Friday, June 27, 2008

A way around CSS Defunding?: Mystery Funding for those w/ persistent, severe mental illnesses: THE CASE OF THE 'PERSONAL ASSISTANT'

Dear Dr. Carlyle Johnson, Director of Wake County Mental Health Services (Wake County Human Services Adult Mental Health, 919-250-3100;

I called you but I understand you are out until July 8, 2008. Thank you for reading my e mail.

I read w/ interest the article by Ruth Sheehan in today's Raleigh News & Observer as associated with her ongoing story of Phil Wiggins, a gentleman who suffers from schizophrenia. I assume, from some of her coverage, that he tests in the Mild Mentally Retarded range.

I believe that many people w/ schizophrenia would 'test' in that range given their cognitive deficits and how IQ tests assess intelligence.

Ms. Sheehan states in that article:
"Carlyle Johnson, a soft-spoken man who heads Wake Adult Mental Health, offered a surprise.

He'd talked to one of his colleagues who specializes in assistance for the developmentally delayed or mentally retarded. Patients with those disabilities cannot be "rehabilitated," the new requirement for community support in the mental health field.

However, some people with developmental disabilities and mental retardation do qualify for "personal assistants."

Aha! thought Johnson. A personal assistant could greatly benefit folks such as Wiggins.

It's a wonderful twist for Wiggins, whose plight has helped tell the story of mental health reform -- the benefits as well as tragedies -- but who has undeniably received preferential treatment thanks to all the public attention.

Now, if the personal assistants idea is approved, Wiggins' turn as guinea pig may pave the way for other severely and persistently mentally ill people to get more one-on-one care."

I am interested in information as associated with funding for this 'personal assistant.'

I have several clients w/ schizophrenia who could benefit from such.

Can you please advise me how you turned up such funding? Is it thru Wake County Mental Health?

Is it via the state?

I assume it is not associated w/ the extremely limited CAP Services.

Thank you for letting me know.


Marsha V. Hammond, PhD


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