KTP Legislative Priorities: 2019
Spend $$ Smarter: Prioritize Community Mental Health
We must ask decision-makers to “Keep the Promise” to create and sustain a comprehensive, individualized, community-focused mental health system for individuals and families in Connecticut! The State must spend $$ smarter by maintaining evidence-based and promising practice models such as Supportive Housing that have proven to be cost-effective and work well for individuals and families served.
KTP was founded in 1999 after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Olmstead v L.C. that the community integration mandate of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) meant persons with psychiatric disabilities have the right to live in the most integrated community setting. The CT Legal Rights Project convened a meeting of stakeholders to discuss building inclusive & integrated system of community services & housing for persons of all ages who have mental health conditions.
Read about KTP’s 2019 Legislative Agenda:
ENCOURAGE FULL COMMUNITY INTEGRATION & PROTECT CIVIL RIGHTS
Ensure persons with mental health conditions have equal opportunities to full community integration by protecting their equal access to housing, education, and employment. Oppose measures that would restrict individual rights and self-determination.
- PRESERVE SUPPORTIVE HOUSING FOR FAMILIES, CHILDREN & ADULTS:
Promote the Supportive housing model which reduces hospital expenses, promotes independence and prevents homelessness. Besides housing units, adequate rental subsidies and support services are needed to provide stability and prevent hospitalization.
- STRENGTHEN AND PRESERVE SCHOOL-BASED HEALTH SERVICES:
Increase access to mental health services for children and youth by increasing the number of school-based health centers. Promote supportive school environments through mental health training and education of school personnel to end restrictive practices. Establish and improve partnerships between schools and communities in order to provide comprehensive and coordinated services for children and families.
ADVOCATE FOR SYSTEMIC CHANGE
Advocate for systemic solutions, rather than short-term fixes and follow the recommendations of existing state mental health plans and reports. Monitor federal mental health proposals, in particular, solutions for payment and delivery of mental health services.
ENSURE ACCESS TO INTEGRATED HEALTH CARE SERVICES: Monitor and influence new state models for the integration of primary care and behavioral health services. Assist with promoting early identification and ensuring access to services. This includes the utilization of interpreters, translators, peer specialists and community health workers.
CLOSE COVERAGE GAP BETWEEN PUBLIC & PRIVATE INSURANCE: Promote equal coverage for persons with commercial insurance. Expand menu to cover proven, cost-effective non-medical services such as case management and peer services.
PROMOTE WELLNESS, SELF-DETERMINATION AND SELF-SUFFICIENCY
Offer individuals with mental health conditions proven, cost-effective services to meet their needs. These include: Recovery Support Specialist (RSS), Recovery Coaches, Community Bridger, Wellness Recovery Action Planning (WRAP), Advance Directives, In-Home or Home-Like Respite and Residential Services, and Supported Education and Employment.
ADVOCATE FOR APPROPRIATE SERVICES FOR EMERGING & OLDER ADULTS: Offer peer supports for young and older adults with mental health needs. Focus on young adults experiencing symptoms for the first time. Hold accountable the Department of Children and Families (DCF) and Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS) for providing timely supports and services to young adults. By statute, and with the support of the Regional Mental Health Boards, community members are authorized to review and evaluate state funded mental health and addiction programs. Individuals impacted by these programs (individuals in recovery and their families) are most qualified to share feedback, raise issues, and inform DMHAS about gaps in the system. We must preserve their role in monitoring services to ensure our taxpayer dollars are well spent on quality and effective programs
Keep the Promise Coalition reviews and revises its legislative priorities on an annual basis starting in the late summer before each year’s legislative session. The process starts with the KTP Coordinating Council and involves broad Coalition input from Coalition members and leaders in both child and adult advocacy work including approval of final priorities. Final priorities are printed before the session begins and distributed for members’ use in speaking with legislators.
Questions about the KTP priorities or the planning process? Please call KTP at (860) 788-6180.
Join our Keep the Promise email list by contacting Maura at KTP@cahs.org, and receive timely information on pending legislation and on other important activities and events!