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Mental Health Consumers Vote Too!

I like to post information that is useful and proven. Supportive housing is very important to me, and I aspire to build New FoundMinds into a community that can be replicated in cities around the world. CHS, Corporation for Supported Housing is known for their good works and determination to offer the information needed for us to rebuild our communities and end homelessness. Become involved, get your neighbors involved…let us become safe, caring communities again.  Speak up neighbors, friends,and family members.With the election fast approaching New FoundMinds is posting the following article for review. Pass the news, be informed, ask questions but most important of all…live simply…love generously…care deeply…speak kindly…leave the rest to GOD!  author unknown

Mental Health America: Advocacy in Action
October 2010 – Election Edition
Congress Adjourns, Lame Duck  Session Set for Nov. 15

The  House and Senate adjourned last week as members returned to their
states and  districts to campaign for re-election. Before leaving
Washington, Congress passed a bill to fund  the federal government at
current levels through December 3. Lawmakers will  return on November
15 for a lame duck session, which may address as many as 20  pieces of
major legislation.

Where Do the Candidates Stand  on Mental Health?

With  the campaign season in full swing, this is an important time to
find out where the  candidates stand on critical issues affecting
mental health. The new parity law  and the enactment health care
reform recognize how integral mental health is to  overall health. But
continued steps are needed to ensure their implementation  and
effectiveness. Budget shortfalls in the states are causing cuts in
mental  health services at the same time that demand for these
supports are increasing.  Every day, we read the tragic news about
suicide rates in the military. Stigma  and lack of effective services
continue to prevent servicemen and women and  veterans from receiving
the help they need.

Use the questions we have  provided below at town hall meetings, for
call-in radio shows and other candidate  appearances.

QUESTIONS FOR THE CANDIDATES

General:
Our state  is facing incredible budget pressures due to the downturn
in the economy.  What  will you do to protect services for
individuals with mental illnesses?

The key federal health agency dedicated  to behavioral health issues,
SAMHSA, funds critical services, such as the  mental health and
substance use block grants, supports, prevention and  promotion
efforts.  How can these resources be used more effectively in
our state?  What will you do to protect these essential
resources?

Mental  health is integral to overall health and wellness. The Centers
for Disease  Control and Prevention (CDC) have pointed to the
influence of mental health  conditions on the onset, progression, and
outcome of other illnesses such as  diabetes, heart disease, and
cancer. How  will you implement policies that overcome the barriers to
fully integrating  mental and general health care?

Untreated  mental illness costs our economy more than $100 billion
annually. More than 34,000  American lives are lost to suicide each
year-more deaths than are attributed to  traffic fatalities.
People with serious mental illnesses are dying, on average,  25 years
earlier than other Americans, from a range of manageable health
problems like diabetes. At least two-thirds of youth in juvenile
detention  facilities have a mental health condition. What would you
do to address  these unacceptable realities?

Health Reform:

The  Affordable Care Act will increase access for 32 million
individuals, many of whom  have mental health conditions, and prohibit
harmful insurance company practices  like discriminating based on
pre-existing conditions and placing yearly and  lifetime limits on
treatment.  In what ways will you work to implement  health
reform to increase access to insurance coverage and improve quality?

The health reform bill  recognizes the importance of community-based
prevention and wellness services. Many  of the most effective
behavioral health prevention programs are community  based, including
working with schools to engage them in practices that  strengthen
social and emotional development while fostering a positive learning
environment and mental health literacy. What  would you do promote
prevention and wellness programs-in schools and the  community?

Veterans:

Post-Traumatic  Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a real illness and is
especially prevalent among our  soldiers returning from Iraq  and
Afghanistan.  But it has been estimated that only about a quarter of
veterans currently  receive VA services. What would you do  to help
returning service members receive mental health services?

Last year, more service members died by suicide than in combat. And
veterans make up about 20 percent of the more than 34,000 suicides
each year.  Yet, a recent report found that suicide prevention efforts
aren’t effective  because of mistrust among soldier of military
mental health services.  What  steps have you taken-or will
you take-to change that?

Parity:
The  federal Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act, which took
effect in  January of this year, bans employers and insurers from
imposing stricter limits  on coverage for mental health and substance
use conditions than those set for  other health problems. What would
you  say to a business that says it has to drop mental health from its
policy  because equalizing coverage is too costly?

Suicide:
There are  nearly twice as many suicides (34,000) as there are
homicides (18,000) in the US. What would you do to address this public
health crisis?  Would you support  community and schools
partnering to address this issue?

© 2008 Mental Health America
formerly known as the National Mental Health Association (NMHA)
http://takeaction.mentalhealthamerica.net/site/R?i=DgjpBcH-tJopBwjOhZt7Vw..