Category Archives: Mental Health

DMH Schedules Hearings on Fresh Air Regulations Sept. 15 at 2:00 pm

The Department of Mental Health has filed regulations for public comment  implementing the “Reasonable Daily Access to Fresh Air” Act of 2014. This act added access to fresh air to the list of rights of individuals hospitalized in psychiatric facilities operated, contracted or licensed by DMH.  
 
The hearing on the proposed regulations will take place on September 15, 2015 from 2 to 4 p.m. at the DMH Central Office, 25 Staniford St., Boston, MA  02114. Click here for directions.

Click here to download the Notice of Public Hearing.
Click here to download a copy of the proposed regulations.     Continue reading

Mental Health Litigation Schedules First Sessions for Mandatory Training for Guardianship Attorneys

MHLD panel members are required to complete a day-long training on representing respondents in guardianship cases during the FY 16, which runs from July 1, 2015 through June 30, 2016. This will also satisfy the requirement that panelists complete 8 hours of CLE.The MHLD will offer regional trainings at locations statewide.

The first two trainings, which will take place in Springfield and Worcester.

Mark your calendars:

Friday, November 13, 2015 at Springfield Technical Community College in Springfield.
Friday, December 4, 2015 at the Worcester Registry of Deeds in Worcester.

Thanks to everyone who has completed the re-registration process. For those who have not, please keep in mind that the deadline is August 15, 2015. The forms are available in pdf. Email the forms to mhpanelregistration@publiccounsel.net and you will receive an auto-reply confirming that it has been received.

WBUR: Elderly And Drugged: Far More Psych Meds Prescribed To Old Than Young

A report published in this month’s Journal of the American Geriatrics Society found that adults over 65 are receiving psychotropic medications at twice the rate of younger adults. The study also found that elders are much less likely to get their mental health care from psychiatrists or to receive psychotherapy. The report notes that psychotropic drugs generally pose greater risks to the elderly than they do to younger patients, and non-drug approaches, from therapy to meditation, may be as effective as psychotropic medications for some seniors’ mental disorders, without the risks. Psychotropic drugs pose both direct and indirect risks to the elderly: the drugs themselves can be dangerous. The American Geriatrics Society lists psychotropic medications that are potentially inappropriate for elderly patients.

National Council on Disability Progress Report Celebrates 25 Years of ADA, Envisions Next 25

The 2015 edition of this report, which fulfills NCD’s statutory mandate to annually report and make recommendations concerning the state of disability policy in the United States, holds special significance as the nation celebrates the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). In recognition of this landmark legislation, NCD has dedicated this report to exploring how the ADA and other federal legislation has been put into practice by five specific state and local agencie including Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Office of Health Equity; Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services, Office of Medicaid; and the Disability Policy Consortium

The report focuses on employment, education, health care, transportation, and housing, and demonstrates the impact of federal legislation and the critical role that disability advocates and state and local officials have played who translate the spirit and letter of the ADA and other federal legislation into practice. It also lays out NCD’s vision for the next 25 years of the ADA with specific policy recommendations.

Distraught People, Deadly Results

According to a report in the Washington Post, police in the US have shot and killed 124 people this year who were in the throes of mental or emotional crisis, . The dead account for a quarter of the 462 people shot to death by police in the first six months of 2015. Read the article here.

MHLD Changes

The MHLD has instituted several changes for FY 2016. They are detailed in the attached memos and notice. Here is the CPCS Mental Health Registration and Court Preferences form for panel members to select which subpanel or panels they want to join, their court preferences and confirmation that they do not represent institutional petitioners in guardianship or civil commitment. Memo to Panel Members July 1, 2015Memo to Panel Limiting Panel Membership 06.23.15