Topic

mental illness

59 petitions

Update posted 2 weeks ago

Petition to Somerset County Freeholders

Stop Somerset County, NJ from reducing mental health services

On Monday, June 3rd, the participants of the Somerset County run partial care program (PCP) were informed that the program would be ending this same month, on Friday, June 28. PCP is a safe, structured environment for people with mental illness to work on their recovery, to create social bonds with others, and to receive an intensive level of care that most other therapeutic settings are unable to provide. We, the PCP participants, were hurt and angered by this news. Not only are we losing an invaluable service, but we're losing our supportive community, we're losing many of the staff members who have been instrumental in our recovery, and we're losing the sense of safety and security that many of us struggle to find elsewhere. We are angered by the way the news was delivered, less than a month before the program is dissolved, and only three weeks after the Somerset County Freeholders signed a resolution to end the stigma against mental illness on May 14. We feel betrayed by our local government, we feel helpless, we feel lost and forgotten. While we understand change is inevitable and can often be unpleasant, there are many better ways that this change could have been made. The purpose of this petition is to remind Somerset County that it cannot pledge to be Stigma Free and then turn around and reduce mental health services without consulting those it effects. People with mental illness have a voice, and if the county doesn't want to speak with us, then we will make ourselves heard.

Kim Grotz
69 supporters
This petition won 1 month ago

Petition to Jack smith, Montgomery County Board of Education, Chief Russell Hamill, Todd Watkins

Over-policing ppl w/disabilities, black boys! Law enforcement, Secret Service, play money

Is law enforcement and the Secret Service needed when a 10 year old has play money?  Apparently so, when you are a little boy in Montgomery County Schools. My son and I recently moved from Central Florida to Montgomery County, MD.  My son is a bright, funny little boy.  He is also a student with different abilities, and has an Individualized Education Plan, or IEP, to help him be academically successful.  Like all little boys, he can be mischievous and impulsive, sometimes more so due to his issues.  On May 14, 2019, my son took play money to school (purchased from Amazon).  He is excited about money and learning to count "his money."  In an attempt for socialization, something he struggles with, he passed it out on the school bus to his peers.  The money has bright pink Asian symbols on the front and back, along with dotted lines, so that it can be distinguished as play money. Later that day, one of the bills was discovered at the bus depot; someone reviewed the bus video footage and someone made the decision to call the police.  The police came to the school to question my son; they also called the Secret Service.  Outrageous. I did not know any of this occurred until almost 4 pm, at the end of the school day, when the officer decided to call me.  She further let me know that fake/play/counterfeit money is not illegal unless someone tries to spend it; he absolutely did not. I just don't understand.  I reviewed the disciplinary policy on Montgomery County Public School’s website; it makes no mention of what happens even if someone does indeed possess money that could be considered counterfeit.  Nothing illegal occurred; who at Montgomery County Public Schools decided this was an offense that was of such a possible imminent danger to others that a call to law enforcement had to be made, instead of a call to mom?   Where in their policy does this action support a call to the police for an elementary age child? No one called me.  No one let me know what was going on with my son.  I was completely disregarded as my son’s parent.  Someone please help me understand why my child with disabilities is being questioned without me knowing or present? Moving to Montgomery County, specifically Chevy Chase, was scary for me.  It is an area that is not very diverse, and my greatest fear was policing of my son.  My nightmare has come true. Kids play with fake money. It's even used as an educational tool. Montgomery County Public Schools and Montgomery County PD, you must not allow this to happen again.   You are contributing to the over-policing of minority children.  All children do the same things, but non-white children are subject to harsher disciplinary measures.  It can't be possible that he's being targeted because of his disabilities, could it?   We know policing in this country looks different for those that are suffering with mental illness, a disability, or is a person of color.  Which target was it here? Boys can be boys; unless you are non-white.  Then, the rules change.  You should have called his very involved, very aware mother, not the police.  The climate in this country has mothers and fathers afraid for their children’s very lives.  This should never have happened. Montgomery County prides itself on its work on racial equity.  It looks like it’s just lip service.

Tiffany Kelly
407 supporters
Update posted 1 month ago

Petition to Kelly Thomasson, Jennjfer Crown, Justin Fairfax

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 commited those robberies. Because of the post-conviction discovery of MarQui's mental health diagnosis, as well as the positive strides he's made throughout his incarceration- which include earning college credits by completing classes at Washington and Lee University, completing classes through Emmaus Correspondence School and Life's Key Ministries, enrolling in all of the requisite DOC rehabilitative programs, remaining free of institutional infractions, maintaining employment as a GED tutor (among other jobs), remaining an active member of "incarcerated veterans" groups throughout DOC, being consistently rated as a "very low risk of recidivism" by DOC's COMPAS assessment, writing two novels (one of which has been published), several articles for Hamilton College, The Marshall Project, and Cell Door Magazine, and a social justice / criminal justice book he's currently working on - Redemptive Life Foundation has filed a clemency petition on his behalf, asking Governor Northam to commute his prison sentence and allow him to be released. MarQui has gained ample support from family, friends, former coworkers, college coeds and class instructors, military veterans organizations, and religious groups. But we're seeking even more support to ensure that he gets the chance he has worked hard for. After ten years in prison, JUSTICE HAS BEEN SERVED! MarQui broke the law, however, given the fact that he was suffering from an unknown (by him) and untreated mental illness, his harsh 33 year sentence is unfair and unjust. It is also a slap in the face to all those who have served our country's military that were left physically and/or mentally impaired. He has also shown throughout his incarceration what type of person he truly is, and why he should be granted a second chance at his freedom. Please sign this petition to help us get him that chance. Thank you!

Dianna Clardy
357 supporters
Update posted 2 months ago

Petition to National Alliance on Mental Illness, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, Dictionary.com , Merriam-Webster Dictionary, Merriam-Webster

Change the Definition of Suicide

Every day is a tough day to cope with losing a loved one by suicide. May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Whether you fight your own battle with mental illness or not, you can absolutely support those who need it. And, suicide is an issue that touches people with mental illness as well as those who face other forms of severe mental, emotional, or physical pain. Empathy goes a long way to connect us to each other - at times when you need help, don't you want others to be there for you? Sign the petition to show that you are willing to fight for the people in your life who struggle now - or who may struggle in the future. As a nonprofit organization that promotes awareness of suicide and mental illness and that provides support for those affected, i understand calls on the American Foundation of Suicide Prevention and the National Alliance on Mental Illness to change the definition of suicide on their websites and in their literature, or to add this new definition on their information pages about suicide. Rather than including the outdated, stigmatizing definition about intentionally taking one’s own life, we believe wording should focus on suicide’s tie to severe pain and mental illness. The definition should be changed to, “a terminal side effect of mental illness; the result of wanting one’s physical or emotional pain to end.” Suicide is often a terminal effect of a mental illness. However, you don't have to have a mental illness to have suicidal thoughts or behaviors. Anyone can feel pain, despair, or hopelessness. Difficulties like heartbreak, bullying, financial loss, severe physical pain - any difficult circumstance can cause pain. Ultimately, physical, mental, and emotional pain are what lead to suicide. Without pain, there would be no suicides. Thus, it is time to change the definition so that all of these circumstances can be discussed openly and honestly, providing relief and hope for those struggling. Vonnie, the founder of i understand, lost her husband to suicide, and many of our supporters are survivors, as well. We believe that a change in the definition will change the way we all speak. For example, if you ask how Vonnie’s husband died and she answers, “He killed himself,” how does that make you feel?OrIf she answers, “He died from depression,” how do you feel? Likely, the two answers will lead to very different conversations, the second resulting in a discussion about the suffering he was experiencing. We believe it’s important to talk about WHY someone died rather than HOW someone died by suicide. And those reasons revolve around a struggle so deep that the person sees no other way to manage. We need to focus on the mental illness or pain leading to the death – the causes and symptoms – rather than the act itself. This will increase understanding and reduce the stigma attached to suicide and, in turn, will save lives. A simple change in language can impact those struggling with their physical or mental health, their loved ones, and survivors of suicide loss. We call on AFSP and NAMI to be the first to make a public move affirming this definition by including it in their literature and websites. We believe this should be a movement across the world in mental health organizations, schools, families, dictionaries, psychological organizations, and social circles. Change the conversation with those around you – you never know whose life you could be impacting. AFSP and NAMI - it's time to take action.  i understand is a nonprofit organization based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, promoting awareness of suicide and mental illness and providing support for those affected. We hold support groups for those who have lost a loved one to suicide and we host free monthly community events. We have partnered with Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, where we have funded a Clinical Nurse Specialist who educates about mental health in the traditional hospital setting – the first position of its kind in the country. Our nurse works with staff on using proper language around mental illness and on finding appropriate treatment for patients. Additionally, we provide care packages for those affected by a mental health crisis at the hospital. Visit our website at iunderstandloveheals.com or find us on Facebook by searching i understand or #iunderstandloveheals

i understand
6,944 supporters