Downs Study at U of AZ

nee-acdcDown syndrome study in Tucson at University of AZ
The Psychology Department at the University of Arizona is looking for volunteers on a study on Down Syndrome. Participants will be compensated for their time. If your child has been diagnosed with Down syndrome and is between 7 and 18 years of age, and you would like to obtain more information about the study, please contact us at 520-626-0244 or write us an email at
jedgin@email.arizona.edu.

Mental Illness Awareness Issues for 2010

nee-pix3-dreamchildLast year we posted some goals in an article on Mental health awareness and related TV programs.

In the Tucson area, improved conditions have caused us to revise the top issues list, so here it is.

Top Mental Illness Awareness areas for 2010:

1. Unlicensed group living homes improvements. Dealing with Group homes has improved this past year. This was a HUGE set of issues. Thanks to those out there that showed they care !  Most of adult mentally ill and rehab people live in this setting after release to the Tucson metro area.
2. CPSA Oversight progress, memos can be generated on request,  to unlicensed group homes, etc.
3. Therapy, especially to develop ongoing goals. Therapy, even for court ordered patients is still optional ! Request it from case management.
4. NAMI Buddy program, get people involved. Any adult can volunteer to check on a buddy preferably at least weekly phone call and a monthly visit, to insure they are OK. Act to surface issues on their behalf to case management, or SAMHC crisis line.
5. Food boxes, clothing distribution. They do need help getting things, clothing is available through Casa Maria, and churches.
6. Free Dental options (UMC Dental School, free exams/xrays specials at local dental offices).
7. Safety at facilities, especially transitions during active psychoses, and for all court ordered treatment.
8. Using grievance processes available.
9. Thinking Big, mega group home concept development. Pool resources to be able to have full time staff, dr, nurse, 24 x 7 therapy. Prevents the problems that land mentally ill people into prison when psychotic. The meds need tweaking periodically, someone has to pay attention ! This would provide an alternative to the unlicensed group homes.
10. Cost effectiveness, adult mental health vs. prisons expansion – Funding of prisons is much more costly than funding housing and therapy programs. We need to help these human beings before they wind up in trouble. A man was found this week naked after killing a young police officer in Phoenix, we need to prevent this now !
11. Access to medical scheduling and rides assistance. Sometimes as simple as phone call to case management of psychiatric or medical providers/plans. They have case assistance available to help. A buddy just needs to do the initial call, and follow up.
12. Support for case management by friends or family to volunteer as power-of-attorney representatives, and get records access for reviews using a signed medical release form. Be able to act on the patients behalf, especially for emergencies !
13. Medical Living Wills to assure of pain management. Otherwise they suffer when they cannot communicate for themselves.

The 2009 List:
1. Funding of prisons is much more costly than funding housing and therapy programs. We need to help these human beings before they wind up in trouble.
2. Many more caring people are needed for these jobs: case managers, group home managers/couples/teams, drivers, doctors, nurses, therapists, etc.
3. The impact of new medicines is phenomenal, these allow patients to come back to reality, and avoid psychotic acts.
4. Doctors and nurses need to gain awareness of the importance of improving communications with those intimately familiar with the patients, especially family members. Sometimes these poor ones cannot speak for themselves, or are in denial.
5. The need to create care options for mentally ill persons with no family left to look after them.
6. Teachers must be better informed to identify early signs of mental illness, and to stop persecution and stigma.
7. Better understanding of the feelings of mentally ill people is needed. Anyone can send stigma/persecution reports to the Tucson NAMI office.
8. Advocates are needed for reform of the mental health system, especially problem facilities lacking best practices, especially those without policies and procedures.

Now that school is out, please volunteer ! For those that want to do door to door visitations, most local Catholic churches have Legion of Mary chapters that train and equip people to get out and meet those in need. Praying (auxiliary) members are also accepted.

We have noted college students at Mt Saint Mary’s University are volunteering this way, as well as students in other states, go get ’em guys !

– learning classes
– ask for suggestions.
– procedures for the homes to avoid food poisoning, periodic cleaning, inspections, house rules, how-to’s eg. get help

Causes of childhood death that you can prevent and the warning signs

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The following are preventable causes of death, let’s all do our part to watch for warning signs that we must act:

1. Suicide. warning signs are here.

2. Mental illness: becoming a danger to self or to others, warning signs and how to cope is here. There are reports that too much time on computer games was a factor in schizophrenia illness (hearing voices from the game).

3. Overdose – Some doctor’s offices are equipped to handle non-life-threatening cases of overdose, but in an emergency, call Poison Control at 1-800-222-1222 or dial 9-1-1.
Warning signs are here.
Interventions PDF document download here.

4. Alcohol Overdose – warning signs are here.

5. Child Abuse, warning signs are here. Relatives take note !

6. Negligent caregivers – Inspect your loved ones care facility and know the caregivers. warning signs are here.

Alert: Planned Parenthood has not denied that their employees do not report statutory rapes to police. They have also confirmed they use nurse practitioners to perform abortions.

7. Depression (which can kill slowly). warning signs are here.

To get help, or for more information, call:

NAMI – National Alliance on Mental Illness Free and Anonymous Advice, Toll free: (800)626-5022
SAMHC in Tucson – Free, caring and anonymous advice and help ! Call 520-622-6000

Free mental illness awareness activities available in Tucson

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The following activities are available to everyone to help with mental illness support and awareness:

1. Reaching multicultural faith communities during Mental Illness Awareness Week (MIAW) Oct. 4-10 Mental Illness Awareness Week is a public awareness and education campaign across the country. Learn how NAMI in San Antonio will engage multicultural faith communities during MIAW week.

2. National Day of Prayer Oct. 6
Tuesday, Oct. 6 has been designated as a day of prayer for mental illness recovery and understanding.

The NAMI FaithNet web site offers a variety of resources that can be used as part of outreach efforts, including bulletin inserts, prayers, liturgies and an interfaith candle lighting service. Additional resources in English and Spanish are available at the mental health ministries web site.

3. National Depression Screening Day Oct. 8
Thursday, on national depression screening day, screenings will be sponsored by hospitals, mental health centers, primary care clinics, social service agencies and some faith communities, among other places.

It is important to inform everyone about free local screenings because they are often the first step anyone can take to get help. Clinical depression is a serious medical illness that affects adults and children. Treatment can help most people, but clinical depression can trick people into suicidal acts if left untreated. Meth abuse is causing our loved ones to become depressed, leading to low self-worth, lack of happiness in their lives, and feeling damaged. In 2009, no one needs to live without hope !

For anonymous help, contact the national depression screening project office at (781) 239-0071.

NAMI is a local and national grassroots mental health organization dedicated to improving the lives of individuals and families impacted by mental illness.

National Alliance on Mental Illness
3803 N. Fairfax Dr. Suite 100
Arlington, VA 22203

Toll free: (800)626-5022

Source: NAMI FaithNet Newsletter: October 2009
The NAMI FaithNet Newsletter is an electronic newsletter provided free of charge as a public service.

Getting Help Fast (when something is very wrong)

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Getting Help Fast (when something is very wrong), 9/10/2009

SAMHC is the local Tucson, Arizona (and regional) organization that can physically get help now for your loved one who is hurting with a possible mental illness. They will come when you call, with a response team of professionals, and will even bring the police if its necessary to get the help your child needs. What sort of behavior is handled by SAMHC ? Any behavior that is a danger to self or to others. Wow, what a heart break it is, just to deal with all of this. Just stop, take a deep breath, call 520-622-6000 and discuss what’s going on with these “24 hours per day, and 7 days per week” caring people. Or, you can get the police on your own, to take your loved one to any hospital emergency room and request an evaluation to determine mental fitness, and protect your loved one. When there is danger to themselves or to others, we must act quickly. We know how it can be when no one notices these issues except the family, so document and note the strange behavior ! Many have ignored these cries for help. A close friend was injured badly just wandering into the road, getting hit by a car. Lets remember that “love converts hearts and gives peace”, and so please treat everyone involved with patience. They don’t usually understand at all what you are dealing with. Read posted articles here to find out how to “deal with the system”, get needed help and remove your loved one from danger when mentally ill.