Wednesday, May 28, 2008

2008 Legislative Agenda

Passionate and concerned about our own friends and family who are struggling with psychiatric disorders? Take a moment to familiarize yourself with the following three legislative initiatives—initiatives that we believe will improve the lives of our clients and other struggling NC folks.

1. Support the Coalition Budget - The Coalition represents forty statewide non-profit organizations that advocate for persons needing services and supports for mental health, developmental disabilities, and addictive diseases. This year’s Coalition Budget calls for additional funding for a variety of services to potentially benefit those with mental illness. In particular, additional funds for residential housing and support services, restoration of funding for the non-Medicaid population, and supported employment services are most needed.

2. Support House Bill 2217 – This bill calls for additional funding to “Appropriate Funds to the Board of Governors of the University of North Carolina to Expand the Schizophrenia Treatment and Evaluation Program (STEP) in the Department of Psychiatry at the UNC School of Medicine.” Many Caramore clients receive services from the STEP programs. This quality program is under-staffed and under-funded. Caramore clients will benefit if UNC is able to expand their community mental health services.

3. Support House Bill 1897 – This bill establishes a Health Care Policy Council. Right now, the best way help someone with mental illness is to improve the quality and accessibility of affordable health care. Insurance parity and Medicaid buy programs have not helped those who participate in the Caramore program. The issues involved are complicated and sizable. We believe the establishment of the Health Care Policy Council will be an important, appropriate step toward a substantial improvement of health care services for adults with mental illness.

Please consider contacting your House and Senate representatives to promote the above legislation. Contact information may be accessed via the NC General Assembly website:

David Chapman, President/CEO

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