Tuesday, October 07, 2008

NAMI 2008 : avoiding the difficult topics: Annual State Conference w/ not one single mention about NC Mental Health Reform

Marsha V. Hammond, PhD: Clinical Licensed Psychologist, NC: Asheville/ Waynesville, NC
e mail: hammondmv@netzero.com

October 7, 2008

Dear NAMI NC: Debra G. Dihoff, MA Executive Director (ddihoff@naminc.org); Brenda Piper, Family-to-Family Education Program Director (bpiper@naminc.org); Jennifer Rothman, Young Family Program Director (jrothman@naminc.org) :

I just received my brochure for the October 31-November 1, 2008 NAMI state/ annual conference.

Of course its held in Raleigh. Has it ever been somewhere else closer to western NC?

I was glad to see this session: Expanding Supportive Housing Opportunities, given the problems w/ that with which I am aware as associated w/ western NC families.

Additionally, this is a very important topic about which I have written, specifically, ICARE: Integrating Mental Health Services into oPrimary Care.

There is to be a great deal of peer support information, it seems. That's a good idea given how NC mental health reform is collapsing in terms of providers.

Of the 23 courses/ workshops/ talks at luncheons, only ONE came close to addressing matters associated w/ the problematic NC Mental Health Reform, specifically:

10:15-11:45: Public Policy Update-Panel Discussion
Michael Lancaster, MD, Director, NC Depart. of Health and Human Services, Div MH/DD/SAS
Bonnie Schell, Chief of Consumer Affairs, Piedmont Behavioral Health
Andre Sperling, JD, Director of Legiszlative Affairs, NAMI

Additionally, I was very disappointed not to see something about training of law enforcement as associated with a series of beatings and deaths of mentally ill people in NC.

And hospitalization-----as associated w/ the non-ability of Cherry Hospital and Broughton Hospital to take Medicare and Medicaid patients-----most of the NAMI constituents in terms of mental health challenged people-----was not mentioned.

You play it pretty safe, NAMI NC.


Marsha V. Hammond, PhD


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