Wednesday, March 11, 2009

National NAMI gives NC a 'D' in 'Mental Health': 65 criteria

Well, the National NAMI grade certainly reflects my own experience as a mental health provider. What would I say the worst problems are?

1. Community Integration and Social Inclusion: NAMI gave this a "C": I'd give it an "D":

Time consuming, non paying difficulty in trying to get agencies to work together would be my personal comment. If you are a mental health provider, what you see from 'up here', in overviewing the landscape, are all the bits and pieces associated w/ mental health care lying around on the ground. As proof, I offer the matter featured in last week's newspaper article in the Citizen Times which documented the collapse of yet another mental health provider, this one internal to Mission Hospital in Asheville, NC. Relatedly, I have a client in a Family Care Home who has asked repeatedly to be able to go to a Dual Diagnosis program in Asheville which he knew of which USED TO BE within Mission Hospital. I learned two weeks ago that this dual diagnosis program had 'closed because things kept disappearing' (inferring that people who came to the group somehow ripped off the place' to which I thought: well, then, why didn't you take things that could be ripped off out of the room?

This also include efficient communication with the local Western Highlands Network LME whom, I assume, is vastly overworked. However, I REALLY do need to know, Brad Owen of Western Highlands Network LME, as per the meeting we had the other day as to whether there has been follow up of that psychotic client who was stated to have been magically switched to another provider when I have no one asking me about records for this psychotic resident of a Family Care Home.

2. Consumer & Family Empowerment: F 15% of Total Grade : I'd give it an "F" also:

This is also in keeping with my complete frustration on trying to provide mental health services to clients of mine who reside in Family Care Homes and the incessant reporting to their regulatory agency concerning: denied being able to talk to my clients on the phone to set up appointments; denial of being able to provide therapy at their residence; harassment by the Family Care Home administration; threats by the Family Care Home administration; threat of arrest by the Family Care Home administration for rendering therapy services on the premises of the Family Care Home. How much can one provider do in terms of throwing up a flare: HEY! HEY! THERE'S REAL PROBLEMS HERE! LISTEN UP!


Here is the NAMI report for NC:

"....The report card is based on 65 criteria, including access to medication, housing, family education and support to National Guard members. It includes policy recommendations for federal and state leaders. State governments provided most of the information on which the grades are based."

In the previous report, North Carolina received a grade of D. This year it is one of 23 states that saw no change. The national average is D, remaining stagnant from three years ago. Six states received Bs. Six received Fs. No state got an A.See for the full report.

Details of report:

Grading the States 2009 Report Card: North Carolina

In 2006, North Carolina’s mental health system received a grade of D. Three years later, the grade remains the same, but does not even begin to convey the chaos that now pervades the state’s mental health care system. Full narrative (PDF).

Grades by Category Detailed Score Card (PDF)

Health Promotion and Measurement: D 25% of Total Grade :
Basic measures, such as the number of programs delivering evidence-based practices, emergency room wait-times, and the quantity of psychiatric beds by setting.


Financing & Core Treatment/Recovery Services: C 45% of Total Grade :
A variety of financing measures, such as whether Medicaid reimburses providers for all, or part of evidence-based practices; and more.


Consumer & Family Empowerment: F 15% of Total Grade
Includes measures such as consumer and family access to essential information from the state, promotion of consumer-run programs, and family and peer education and support.


Community Integration and Social Inclusion: C 15% of Total Grade
Includes activities that require collaboration among state mental health agencies and other state agencies and systems.



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