KTP Legislative Priorities: 2018

Spend $$ Smarter: Prioritize Community Mental Health

We must ask decision-makers to “Keep the Promise” to create and sustain a comprehensive, individualized, community-focused mental health system for individuals and families in Connecticut! The State must spend $$ smarter by maintaining evidence-based and promising practice models such as Supportive Housing that have proven to be cost-effective and work well for individuals and families served.

Background:

KTP was founded in 1999 after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Olmstead v L.C. that the community integration mandate of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) meant persons with psychiatric disabilities have the right to live in the most integrated community setting. The CT Legal Rights Project convened a meeting of stakeholders to discuss building inclusive & integrated system of community services & housing for persons of all ages who have mental health conditions.

Read about KTP’s 2018 Legislative Agenda:

ENCOURAGE FULL COMMUNITY INTEGRATION & PROTECT CIVIL RIGHTS
Ensure persons with mental health conditions have equal opportunities to full community integration by protecting their equal access to housing, education, and employment. Oppose measures that would restrict individual rights and self-determination.

  • PRESERVE SUPPORTIVE HOUSING FOR FAMILIES, CHILDREN & ADULTS:
    Supportive housing is a proven model shown to reduce hospital expenses, promote self-sufficiency and prevent homelessness. Besides housing units, adequate rental subsidies and support services are needed, including for individuals who are discharged from hospitals and released from correctional facilities, to provide stability and prevent re-institutionalization.
  • STRENGTHEN AND PRESERVE SCHOOL-BASED HEALTH SERVICES:
    Increase access to mental health services for children and youth by increasing the number of school-based health centers, school social workers, and school psychologists. Promote supportive school environments through mental health training and education of school personnel to end restrictive practices. Establish and improve partnerships between schools and communities in order to provide comprehensive and coordinated services and referrals for children and families.

ADVOCATE FOR SYSTEMIC CHANGE
Advocate for systemic solutions, rather than short-term fixes, that involve cultural competency for our diverse communities, and follow the recommendations of existing state mental health plans and reports. Monitor federal mental health proposals, including system solutions for payment and delivery for mental health services.

ENSURE ACCESS TO INTEGRATED HEALTH CARE SERVICES: Monitor and influence the implementation of new state models for delivering and reimbursing health care and social services to ensure they promote the integration of primary care and behavioral health services. Provide assistance with navigating the system to promote early identification and ensure access to services. This includes offering interpretation and translation services as needed, along with peer specialists and community health workers.

CLOSE COVERAGE GAP BETWEEN PUBLIC & PRIVATE INSURANCE: Promote the implementation of more equal coverage for persons with commercial insurance. Expand menu of covered services over access to proven, cost-effective non-medical services such as case management and peer services to support community living and prevent unnecessary hospitalization.

PROMOTE WELLNESS, SELF-DETERMINATION AND SELF-SUFFICIENCY
Offer individuals with mental health conditions a spectrum of proven, cost-effective services to meet their needs and goals. These include: Recovery Support Specialist (RSS), Recovery Coaches, Community Bridger, Wellness Recovery Action Planning (WRAP), Advance Directives, In-Home or Home-Like Respite and Residential Services, and Supported Education and Employment.

ADVOCATE FOR APPROPRIATE SERVICES FOR EMERGING & OLDER ADULTS: Offer peer supports for young and older adults with mental health needs, including those experiencing their first mental health episodes. Hold accountable the Department of Children and Families (DCF) and Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS) for providing timely supports and services to young adults.

Keep the Promise Coalition reviews and revises its legislative priorities on an annual basis starting in the late summer before each year’s legislative session. The process starts with the KTP Coordinating Council and involves broad Coalition input from Coalition members and leaders in both child and adult advocacy work including approval of final priorities. Final priorities are printed before the session begins and distributed for members’ use in speaking with legislators.

Questions about the KTP priorities or the planning process? Please call KTP at (860) 788-6180.

Join our Keep the Promise email list by contacting Maura at KTP@cahs.org, and receive timely information on pending legislation and on other important activities and events!


Mental Health Parity

Daniela Giordano, Policy Director for Adults at NAMI-Connecticut (a CT Health
grantee), provides an overview of the current state of Mental Health Parity in
Connecticut, in a GUEST BLOG post on the CT Health Foundation website.

Check it out here: http://www.cthealth.org/blog/treat-us-equally-mental-health-parity

Related Links

Mental & Physical Health at Intercommunity.

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Location: CT Valley Hospital (CVH), Page Hall, Rm. 217, Middletown, CT 06457.

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