Mental health report cut from agenda - UPDATED

Crossed from RTB @ Under The Dome

A legislative office created to examine the benefit of public programs was ready to give its report Thursday on the state's mental health services.

Anyone could tell from the title "Compromised controls and lack of focus hampered implementation of enhanced mental health services" it wasn't full of compliments, Lynn Bonner reports.

The report got cut from the agenda about a week before the Joint Oversight Program Evaluation Committee met.

A News & Observer investigation this year found that the state has wasted at least $400 million on a service one on of the enhanced programs, called community support. The federal government is holding on to $175 million in payments to the state because of suspected abuses in the program.

A chairman of the committee, Sen. Fletcher Hartsell of Concord, said the report was taken off the agenda because the committee didn't have time to talk about it. The mental health report was the only item removed from the revised agenda distributed in advance of the meeting.

Hartsell said the committee would get the mental health report back on its agenda. "End of session, probably," he said.

So, the state wasted upwards of $400,000,000.00, thus keeping us from receiving $175,000,000.00, bringing the grand total to $575,000,000.00, and my State Senator doesn't think he'll have time to discuss it? Does anybody know if there's access to a copy of this "agenda" to see just what it is that's taking up so much time in the Senate? As often discussed here on BlueNC, the ongoing Mental Health crisis in our state needs to be addressed NOW. For too long, things went mismanaged with the CITIZENS taking the loss.

Hartsell's challenger this fall, Jim Johnson, isn't the most progressive individual in the world, but it's about time we start electing officials that represent North Carolinians with the interest of North Carolinians in mind. The crisis and downfall of our mental health system needs attention by all lawmakers, and it needs attention now.

Updated with contact information:

Senate Chairs:
Sen. Fletcher L. Hartsell, Jr. (Co-Chair)
Phone: (919) 733-7223
Email: Fletcherh@ncleg.net

Sen. Daniel Gray Clodfelter (Co-Chair)
Phone: (919) 715-8331
Email: Danielc@ncleg.net

House Chairs:
Rep. James Walker Crawford, Jr. (Co-Chair)
Phone: 919-733-5824
Email: Jimcr@ncleg.net

Rep. Drew Paschal Saunders (Co-Chair)
Phone: 919-733-5606
Email: Drews@ncleg.net

Committee Members

Senate:
Sen. Charles Woodrow Albertson
Sen. Linda Dew Garrou
Sen. Malcolm Graham
Sen. Samuel Clark Jenkins
Sen. Martin L. Nesbitt, Jr.
Sen. Robert Miller Pittenger
Sen. Richard Yates Stevens

House:
Rep. Linda D. Coleman
Rep. Daniel Bruce Goforth
Rep. Lindsey Hugh Holliman
Rep. Carolyn Hewitt Justice
Rep. James H. Langdon, Jr.
Rep. David R. Lewis
Rep. Paul Luebke

Regardless of Party affiliation, (and there are a lot of D's involved, sadly) let's contact those on the committee and let them know that the citizens of North Carolina want this issue addressed ASAP.

Comments

$575,000,000.00

I love that you wrote it that way. It shows truly how much we spend on these problems. Take a look at that Wyden bill post I have up. If it made it illegal to discriminate based on mental-health issues and gave everyone health care that covered neurons as well as hepatocytes, cardiomyocytes, and epithelial cells - then maybe we wouldn't need this $575,000,000.00

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

Not just neurons - chemicals that don't work, too.

But do we know if that is covered? That's a mighty big IF, and the mental health system in NC can't wait unti 2012 or whenever it was that the Wyden bill will be working. This system has been in free fall since 2001. Whatever safety net that was there is gone.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi
Pointing at Naked Emperors

Christopher you are kidding me.

You are effing kidding me.

I cannot believe those . . . bozos (see me trying to be nice) cut Mental Health from the agenda. This wasn't even my cause before that forum.

Who will speak for those who cannot speak for themselves? Who will help those who can't help themselves? They are no less people than you or I. God!! Someone get as mad about this as I am!

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi
Pointing at Naked Emperors

Is the printed report available somewhere?

No doubt I missed something and the printed report is available somewhere for us to read at our leisure and analyze here.
Or if it isn't, perhaps someone among us knows someone who will anonymously slip us a copy.
To share with our friends.
I would just love to read it through and blog whatever I find, as a service to the oh so busy legislators, of course.

Any Viable Candidate

Any viable candidate for NC office will protest this move to ignore the largest fiscal and health crisis in the state.

Candidate Perdue - Now's your time to show whether you mean to fix this.

Candidate Hagan - You've known this guy for a long time, care to walk over to his office and tell him what's up?

This is going to get kicked down the road for eternity.

Scrutiny Hooligans - http://www.scrutinyhooligans.us

Here are the Committee Members

MEMBERS
SENATE APPOINTMENTS
Sen. Daniel Gray Clodfelter (Co-Chair)
Sen. Fletcher Lee Hartsell, Jr. (Co-Chair)
Sen. Charles Woodrow Albertson
Sen. Linda Dew Garrou
Sen. Malcolm Graham
Sen. Samuel Clark Jenkins
Sen. Martin L. Nesbitt, Jr.
Sen. Robert Miller Pittenger
Sen. Richard Yates Stevens

HOUSE APPOINTMENTS
Rep. James Walker Crawford, Jr. (Co-Chair)
Rep. Drew Paschal Saunders (Co-Chair)
Rep. Linda D. Coleman
Rep. Daniel Bruce Goforth
Rep. Lindsey Hugh Holliman
Rep. Carolyn Hewitt Justice
Rep. James H. Langdon, Jr.
Rep. David R. Lewis
Rep. Paul Luebke

Scrutiny Hooligans - http://www.scrutinyhooligans.us

Thanks, Gordon

I haven't had time to find all those on the committee, but seeing my Senator's name (ugh) as chair was enough to piss me off.

I KNEW you'd be vocal on the issue, as you're our resident mental health expert.

Thanks for the added info! Updated.

Politically

Nesbitt is running against a fellow named R.L. Clark. Nesbitt's safe.

Goforth is running against a wickedly weak opponent.

Robert Pittenger is running against Walter Dalton.

Pittenger can't afford to be seen hiding documents away. Nesbitt has been one of the good guys re: mental health reform, so maybe he'd help us have a look at it. Goforth... Go figure.

That's all I know.

Scrutiny Hooligans - http://www.scrutinyhooligans.us

All I can think of...

are the # of beds that could be made available to the mentally ill and the homeless mentally ill with $575,000,000.00 I'm at a loss for words, really. Someone told me once that the reason the homeless and mentally ill are so neglected is because they don't vote and in my youth I thought, surely not. But it's quite apparent that's the case.

Conscious evolution, it's what turns me on. There's got to be a difference between right and wrong.-DTB

Conscious evolution, it's what turns me on. There's got to be a difference between right and wrong.-DTB

My brother.

I cannot begin to express the pain and frustration of a broken mental health system and the utter sadness of watching a loved one fall through the cracks, time and time again. It's too close and raw for me, but I am so appreciative of the attention this site has paid to the struggling NC Mental Health System. While I usually lurk around daily, I felt compelled to comment because this diary just speaks so profoundly of the absurdity of it all. Thank you, Linda.

Conscious evolution, it's what turns me on. There's got to be a difference between right and wrong.-DTB

Conscious evolution, it's what turns me on. There's got to be a difference between right and wrong.-DTB

Stay strong, Alicia

It's ridiculous that human beings are still treated this way in the 21st century. My very best to you and your brother.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi
Pointing at Naked Emperors

Tears in heaven.

Somewhere above, Dorothea Dix is weeping, and I'd bet her hands are clenched into white-knuckled fists.

Person County Democrats

I actively oppose gerrymandering. Do you?

Thank you so much.

Conscious evolution, it's what turns me on. There's got to be a difference between right and wrong.-DTB

Conscious evolution, it's what turns me on. There's got to be a difference between right and wrong.-DTB

Borks Their Narrative

Everyone in government pushed the narrative that the failure was due to those darned abusive mental health service providers. The truth, of course, lays quite a lot more responsibility at the feet of the apparatus:

"Compromised controls and lack of focus hampered implementation of enhanced mental health services"

They're going to try to bury it because it implicates everyone in the failures. This is the lack of accountability that has made it impossible to move forward.

Scrutiny Hooligans - http://www.scrutinyhooligans.us

Democrats Can Lead, Or Give It to Dole

This piece at Progressive Pulse outlines why Democrats have to stand up and lead on health care. Whether it's the mental health crisis, SCHIP, Health Choice, or Kay Hagan's health care plan, Democrats can let Elizabeth Dole become the Health Care candidate or we can go about the business of actually fixing the problems facing us. We can outshout Dole on this issue, but can we actually get something done?

If not, then it's just a rhetorical war between the monied Dole and a limp Hagan. If not, then it's just kicking the health care can further down the road.

Scrutiny Hooligans - http://www.scrutinyhooligans.us

truly disturbing

Searing is absolutely right that Dole has just introduced some sham legislation so that she (and her supporters) can claim that action is being taken. Sham claims to give a damn have played well for the GOP for years and years and years now.

But I think we've got a hell of a chance. Obama's candidacy suggests to me that the very base most affected by the GOP's "let 'em eat cake" attitude is awakaned now to the possibility of genuine change. These are the voters who have been missing for all these years, but who are now getting a taste of the power they can wield at the ballot box.

Of course, a lot of damage has been done in the meanwhile. Look at the kind of press we have these days. We don't have journalists so much as personalities, and their interest doesn't seem to have much to do with journalism and everything to do with ratings.

Maybe they're waking up, too. But if real change is coming, it's going to be strongly resisted by the folks who currently have their boots on the neck of what passes for a press.

One is almost afraid to believe in the possibilities for change because it hurts so damned much when the same old machine, the Rovian tactics and a sleep-walking press let apppearance prevail over substance yet again.