Saturday, June 21, 2008

Sheriff chokes mentally ill patient in ER : will police training contract be given to Meridian Behavioral Health Services too?---like everything else?

Training Police for Mental Health Emergencies : Will Meridian Behavioral Services Get this Contract too?

Tom McDevitt, director of Smoky Mountain Center, LME, the largest LME in NC, stated, as regards money that could be set aside by the state and given to the LME's to offer training for public safety officers inclusive of the sheriff's department and various city police departments:

"McDevitt says his agency and others suggested that the state set aside the money that would be given to each LME and pool it together to create a training program."


Marsha V. Hammond, PhD, replies:

Tom, are you going to give it all to Meridian Behavioral Health, run by SMC retired employee Joe Ferraro, so that Meridian can continue to expand under SMC LME catchment area?

Are you going to continue to work against the use of professional mental health providers by continuing to deny Basic Services, inclusive of professionally driven services, to SMC LME catchment area state funded clients?

For the past several years, SMC LME has chosen to exclude a large body of mental health professionals from being able to work with citizens in western NC in that no therapy services are available outside of Community Support Services (CSS), which requires 20 hrs of non-paid, unnecessary training for people already holding doctoral degrees as psychologists. Additionally, CSS is constantly being defunded.

Thus, recent complaints of the significant loss of provisionally licensed (have completed their formal education but not the required supervision) therapists in western NC is diminished by the fact that SMC LME has, in a determined manner, moved against the use of professional mental health care providers as associated with their authorization procedures.

(see: Dr. Turpin's Opinion piece re: effects of potential loss of provisionally licensed therapists :

It appears that SMC LME has done this in order to utilize non-professional, poorly paid, Recovery Education Center (R.E.C.: Meridian-run) employees.

Can we see the accounting books re: how SMC LME money is spent, Tom?

Marsha V. Hammond, PhD: Clinical Licensed Psychologist, NC


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