We Can Do Better: Mental Health Advocacy Forum with MOMI

We Can Do Better: Mental Health Advocacy Forum with MOMI

November 13, 2018 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
St. Paul's United Church of Christ - Sanctuary
6512 12th Ave NW
WA 98117

Please join Mothers of the Mentally Ill (MOMI) and NAMI Seattle for a community forum to discuss ways Washington State can do better, and invite others from your professional and political circles. We appreciate an RSVP to this email address: intern@namiseattle.org.

Our loved ones struggle with life-threatening psychosis. They are put in jail when they are sick. They are denied care unless they are violent. They are discarded into homelessness. Some have attempted or completed suicide.

Our families are in a State of Emergency, because the systems meant to support our loved ones aren’t working.

MOMI assembled this spring, while many of us struggled with seriously ill children in jail, because their illness is treated like a crime. We live the horror that our family members with Serious Mental illness (SMI) are 10 times more likely to go to jail than hospitals. 

Our families have researched laws and policies to build a sensible and workable agenda that we presented to Governor Jay Inslee on June 26. The system is broken, but we can fix it.

During our meeting, Governor Inslee assured us that:

  • He recognizes that Serious Mental Illness has been criminalized by poor laws and policies.
  • He wants to make Mental Healthcare a priority in the upcoming session.
  • He will give us a voice in the process

In Olympia we also spent three hours in conversation with Rashi Gupta, the governor’s adviser for mental health, and Ken Taylor from the Behavioral Health Administration. They encouraged our action plan and recommended that we talk to community members about our ideas.

Here’s what’s on our discussion agenda:

  • Why mental health should be treated like other serious medical conditions, based on a person’s level of illness and need for help, not based on crime or suicidal/homicidal threats.
  • Anosognosia, when our loved ones can’t know they are sick. At least 50 percent of Serious Mental Illness (extreme depression, bipolar or schizophrenia) includes this dangerous symptom.
  • How our state has failed to front-fund the most economical and evidence-based treatment programs. Our state is average for mental health spending but falls to the bottom in efficacy.
  • Hear directly from 3-4 community members about their personal experience with mental health systems in our region.
  • How our families can influence change.

We also encourage you to read “My Son is Mentally Ill; So Listen Up” by MOMI leader, Jerri Clark, as featured on Pete Early’s blog.

This is a free event! Please RSVP to: intern@namiseattle.org.

Folks who would like to attend this presentation virtually, we will be streaming via Zoom (as long as the technology gods are smiling our way!)

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