State MH System Reinvents Itself – Again

“Our insatiable demand for illegal drugs fuels the drug trade.” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, speaking 3 25 2009 in Mexico City.

We’ve survived, over the decades, several rearrangements of payment-for-services from the feds to the state to the counties to the providers to their staff for persons with mental illness and addiction. Most rearrangements, in hindsight, responded to acute concerns, more often reducing than adding services. Most, in hindsight, diminished, confused, or obscured the notion of people getting well.

The state’s mental health and addiction graybeards released a concept” paper on March 24, and held a meeting on March 25 to explain new ideas. Chief of the Division now is Richard Harris, former longtime director of celebrated Central City Concern. Harris was interviewed by Street Roots when he started in October, where he laid out several key ideas about how things could be different.

These ideas are incorporated in the concept paper, and are rooted in evidence that the strongest motivator for recovery and wellness is self-sufficiency. We hope they get a complete hearing – and complete funding from the legislature.

Elements of an Effective Mental Health Addictions Treatment Care and Delivery System, March 24 2009

Memo from Senator Alan Bates and Representative Tina Kotek, Re: System Reform for Mental Health and Addiction Services, inviting “stakeholders” to March 25 meeting

Harris’ proposed changes come as Governor Ted Kulongoski suggests public addiction and mental health services be cut, in some areas as much as 90%. The governor’s proposal is both selfish and stupid.

EXTRA – Hillary Clinton has admitted that the US demand for illegal drugs and its consequent supply of weapons is fuelling the wave of violent killings in Mexico’s drug wars, Guardian 3 26 2009
EXTRA – Clinton: U.S. shares blame for Mexican drug wars, El Paso Times, 3 26 2009