Due to the impending snow storm, the SCC meeting scheduled to be held on December 30, 2016 from 10 AM – 2:00 PM has been cancelled!
Upcoming workshop on Disability and Navigating the Workplace on December 19, 2016
FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
DATE: October 20, 2016
TIME: 6-8 PM
LOCATION: Topsham Public Library
Hosted by the Ad Hoc Homeless Youth Housing Group, St. Paul’s Episcopal and St. Charles/All Saints Parish
Please contact your U.S. Senators by this Friday, September 2, and urge them to support S. 2680 (the Mental Health Reform Act of 2016) without amendments or changes. H.R. 2646 (the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act of 2016) recently passed the House of Representatives nearly unanimously. The Senate bill is better than the House bill and it is important that it pass “as is,” according to the National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery (NCMHR). NCMHR notes that, among its provisions-and unlike H.R. 2646-S. 2680 does not expand forced treatment; includes representation of people with lived experience; does not mention “anosognosia”; incorporates mental health recovery language throughout the bill; and calls for better education about the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) rather than providing a path to relaxing HIPAA confidentiality protections, as does H.R. 2646. Numerous other disability rights advocacy organizations support S. 2680. These include the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (click here), the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors (click here), and the Autistic Self Advocacy Network (click here). For more about what is wrong with mandated outpatient treatment (also known as Assisted Outpatient Treatment or Involuntary Outpatient Commitment), see “Forced Mental Health Treatment Will Not Prevent Violent Tragedies,” by Phyllis Solomon, Ph.D., of the University of Pennsylvania (click here). For information about how to contact your Senators, click here. (For the most recent text of S. 2680 that is available online, click here and then scroll down past Sec. 608 of the version that is largely crossed out until you get to the clean text.)
This information is provided by: The National Mental Health Consumer’s Self-Help Clearinghouse
The CCSM is currently working on two new issues statements
(see information below)
We are looking for your input! If you have any thoughts or solutions for either issue, please send your feedback to: Vickie McCarty, CCSM Systems Specialist at [email protected] or you can contact her at 687-6033
CCSM Concept Draft for Medication Management
Medication Management is the term used for the service that MaineCare members use to get psychiatric services for the purposes of medications. This would include a psychiatrist, a psychiatric physician’s assistant, or a psychiatric nurse practitioner who prescribes your mental health medications. There is a different process if you get these types of medications through your primary care office.
The State is proposing a drastic rate decrease for which they pay for these services. Actually in some cases it would be a 56% decrease. We have not heard of one provider that would keep this service in place if this happened. The Legislature during the last days of session this spring stopped that from happening while they were not in session. This will be revisited at the beginning of 2017, when the new legislature is seated.
While DHHS and providers may fight over how much to pay providers, we, the consumer community in Maine stands to lose if this comes to pass.
We also have a shortage of prescribers in Maine and this would drastically increase.
What are your thoughts and solutions for this important issue?
Concept Draft for Lack of Equal Access to Services Throughout Maine
While this is not a new issue, it continues to be one that many consumers in Maine have to struggle with. The mental health system in Maine includes, doctors, therapists, case managers, behavioral health homes, in home support, etc. Depending on where you live, you may not have access to these services. Many people have to face a choice:
· Do I not have services to be able to stay in my community?
· Do I move to a part of Maine that has more providers to get my MH needs met?
· Do I have no choices due to lack of providers in my area?
· Do I have no resources to make choices or changes? This often is about transportation.
People should be able to access the services they need no matter where they live in Maine.
What are your thoughts and solutions to this important issue for consumers in Maine?
Governor Paul R. LePage has announced he will hold his next town hall on Wednesday, August 17 in Sanford, where he will deliver remarks about moving Maine forward and answer questions from residents.
The cafeteria at Sanford High School, 52 Sanford High School Blvd., is the location for the town hall from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. Doors will open at 5:30 p.m.
The town hall meeting will focus on the Governor’s vision for Maine, including further reducing the income tax; reforming welfare by strengthening the State’s safety net for the most vulnerable; cutting energy costs; and addressing Maine’s high student debt burden.
The Governor will also highlight five of the referendum questions featured on the November ballot.
You Are Invited to the World Premiere Screening of Healing Voices…
Sponsored by: Consumer Council System of Maine and Disability Rights Maine
Date: May 2, 2016
Time: 5:00 PM – 7:30 PM
Location: Elks Lodge
397 Civic Center Drive
This event is FREE to the Public!
Refreshements will be availabe
For more information, contact the CCSM office at 430-8300 or Toll-Free: 1-877-207-5073
HEALING VOICES is a new social action documentary which will be released via grass roots, non-theatrical premiere events around the world on and around April 29, 2016. Written and Directed by PJ Moynihan of Digital Eyes Film, HEALING VOICES explores the experience commonly labeled as ‘psychosis’ through the stories of real-life individuals, and asks the question: What are we talking about when we talk about ‘mental illness’? The film follows three subjects – Oryx, Jen, Dan – over nearly five years, and features interviews with notable international experts including: Robert Whitaker, Dr. Bruce Levine, Celia Brown, Will Hall, Dr. Marius Romme, and others, on the history of psychiatry and the rise of the ‘medical model’ of mental illness. Community screening partners will host HEALING VOICES premiere events in their local markets, which will be followed by audience discussion around dialogue topics relating to the content of the film. The documentary is ideal for individuals with lived experience in the mental health system, educators, peer counselors, advocates, researchers, psychiatrists, psychologists, healthcare workers, first responders, family members, or anyone who has been touched by mental health issues in their life.
CONTACTS: Kevin Voyvodich, Esq. Simonne Maline, Executive Director
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 2, 2016
Advocates Denounce Legislative Proposal to Send Individuals with Mental Illness to Prison
Augusta – Disability Rights Maine (DRM) and the Consumer Council System of Maine (CCSM) voiced their strong opposition Tuesday to LD 1577, An Act to lncrease the Availability of Mental Health Services. They maintain that despite the bill’s title, the legislation actually proposes to criminalize individuals who have been found incompetent to stand trial or not criminally responsible for their crimes. Under these circumstances, individuals do not enter the correctional system, but rather receive much-needed mental health treatment in a hospital setting. However, the language of LD 1577 proposes to send these patients to the Maine State Prison for an indefinite period of time if “there is a therapeutic treatment advantage.” DRM Staff Attorney Kevin Voyvodich states, “We have serious concerns about this bill, as the Constitution prohibits treating patients as prisoners, when they have been found not guilty due to their mental illness and are committed to the custody of the Commissioner of the Department of Health and Human Services.”
While the purported purpose of this legislation is to address the long-standing deficiencies at Maine’s only forensic treatment facility, the Augusta-based Riverview Psychiatric Center, opponents argue that the bill actually fails to achieve this goal. Simonne Maline, CCSM Executive Director, expressed her concerns, stating “I am deeply disturbed that the Administration thinks the answer to the problems at Riverview is to transfer our fellow peers to the Department of Corrections. We are going light years backwards in our mental health system, not working towards recovery. The answer is treatment, not punishment.”
Attorney Voyvodich agrees, stating “prison is fundamentally punitive in nature and we are talking about individuals who have been found by the courts to need treatment rather than punishment. We all should be advocating for these patients to receive the treatment necessary to recover. Otherwise, we face a situation where an individual could spend 20 years in prison for a crime they were never found guilty of. No one should be comfortable with that.”
Please note: Due to last minute legislative work, the Issue Statement Subcommittee meeting scheduled for tomorrow, Jan. 22nd, has been reschedule. The committee will now meet next Tuesday, Jan. 25th from 11 AM – 12:30 PM. Thank you for your understanding as we work to show a presence at the legislature tomorrow and Monday!
We need your help this coming Monday January 25th at 1pm to be at the Legislature regarding LD 1526
“An Act to Permit Disclosure of Certain Intelligence and Investigative Record Information by a Criminal Justice Agency to a Nongovernmental Advocacy Program for Persons with a Mental illness”
To see the text of the bill go to this link: http://legislature.maine.gov/bills/getPDF.asp?paper=SP0588&item=1&snum=127
Criminal Justice Room 436 at the State House
While this is short notice, we are just getting some understanding in the last 24 hours about what this bill is about and what its impact could potentially be. We are hoping that those in the Consumer Community that can, will come and speak about their thoughts about how this bill feels to those of us with mental health challenges.
To summarize: LD 1526 adds language to an existing bill regarding Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Victims that allows for law enforcement to contact a Domestic Violence and/or Sexual Assault Advocacy agency to reach out to the victim to offer support and resources for help. The law enforcement community and NAMI crafted this bill thinking they could just add language to include a Mental Health Advocate and the same rules would apply. Law enforcement would contact the Mental Health advocate and ask them to call the person they consider to be in need of help regardless if said person asked or wants the follow up. Now think of how this would look for a mental health consumer: law enforcement can be called for any reason and think that someone might have a mental health need. They then can give some information (what and how much is still unknown) to a mental health advocacy agency to call you whether or not you have asked for or want it.
Here are the concerns we have that we are going to ask about:
· DV/SA are legal issues and MH is a protected health issue. How does this relate to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)?
· How does a non-trained mental health person i.e. law enforcement decide there is a mental health issue?
· What information is shared, who has access and how is it managed?
· There are not MH advocate organizations that have the capacity or would want to do this work. (NAMI, DRM)
· Why doesn’t law enforcement personnel offer resources to the person and allow them to choose to access help if they need or want it?
· When does genuine concern trump civil rights?
Please contact the CCSM office at 1-877-207-5073 if you want more information or need assistance in any way. You can also just be at the hearing to lend support and show the committee that our community is listening and concerned.