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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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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Raise Liquor Tax for Substance Use Disorders and Treatment

Posted by on Feb 12, 2015 in GPS for Youth and Families, Policy Day | Comments Off on Raise Liquor Tax for Substance Use Disorders and Treatment

by Zakia Ruquiya, GPS Parent Partner We would like to create a Substance Use Disorders Treatment Account and require 30% of the funds collected from alcohol license issuance fees from spirits distributor licensees to be deposited into the account.  Revenue from this account should be directed to support community-based prevention, recovery support and treatment services. This initiative is designed to provide funding for programs where state and federal funding falls short.   State revenues are anticipated to decline further as the state looks to make up a deficit. Despite declining...

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Increase Tabacco Purchase Age

Posted by on Feb 6, 2015 in family support organization, Policy Day | Comments Off on Increase Tabacco Purchase Age

By Gary Sterile, GPS Parent Partner At this year’s King County Mental Health and Substance Abuse Legislative Forum, attendees were presented with a slate of legislative priorities and requests related to behavioral health and substance abuse. I’d like to spend this blog entry discussing some of the reasons why I believe revising RCW 70.155.080 to increase the tobacco purchase age from 18 years to 21 years is important. As a Parent Partner here at Guided Pathways, I’ve worked with a number of parents who are concerned with the tobacco use of their kids; and so this issue is relevant and...

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Facing The Next Hurdle,

Posted by on Feb 4, 2015 in GPS for Youth and Families, Mental Illness, Policy Day | Comments Off on Facing The Next Hurdle,

After Winning the Battle to End Psychiatric Boarding Last week, the state House of Representatives passed a bipartisan bill with an 83-15 margin for a supplemental budget proposal that would add $21 million to the state’s inpatient psychiatric system. The funds would open 45 beds at Western State Hospital and support an effort to open at least 145 beds at community hospitals. This is step in the right direction toward increased inpatient capacity is also a great step toward treating our loved ones who have mental illnesses compassionately. No more keeping patients with mental illnesses in...

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