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Of the many challenges facing youth and adults living with mental illness in our region is a LACK OF ADEQUATE FACILITIES AND SERVICES, resulting in needless physical and emotional suffering and often INCARCERATION, HOMELESSNESS, AND DEATH.

Federal and State policies meant to deinstitutionalize people with severe mental illness has resulted in trans-institutionalizing people in jails and prisons. Jails across the country are now our number one inpatient psychiatric institutions.

The failure to address systemic challenges associated with severe mental illness has culminated in unsustainable humanitarian and economic costs. We cannot continue to ignore people with serious mental illness, the most vulnerable amongst us. We need the system to work.

Healing Minds NOLA is currently working on 3 initiatives and invites New Orleans residents to share their stories and experiences about navigating the mental healthcare system pre and post Hurricane Katrina in an effort to explore what works and what doesn't to better inform policy.

THREE INITIATIVES

1: Repurposing the iconic Art Deco Charity Hospital Building as a 'one-stop shop' Mental Healthcare and Research Facility. https://www.mediafire.com/folder/e262m3lkmukyi/RFI_and_Sign_on_Ltr

2: The "Stepping Up Initiative" lead by the Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center, the National Association of Counties (NACo), and the American Psychiatric Foundation that unites state and local governments and the American Psychiatric Foundation to promote research-based practices to tackle our over-reliance on jail as mental health treatment, such as in-jail counseling programs that reduce the chances of repeat offenders. https://stepuptogether.org/

3: Working at local, state and federal levels of government to enact better policy and funding redirection to reduce the barriers to treatment for those who need it most. Some provisions in H.R. 2646 - the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act - were included in the 21st Century Cures Act that was signed into law by President Obama on December 13th 2016.
Learn more here: http://www.treatmentadvocacycenter.org/fixing-the-system/21st-century-cu...

Moving forward, Healing Minds NOLA is steadfast in our commitment to passing all original provisions in the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act.
https://murphy.house.gov/helpingfamiliesinmentalhealthcrisisact114