Legislative Affairs

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Leading By Example
"Recognizing that advocacy is best served when driven by the heart, a person living with mental illness who can relate their relationship to the value and shortcomings of the mental health system is clearly the best advocate."

Update on Involuntary Outpatient Commitment
"a law establishing involuntary outpatient commitment is creating compulsory participation in something that does not exist ... For politicians in New York State, adopting outpatient commitment would mean great headlines and failed public policy."

Deadly Restraints
"On June 28, 1999, Gregory Lee Richardson died in restraints in the Albany County Jail. Diagnosed with schizophrenia 20 years earlier, Mr. Richardson was in the jail following his arrest for a traffic-related incident ... after nearly three weeks in the Albany County jail without a full psychiatric evaluation"

MHANYS' 2000 Legislative Program
"the 2000 Legislative Program is based on testimony offered by mental health advocates at the MHANYS Annual Public Hearing in October."

A Mother's View
"Most of the time, talking about him brings visible pain. She still can't understand what happened to her son, and hopes that her loss is not repeated for some other parent of a person living with schizophrenia."

Singing the Praises of an Unsung Hero
"Senator Duane spoke in support of his motion, saying, 'This bill does not provide greater coverage for mental illnesses, it provides for equal treatment. For too long ... people who are seeking treatment for mental illness have had to live with stigmatization.'"

Into the Capitol
"following maneuvers and counter-maneuvers, the effort to get Senator Libous' parity bill past the Senate was defeated-with all 23 Republican co-sponsors voting against their own bill."

When Illness Strikes a Friend
"One of the things that comes with learning that mental illness can touch anyone is also recognizing that on any given day, it might ... No matter our background or training, we are often ill-prepared for it, and feel helpless when it does occur."

Musical Chairs
"MHANYS believes that the mental health advocacy community has a great friend and leader in Marty Luster"

Albany Advocate: Share Your "Beautiful Mind"
"In the world of advocacy, nothing makes a better case for an issue than the stories of the people who most greatly need the change being sought."

Mental Health Legislative Year in Review
Accomplishments as well as what still must be done to improve the lives of the mentally ill

Health Insurers Resist Full Mental Health Coverage
"The O'Clairs had to relinquish custody of Timothy into foster care, so he could get the treatment he needed."

PROS Challenges Consumers to Master New Rules
"Until now, all consumers were served for free. In the future [with PROS], clients without Medicaid may have to pay according to income."

Albany Legislative Year in Review
By MICHAEL SEEREITER, Director of Public Policy, Mental Health Association in New York State

"Just one week after saying he had 'profound concerns' with the budget passed by the Assembly and Senate, the Governor wielded his veto pen and vetoed 195 items in the budget totaling $1.8 billion."

Albany Monster Seeks to Restrict Access to Medications

"As the calls to reduce the cost of Medicaid have become louder and louder, the costs associated with prescription drugs, which now represent a large portion of all Medicaid costs, continue to be a prime target."

The Fight for Rights in Albany

"We learned the importance of advocacy. We spoke up for ourselves and we were heard.we know that our cause is worth standing up for."

You Can Become a Field Organizer, a Team Leader, or a Bus Captain!

"As we look towards the 2005 NYAPRS Legislative Day, participation as a Field Organizer, a Team Leader, and/or a Bus Captain are integral ways to impact mental health policy."

Councilwoman Margarita Lopez on the Issues


"The State is planning to put a piece of legislation that is going to destroy the psychosocial clubs, the clinics, the entire network that we have created in the mental health system in the city."

Interview with Assemblyman James Brennan

"Once a mental health advocate, always a mental health advocate"

NYAPRS Advocates Strong in 2004
By VUKA STRIEVIC, Co-Chair, Public Policy Committee, New York Association of Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services

"Beginning decades ago, the consumer advocacy movement continues to successfully influence law, improve resource allocation, and result in necessary oversights, systemic reforms, and protection of human rights."

"Kendra's Law" Passed

"The new IOC law could affect a significant number of persons living with mental illness who have a history of lack of compliance with treatment."

Working Toward a National Consumer Voice
"The vision of the Summit is to bring consumer/survivors together to focus on what we have in common as a people victimized by paternalism, stigma, and discrimination. ... Much work needs to be done to build a national voice for a community of individuals still struggling to have their own voices heard."

$126 Million More?
"A recent draft report ... sited a lack of proper case management and supervised housing as contributing to the failure to provide adequate care to Andrew Goldstein, who is charged in the death of Kendra Webdale."

Work Incentive Act is Law
"The new law should ... give more Americans with disabilities the opportunity to participate in the workforce"

Mother of Suicide Victim Speaks Out
"Five days after his suicide, Mrs. Harrington was notified that her son's Medicaid application had been approved."

Medicaid Buy-in Stalls - With Promise of Later Action
"His comment has led to speculation that the Republican leadership will bring the Senate back to Albany closer to the November election, in order to more publicly link the passage of the bill to the U.S. Senate candidacy of Republican Rick Lazio." Also: How Have Other States Acted on the Medicaid Buy-in Option?

"Hospitals to Handcuffs"
"Judge Wachtler spoke of his personal experience as a person living with mental illness in federal prison. 'I tell you that if you're not mentally ill when you go in, you certainly will be shortly thereafter,' he said. 'The first thing they do is put you in solitary confinement'"

Consumer/Survivors Work Toward "National Desk"
"The community of people with psychiatric disabilities and of psychiatric survivors is by far the largest constituency among people with disabilities"

Vote! 2000
"If people with disabilities voted at the same rate as the rest of Americans, there would have been at least five million more votes in the last Presidential election."

NYAPRS Annual Legislative Day 2002
". Assembly Speaker, Sheldon Silver, [was honored] for linking the Medicaid Buy-in with the recent billion-dollar healthcare financing agreement. Medicaid Buy-in allows consumers to return to work and not have to worry about losing their Medicaid."

Governor's Budget Gives Mental Heath Short Shrift
"We are losing the most experienced staff at alarming rates. In mental health, it means discontinuity and disruptions in the healing relationship which is so necessary for recovery."


Also By David Kellogg...

Coming Inside Out
"Mostly I remember the cage on top of Albany Med where they use to let us psychiatric patients smoke four times a day. That, and wandering the halls of ward E-3 in confused boredom."

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