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August 2, 2005
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16 National Organizations Cite Crisis in Mental Health System, Release Roadmap for Reform.
PR Newswire; 7/27/2005
WASHINGTON, July 27 /PRNewswire/ -- Today at the U.S. Capitol, the Campaign for Mental Health Reform released "Emergency Response: A Roadmap for Federal Action on America's Mental Health Crisis." The coalition of 16 national organizations proposed 28 action steps as a "roadmap" for Congress and the Administration to transform the country's ailing mental health care system.
Speaking at the press conference in support of the Campaign's efforts were Members of Congress from both political parties and both chambers: Senators Mike DeWine (R-OH) and Edward Kennedy (D-MA), and Representatives Sue Myrick (R-NC), Patrick Kennedy (D-RI), Jim Ramstad (R-MN), Grace Napolitano (D-CA), and Ted Strickland (D-OH),
The Campaign, representing millions of Americans, came together after President Bush's New Freedom Commission on Mental Health released its groundbreaking report in July 2003, "Achieving the Promise: Transforming Mental Health Care in America." In that report, the 22 Commissioners found the U.S. mental health system "fragmented and in disarray, lead[ing] to unnecessary and costly disability, homelessness, school failure and incarceration." The Commission called for a "fundamental transformation of the Nation's approach to mental health care."
"Yet, since the release of the Commission's report," said Michael Faenza, President and CEO of the National Mental Health Association, "63,000 Americans have died by suicide; more than 200,000 Americans with mental illnesses have been incarcerated; more than 25,000 families have given up custody of their children in order to get mental health services; juvenile detention centers have spent $200 million 'warehousing' youth in juvenile justice facilities instead of providing treatment; and the American economy has lost more than $150 billion in productivity due to unaddressed mental health needs."
In all, there are an estimated 20 million adults and 6 million children and teenagers in the U.S. with serious mental illness. The Campaign for Mental Health Reform seeks to make mental health a national priority and to make early access, recovery and quality in mental health services the hallmarks of our nation's mental health system.
"Our model for action is the bipartisan commitment to combating the public health crisis of youth suicide embodied in the Garrett Lee Smith Memorial Act, which Congress swiftly enacted and funded last year," said Campaign Director Charles S. Konigsberg. Named for Senator Gordon Smith's son who died by suicide, the law provides Federal funds for youth suicide prevention initiatives. "By identifying people at risk of suicide and getting mental health services to them in a timely way, this law will prevent suicides; it will save lives," said Jerry Reed, Executive Director of the Suicide Prevention Action Network USA (SPAN USA).
Commenting on the broad scope of the Campaign, Konigsberg said: "War veterans and 9/11 first-responders with traumatic stress; children suffering with disorders that, untreated, can lead to school failure; people with severe depression that can lead to suicide; homeless adults suffering hallucinations and hunger; people suffering in silence due to stigma or lack of accessible treatment -- all deserve the hope, dignity and promise of productive lives."
"The Campaign's report provides a detailed action plan for the Federal government to more effectively coordinate and align Federal, state, and local resources to get the right services to the right people at the right time," said Michael Fitzpatrick, Executive Director of NAMI, the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill. "The time is now to make the promise of the New Freedom Commission a reality."
Among the 28 action items included in the Roadmap report are proposals by the Campaign to:
The full list of 28 action items and the entire text of the report, as well as an executive summary, can be found on the Campaign's Website: http://www.mhreform.org/. Also on the Website are links to each of the Campaign's 16 constituent organizations.
The President's New Freedom Commission on Mental Health Report, released in 2003, may be found at http://www.mentalhealthcommission.gov/.
Last week, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) released "The Federal Action Agenda: First Steps" to follow-up on the Commission's call for transforming America's mental health system. The Campaign for Mental Health Reform views as a positive development SAMHSA's coordination of multiple Federal agencies in developing an agenda to follow-up on the Commission and commends the leadership of Administrator Charles Curie and Director Kathryn Power. The plan may be found at: http://www.samhsa.gov/Federalactionagenda/NFC_TOC.phpx.
Mental health organizations representing millions of Americans, their families, and service providers have come together in an unprecedented coalition to establish the Campaign for Mental Health Reform. The Campaign seeks to make mental health a national priority and early access, recovery and quality in mental health services the hallmarks of our nation's mental health system.
The Campaign for Mental Health Reform includes the following organizations:
American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry
CONTACT: Charles Konigsberg of the Campaign for Mental Health Reform, +1-202-587-2984, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
CONTACT: Charles Konigsberg of the Campaign for Mental Health Reform, +1-202-587-2984, or email@example.com
Web site: http://www.mhreform.org/ http://www.mentalhealthcommission.gov/ http://www.samhsa.gov/Federalactionagenda/NFC_TOC.phpx
COPYRIGHT 2005 PR Newswire Association LLC
MAN CHARGED IN SEX ASSAULT OF GIRL MENTALLY ILL, WIFE SAYS.
The Capital Times (Madison, WI); 7/26/2005
Byline: Brian Bridgeford Baraboo News Republic
BARABOO -- A Rock Springs man charged with sexual abuse of a child had stopped taking his medication for mental illness and wouldn't normally have committed the assault, his wife said Monday outside the courtroom.
Sean W. Youngs, 34, was wearing a quilted wraparound smock secured with straps when he appeared in Sauk County Court. Police say he kidnapped a 12-year-old Reedsburg girl at knifepoint July 20, and took her to a rural field where he raped her.
Youngs' wife, Kelly, said she is sorry for what happened to the Reedsburg girl. Her husband was not in his right mind, she said.
Five years ago her husband was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, a type of mental illness, she said. Until about two weeks ago they had been living a normal family life and she felt no threat to herself or their children.
Then he began behaving abnormally, she said. She tried to get him to take his medication, which he told her on Monday he had not taken for about three months.
Kelly Youngs said she hopes the situation will be resolved with her husband being placed in mental health treatment, rather than being sentenced to prison.
"I feel really bad for her, what happened, and I'm really sorry for her," Youngs said of the child victim. "I hope she can find it in her heart to realize he has a mental illness, that we just want to help him."
In court documents, Youngs told Sauk County and Reedsburg detectives he initially told the girl he was kidnapping her for ransom. He tied her hands behind her at her home and put her in the back seat of his car. After driving out of Reedsburg, Youngs told the officers, he put her in the car trunk.
Youngs drove to the Loganville area and said he assaulted the girl after pulling into a field drive along Stone Church Road, records show.
Youngs faces charges of kidnapping, two counts of sexual assault of a child younger than 13 and four counts of child enticement, Sauk County Circuit Judge Guy Reynolds said. The kidnapping charge carries a maximum penalty of 40 years in prison, each sexual assault count carries up to 60 years and the child enticement felonies can each result in 25 years imprisonment, if he is convicted.
Sauk County District Attorney Patricia Barrett asked for $250,000 bail. "The crimes we are dealing with are horrific crimes and put the public at great risk," she said.
Reynolds agreed that Youngs potentially faces a very long prison term and might be tempted to flee. He ordered the $250,000 bond and said Youngs must have no contact with the alleged victim or people younger than 18.
At the request of Youngs' public defender, the judge allowed him to have contact with his two young boys if he is released on bond, but their mother must be present.
On Monday evening Youngs was still being held at the jail in the Sauk County Law Enforcement Center. The judge ordered him to return to court Aug. 29.
What it is: Bipolar disorder, sometimes called manic-depression.
Symptoms: Swings from a high or euphoric mood to feelings of sadness, anxiety and hopelessness.
Manic phase signs: Racing thoughts, poor judgment, aggressive behavior and denial that anything is wrong.
Source: National Institute of Mental Health, www.nimh.nih.gov/publicat/bipolar.cfm.
COPYRIGHT 2005 Capital Newspapers
ABDUCTION SUSPECT OFF MEDS, WIFE SAYS YOUNGS, 34, IS ACCUSED OF RAPING A 12-YEAR-OLD REEDSBURG GIRL.
Wisconsin State Journal (Madison, WI); 7/26/2005
Byline: Brian Bridgeford Baraboo News Republic
BARABOO -- A Rock Springs man charged with sexually abusing a 12-year-old girl had stopped taking his medication for mental illness several months before the attack, his wife said Monday.
Sean W. Youngs, 34, was wearing a quilted wrap-around smock secured with straps when he appeared in Sauk County Court for a bail hearing Monday. He is accused of kidnapping a 12-year-old Reedsburg girl at knife-point Wednesday, taking her to a rural field and raping her.
Sauk County Circuit Court Judge Guy Reynolds ordered Youngs held on a $250,000 bond.
Outside the courtroom, Youngs' wife, Kelly, said she is sorry for what happened to the girl.
Five years ago, she said, her husband was diagnosed with bipolar disease -- a type of mental illness characterized by dramatic mood swings which can lead to racing thoughts, poor judgment and aggressive behavior.
Until about two weeks ago, they had been living a normal family life and she felt no threat to herself or their children.
Then her husband began behaving abnormally, she said. She tried to get him to take his medication, which he told her on Monday he had not taken for about three months.
If he's convicted, Kelly Youngs said she hopes her husband will receive mental heath treatment, rather than being sentenced to prison.
"I feel really bad for her, what happened, and I'm really sorry for her," Youngs said.
According to court documents, Youngs told police he initially told the girl he was kidnapping her for ransom. He tied her hands behind her at her home and put her in the back seat of his car. After driving out of Reedsburg, Youngs told police, he put her in the car trunk and drove to the Loganville area, where he assaulted her in a field.
Youngs faces charges of kidnapping, two counts of sexual assault of a child younger than 13 and four counts of child enticement.
As of Monday night, Youngs was still being held in Sauk County Jail.
COPYRIGHT 2005 Capital Newspapers
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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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