I got a message a couple days ago from NAMI workers about the Department of Human Resources that is very sad and upsetting. It is important information, so I felt compelled to show it here:
> A DHR spokesperson admits that the DHR
> Blueprint really is NO plan—it is only a PowerPoint Presentation that
> an employee made. The DHR is “making it up as they go along”. It
> really IS an “ever changing” policy. Their doublespeak press releases
> say /they aren’t “closing” the hospital, they are repurposing it./ In
> regular English it means if anyone needs more intensive treatment,
> they will have to go at least 2-1/2 hours away. Community treatment to
> DHR is a few added services to the community, (which are needed more
> than ever because of 20 years of DHR cutbacks to mental health
> services in our communities).
> Please know that the ACT Team, Mobile Crisis Team and Crisis
> Stabilization Units ARE needed – especially in a time where DHR has
> removed the “true” community services. NAMI has requested ACT, Mobile
> Crisis and CSUs for years. We NEVER said those services should be in
> lieu of hospital beds in the community. Hospital beds are part of a
> full continuum of care that should be provided by the State of Georgia
> for the biological disease more commonly known as mental illness. IF
> the State provided the full continuum of care, it would cost the State
> $1.00 for every $7.00 that they are at present paying. They always
> would have been able to reduce psychiatric hospital beds due to a
> decreased need.
> We need to ask the Governor and his staff to have the * signing of HB
> 228 removing us from DHR with a great deal of celebration, not a quiet
> ceremony as is planned. * Georgia has made a huge step forward in
> beginning to fix the mental health system in our state.
> * Please call the Governor and Lt. Governor’s Offices with the
> following messages (in your own words)--or cut and paste using the
> links below: *
> * Gov Sonny Perdue Phone: (404) 656-1776 *
> * Lt. Gov.Casey Cagle Phone: * * (404) 656-5030 *
> 1) THANK YOU for supporting the legislation removing us from DHR and
> please enact it immediately before more harm is done by DHR
> 2) Please name Gwen Skinner as Department of Behavioral Services and
> Developmental Disabilities Commissioner effective immediately. She can
> “hit the ground running” and she has the respect of legislators,
> consumers and advocates alike.
> 3) Please do not allow any more hospital “repurposing” by DHR until
> all effective community resources are in place (not just the ones and
> the few that Commissioner Walker has added in order to diffuse
> objections over the loss of hospital beds). We need to see the PLANs
> and the backup PLANs when the Blueprint “PLAN” doesn’t work.
> 4) Please call all of your legislators (State Representatives and
> State Senators) to ask them to *properly fund* the new Department. By
> doing this, they will SAVE Georgia money, not cost it more.
> There has been a direct correlation between increased incarcerations
> as institutions have been emptied. The answer is to decrease hospital
> beds because effective treatment, education and support has been given
> IN THE COMMUNITY. We need to get Georgia out of a crisis mode,
> failure-driven method of delivering mental health services which has
> been proven to not work. Georgians deserve a better MH Report Card
> Grade than * D * .
> */ Medical treatment cannot be delivered in a black and white manner -- /*
> */ especially when it involves GRAY MATTER /*