Washington, DC: “Michael J. Fitzpatrick , executive director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) met yesterday with Vice President Joseph Biden ‘s task force on gun control, along with other leaders of the mental health community, urging action to strengthen and expand mental health care services.” Biden’s task force is expected to report to President Barack Obama tomorrow (January 15) (NAMI Newsroom).
The UK: A blogger for The Guardian makes the case for awarding New Year Honours to people who people living with mental illness, those who care for them, and those who publicly stand up for them. The New Year Honours are awarded on January 1 to newly named members of the orders of chivalry. (The Guardian)
The US: Legislators struggle to write laws that balance civil liberties with the need to get help for people who pose a threat to themselves or others. (USA Today)
The US: The psychiatric community is not currently meeting the needs of people of Hispano-American, according to some. Minority populations are historically less inclined to use mental health services due to differing cultural attitudes toward seeking help outside of one’s own community. It is also difficult for Spanish speakers to find services offered in their primary language. (Huffington Post)
Kansas: The Kansas City Star was one of many publications this week to report (with varying levels of unintentionally stigmatizing language choices) on our flawed state mental health systems.
Minnesota: Citing concerns that the mental health needs of the incarcerated are not being met, State Senator Al Franken has introduced a bill that would provide federal funding for mental health programs in prisons and jails. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)