tony Marple ([email protected]) as you see fit. The website address for the Managed Care Initiative: http://www.maine.gov/dhhs/oms/mgd_care/mgd_care_index.html.

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October CSN’s Cancelled

Please see the memo below from Ron Welch regarding cancellation of the October CSN meetings.

 

To:                   CSN Members

From:               Ron Welch

Date:                September 28, 2010

Subject:           Cancellation of October CSN meetings

 

We will not be holding CSN meetings in October but will continue with the monthly webinars and phone calls.  The next call is scheduled for October 19th at 11 am on the Recovery Guidelines  Domain 5.  Please check the OAMHS website at: http://www.maine.gov/dhhs/mh/index.shtml for more information.

  

Ronald S. Welch, Director

Office of Adult Mental Health Services

Department of Health and Human Services

32 Blossom Lane

11 State House Station, Marquardt Bldg. Fl. 2

Augusta, ME 04333-0011

Telephone: 207.446.6477

Fax: 207.287.1022

Email: [email protected]

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Adoption of Emergency Rule and Public Hearing for Proposed Rule: Assertive Community Treatment Teams

From: Ron Welch, Director, Office of Adult Mental Health Services:

“Rules Governing Essential Standards and Basic Principles Required of Assertive Community Treatment Teams In Order To Apply to District Court To Admit A Patient to a Progressive Treatment Program” will be adopted October 1, 2010.
 
Rules and related rulemaking documents may be reviewed at and printed from the DHHS Office of Adult Mental Health Services web site at http://www.maine.gov/dhhs/mh/rights-legal/index.html or, for a fee, interested parties may request a paper copy of rules by calling the Office of Adult Mental Health Services at 287-4243.  For those who are Deaf or hard of hearing, the TTY number is 1-800-606-0215.
 
The above was adopted as an emergency rule, as required by Public Law 2009, Chapter 651, Section 32.  Emergency rules are effective for 90 days.  A proposed rule, identical to the emergency rule, has also been filed with the Secretary of State’s office and is proposed to take the place of the emergency rule when it expires.  A public hearing regarding the proposed rule is scheduled for November 8, 2010 at 32 Blossom Lane,  Augusta, ME.  It will take place 10:00 – 11:00 A.M. in Conference Room #1A, first floor of the Marquardt Building.  Comments may also be submitted in writing through November 22, 2010.
 
Finally, and pursuant to the reporting requirements of 5 MRS §8052(5-A), adoption of this rule will not create any economic burden on small business.
 
Submit comments to:
Christine Robinson, Training and Best Practices Coordinator
DHHS Office of Adult Mental Health Services
32 Blossom Lane, 2nd floor Marquardt Bldg.
11 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333-0011
Phone 207/287-4865; Fax 207/287-1022; TTY 1-800-606-0215

 

 

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Mental Illness Awareness Week: October 3-9, 2010

MIAWwebbanner

In 1990, the U.S. Congress established the first week of October as Mental Illness Awareness Week (MIAW) in recognition of NAMI’s efforts to raise mental illness awareness. Since 1990, mental health advocates across the country have joined together during the first full week of October to celebrate.

The National Day of Prayer for Mental Illness Recovery and Understanding is Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2010.

For more information: please visit: http://www.nami.org/template.cfm?section=mental_illness_awareness_week

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Feedback on DHHS Vocational Policy Needed!

DHHS is drafting a new Office Wide Vocational Policy and is seeking feedback.  The policy is fairly general in order to apply to all of the participating DHHS Offices and the different groups of people they serve. Once this DHHS-Wide Policy is approved, each participating office, including OAMHS, will generate “Practice Guidelines” that will describe how they will support the DHHS-Wide Policy. In the future, the CCSM will have opportunities for input on these guidelines. It is in the Practice Guidelines where OAMHS can get much more specific about vocational services for people with mental illness.
The CCSM is collecting consumer input and would appreciate your help! If you would like to provide feedback, please review the Draft Policy and use the attached form to submit your comments.  
The comment form may be sent to us by:  1) Email at [email protected];  or 2) Mail to: 55 Middle Street, Suite 2, Augusta, ME. 04330.

The Comment form needs to be completed and returned to us by September 28, 2010.

 Thank you.

 

To review the Draft Vocational Policy, click here

To obtain the comment form, click here

 

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APS Healthcare Member Advisory Council Seeking New Members

  •  Are you a Mainecare member (or have had Mainecare in the past two years) who uses substance abuse or behavioral health services?
  •  Would you like to advise APS Healthcare on ways to improve the quality of what we do?
  •  Are you interested in helping APS Healthcare make its paperwork clear and easy to read?
  •  Could you provide feedback on how APS Healthcare is operating and suggest training opportunities?

If you answered yes to these questions, we want YOU! Come join the APS Healthcare Member Advisory Council.

  • We meet four times a year in Augusta and Bangor.
  • We pay a stipend and mileage.
  • We provide lunch.
  • We learn new things and have fun.

If you want to join us please call Patricia Lehmann, Member Liaison at APS Healthcare at 866-521-0027 Option 3 or e-mail at [email protected].  Also please call with any questions you might have.

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