Dear Advocates, Peers, Friends,
Please help support the Bill H836 for the year 2013 and endorse our petition. Thank you!
House Bill 836 text Disability parity
Please Sign On Line Petition to Support Prevention Discrimination of Disabilty Benefits for those with Psychiatric Disabilty-1
Please Sign On Line Petition to Support Prevention Discrimination of Disabilty Benefits for those with Psychiatric Disabilty
Thank you so much!
There are two other bills in the House that I would like to bring to your attention.
Bill H 1174 is to end discrimination for disability policies because
these policies from employers/insurance companies are limited to 12-24
months around the country if you have a mental health
diagnosis, but no limitation for physical illnesses.
Should an insurance company put a time frame on recovery? What about
relapse or if one needs the coverage for long term? The limitation
needs to be removed.
The other House Bill is H 2074. It bans discretionary clauses on
policies in MA. These discretionary clauses that are written into
health insurance policies give the insurance company the ability to
write the policy, interpret the policy and determine who will be
covered. There is a conflict of interest for the insurance company to
deny legitimate claims. If you had to appeal your insurance company
for a medication not covered you would not have an
impartial review of your claim.
Attached is a letter supporting these bills that you can either print
out or email. Please write your own letter if you would.
Download Fact Sheet
These bills will report out March 21 so please send a letter before then.
I understand that there are many bills and causes for mental health
that affect peers. Somehow it is my hope that as a community we can
figure out a process to support the many causes that need to
Thank you for any support.
Elizabeth Wilson, PharmD
NAMI GB CAN Successful Event
Consumers Mental Health
Wednesday Feb 9th, 2011
NAMI GB CAN
National Empowerment Center &
Boston Public Library
Boston Room 6-8:30 PM
Moderator: Representative Ruth Balser
Representative Liz Malia
Senator James B. Eldgrige, Chair of the Housing Committee
Representative James O'Day
Daniel Fisher, MD, PhD.
Event Director: Beth Wilson, Secretary NAMI GB CAN
Photo: Howard Trachtman, Co-Founder NAMI GB CAN
Mental health advocates, state reps collaborate on change in forum
• Written by Allison Thomasseau
• Published Feb 10, 2011, BU Free Press
Howard Trachtman speaks at a panel about the future of mental health care in Massachusetts at the Boston Public Library on Wednesday night. Massachusetts mental health advocacy groups emphasized the need to implement a mental health commission, build peer respites for recovery and start peer run programs at a public forum at the Boston Public Library on Wednesday. Advocacy groups met with state representatives to discuss current legislation being debated and to share ideas concerning the current mental health care system at the forum. Massachusetts People/Patients Organized for Wellness Empowerment and Rights, a grassroots movement run by and for people with mental health illnesses, and the National Alliance on Mental Illness, a non-profit advocacy group, discussed major issues within mental health care services with the representatives.
The peer programs advocacy groups discussed would include “safe houses” for mental health patients “to learn skills for managing crises,” according to a handout from the National Empowerment Center given out at the discussion.
Peer run programs give mental health patients a mentor who has been through psychiatric care themselves to give the patient hope and guidance, according to the pamphlet. The state is planning to pilot one peer respite in Massachusetts and the department might add two more if it is successful, said State Representative Ruth Balser.
“We need to understand the role of mental health and the need for services and where we’re not meeting our needs,” said Rep. Liz Malia. “A commission will help bring the community to the table and start the dialogue with the community.” NAMI also promoted the recovery model verses the medical model, which has been used in hospitals for many years. The recovery model concerns “building relationships between doctors and patients” and puts consumers at the center of healthcare, as opposed to strictly treating a disease, said Cathy Levin, the Special Project Coordinator at the National Empowerment Center.
The groups also advocated for certain legislation that the state is in the process of discussing. One bill promotes allowing mental health patients access to fresh air and the other bill prevents harsh treatment and the prosecution of a psychiatric patient who has become violent.
The state representatives adamantly supported the bill promoting daily access to the outdoors. “Every human being deserves the right and ability to enjoy the outdoors and a safe place to be able to commune with nature and be with friends,” said Rep. Gloria Fox (D – Massachusetts). “We should have the right to fresh and safe and clean air.” However, the representatives were hesitant about funding and revenue for the programs they wanted to implement.
“One of the challenges here is implementing from a revenue and resources point of view,” said state Sen. James Eldridge. “In addition to passing legislation like this, need to support the revenue portion of it…We need to hear that cry very loud and clear, because there have been 20 to 25 percent cuts, and we can’t sustain any more cuts.”
The most probable way to fund the programs is through a raised state income tax and earmarking funds specifically for mental health care, Eldridge said.
Mental health patients want to be treated as human beings and through the legislation, that would be possible.
“We are people first,” said Howard Trachtman, an M-POWER activist.
“You label jars, not people. We are individuals. We get called the mentally ill, and that’s not right.”
Silver Ribbon ~ Campaign for the Brain
Worldwide, hundreds of millions of individuals and their families are impacted
by the consequences of brain disorders and related disabilities.
The Silver Ribbon Coalition represents the combined interests of all those who
are affected by a brain disorder or disability. To date, the Coalition is
represented by advocates for and individuals with a wide variety of brain
disorders and disabilities.
The Silver Ribbon Campaign for the Brain promotes public awareness of the need
for emotional, social, governmental, and research support of these individuals.
Increasing public awareness will decrease stigma and increase support to result
in improved treatment and eventual cures for those affected.
NAMI is listed as an organizatioln supporting the campaign for the brain.
A quest for a Silver Ribbon Brain Disorders and Disabilities Awareness Semi Post
Stamp was initiated in 1999. A support letter was posted on the web site to
print, sign, and send. Over 100,000 letters have been received by the United
States Postal Service, including most recently from former President Jimmy
Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, and many from members of Congress, Governors, and Administrators. Please write your own letter!
Unfortunately, the Silver Ribbon was not approved for the 2007 postage stamp,
instead it went to Jury Duty Awareness. We continue to stand strong in our
commitment to achieve the longed-for, important stamp. Keep encouraging people and organizations to send letters in support of the Silver Ribbon Brain
Disorders and Disabilities Awareness First Class Postage Stamp.
Put a Silver Ribbon on your Site or Blog
Alexis Atwood of Atlanta, Georgia suggested including an easily-downloadable
Silver Ribbon, and HTML code, somewhere on the site so that people can readily
copy and place the link on their own personal blogs or professional websites to
promote the Silver Ribbon Coalition and Campaign for the Brain. In August, 2007,
Alexis created her own Atlanta Mental Health Resources website
(http://atlantamentalhealth.googlepages.com/) after spending endless hours
trying to find such resources on the internet. The site includes links to both
national and local Atlanta metro area organizations.
Alexis encourages putting the Silver Ribbon icon and link on your site as she
has done on both her Myspace site as well as her Mental Health Resource site. By doing so, you will increase exponentially the number of people who learn about the Silver Ribbon Coalition. Our logos are displayed to the right for
downloading (right-click and select "Save picture as") or you can copy and paste
the code below it into your blog.
“As a person who deals with mental illness, it is important to me to raise
awareness about mental health and erase the stigma that has followed it for
centuries. The more places we can display the Silver Ribbon, the more awareness
we create, stripping away the fear of talking about it and allowing people to
learn more about their own or a loved one's mental illness.”
Write a Postage Stamp Letter
Write a personal letter to the Executive Director Stamp Services, David E.
Failor. Also, ask your Senators, Representatives and other elected officials to
support the Silver Ribbon Stamp! Urge them to write to the Postmaster General
proposing a Silver Ribbon Brain Disorders and Disabilities Awareness First Class
Your help is greatly needed. Time is of the essence! Senators, Representatives
and other elected officials, please write a letter on your letterhead to:
David E. Failor
Executive Director Stamp Services
1735 N Lynn St Suite 5018
Arlington Va. 22209
Please say you support the Silver Ribbon Brain Disorders and Disabilities
Awareness First Class Postage Stamp. Mail your letter as soon as possible!
You may also email your legislators or call them toll-free at the U.S. Capitol
Switchboard: 800-962-3524. Be a part of this ground swell grass roots effort!
Visit www.narsadartworks.org to purchase silver ribbon products and some artwork made by the mentally ill.
For more information please contact:
NAMI GB CAN Office
Download our NAMI GB CAN brochure (4-30-2013) PDF