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Government News
What’s on Patients’ Minds?
Psychiatric News
Volume 36 Number 8 page 15-15

Last September, at their first meeting, members of the Consumer Subcommittee of CMHS’s National Advisory Council came up with a list of more than 25 issues that merit their further attention as they work to bring consumer views to the council. The items included specific ideas that could be implemented quickly and issues that would require long-term study, fact-finding, and substantive policy changes. Here is a sample that shows the range of members’ concerns:

• Increase funding for technical assistance centers to ensure that basic information about legal rights, medication, advocacy groups, and other topics is available.

• Improve coordination of federally funded consumer activities.

• Ensure that persons entering mental hospitals have access to a handbook describing their legal rights.

• Find methods of involving younger people with mental illness in the movement. Often, young consumers have not been institutionalized.

• Establish a national reporting system on the use of ECT. Only a small number of states currently require reporting, so accurate information concerning the extent of ECT use is unavailable.

• Ensure that a CMHS staff member who speaks on behalf of CMHS is accompanied by a consumer who can present the consumer’s point of view.

• Examine issues related to employment for persons with mental illness. Such issues include the impact of the Ticket to Work legislation, supported employment, the effectiveness of state vocational rehabilitation programs, and parity.

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