Mental Health Services
Petition to Susan Talamantes Eggman, John M. W. Moorlach, Heath Flora, Jim Beall
Mental Health Care Reform
Before you read my Son's story here are my objectives: 1. Revise 5150 criteria- most severely mentally ill who need emergency treatment and hospitalization know how to answer the questions to avoid psychiatric holds: "Are you a danger to self? Are you a danger to others? Are you able to met your basic needs (food, clothing and shelter)? All 3 of these criteria of the LPS Act were implemented to restore individual liberties, but only resulted in a system that fails to properly address the most seriously mentally ill individuals in our society, the Act allows judges to override psychiatric holds place by treating psychiatrists. Judges are releasing vulnerable severely impaired mentally ill individuals who are unable to care for themselves to the streets. The Act closed mental hospitals sending severely mentally ill individuals to jails, prisons and the streets homeless, and allows the Social Security Administration to allow individuals to remove a payee put in place by a treating psychiatrist that was meant to protect severely mentally ill individuals. 2. Judges should not be able to soley override a psychiatrist recommendations for hospitalization 3. The Social Security Administration should not have the power to remove a payee that was recommended by the patients current treating psychiatrist. This decision made to implement a payee by the psychiatrist is for the patients own protection due to their diagnosis and severity of symptoms they are experiencing during the duration of time a payee is put in place. Due to severity of impairment a patient will display a lack of judgement and lack of insight. Patients displaying symptoms of psychosis, coupled with substance abuse is also a determining factor. Granting a patient in such condition access to large amounts of money is putting the patient at risk of harm and death. SSA should not have the ability to approve the removal of a payee based on any interview of the patient conducted by an SSA employee, the decision should only be determined by the treating psychiatrist for the patients own safety. 4. Reopen inpatient mental health hospitals. This petition does not intend to take away clients rights but to help mental health patients when they do not have insight to help themselves due to psychosis and substance abuse and other impairing symptoms. My Son Dajon had no criminal record however the current crisis facing the homeless population includes the mentally ill with dual diagnoses and substance abuse. Let's help our mentally ill population (some of which are our veterans) stabilize instead of standing by as they cycle in and out of the California prison systems and psychiatric facilities without true stabilization to live on the streets because judges have been given the authority to make these decisions. Let's rehabilitate before they decompensate, become homeless and die on the streets or to suicide like my Beloved Son Dajon My Son's story: My Son 24 years old, had dual diagnoses died July 27, 2019 less than 9 months after a judge released him from a temporary LPS conservatorship, going against psychiatric recommendations to keep him hospitalized for an additional 6 to 9 months in an impatient psychiatric facility. On 7/6/2018 my Son Dajon Reed was admitted on temp LPS conservatorship in a psychiatric facility. He was extremely gravely disabled unable to care for himself. He had a long standing history of mental illness that began at age 16 with depression, then within 2 years diagnosed with schizophrenia and a dual diagnoses with substance abuse. I fought a long hard battle to save his life and it's not just the judge that's a problem it is the entire system, the California mental health care laws and mental health services offered all need to be reformed now On 9/21/2018 my Son Dajon was released based soley on Fresno Superior Judge's decision despite psychiatrist recommendations to keep him. My son was considered homeless because he lost his housing after he became hospitalized but he told the judge he would stay at the mission and the judge was satisfied with this, along with a referral to outpatient treatment. No one ever contacted me to create a safety plan and being that psychiatrist recommendations were he needed to stay in the hospital 6 to 9 months longer (not to include the 2 months he spent on temporary LPS conservatorship) one would think a safety plan warranted such actions at bare minimum. After his release I found my son housing but he was constantly at risk of eviction due to his mental health symptoms. I wasn't able to keep him compliant with his medication, he was completely mentally unstable and severely symptomatic, truly gravely disabled and a danger to himself. My son suffered from Anosognosia, a symptom in which he greatly lacked insight into the severity of his illness and was refusing medication and treatment. My son regularly had complaints from other residents where he lived because he was seen running outside naked or running outside screaming. I was told my son was disturbing the quiet enjoyment of the other residents and if this continued he would be evicted. Many times my son was combative with me, trying to get him to comply for his safety was extremely difficult. The judge released my son because he "presented well during court. " Anyone in the mental health field can tell you many patients can present well for a few minutes to get what they want and can still be very ill and unstable, and a risk to themselves and others. During the 1st week of his release from the hospital he was 5150'd three times. Prior to the LPS temporary hold, I also went thru Probate Court in an attempt to get my Son the help he needed but his mental health provider at the time in spite of the following would not sign the document: -His inability to keep housing, prior to his LPS hold my son was getting evicted, he was crying, screaming yelling through the house where he rented a room, leaving the stove on, leaving the front door open, not eating, not sleeping, walking into the street in front of cars, constantly putting himself at risk of being hurt -His inability to put food up (refrigeration) even when it was purchased and brought to him it would sit on the floor and spoil as he refused to let me in to help him put groceries up -His inability to take medication as prescribed due to the severity of symptoms he was experiencing and substance abuse. My son's Treating Psychiatrist at the time despite his condition would not sign the medical authorization documents for Probate Conservatorship so I could get the power to get him medical treatment he so desperately needed. I spent over $15,000 attorney fees and came out of court with probate conservatorship of the person only. Which is nothing. I could say where he could live. That's it. After my Son was released he was then able to get his SSI payee removed even though my Son's new Treating Psychiatrist wrote a letter to SSI stating my son had addictions issues and was severely mentally ill, unstable and symptomatic and should not be his own payee. I went to SSI with this letter, spoke to supervisors on 3 different occasions asking why they would go against psychiatrist recommendations explaining the risk, the answer given to me was "because we have that right." During the time he was alive behavioral health services provided to my Son were very minimal and I as his parent greatly lacked the support I needed to help my Son. I was on my own. Not even 9 months after his release July 27, 2019 my beloved Son died on a train track at 4am. He was praying the conductor said and he would not move as they blew the horn. I have all the documentation. Our Mental Health Care System/LPS laws are broken and need to be Reformed. A system needs to be in place in which only treating psychiatrists determine who needs hospitalization and who should be released on LPS temporary and permanent LPS conservatorships not soley decided by judicial review. The Social Security Administration should not have the power to remove a payee that has been put in place for an individual's protection due to mental health diagnoses, and substance abuse issues for the duration of time specified by the patients treating psychiatrist. SSA should not have the ability to remove a payee based on any interview conducted by SSA employees but should be determined soley by the patients treating psychiatrist. More mental hospitals need to be reopened. 5150 criteria needs to be reviewed and revised to bring more clarification and metrics in place. Many who are diagnosed with severe mental illness can present well for minutes at a time and are well versed on how to answer the questions "Are you a going to hurt yourself? Are you going to hurt someone else? Can you take care of your basic needs, food, clothing and shelter? Mental health patients who frequent the few psych hospitals that remain open and community hospitals know how to answer these questions and still can be and most likely are a danger to themselves and/or danger to others and/or gravely disabled and unable to care for themselves but because they know how to answer correctly these questions they are released. The process on which mental health holds are placed are ultimately determined soley by a judge and the series of holds that follow the initial hold regardless of what the psychiatrist recommends, the judge soley decides. This should not be. Treating psychiatrists recommendations must be considered in the final determinations of who should stay and who is released. I hope you choose to sign and share his story and bring awareness to the mental health care reform that is so desperately needed in California specifically. Laws vary state to state. Patients have so many rights to make life decisions even when they are severely mentally impaired, lack insight and are extremely symptomatic, putting them at risk and in danger of losing their life. Patients are released from psychiatric treatment facilities where they are safe even when they clearly meet criteria for hospitalization by psychiatrists, and even when the patient is clearly unable to make decisions that are in their best interest for their own safety and well-being making them a vulnerable population. During temporary LPS conservatorships, the due process in a court of law require patients be given an attorney to help them get released and that is solely the job of the attorney assigned to your loved one. The reality is this: it doesn't matter to the attorney if it is truly in the patients best interest to remain hospitalized due to the severity of symptoms and impairments and it doesn't matter to the attorney if the patient truly cannot take care of themselves. The attorney's job is to get them released and that's all they care about. Judges are overriding psychiatrists recommendations every day without valid safety plans and many are suffering, families feel helpless and their loved ones are dying Social Security Administration are making their own decisions that override psychiatrists, allowing patients with substance abuse and severe mental health diagnoses that are unstable and severely impaired to become their own payee against psychiatric recommendations. Psychiatric treatment facilities are forced by judges to release patients that are severe, patients that are not well enough to be released, are released and have not been medically cleared by psychiatrist's. I believe my son would be here today had they kept him and gave him the treatment he needed. My Beloved Son Dajon is gone but I'm fighting for every parent and child out there suffering the way my Son and I suffered, as I continue to suffer in my Beloved Son Dajon's absence Help me fight for change by signing and sharing this petition Thank you Michelle Reed mother of my Beloved Son Dajon Reed Contact info MHRministries@gmail.com or 559- 385-7688 ABC30 News covered his story https://www.google.com/amp/s/abc30.com/amp/health/mom-fights-to-improve-mental-health-care-after-son-dies-of-suicide/5551511/ We need monetary donations if you'd like to help here is the link https://michelle-hadassah-ministries.square.site
Petition to Indonesian government
Reinstatement of Indonesia's National Suicide Hotline
A national suicide hotline is a priority and a need for Indonesia. Many countries around the world already have this in place, and they are not seeing such a rise in suicide rates. It will not only benefit adolescents, who often find it difficult to access professional help because they lack information and financial resources, but also help other members of the public who may be having a suicide crisis.
Petition to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Postpartum Depression Education
On Sunday, April 19, 2020, Angela Lemonds took not only her life, but that of her 6 month old daughter, Brooklynn. Angela suffered from severe Postpartum Depression. At this moment in time, it has not been mandated that all mothers and mothers to be have the educational resources surrounding this horrendous illness. I believe that our healthcare system should have classes in place that all pregnant women and their support persons go through a class prior to delivery. In that class, they should be made aware of the statistics, warning signs, and how to get help. No one should be ashamed of suffering from this mental illness. If there had only been the resources at hand for Angela, her story might have had a different ending. Please help by signing this petition and if you feel liberated enough to share your own struggles with this illness, please do so. Women have been made to feel as though we can not speak about this issue. If you don’t bounce back within the first couple of weeks after you’ve had a baby, you are shamed by society. We can prevent this tragedy from happening to others. WE WILL NO LONGER BE SILENCED!
Petition to Walnut Creek Police Chief Thomas Chaplin, Contra Costa District Attorney Diana Becton, Walnut Creek Mayor Cindy Silva, Walnut Creek City Manager Dan Buckshi
Request Advanced Crisis Intervention Training and Full Transparency Throughout the Process
On June 2, 2019, Miles Hall, a 23 year-old citizen of Walnut Creek, CA, was shot and killed in his own neighborhood by officers of the Walnut Creek Police Department. Miles was a graduate of Las Lomas High School and a great friend to many. He struggled with his mental health and his family wanted to get him help, not put his life in danger. Family members told police dispatch that he suffered from bipolar disorder, so officers should have been prepared to enter the situation with additional vigilance for the safety of all involved. Instead of attempting to de-escalate the situation, Walnut Creek Police officers shot at him with non-lethal rounds, ultimately heightening intensity and increasing fear for both Miles and the officers involved. After negative results, Walnut Creek Police officers chose to take deadly action and fire their weapons with malice aforethought, striking and killing Miles Hall. While we acknowledge that the Walnut Creek Police Department and the Contra Costa District Attorney’s Office are actively conducting independent investigations, we strongly believe that this situation could have been prevented had each of the officers been through advanced Crisis Intervention Training. As of 2018, there was one, two-person Mental Health Evaluation team for the entirety of central Contra Costa County. This is in no way sufficient enough to assist even a fraction of mental health patients in our city, let alone the county. We request that the Walnut Creek Police Department joins forces with local healthcare officials and mental health clinicians to create a more efficient process for assisting those in need. We also request that the Walnut Creek Police Department retrain it’s officers in use-of-force scenarios. We hold good faith that additional training and mental health resources will benefit both the citizens and police officers of Walnut Creek. We, the undersigned, are concerned citizens who urge the Walnut Creek Police Department to thoroughly amend their protocol regarding critical incident calls involving mentally-ill subjects. We are calling on the Walnut Creek Police Department and the City of Walnut Creek to provide every officer with Crisis Intervention Training and re-evaluate the department’s current use-of-force training. We also request the development of additional Mental Health Evaluation teams to prevent any further similarly tragic situations while also providing Mental Health Resources in the City of Walnut Creek for its citizens and officers equally. We plead for the transparency from the City of Walnut Creek, Walnut Creek Police Department, and Contra Costa District Attorney’s Office. With this petition, we feel it is imperative that the City of Walnut Creek and the Walnut Creek Police Department work together to establish and administer new policies that will assist officers in understanding, supporting, and thus helping to prevent another killing of a Walnut Creek citizen such as Miles Hall.
Petition to Mayor Regina Romero, Lane Santa Cruz, Paul Cunningham, Paul Durham, Nikki Lee, Richard Fimbres, Steve Kozachik, Michael Ortega
Reallocate Tucson Police Funding to Much-Needed Social Services
Dear Mayor Romero and Tucson city council members, Your Mandate Thank you for your service during this difficult time and your attention to the issue before you which is equally important to if not more important than the threat posed to public health and community safety by the coronavirus pandemic. The issue before you, the question before you, is a mandate from your constituents, the people of Tucson, that you consider reallocating funds intended for policing to other much needed services such as counseling, job training and career development, day care, and nutritional assistance with demonstrable benefits to community safety and wellbeing. I want this mandate to be clear, because this is what it means when people say “defund the police.” This mandate is deliberately posed in a provocative way and is intended, I believe, to make one consider your, my, and everyone’s role in a criminal injustice system in our country and our state that has led to an unfathomable situation in which the home of the brave and the land of the free locks up more of its citizens per capita than Russia and China combined and inflicts real harm on Arizona’s communities particularly communities of color. Learn more here https://www.prisonpolicy.org/profiles/AZ.html How We Got Here Arizonans of all stripes, creeds, and income levels enter into our destructive criminal system by interactions with police. This is an extremely important point, because not all harmful interactions with police end in the police killing of a community member. Many if not most of the time these interactions end with a charge for a non-violent crime and an arrest or the unnecessary stopping and the intentional or unintentional intimidation of a community member. To understand why this kind of interaction is harmful even for violent offenders we must understand how people are treated in our system. Mariame Kaba director of Project NIA and The Prison Abolition Project said it best. “Is prison abolition a hard thing to explain to people? I get the same questions. What about bad people? What about rapists!? I don't answer those questions anymore. These are questions posed about safety but are mostly based in fear of the other. Safety for whom safety for what? ... There is rampant violence, rape, and deaths in custody [prison]." Indeed they are. These are not controversial statements. The decarceration movement enjoys broad bipartisan support and is the continuation of the abolition movement. It’s critical that you, our elected officials understand the history here too as policing in the United States has deep roots from our racist past that are absolutely grounded and wedded to slavery. A good discussion of this history can be found here: The History Of Policing In America: Some of the first Southern police forces were created to control enslaved Black people." The surveillance, the deputization, essentially, of all white men to be police officers — and then to dispense corporal punishment on the scene — are all baked in from the very beginning," says Harvard historian Khalil Gibran Muhammad https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wPu6-1yy8-o As a business owner, educator, and former Pima County small business commissioner I became increasingly aware and outraged at the state of education in Arizona and the link between the state of education funding in Arizona and the link with our oversized prison population. It started with the continuous requests small business owners get daily from our community members and customers the vast majority of these are from educators and parents asking for donations for their schools. I began to ask myself why is that Arizona’s schools are in such dire need? By now the answer should be clear - defunding the police may sound radical until you realize that we have been defunding education for decades. As a business owner this has real life implications for the labor pool. I found it difficult to find candidates for my company that could meet the minimum expectations for basic skills for almost any employee in any position in town such as effective verbal and written communication and a basic mastery of the Microsoft Office suite of programs. How is it I thought that Arizona is failing so hard at this? The answer here is also clear Arizona legislators currently value the wealth of private prison owners over the social mobility and welfare of its own citizens. How do I defend such a raucous claim? It’s simple - follow the money - “ABOR/Universities are funded at $724,818,900 and Arizona Community Colleges are funded at $56,156,100 a total of $780,975,000. FY19 funds the Department of Corrections almost 314 million more than higher education. It is also important to note that Maricopa Community College District and Pima Community College District have received zero funding since FY16. This FY19 budget is one that invests in incarceration over higher education.” To look at this problem in another way let’s consider the impact without higher ed Arizona spends $20,000 more per prisoner (many of them housed in privately owned and operated prisons) than they do per pupil. Refund The Community I hope this affirms and confirms the mandate to you that defunding the police is absolutely necessary and is beneficial to community safety and public health. This should be obvious to anyone but police more often than not respond to crimes that have already been committed so until and unless police are able to foresee crimes and stop them before they happen their benefit outside of some very rare events such as active shooter situations where the intervention of highly training armed forces into the community is questionable at best. Imagine the opportunity cost of keeping the police helicopter up the air all night long. Imagine what those funds could do for the mental and physical health of the working poor in our community in the form of counselors and health clinics. Development of better, more equitable and sustainable public transportation to connect jobs to neighborhoods all over the city. Day care and classes for parents and children to help our opportunity youth and community build a better future for us all. Help educate our cities youth with real life skills needed for the high paying jobs that don’t require an expensive high ed degree by funding Pima JTED. Do any or all of these things and remember it is your personal responsibility as elected officials to make this community better than the one that voted for you. For guidance and to hear voices from Tucson’s black and brown voices I suggest you listen to the responses posed to community members by the American Friends Service Committee and Flower & Bullets a project known as the Barrio Centro community safety research project. AFSC X Flowers & Bullets #Repost @afscaz ・・・ “What Instead of the Police/Punishment System?” At the end of our #BarrioCentro Community Safety Research Project survey, respondents were given the opportunity to name specifically what they would like to see funded in their neighborhood. People named murals, ramadas, shade trees, community gardens, sidewalks, little library boxes, on-going neighborhood events, bike-rental stations, parks and green spaces, covered bus shelters, free legal advice, free counseling services, housing for the homeless with a path to ownership, splash parks with restrooms, and sports fields. Not one respondent named funding for police. #FlowersandBullets = #CommunitySafety. #ReFramingJustice #BlackLivesMatter #BLMTucson #DefundPolice #DefundLawEnforcement #FundBlackFutures #CommunityCareworkers #ReBuildCommunities #ReImagineSafety #NanaAyudame In community, Michael Mallozzi, PhD Co-founder Borderlands Brewing Company Tucson, AZ PS a brilliant and thoughtful analysis from New York City (below) Defund the Police (A rap by Nate and Hila https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aldIVJ5sXh4)There's been a lot of discussion lately of what this phrase #DefundThePolice really means. We've been contemplating it and researching it, and subsequently, rhyming about it. Defund does not mean eradicate utterly; but it does mean radically reduce police funding, and restructure the institution. DeBlasio has promised to knock $1 billion from the NYPD budget -- but there's more to be done. Here are some of our thoughts, in rhyme. Here's an article with an array of organizations you can support that are pushing for police defunding and reform: https://www.refinery29.com/en-us/2020/06/9856512/how-to-help-defund-the-police An here are some of the sources we consulted in putting this together, so you can investigate for yourself:https://council.nyc.gov/budget/fy18-22_financial_plan_overview/...@mpd_150...https://www.changethenypd.org/...https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/08/us/what-does-defund-police-mean.html
Petition to Citizens of Fairfax county, Family Members, Friends, consumers, advocates, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors
Save Woodburn Place Crisis Care Program
We, the undersigned, are citizens, family members, advocates, and individuals served by Fairfax County and the Fairfax-Falls Church Community Services Board (CSB). We understand that the CSB has conducted a “study” and determined that the Woodburn Place Crisis Care Program (Crisis Care) could be outsourced. This is alarming for many reasons: o Citizens, stakeholders, and individuals being served were not included in the study. There was no chance for those who have experienced and received crisis stabilization (crisis stab) services to give input. The downsides of contracting were not reviewed. The “study” was not transparent and was admittedly done “behind the scenes.” o The loss of decades of experience and expertise in crisis stabilization was not considered. The impact of dismantling a proven, effective program that serves not only Fairfax County residents, but the entire region, was not considered. We choose Crisis Care over other regional crisis stab units because we know the staff and the quality of care we receive there. We choose Crisis Care because we feel safe there. However, outsourcing will cause all of this to disappear and the impact on our long-term treatment plans was not taken into consideration. o The disruption and loss of services caused by initiating an Request for Proposal (RFP) to transition a proven program to an unknown contractor during a time when hospital and crisis stab beds are in extremely high demand is irresponsible and harmful. o As a co-occurring program that offers both mental health and substance crisis services, we are talking about impacting treatment options for opioid users during an opioid epidemic. In a time when opioid overdose incidents are already nearly double than those for all of 2019 (according to a recent article in the Alexandria Living Magazine), disruption of additional co-occurring services risks lives. o The reason given to justify outsourcing Crisis Care is to save money. However, it is unclear how those savings will be used to shore up existing services so there are no gaps in service and reduce the need for crisis stabilization services. o If an RFP is initiated, the experienced staff at Crisis Care will seek, and easily find, other employment. This will begin immediately and impact the quality and availability of current services. It is reckless to pursue this process when it is our lives at stake. How would you feel if it were your loved one’s life in the balance? We formally request that plans to initiate an RFP to contract out Crisis Care in Fairfax County be cancelled!!
Petition to State of Michigan, Federal Government
Bryan's Law: Peer Support Services Should Be An Option In All Publically Funded MH Program
My son, Bryan Eric Smith, was taken from us forever in 2018. I came from generational trauma and at the time Bryan started to have behavioral issues I was encouraged to involve him in the juvenile justice system. If our family had the option of working with a peer with lived experience in systems I believe our outcome would have been much different. Peer Suport is a cost effective, recovery based, trauma informed approach that works. Any publicity funded mental health services should offer the option of peer support. Peer support has been shown to decrease things like hospital stays which are astronomical medical expenses. I became certified as a peer support specialist in the State of Michigan in 2012 and it has been the single most impactful part of my own mental health recovery. I don't know that I would have survived burying my son without the skills and relationships peer support helped me build. Too large a peice of mental health budgets go to feel good programs while suicide rates keep climbing. Peer support works- it should be an option whenever tax dollars are paying the bills.
Petition to Gretchen Whitmer
Extension for TLLP Licenses to Advocate for Mental Health Services
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, hundreds of masters-level psychologists will have their licenses terminated. The state of Michigan requires TLLP masters-level psychologists to take and pass the EPPP examination to continue to practice. As hundreds of masters-level psychologists lose their jobs and benefits, thousands of individuals can lose mental health services. The COVID-19 pandemic has negatively affected many individuals' mental health and created new barriers for individuals who already experience mental illness. As the pandemic wears on, ongoing mental health services are essential for individuals and their families who have been greatly affected by the pandemic. Due to the distress surrounding COVID-19, the number of patients seeking treatment has increased, leaving masters-level psychologists with insufficient time to prepare and schedule the exam. We request an extension of TLLP licenses to continue providing the necessary mental health services to Michiganders. Outreach to the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) has resulted in no support or alternative solutions. An extension provides sufficient time and a reasonable timeframe to prepare and take the EPPP examination. Please sign this petition to help get an 8-12-month extension on TLLP licenses so that masters-level psychologists can adequately serve their communities. Also, please contact Governor Whitmer's office to request an executive order to extend the TLLP licenses: Email: Gretchen.Whitmer@Michigan.govPhone: 517-335-7858 (Preferred Method)