Monday, February 15, 2010

If You Know He Has the Solution, Why Didn't You Tell Us to Hire Him Before?

The Telegraph's Travis Fain gets the skinny on the newest state partnership to get Georgia's Mental Health Delivery System up to snuff.
Get the details about the plan, the man--including a good background about National Mental Health Czar Dr. Nirbhay Singh--and legislators' thoughts here.
Reading the piece, it seems the state may have jumped the gun on this one as it sounds like Singh's contracted scope of work centers on the hospitals.
The U.S. Department of Justices' January filing clearly requests the proposed monitor to oversee the process of putting the state in compliance with the Olmstead Decision by making the hospitals a last-resort service provider, as opposed to the front door--if not only entrance--to the state's mental health delivery system.
You can read more about Olmstead here.
Note Johnny Grant's concerns at the end of Fain's story:
State Sen. Johnny Grant, R-Milledgeville, said he’s criticized the state for spending money on private consultants instead of patient care. But he said the Department of Justice, with its difficult demands for a quick turnaround in a massive system, “changes all of the equilibrium,” Grant said.
Said Grant: “I don’t know where all of this will take us.”
As a side note: Georgia's Old Capital Museum will present a lecture by mental health advocate and local historian Bud Merritt at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the Old Capitol Building's Legislative Chambers.
"Silent Witnesses: Cemeteries at Central State Hospital" explores the strange relationship between the Milledgeville community and one of the nation's largest mental health institutions, focusing on the discovery and restoration of several of the hospital's nearly forgotten cemeteries.
I recommend this as a must hear for those who want greater insight into this watershed moment in the community's history.

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