Musings from the 49th Annual American Association of Suicidology Conference

Posted by on Apr 1, 2016 in GPS for Youth and Families, King County, Suicide | Comments Off on Musings from the 49th Annual American Association of Suicidology Conference

Musings from the 49th Annual American Association of Suicidology Conference

By Susan Millender, GPS Executive Director   I am attending the American Association of Suicidology Conference this week, along with more than 1,000 loss survivors, researchers, mental health therapist, substance abuse treatment providers and other professionals in the field of suicide prevention. After suicide hit close to home in our own King County youth and family peer support network twice in the past two years, I felt it important to gain more information and talk with others about the prevention work going on in their communities. More than a few King County teachers and school...

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Restore Non-Medicaid Funding for Mental Health and Substance Abuse

Posted by on Mar 6, 2015 in Advocacy, Children's Mental Health, depression, family support organization, GPS for Youth and Families, King County, Mental Illness, Policy Day | Comments Off on Restore Non-Medicaid Funding for Mental Health and Substance Abuse

by Pam Romine, GPS Office and Volunteer Coordinator Even during the best of economic times, youth and adults living with mental illness struggle to access essential mental health services and supports. Services are often unavailable or inaccessible for those who need them the most. One in 17 people in America lives with a serious mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, major depression, or bipolar disorder. About one in 10 children live with a serious mental disorder. Unfortunately, the public often focuses on mental illness only when high visibility tragedies of the magnitude of Newtown...

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Two of my Favorite Objectives

Posted by on Mar 4, 2015 in Advocacy, Children's Mental Health, depression, family support organization, GPS for Youth and Families, King County, Mental Illness, Recovery | Comments Off on Two of my Favorite Objectives

by Ron Jaeger, GPS Board Member I’ve been looking over my notes from the King County Mental Health Forum last November.  The forum touched on two of my favorite objectives for legislative advocacy.  They are both general but apply to a lot of the changes I believe that families want to see: 1) Empower families and communities to help loved ones 2) Incentivize the systems to help people as early as possible You may remember the comments of Jim Volendroff, the new Division Director of King County Mental Health and Chemical Abuse Dependency who said  “As an adolescent, I had my...

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Full Behavioral Health Integration Requires an Integrated Commitment Statue

Posted by on Feb 26, 2015 in executive director, King County | Comments Off on Full Behavioral Health Integration Requires an Integrated Commitment Statue

By Susan Millender, GPS Executive Director During the 2014 King County Mental Health & Substance Abuse Legislative Forum, the integration of behavioral health involuntary treatment laws (ITA) and the launching of a 16-bed secure detoxification facility was highlighted as a request and legislative priority.  Why is this request an important one to our families?  “Unless you’ve been there, you can’t imagine what it’s like to watch helplessly as someone you love descends into addiction,” David Sheff writes in his book Clean, Overcoming Addiction and Ending America’s Greatest...

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Redirect Marijuana Excise Tax

Posted by on Feb 23, 2015 in family support, GPS for Youth and Families, King County, Policy Day, Recovery, young adults, youth peers | Comments Off on Redirect Marijuana Excise Tax

By Gary Streile, GPS Parent Partner In 2012 WA state voters approved I-502, which removed state legal prohibitions against producing, processing, and selling marijuana. It also made marijuana sales subject to licensing and regulation by the liquor control board, and subject to an excise tax. Details of the disbursement of this excise tax were laid out in RCW 69.50.540. Item 5d of that RCW specifies that a portion of the excise tax should go to the state Basic Health Plan (BHP) trust account. The intent was for this money to be used for prevention, recovery support, and treatment services for...

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Musings from Susan’s Desk

Posted by on Dec 12, 2014 in Children's Mental Health, family support, federation conference, GPS for Youth and Families, King County, Musings from Susan's Desk, national federation | Comments Off on Musings from Susan’s Desk

Last month, I was fortunate to be able to attend the 25th annual Conference of the Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health in Washington, D.C.  Once again this year, November 18th, Policy Day, was the highlight of my conference experience.  This is a day where parents and youth, Board members, directors and staff of family support organizations and other conferees from across the United States join together to advocate for children’s mental health on Capitol Hill.  We spent the morning being updated on key legislation and shaping our advocacy strategies and messages, before...

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