Increasing Peer Support: A Radical Proposal for a Governor

New Hampshire Governor John Lynch could save a ton of money by increasing peer support.

Damien Licata, chair of the NH Mental Health Consumer Advocacy Council (my old job) asked me for some thoughts prior to his meeting with NH Gov. John Lynch, whose “broken” mental health system is being sued for civil rights violations by the U.S. Justice Department and others.

Here is what I told a friend to tell the governor about increasing peer support:

Public mental health systems all over the country are becoming economically unsustainable. State governments can’t afford to give everyone with a problem

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Forced confinement vs. community living: it’s about morals, not money

People with disabilities faced forced confinement in many situations and are rapidly filling nursing homes

Marca Bristo fought along Justin Dart to help pass the Olmsted Act to prevent forced confinement

The Civil Rights Division of the US Department of Justice has threatened to sue the state of New Hampshire where people are allegedly facing forced confinement in nursing homes. These are people with mental illness labels who are are medically able to live in the community. If true, the state is violating a federal law that says people with disabilities must be housed in the least restrictive

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New Hampshire Could Reduce Costs by 1/3 by Lowering Nursing Home Care

How most states could quit confining people and cut mental health care costs by 1/3

This is an expansion of Corinna West’s blog on Please Cut our Budgets, We’ll Tell you How. One of the main problems in mental health care is the outdated assumption that institutional care confining people away from the community is best.

Chris Hansen, fighting against confining people. She's a collaborator with Shery Mead, sporting a "You Bet I'm Noncompliant" T-shirt at Alternatives 2010 in Pasadena, CA.

In New Hampshire, it has come down to a lawsuit. The Civil Rights Division of the US Department

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