SUPPORT, EDUCATION, AND ADVOCACY
Adam - Amanda Mental Health Rehabilitation Center
In 2010, Adam Knapp, a 30-year old man living with schizophrenia and an avid outdoorsman, drove into oncoming traffic, ending his life and taking the life of another. Just eighteen days before, he had attempted suicide and filtered in and out of three different Ohio hospitals. When leaving the last hospital, his parents described him as symptomatic, yet he was released anyway.
Amanda Baker was a fervid mental health advocate who testified for Senate Bill 43, which gave judges the ability to order outpatient treatment for people with mental illnesses. This cause hit close to home for her and her family. She struggled with depression and lost her life to suicide at age 26 when she walked in front of a semi-tractor just days after leaving the hospital.
In both cases, the loving and supportive families of these young people tried desperately to get them help. Unfortunately, the mental health system failed them.
Hospital stays are often too short to properly stabilize people and prepare them for life outside a secure hospital environment. With many other major hospitalizations, patients are sent to a rehabilitation facility after discharge to recuperate and rebuild strength. This isn’t the case with mental illness. Patients are often sent home alone, dropped at a homeless shelter or released to a family member ill-equipped to offer the needed rehabilitation services.
As the deaths of Adam and Amanda illustrate, the consequences of inadequate treatment can be tragic. Many people discharged end up back in the hospital, in prison, homeless, or dead due to the lack of community supports. The suicide rate in adults with mental disorders within the first ninety days after discharge is over fourteen times higher than the average rate of suicide in the United States.
The fact of the matter is that there simply are not enough mental health resources available upon discharge to care for this vulnerable group.
The deaths of these two people are tragic, but we can help prevent future tragedies by working to change the mental health system little by little.
In honor of these two individuals who lost their battles with mental illness, NAMI Ohio is excited to share a new approach to this crisis. The Adam-Amanda Mental Health Rehabilitation Center in Athens, Ohio will be a pilot facility and the first of its kind. It provides a place for people with severe mental illness to go after release from the hospital and stabilize under supervised care before re-entering the community.
Although operating funds have been secured by the Athens-Hocking-Vinton Mental Health Board and the Ohio Department of Mental Health, capital funds are needed to build the facility. It is our hope the Adam and Amanda Rehabilitation Center will become the Ohio and national model for transition from psychiatric rehabilitation to home.
Please click here to donate to this cause to help save lives.
Governor Kasich Urges Congress to Replace Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) with Ohio’s System
Millions of Ohioans have gained coverage through the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) exchange or the Medicaid expansion, including 500,000 with mental health needs and 37,000 veterans or their family members. Click this link to read the full article from today’s Columbus Dispatch. http://www.dispatch.com/news/20170119/kasich-urges-gop-congressional-leaders-to-replace-obamacare-with-ohios-setup/1. Letter_Kasich_to_Congress_Obamacare.pdf
Mental Illness Awareness Campaigns Happening Across Ohio
This Fall, NAMI Ohio affiliates are holding events that will inspire, entertain, and, most importantly, raise awareness about the need to invest in mental health in Ohio and nationally.
The mission of these events is to Bring Mental Illness out of the Shadows. The current state of our nation’s mental health system leaves many adults and children without proper mental health care. The consequences of this lack of care are apparent. The suicide rate is the highest it has been in 30 years. In the United States, someone dies by suicide every 12 minutes. Individuals living with mental illness are increasingly housed in jails and prisons rather than receiving proper care in hospitals or in the community.
To bring attention to this serious issue, NAMI Ohio has launched an awareness campaign that includes 18 events across 28 counties with the final event happening in March 2017.
The following communities will be holding events in October:
Light Up the Night
Thursday, October 6th, 2016
6:30 to 8:00 pm
at the gazebo on Medina Square
This event will feature dynamic speakers and music to bring home the idea that no one should be ashamed of mental illness and promote recovery. Participants will use flashlights to “Light up the Night” in recognition of mental illness.
The Elephant in the Room
Friday, October 7th, 2016
6:00 to 9:00 pm
First Fridays at Main Street Delaware
This event will use an elephant mascot costume to bring awareness to the need to talk about the “Elephant in the Room.” Participants will receive information on the mental health crisis and how to get involved with their local NAMI affiliate while taking home a treat.
Mental Illness Awareness Rally
Saturday, October 22nd, 2016
12:00 pm- 8:00 pm
Rose City Tattoo
1145 N Bechtle Ave, Springfield, OH
Participants can receive free mental health awareness tattoos to raise awareness for recovery. A photobooth will be on site for participants to document their experience.
Friday Night Lights
Saturday, October 29th, 2016
6:00 pm- 9:00 pm
100 Alfred Lerner Way
This mental health awareness event will take place at the St. Edward versus St. Ignatius football game.
Players will wear green football shoes during these much-celebrated games to raise awareness about mental illness.