Letter to the Editor: Mental Health

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This post is one that is very personal to me, in that I am posting a letter I wrote to the editor of the Warren Times-Observer in response to this linked article I had read on their site.

The letter is one that tries to shine a positive light on the mental health community, while also touching on a prominent myth about people with mental health issues. I also share a story about a personal encounter I had while shopping to help show how the myth impacts the mental health community.

Peace be with all who read my letter!

Jenn

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“Federal suit says state provides inadequate mental health care”

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This December 1, 2015 article by Joe Smydo of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette talks about a federal lawsuit being filed by the Disability Rights Network against the Pennsylvania Dept. of Human Services citing inadequate mental health care as the reason for the suit.  Warren State Hospital, Torrance State Hospital and Mifflin County Jail are where the 3 people the suit focuses on are located.

“State downgrades Dauphin County Children & Youth’s licensing status”

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This August 20, 2015 Penn-Live Patriot News article talks about Dauphin County Children and Youth being downgraded to a provisional license.  Licensing requirements are based on a variety of areas ranging from paperwork to the caseload of employees, building safety, training and many other things there is a link at the end of the article that will take you to a copy of the report on Dauphin County’s licensing assessment.

“Philly mental health community reflects on Byberry state hospital closure 25 years later “

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This June 22, 2015 article on the NewsWorks website talks about the need to commemorate the people who suffered at Philadelphia State Hospital or “Byberry” as it is often called.  The article also points out that people with mental health issues generally do better when they can receive services in the community instead of being placed in a large institution.  The article also indicates that by nature, large institutions sacrifice the humanity of the people placed there in exchange for efficiency of the work.

“‘Peer Support’ Local mental health consumers are helping each other”

Link to: WTO06122015C01 (pdf format)

The article on Peer Support available through the above link, appeared in the Warren Times Observer on June 12, 2015. The article talks about a variety of Peer programs found at Beacon Light Behavioral Health in Warren, PA.  I felt the article gave a really good representation of some of the changes being seen in Warren County with regards to mental health treatment.

The pdf file was provided to me by Diane Paddock who wrote the piece for the Warren Times Observer, and shared here with her permission. The Warren Times Observer website is located at http://timesobserver.com

“New $4 million behavioral health unit at Easton Hospital to fill a gap”

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This June 15, 2015 article on the LehighvalleyLive website talks about a new psychiatric unit being opened in Easton that hopes to fill a void by providing better access to emergency mental health care to the area

“Warren County Community Mental Health Awareness Video”

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This May 12, 2015 video by the GlarnerGroup was produced in Warren County, PA and talks about mental illness statistics surrounding it, and explaining why mental health is important and why we need to support those who have been diagnosed with a mental illness.  The message in this video is very recovery oriented.

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