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October 16, 2006
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JUDGE BLOCKS GROUP HOME FOR INDIVIDUALS WITH BIPOLAR DISORDER
Brazoria, TX - Judge Patrick Sebesta ruled today that The Meehl House, a group home for individuals recovering from bipolar disorder, could not operate as a three-bedroom group home in Brazoria County, Texas. This ruling will have wide ranging effects on the ability of any group home, regardless of size, to open or operate in Brazoria County and the State of Texas. Judge Patrick Sebesta's ruling overlooks and seeks to overturn the following State and Federal Laws that currently protect group homes and people with disabilities from deed restrictions: (1) House Bill 356, passed by the Texas Legislature in 1985, and (2)Federal Fail Housing Acts Amendment (FHAA) of 1988, which every supreme court has upheld.
This ruling is a terrible blow to the mental health community in Brazoria County and sets a dangerous precedent in the State of Texas. Most people who are released from hospitalization go home. However, some people do not have supportive families. Without access to group living arrangements, many people recovering from bipolar disorder are left without any support structure to aid them in their transition back into everyday life. The Meehl Foundation provides this support structure where people function as members of a family by taking on shared responsibilities and become self-sufficient through employment. The greatest irony in this situation is that none of the resident clients of the Meehl House will have committed crimes, and all will have undergone extensive background checks. These people have a greater likelihood of being good citizens than your average neighbor who does not have to undergo a background check to live in your neighborhood.
This ruling is expected to have wide-ranging effects on the rights of people with disabilities to live in any community. (1) It imposes a restriction against people with bipolar disorder living on a county road. (2) It will affect the rights of group homes, regardless of disability, to help those in need, (3) It sharply curbs the ability of any group home to locate in a community in Texas. With the growing economic cost to Texans for mental health care treatment and at a time when public resources continue shrink or close, the blocking of any private operations is particularly troublesome.
You may ask yourself, "How can I help?" There are two ways: Email this press release to everyone on your email list, and please consider donating to our non-profit 501c3 Foundation. You may go to www.meehlfoundation.org and click on the "donation" link. Please know that even ONE dollar counts, as we are struggling to serve the mental health community and appeal this decision to a higher court.
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The Warning Signs Of An Impending Bipolar Disorder Manic Episode
Bipolar disorder - as the name implies - involves two distinct set of symptoms. One set throws the individual down into the depths of a massive depression. The other places the individual who suffers with bipolar disorder at the top of a peak manic episode.
Most everyone can eventually recognize the warning signs of an impending depressive episode related to bipolar disorder. More likely than not, individuals with bipolar disorder try very hard to avoid it.
However, for many individuals with bipolar disorder, it's more difficult to recognize the signs of an impending manic episode. After all, a manic episode of bipolar disorder can be mistaken in some cases - especially in the very early formation -- for the lifting of the corresponding mood swing of the depression.
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