Action Update: The Mental Health Crisis Is Here

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketYour emails and phone calls are working. I talked to nearly twenty Representatives and Senators today and found them all quite interested in listening. Rep. Verla Insko, an honest-to-God leader in this fight, had 210 messages in her inbox by 1pm, and she, along with the other legislators are prepared to find a solution to the crisis wrought by Carmen Hooker-Odom's ruinous decision.

The mental health system has been unstable since it was unmoored under the 2001 reform legislation. As private businesses work to create a sustainable infrastructure, they are repeatedly thrown into crisis by the state's decision. Let's remember that the consultant hired by the state recommended a five-year period of stability to foster innovation and build infrastructure.

Businesses are already cutting workers, and I've heard of three that have already closed. All smaller providers are teetering on the edge of bankruptcy. There are 20,000 public mental health recipients in the 11th Congressional District alone. All of them are in danger of losing services - losing access to psychiatrists, to substance abuse services, to group homes. Here's one report from gsodem at BlueNC:

"The cuts came on Thursday, the check they got from Medicaid was shorted by $70,000. Layoffs began yesterday. 14 clerical and support staff have been shown to the door -- All in less than a week. It will start with clerical and support. If the situation doesn't improve, eventually it will bite the clinicians because they are more expensive employees."

I'm having a hard time organizing my thoughts into a fluid narrative, so here are some bullets for you:

- Tomorrow at 11am, NAMI (National Alliance for the Mentally Ill) and the NCAC (North Carolina Advocacy Coalition), are sponsoring a rally at the capital in Raleigh. Come if you can. Bring signs.

- In the west, county managers are meeting tomorrow and Friday with mental health providers and representatives from Congressman Shuler's office to respond to the crisis.

- Governor Mike Easley isn't returning anyone's calls. He's isolated himself. The legislators, the business sector, and the citizenry are all arrayed against Easley and his Secretary Odom, and they're trying to ride out the storm behind closed doors.

- A group of providers is seeking an injunction in the courts tomorrow, arguing that the Odom's decision constitutes a breach of contract.

- It's rumored that Division of Medical Assistance Director Alan Dobson has moved the date of the retroactive cuts from March 1 to April 1 and that the $40 rate will remain in effect until April 20 at which point a new decision will be made. This could be just a rumor. It could be a political feint. Or it could be a well-intended response. Regardless, it doesn't prevent the crisis.

In your emails and phone calls, you can reference this Hooligan's suggestions:

1. Rescind the Odom decision. Return the rates to what they were on March 31.

2. Recognize this simple problem - Government is always looking to cut costs while business costs of doing business are always going up.

3. Reward providers that are doing things right by compensating them commensurately. Punish those that are abusing the system through fines and prosecutions.

4. Implement a three tier reimbursement system that pays varied rates for differently skilled workers, assigned according to the level of care needs of the client. Alternately, come up with another great idea - we're all ears.

Again, what you're doing is working. Don't stop yet. Governor Easley (919-733-4240), Secretary Odom (919-733-4534), and your local newspapers all need to hear from you. Make as much noise as you can.


I know its way too early

to be talking this way. But. After we win, lets keep the momentum up and get above 40th in per capita spending.

Draft Brad Miller -- NC Sen ActBlue :::Petition

"Keep the Faith"

You're so rad, Blue South

40th? You're asking for far too much. North Carolinians are just too poor.

Besides, no one here professes to follow that upstart Jesus' teachings about caring for the less fortunate. We're social Darwinists, remember?
“All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players.”
So enjoy the drama.

speaking of which

I started a biography of William Jennings Bryan tonight.

Draft Brad Miller -- NC Sen ActBlue :::Petition

"Keep the Faith"

Well done, Screwy

Good luck tomorrow. Got all my fingers and whatever crossed. Sorry I can't be there.

Here's a response I got from Gov. Easley's Office

The following is an automated response
----- to your message generated on behalf of

I will be out of the office from Wednesday, April 4 through Friday, April 13.
If you are receiving this response as a result of an e-mail that you have sent
to Governor Michael Easley, you will receive a response soon.

Your inquiry is important to me and will be handled in a timely manner. Have a nice day!

Isn't that nice, they hope I have a nice day...

No matter that patriotism is too often the refuge of scoundrels. Dissent, rebellion, and all-around hell-raising remain the true duty of patriots.

Progressive Discussions


that must be the message that showed up in my spam folder.

Draft Brad Miller -- NC Sen ActBlue :::Petition

"Keep the Faith"

Gov. Easley, you've done some pretty good things for NC

Come back out into the light and admit you made a mistake. Do the right thing, you could be a hero!

No matter that patriotism is too often the refuge of scoundrels. Dissent, rebellion, and all-around hell-raising remain the true duty of patriots.

Progressive Discussions

Great work, Screwy

We're behind you.

“All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players.”
So enjoy the drama.

Y'all rock!

Thanks again, everyone!

More soon.

Scrutiny Hooligans -

Here's Bev Purdue info

gsodem suggested we contact her (and I can't find the comment). This was his/her earlier post on the numbers already fired, the effects of the shorted reimbursement checks already coming in to service providers.

Here's Bev's email:

and phone: 919-733-7350
“All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players.”
So enjoy the drama.

gsodem is a "he"

We met him at the diner when we were pottery shopping, remember?

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Yes, I am a he.

It's great to see us all rallying to the cause.

I would urge everyone to add Perdue to your letter writing campaign. She's a social worker and we have a Code of Ethics that I think unambiguiously compels to advocate against things like this.

Also, on a practical level if she becomes gov, then this will be her mess to clean up.

And then politically, I think she'd score some serious points with all of us if she took up our cause. There is the issue of that primary.

Yes, there is the issue of the primary

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

You're the young man who wanted to meet Brad?

That's the one I remember. I posted the lt gov stuff somewhere, gsodem. I think that's a great idea.
“All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players.”
So enjoy the drama.


That was me. What a truly serendipitous event that all was. Stephanie and I just happened to drop in at a dinner after looking at all the pottery and there the ladies of BlueNC were along with Congressman Miller.

All my progressive friends in GSO were super-jealous.

My letter to the Lt. Gov.

Who cares about the mental health crisis in this state? Just those of us who suffer from, or have a family member who suffers from...

* Acute Stress Disorder
* Adjustment Disorder
* Agoraphobia
* Alcohol Addiction
* Alzheimer's Disease
* Amnestic Disorder
* Anorexia Nervosa
* Antisocial Personal Disorder
* Anxiety Disorder NOS
* Asperger's Syndrome
* Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
* Autism
* Avoidant Personality Disorder
* Binge Eating Disorder
* Bipolar Disorder
* Body Dysmorphic Disorder
* Borderline Personality Disorder
* Breathing-Related Sleep Disorder
* Brief Psychotic Disorder
* Bulimia Nervosa
* Childhood Disintegrative Disorder
* Childhood Disorder NOS
* Childhood Eating Disorders
* Cognitive Disorder NOS
* Conduct Disorder
* Conversion Disorder
* Cyclothymic Disorder
* Delerium
* Delusional Disorder
* Dementia
* Dependent Personality Disorder
* Depersonalization Disorder
* Depression
* Depressive Disorder NOS
* Disruptive Behavior Disorder NOS
* Dissociative Amnesia
* Dissociative Disorder NOS
* Dissociative Fugue
* Dissociative Identity Disorder
* Drug Addiction
* Dyslexia
* Dyssomnia NOS
* Dysthymic Disorder
* Factitious Disorder
* Gambling Addiction
* Gender Identity Disorder
* Generalized Anxiety Disorder
* Histrionic Personality Disorder
* Huntington's Disease
* Hypersomnia
* Hypochondriasis
* Impulse-Control Disorder NOS
* Insomnia
* Intermittent Explosive Disorder
* Kleptomania
* Learning Disorders
* Malingering
* Mental Retardation
* Mixed-Receptive-Expressive Language Disorder
* Munchausen by Proxy
* Munchausen Syndrome
* Narcissistic Personality Disorder
* Narcolepsy
* Nightmare Disorder
* Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
* Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder
* Oppositional Defiant Disorder
* Pain Disorder
* Panic Disorder
* Paranoid Personality Disorder
* Paraphilias
* Parasomnia NOS
* Parkinson's Disease
* Personality Disorder NOS
* Pervasive Developmental Disorder NOS
* Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
* Postpartum Depression
* Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder
* Primary Sleep Disorders
* Pyromania
* Reactive Attachment Disorder
* Rett's Disorder
* Schizoaffective Disorder
* Schizoid Personality Disorder
* Schizophrenia
* Schizotypal Personality Disorder
* Seasonal Affective Disorder
* Selective Mutism
* Separation Anxiety Disorder
* Sexual Addiction
* Sexual Disorder NOS
* Sexual Dysfunctions
* Shared Psychotic Disorder
* Sleep Terror Disorder
* Sleepwalking Disorder
* Social Anxiety Disorder
* Somatization Disorder
* Somatoform Disorder NOS
* Specific Phobia
* Stuttering
* Tourette's Syndrome
* Trichotillomania
* Undifferentiated Somatoform Disorder

One man with courage makes a majority.
- Andrew Jackson

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.


Draft Brad Miller -- NC Sen ActBlue :::Petition

"Keep the Faith"

I have half of those

“All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players.”
So enjoy the drama.

I can't pronounce half of those.

And the other half I've never heer't of.

All I can say is, GOD BLESS the stalwart souls who deal with this stuff for a living.

"They took all the trees and put them in a tree museum Then they charged the people a dollar 'n a half just to see 'em. Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got till it's gone? They paved paradise and put up a parking lot."

Thanks for the link!

It's nice they're backing off, and while I'm not caught up on the news I think it will take them backing down, reversing and increasing the amount spent on services to make this crew happy.

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Don't forget about LTEs

My social work professor and I will be crafting an LTE for submisison to the Greensboro News and Record.

Be on the lookout. ;)


Contacting Perdue's office is exactly the right thing to do after you've talked to Odom's office, Easley's office, and your newspapers.

Easley is so isolated now that only someone like Perdue can get to him. He's not returning calls and not seeing anyone.

We're off to Odom's office now. Cross your fingers.

Scrutiny Hooligans -


how did the day go?

Draft Brad Miller -- NC Sen ActBlue :::Liddy 44 Brad 33

"Keep the Faith"