Boston.com just posted a great op-ed. Worth the read – excerpt below. Click here to read it on Boston.com.
By Vic DiGravio and Susan Tousignant
Following the death in January of staff worker Stephanie Moulton at a Revere residence for individuals with mental illness, the state Department of Mental Health appointed a task force to examine staff and consumer safety at DMH-funded programs. The Task Force’s report, released in July, contained thoughtful recommendations for improving safety at these programs, which are located in communities across the state.
Today at the State House, legislators are taking up just one small part of the solution as outlined in the report of the Task Force. The bill would require so-called “panic buttons” that allow employees “to call for help in the event of an emergency.”
How did we get here? Over the last few decades, Massachusetts has developed a network of community-based mental health providers that have successfully enabled tens of thousands of men, women and adolescents to enjoy productive lives. These individuals live, work, attend school and job training programs, and contribute to society. Their quality of life is far better than it would be living in an institution. It is a cost-effective system that promotes recovery for individuals living with mental illness.