What can you do? Advocate at the local level.
Reasonable, objective measurements and transparent oversight. Accountability!
- Increase number of housing options like the Lighthouse Model (more information coming soon!) and home-like transitional facilities for individuals with more serious forms of mental illness.
- Increase use of long-term state hospital and acute, court-ordered evaluation beds.
- End the provider culture of hiding behind HIPAA laws.
- Require physicians to make a reasonable effort to gather relevant information from the family of admitted patients.
- Screen involuntarily committed patients prior to discharging them and arrange for services.
- Confirm appropriate living arrangements for involuntarily committed patients prior to discharge and ensure prospective family members or caregiver(s) have access to appropriate resources.
- Expand ACT Teams.
- Expand use of Assisted Outpatient Treatment (AOT), including in rural communities.
- Gather and report relevant data on the SMI population's use of jails, hospitals, and homeless shelters.
- Recruit and support hiring of more psychiatrists.
- Require appropriate training and screening of behavioral health care workers.
- Stop denying violence is an issue that needs addressing. Individuals with untreated serious mental illness can become violent.
- Bring the Behavioral Health system to the table after a violent incident involving the police. Hold the BH system equally accountable.