Topic

mental health

405 petitions

Update posted 1 day ago

Petition to Ralph Northam, Kelly Thomasson, Justin Fairfax

Please Help an Accomplished Military Veteran Regain His Freedom!!

Governor of Virginia: U.S. Military Veteran with Mental Health History Seeking 2nd Chance at Freedom. I'm posting this petition for my son, MarQui Clardy, Sr. I’ll start with some background information on MarQui's character and the circumstances that led to his present situation. MarQui is a 33 year old father of four. On September 24, 2001, two weeks after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, he joined the United States Navy. He served as an Information Systems Technician while also attending ECPI University and serving as a Ship's Self-Defense Force (SSDF) team leader where he received intensive weapons, combat, and antiterrorism training. He was deployed to the Persian Gulf in 2003 for Operation Iraq Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. Two weeks prior to being discharged in 2005, MarQui was referred to a psychiatrist (due to some behavioral deviations, hallucinations, and a suicidal preoccupation) where he was diagnosed with "Adjustment Disorder." The psychiatrist noted that MarQui had a "major impairment in [his] thinking and judgement, manifested by inflexible thinking." Despite this clinical assessment, MarQui wasn't given any treatment, counseling, medications, or even a follow-up appointment, nor was he made aware of the diagnosis. He was simply released from service and left to transition back into civilian life on his own. In 2006, MarQui enrolled at Old Dominion University to study computer science. This is where his financial troubles began. After his car was totaled in a flash flood, he lost his job due to a lack of transportation. He was able to find a succession of other lower paying jobs, but lost each of them for the same reason. As a result, he defaulted on his tuition payments, so his school registration was placed on hold. He also defaulted on his rent, and was notified by his landlord that he was being evicted from his apartment. Being jobless, carless, moneyless, facing imminent homelessness (without even the ability to improve his circumstances by finishing his college degree), and not able to financially support himself or his children caused an unfathomable amount of stress that likely triggered MarQui's Adjustment Disorder, and he made the ill decision to commit three robberies to get some money. In 2008, he was arrested and tried in court. Since the military had never notified MarQui of his mental health diagnosis, this information was never presented for the judge's consideration (even though MarQui's condition undoubtedly played a MAJOR factor in his decision to aberrantly break the law). MarQui was convicted on all charges; although he has a good background, no prior criminal history, and absolutely no physical violence had occurred in either offense, the judge sentenced him to 33 years in prison. MarQui just learned about his mental health diagnosis in 2014, six years after being incarcerated. He has taken full responsibility for his actions, however, we must also recognize the military's role in discharging him back into society while neglecting to treat the mental health condition with which THEY diagnosed him! There's no limit to the behavioral effects that "impaired thinking and judgement" can have on those afflicted, especially if it's left untreated. Even the Department of Defense acknowledges that untreated mental health conditions among veterans pose a greater safety threat than those which are being treated. In MarQui's case, his impairment went untreated for three entire years, leading up to him making the poor decision to break the law. His background shows that he clearly was not a criminally-inclined person. Had the military treated his condition before discharging him, or even afterward at one of the V.A. medical centers, it’s very likely that MarQui would have exercised better judgement and not committed those robberies. In addition to the post-conviction discovery of MarQui's mental health diagnosis, he has made tremendous rehabilitative strides throughout his incarceration, including:   * Completing college classes through Washington and Lee University in 2015 and 2016;   * Completing VA DOC's Computer Concepts / Business Software Applications course, and becoming a certified Data Entry Clerk, Administrative Clerk, PC Operator, and Word Processor Operator;   * Completing personal rehabilitative programs through Northstar Community and Bar None / Willow Creek Association;   * Completing faith-based courses through Emmaus Correspondence School, Crossroads Prison Ministries, Prisoners 4 Christ Outreach Ministries, Bon Air Baptist Church, Gospel Express Evangelical School, and Prison Mission Association; MarQui has also enrolled in all of the requisite DOC rehabilitative programs, remained free of institutional infractions, maintained employment, including as a GED tutor, remained an active member of incarcerated veterans support groups throughout DOC, and been consistently assessed as a "very low" risk of recidivism and "very low" risk of violent recidivism by VA DOC's COMPAS assessment. He has also written a novel, which is published on Amazon, and several articles on social justice for Hamilton College, The Marshall Project, Cell Door Magazine, the Virginia Prison Justice Network. Since March of 2029, MarQui has also been working with Interfaith Action for Human Rights, which is an organization that works to shift the focus of incarceration from retribution rehabilitation. MarQui writes monthly essays - which IAHR publishes in their newsletters - on important prison topics to help give advocates a more clear understanding of solitary confinement, medical treatment, and general day-to-day life on the inside. [Links to these newsletters are included in the petition updates.] As a result of his hard work and accomplishments, Redemptive Life Foundation has filed a clemency petition on MarQui's behalf, asking Governor Ralph Northam to reduce his prison sentence to a more fair and proportionate one which will allow him to return home soon. Supporters in the community, throughout the state, and across the nation are advocating on MarQui's behalf; however, we're seeking even more support to ensure that he gets the chance he has worked hard for. After more than a dozen years in prison, JUSTICE HAS BEEN SERVED!! MarQui broke the law, however, given the fact that he was suffering from an unknown and untreated mental illness, his 33 year sentence is unfair and unjust. It is also a disservice to all those who have served in our nation's military and were left physically and/or mentally impaired. MarQui has shown, not only throughout his incarceration, but throughout his life, what type of person he truly is. That is why we ask you to please sign this petition to help him get him. Thank you!

Dianna Clardy
421 supporters
Update posted 1 day ago

Petition to Joe Biden's COVID-19 Advisory Board

Click Now to Advocate for Robust Mental Health Expertise on Biden COVID-19 Advisory Board

Broad-spectrum, necessary mental health expertise is currently under-represented on the Biden Administration's forming COVID-19 Advisory Board. Thankfully, Ms. Hopkins, an accomplished and experienced mental health nurse from Seattle, has been added to this Advisory as of late November 2020. However, additional psychiatric expertise is needed, including physicians and psychologists, and allied mental health professions including nursing, social work and community -based and peer counseling. Experience in the mental health dimensions of crisis and the neuropsychiatric consequences of medical disease is required to properly serve the citizens of the United States given the emerging mental health dimensions of this pandemic. Please see here for relevant information and additional detail https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/experimentations/202011/covid-19-and-psychiatry-open-letter-president-elect-biden Thank you for your support.     Grant H. Brenner Vibrant Disaster and Crisis Response Committee Co-Chair; Co-Chair, Disasters, Trauma and Global Health Committee, Group for the Advancement of Psychiatry; CEO, Neighborhood Psychiatry; Assistant Clinical Professor, Mount Sinai Beth Israel   Sponsors Vibrant Emotional Health Kimberly Williams, President & CEO, Vibrant Emotional Health   Committee on Disaster, Trauma and Global Health, Group for the Advancement of Psychiatry

Grant Brenner
198 supporters
Started 6 days ago

Petition to Twitter, Inc, Jack Dorsey

Ban #shtwt and other self-harm tags on Twitter

Similar to another petition here on Change.org concerning eating disorder Twitter (#edtwt), self-harm Twitter (#shtwt) is a dangerous and unhealthy community. I should preface this with the fact that these hashtags contain VERY graphic content, so if you are sensitive to blood, gore, self-harm, or similar things, DO NOT GO INTO THIS COMMUNITY. What you can typically find there are photos of self-harm, ranging from mild to extreme, with cute filters and stickers, or words like “cute,” “pretty,” or “sexy” describing the open wounds on people’s bodies. I often see people seeking advice on how to cut deeper or how to treat their wounds, including some instances where people cut too deep and didn’t know how to control the bleeding or people whose wounds got infected.  It’s blatantly against Twitter’s policies (encouraging self-harm & being in danger OF self-harming), as well as furthering the stigma of “cutting is for attention.” I was addicted to self-harm for a long time in high school but understand that there are lines being crossed in these Twitter hashtags—and there are a few dozen hashtags at least. Romanticizing, encouraging, glorifying, and bragging about self-harm is both dangerous and insulting. Not to mention, I’ve seen several different instances of these graphic self-harm hashtags mixed in with other hashtags, exposing and triggering others who do not wish to see blood and wounds. Please help to get Twitter to act. It’s not long before someone dies or severely injures themselves trying to fit in with this community. Here are some more tags to ban: #shtwt #selfharm #selfharmtwt #Barcodetwt #Catscratchtwt   Resources for anyone who is, or knows someone who is, struggling with self-harm or suicide. • American Foundation for Suicide Prevention: https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/ • Crisis Text Line: https://www.crisistextline.org/topics/self-harm/ • You Matter Suicide Prevention Hotline: https://youmatter.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/about-you-matter-2/ • Self-Injury Outreach & Support: http://sioutreach.org/

H. W.
9 supporters
Update posted 6 days ago

Petition to Joe Dill, Michael Barnes, Willis Meadows, Sid Cates, Rick Roberts, Bob Taylor, Xanthene Norris, Liz Seman, Ennis Fant, Sr., Lynn Ballard, Butch Kirven, Dan Tripp, Joseph Kernell

Create a New First Responder Agency in Greenville County

What is ECS?The mission of Emergency Community Services is to provide community based support to improve safety and reduce crime while taking stress off of our law enforcement officers.   Emergency Community Services is a new first responder agency proposed to work in place of LEOs for emergencies that do not need law enforcement presence. The main areas which ECS would handle would be: - Mental Health Crises/Behavioral Calls- Domestic Disputes- Substance Abuse  The Need for ECS Mental Health The former Dallas Police Chief, David Brown, said “Every societal failure, we put it on the cops to solve … Not enough mental health funding, let the cop handle it. Not enough drug addiction funding, let’s give it to the cops. Here in Dallas we have a loose dog problem. Let’s have the cops chase loose dogs. Schools fail, give it to the cops. 70 percent of the African-American community is being raised by single women, let’s give it to the cops to solve as well. That’s too much to ask. Policing was never meant to solve all those problems. I just ask other parts of our democracy along with the free press to help us.” This speech is a microcosm of the stress on LEOs. Ask yourself this: what is the purpose of law enforcement? The only acceptable answer is to enforce laws, mainly those of a violent nature. This is what they were created to do and what they are trained to do, and to expand their responsibilities to mental health, family counseling, and everything else does not work.  A study done by the Treatment Advocacy Center found that when police come into contact with individuals with mental health disorders - 10% of their interactions - are 16 times more likely to not just be shot but killed.  Citizens with mental disorders make up 1 in 4 of all fatal police encounters, 1 in 5 of all jail in prison inmates, and 1 in 10 of all LEO responses (Fuller, Lamb, Biasotti, Snook, 2015). In 2019 in South Carolina there was 16.6 suicides per 100,00 people (compared to 14.5 nationally), leaving us ranked 25th in the nation. In general our suicide rate has been on the rise (AmericasHealthRankings.org)   Domestic Violence One of the biggest issues South Carolina faces is that of our domestic violence. A February 2019 article in AP News explains that SC is the “nation’s sixth-worst state.” While it does show an improvement - from being in last place - it is still awful. In 2015 the National Domestic Violence Hotline conducted a study among abused women and police. In the study they found: 4 in 5 who had not called the police were “somewhat or extremely afraid” to call the police in the future (70% thought it would make things worse, 59% did not think the police would believe them, 45% wanted to protect the offender in some way, and 17% believed the police would be violent to them or threaten to or actually arrest them)- 1 in 4 who had not talked to the police would not call them, and 1 in 2 were unsure if they would- 1 in 3 victims felt less safe after calling the police- 2 in 3 who had called the police were somewhat or extremely afraid to call again (80% thought nothing would happen, 51% thought it would only get worse)- 1 in 4 women had been arrested or threatened with arrest when reporting partner abuse of sexual abuse to police- Only 1 in 7 (14%) of women were extremely likely to call in the future - the rest would not or were unsure if they would call (Logan, Valente, 2015). And the sad fact is that these beliefs are not without reason. The National Center for Women and Policing conducted an analysis of studies in regards to police domestic violence rates. Police have a domestic violence rate of 40% compared to the national average of 10%. Several factors have been proposed that attribute to this statistic: - The stress we put onto police while simultaneously making them bottle it up is not something that any person is made to handle- The training of police officers rewires their brain and increases violent responses- Because police are the respondents to domestic violence, families would not be trusting of the police to protect them- The culture of policing creates an environment where it is tolerated and normalized- The personality type of police officers are more prone to violent outburstsWhile the final two are difficult to prove or disprove, the others have significant merit. However as this proposal is focused on introducing a new response unit we will not focus on the effects of training, although it deserves significant discussion in the future.  BenefitsOne of the main goals of ECS is to take much of the pressure that likely attributes to these factors off of the officers. In addition if we change the people who respond to these calls then there is a significant increase of trust from the victims who are married to officers. This then could be yet another step towards weeding out the irresponsible and “bad-apple” officers.   In addition to these the local benefits of ECS are deserving of consideration themselves. Greenville has a lack of psychiatrists which is difficult to combat. However if ECS was to pay our responders (who would likely be psychiatrists, trained therapists, etc) a competitive salary we would increase the influx of mental health professionals. This, combined with things like the reduction of crime, improvement of community support, and the families of the mental health professionals moving in we would likely see an increase in our already high growth. We would provide members of our community with jobs, and could provide a starting point for people who need some sort of workforce breakout.  By intervening prior to a crime is committed (often the crime of mentally ill people is not what prompts the call, but how they respond to the officer) we would keep a significant number of people out of jails, prisons, and the criminal justice system. We would save tax dollars on incarceration, free up court dates for violent criminals, and save money on public defenders to be able to allow them to focus where they are needed most.

Davis Summer
624 supporters