[module align="right" width="half" type="pull-quote"]'The problem is not a lack of hospital beds, the problem is a lack of investment in local community prevention efforts.'[/module]
"The state is systematically draining local community-based support for people with mental health conditions and pretending that services driven by medical providers will include mental health. The problem is not a lack of hospital beds, the problem is a lack of investment in local community prevention efforts.
We would support the state in full if it involved us in a locally based plan to:
•Open 6 regional peer-run respite centers which have been shown - using claims data tied to social security numbers - to dramatically reduce hospitalizations and costs while improving services (a single pilot is about to be implemented in Western Massachusetts.)
• Open locally based specialty medical homes focused on mental health recovery services (such as the grant funded pilot at Community Healthlink in Worcester.)
• Be honest about the employment and housing supports that matter to address the fundamental pivot on which mental health rests.
•Submit a state plan amendment to the state Medicaid plan to define peer specialists as a unique provider type such that local mental health services can easily avail themselves of this evidence- based service
We thoroughly support Tony Ricciteli, director, and his recovery-focused leadership at the new Worcester State Hospital facility and expect them to break new ground with their efforts.
However, with the state's drain of local community-based innovation in specific mental health recovery needs — along with the chaos ahead as mental health services are handed off to unprepared and unwitting medical providers in other state initiatives — we see a devastating future for people with mental health needs.
Readers, your comments are welcome below.
This program aired on January 25, 2012. The audio for this program is not available.