Saturday, January 22, 2011

Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Mental Health is Being Pushed off the Cliff by NC DHHS

This was posted at the website where Martha Brock, a mental health care advocate, outlined how the Joint Legislative Oversight Committee (LOC) for mental health reform, has been disbanded due to 'budget restraints.'

Here is that information indicating that NC DHHS is now telling the state legislature 'what will happen':

"Tomorrow's meeting of the Legislative Oversight Committee (LOC) led by Co-Chair Verla Insko of Chapel Hill may be its last based on interviews with senior legislators and a briefing by the top official at the Division of MH/DD/SAS in the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).

In a meeting with members of the State Consumer and Family Advisory Committee Thursday, Mental Health/Developmental Disabilities/and Substance Abuse Services Director, Steve Jordan, said that it is possible that there will be a change in the coming session of the legislature that begins Wednesday, January 26th.

Jordan speculated that rather than limiting the scope of an Oversight Committee to one DHHS Division as it has been in recent years, the new Republican leaders may appoint instead a "DHHS Oversight Committee."

Here is my comment:

"Having a committee to oversee 'all things Medicaid' at NC DHHS will simply dilute any actions to remedy problems associated with mental health issues. In that you will not be able to call up Verla Insko or Martin Nesbitt, co-chairing the Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Mental Health Reform, nothing will get done but will simply pass through an endless number of committees that have no accountability. Therefore, citizens, advocates, and practitioners will have no ability to impact the process.

"Who will rid me of this troublesome priest?", said Shakespeare.

"Who will rid me of these troublesome advocates?"

Why, we have no money to have these legislative oversight committees. Golly gee. Let's bury everything in a NC DHHS oversight committee so large that we can't wrestle the beast.

Marsha V. Hammond, PhD
NC Mental Health Reform blogspot :


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