NOW WE’RE REALLY COMING DOWN TO IT!
. . . finally, American society is finally embracing the need for dollars to buy value in health care and mental healthcare. . . If the results in people’s lives are not positive changes in health and the quality of their lives, then they have been failed and the system will prove to be unsustainable. We can no longer use public dollars to buy poor results . . . read more.
What Is NC CANSO Thankful For This Year?
We enjoyed, along with about two hundred of our friends, our best Recovery Conference Ever (the annual One Community it Recovery Conference) where we had some outstanding speakers share their enthusiasm and their “how-tos” with people from across the state! We have influenced the Division of Mental Health to consider how to respond to people in crisis in less traumatic and more health promoting ways. We have also advocated for the development of a top level Consumer Affairs role in Raleigh. We have monitored the ongoing development of our first peer center and found others who are interested in starting them in their own communities. We have identified some psychiatrists who are dedicated to a new focus of mental health care aimed at helping people recover! We have kept many across the state informed with our newsletters.
We aim to continue these efforts and more with a stronger board and fresh participants on it, and we hope to reach more and more un-reached individuals with the HOPE of growth, change, and recovery in 2015!
Won’t you help us? YOU CAN DONATE HERE AND NOW and your gift will be tax deductible. And we will be full of THANKSGIVING!
Cardinal Innovations Healthcare Solutions CEO Pam Shipman has established The Bonnie Schell Scholarship in honor of Bonnie Schell, founding Director of Consumer Affairs at Cardinal Innovations. This scholarship fund will allow consumers to attend behavioral health educational trainings and conferences by covering the registration fees.
National Coalition on Mental Health Recovery responds to coverage about ECT. See Issues and Ideas.
Making Choices or Taking Chances during this Time of Change?
August CANSO CURRENTS Posted HERE.
“It’s in recovery, Coker said, not institutionalization, that the state should be investing.” (article by Taylor Sisk) NC CANSO urges caution about opening more hospitals before ensuring community services (see NC Health News) links http://www.northcarolinahealthnews.org/2013/08/02/advocates-offer-options-to-a-new-psychiatric-hospital/
Ensuring the Role and Rights of System Users and Families article here
CHANGES, CHANGES EVERYWHERE!
You must wonder where we’ve been. Well, like many of you, we’ve been working hard as this year brings so many changes to our state. Most are good. Some are scary. And there will be fall-out–people falling through the cracks who need our advocacy until they find some homeostasis in the system again.
NC CANSO Board Members have stayed as current as possible on so much going on. We discuss details of the various work groups and initiatives as we learn of them, and several board members participate on various work groups where we can advocate for self-determination, dignity, real life outcomes (does a service really help a person live a better life?), engagement (real, balanced relationships between service providers and service users), etc. I have written about some of these changes on this blog site.
One thing we are excited about is the hiring by DHHS of Jessica Keith, North Carolina’s Special Advisor on the Americans with Disability Act. She was brought in to oversee the implementation of the North Carolina-Department of Justice Settlement which has followed the investigation and findings by the DOJ of our state’s institutional bias with regard to responding to the needs of the community of persons with mental illness. Jessica is very rights-oriented and has a personal philosophy that supports the strengths of people as the foundation to build upon rather than fencing them in because of their deficits or passivity. It is a sign of responsibility by our state’s leadership to have found someone of Jessica’s savvy and conviction and brought her here to ensure lasting change!
Another big change in our state besides the DOJ initiative is that advocates, leadership, and a growing number of providers are ready to embrace the turning of this big ship from its former “medical” orientation to one that aims to help people truly recover! That is, we are currently focused on managing symptoms and on crisis care more than on helping people live a healthier life of growth where they can recover. Now, between the mandates to contain costs of care and the moral call to help people live more independently and to find themselves outside of their illness, our state is starting to move in a new direction! As consumer advocates, we are happy because we have been urging the state to take a clear step toward developing and agenda for a recovery oriented systems for the past two years!
DHHS is planning a one-day Recovery Summit, a working meeting to include staff from LME/Managed Care Organizations, many consumer advocates, and several other stakeholders to establish foundational concepts upon which to build recovery policy and next steps. Because of the fixed amount of dollars for this, the attendance is limited (hopefully the Recovery Conference will be a good place for larger follow-through!). The key presenter and leader of this discussion is Mr. Harvey Rosenthal, who opened many eyes about our convenient timing to move toward a recovery focus when he was with us in November at the annual Recovery Conference.
Other changes coming at us fast are related to financial resources in our state and the fact we have a new leadership. As ‘consumers’ we should advocate for an efficient system for billing and authorizing services so that we don’t lose valuable service providers. After all, a consumer’s choice of whom he/she has as a provider should be a state’s value, just as we value other things that make people appreciate full citizenship!
Keep checking us out for more news and thoughts.
We Challenge Our State!
” . . . In North Carolina, if we are to ensure that life, liberty, and the ability to pursue happiness are available to all, then we have some hard thinking and much shared work ahead as we dismantle unacceptable systems and replace them with services that actually cost less and allow people with disabilities full citizenship and the right to grow healthier.” Read more here!
Let us know what YOU think! It’s important to us. You can comment after the article when you click on the link.
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ACRONYMS AND SHORTCUTS List
DHHS North Carolina’s Department of Health and Human Services, the part of our goverment that is lead by the governor’s appointed Secretary of HHS (in our case, we have Secretary Cansler). His office is tasked with directing the funding and services for health and safety needs. Many of our most current interests relate to mental health, developmental disabilities, and substance abuse service needs. However, the Secretary’s department must also work on ensuring primary health care needs, safe drinking water, clean restaurants, and many other areas. SO, Secretary Cansler has developed a new role to help him in his effort toward mental health services in the last two years, the Assistant Secretary for Mental Health within DHHS.
DMH or DMHDDSAS North Carolina’s Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities, and Substance Abuse Services, a subdivision of the state’s Department of Health and Human Services.
LME “Local Management Entity” A mental health care management organization charged with developing and overseeing an adequate local public service system that allows citizens ease of access to the appropriate services when they need them. LMEs are to ensure service value (quality for the expenditure) and reduce the need for citizens to go to emergency settings by linking them to the right services early when people need them.
LOC The Legislative Oversight Commitee on Mental Health, Developmental Disabilites, and Substance Abuse Services.
DMA The Division of Medical Assistance, the division which is responsible for ensuring that persons eligible for medicaid have necessary services available across our state. Also, DMA is responsible for ensuring that medicaid dollars are used responsibly.