Friday, December 18, 2009

NC Policy Watch Article: Fundamental Questions

Fundamental questions

Thursday, December 17th, 2009

By Rob Schofield

The need to confront some basic issues about our mental health, developmental disabilities and substance abuse systems

Imagine you are the family member of a person who for several years (perhaps most of their life) has been the subject of a "dual diagnosis" of developmental disabilities and mental illness. Not only is your loved one mentally retarded, but they are afflicted with a mental illness that prevents them from succeeding in a wide variety of social situations (like, for instance, a group home). There are several hundred of such persons in North Carolina - many of whom were the beneficiaries of a lawsuit brought during the 1990's referred to as the "Thomas S."case.

Imagine further that, after years of struggle and frustration, you finally managed to secure services for your child or sibling that allowed him or her to live in their own apartment. Now, for the past decade, your family member has been living in a reasonably stable and decent situation that features three enormous pluses:

1)    They receive decent, round-the-clock assistance,

2)    They are not institutionalized,

3)    You do not have to sacrifice your entire life and wellbeing in order to assure that they reside in a decent situation.

Read rest of article here: NC Policy Watch.

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