The Path We Walk

“Diseases can be our spiritual flat tires – disruptions in our lives that seem to be disasters at the time but end by redirecting our lives in a meaningful way.”
~ Bernie S. Siegel

NAMI Walk brings out hundreds for mental illness awareness

Video & Article Link: <a href=”http://www.ktvb.com/news/local/NAMI-Walk-brings-out-hundreds-for-mental-illness-awareness-130915483.html

Article by Justin Corr can be found on it’s original website at the above link.

Below I have included just a few excerpts from the article.

BOISE — Eight hundred people gathered in downtown Boise Saturday morning to bring more awareness to a problem that affects Idahoans, their families, and their communities. It’s a problem they said is often misunderstood.
Angela Bryson has had her own battles with bipolar disorder, but was helped through by NAMI. “Externally, they might be putting on a good show, but if you’re sensing something is not quite right, and you can be of some help, definitely, stepping forward can change somebody’s life,” Bryson said.
“Whatever someone needs to feel better, that’s what they should do,” says Campbell. “Talk about it, get the help they need, and their recovery is very, very possible and very hopeful.”
As the biggest ever NAMI Walk came to a close, organizers hoped that awareness of mental illness, and the importance of treating it, will only grow.   If you’re looking for more information on NAMI, click here.

Department of Health & Welfare sponsors Wellness Fair

A multi-pronged approach to wellness will keep us resilient and better equipped to handle challenges and stresses. If one coping skill or treatment fails us we will have others pick-up the slack.  This is what this wellness fair is all about.  What can we do as individuals to become resilient, strong and independent.  With wellness the whole world opens up to us.

Come Celebrate the First National Wellness Week — September 19-25, 2011
Wellness Fair
1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Thursday, September 22, 2011
Idaho Department of Health & Welfare
1720 Westgate Drive, Building A Room 131
Boise, Idaho

The Sick Politics of Health

In a country with wealth beyond most people’s dreams, it is a crime that so many people are sick and without healthcare.  I don’t even know where to start to explain how upset this makes me.  To make things worse the less power you have in the society the less likely you are to have the care you need.  This means the individuals that need care the most are the least likely to get it.   This includes children, the mentally ill, the developmentally disabled, the chronically ill, those with learning disabilities, drug addictions, physical disabilities and the elderly. Not to mention the socioeconomic division between wealth and poverty. The list goes on long enough to make one realize that we are not talking about a minority of people, but instead a majority. Please do what you can to be informed and to advocate for access to health for everyone.

Below you find an overview of some related articles, overviews supplied by Mental Health in the Headlines which is a weekly newsletter produced by Mental Health America:

Services Facing Cuts despite Rise in Number of Beneficiaries: States are cutting Medicaid payments to doctors and hospitals, limiting benefits for Medicaid recipients, reducing the scope of covered services, requiring beneficiaries to pay larger co-payments and expanding the use of managed care. The moves come as $90 billion in extra funds originally authorized in stimulus legislation will run out in July. At the same time, the number of beneficiaries is higher now than when Congress approved the aid. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that federal Medicaid spending will decline in 2012 for only the second time in the 46-year history of the program. The cuts are likely to increase costs in other parts of the health care system. Doctors will be less likely to accept Medicaid patients if they receive lower payments, which will cause people to turn to hospital emergency rooms for care. Hospitals and other health care providers often try to make up for the loss of Medicaid revenue by increasing charges to other patients, including those with private insurance, experts say. (The New York Times, 6/15/11)

Better Medicaid Coordination Would Cut Costs: Health policy experts say one of the best ways to reduce costs for Medicaid without sacrificing care would be better care coordination for “dual eligibles.” These are the people who qualify for Medicare and Medicaid because they require hospital and long-term care. Although they represent only 15 percent of Medicaid’s beneficiaries, they account for 40 percent of the program’s spending. If their cases were coordinated better, costs would be reduced and people would be healthier. But enacting better care coordination can be difficult. (The Washington Post, 6/16/11)

Children on Medicaid More Likely to Wait for Care: Children on Medicaid are much more likely than kids with private health insurance to be denied appointments with medical specialists and wait longer on average to be seen, according to a new study.  Research assistants posing as mothers of sick children called to make appointments for specialty care at 273 clinics in Cook County, Illinois, one month apart. In one call, they told the clinic they had public insurance. In the other, they said they were privately insured. Two-thirds of fictitious Medicaid patients were denied appointments compared to 11 percent of privately insured patients, researchers reported in New England Journal of Medicine. In 89 clinics that accepted both types of insurance, children with public insurance also waited 22 days longer on average for an appointment with a specialist. And in more than half of the phone calls, the caller was asked what kind of insurance their child had before an appointment could be scheduled. Low reimbursement rates, payment delays and hassles associated with the payment process were cited by the study’s authors as likely reasons for doctors’ reluctance to see Medicaid patients. (The New York Times, 6/15/11)

Published in: on June 24, 2011 at 10:07 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Sicko!

This time of year always hits us with lots of illness. Whether it is yourself, your family, friends or co-workers, it seems unavoidable. So what are some simple things we can do to either keep from getting sick or to heal ourselves if we do get ‘under the weather’? Remember that just because I said ‘simple’ does not imply easy. Staying or getting well is hard work.

Prevention Basics:

  1. sleeping, clean eating and exercise (all done with regularity)
  2. plenty of fresh water and air (be aware of possible pollutants)
  3. REST TIME EVERYDAY! (probably the most difficult and important one of all)

Healing:

  1. Increase your sleep time by 1.5 hours for several nights.
  2. Cook your food thoroughly allowing for easier digestion and more energy for the healing process.
  3. Avoid raw foods and foods that are difficult to digest till you are well. (Some foods that may give your tummy extra work  include: peanuts, oats, citrus, dairy, wheat, raw veggies, high sugar/high saturated fat foods.)
  4. Hot soups and sprouted grains are great.
  5. Hot ginger or peppermint teas are soothing for sore throats, help clear sinuses and aide in digestion.
  6. USE A NETI POT AT LEAST ONCE PER DAY.
  7. Maintain a minimum of activity, such as: restorative yoga or neighborhood walks. (don’t over do it, be kind to yourself)
  8. Eliminate any optional commitments from your schedule for one whole week. (People will understand that you are human and appreciate that you are not exposing them to whatever illness you have.)

If I have left out any key ideas or you have specific things that work wonders for you please share.

Published in: on February 2, 2011 at 12:23 am  Leave a Comment  
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Budget Cuts

The following was sent to me by NAMI~Boise and I believe it is of utmost importance.

Due to recent budget cuts:

450 people lost their regional mental health services as they no longer meet the criteria for the new limited priorities.

300 children and 300 adults were forced to choose between receiving either mental health services or developmental services as they were eligible for both.

Now, the Legislators are contemplating the elimination of all Psycho Social Rehabilitation (PSR) services and make other reductions in service to help balance the Medicaid budget.

The members of the Health and Welfare committee and the Joint Finance and Appropriations (JFAC) committee and your local representatives need to hear your story about how further decline in Medicaid funding would impact you and your loved ones.

On Friday, January 28 from 8:00 a.m. -11:00 a.m.  JFAC will hear from citizens who are willing to talk about Health & Welfare funding.  These hearings will take place in the Capitol Auditorium on the Garden Level.  Testimony will be limited to 3 minutes per person on a first come first served basis. Please arrive early as the opportunity to testify will be given on a first come, first serve basis – with the co-chairs using their discretion to allow for geographic diversity. Legislative staff will begin taking sign-ups at 7 a.m.

Also, due to the limited time, all who come may not get a chance to testify before the committee. We still need your presence.  Six hundred people interested in Idaho’s education system showed up at the State House to testify and show their support for education.  Will we have 600 people show up in support of mental health and substance abuse treatment?

Please note that all written testimony will be taken, added to the public record and distributed to all committee members. You are encouraged to bring your testimony in writing as well, for that purpose.

Those unable to attend the public hearing are strongly encouraged to send their thoughts to JFACtestimony@lso.idaho.gov. Any comments sent to this email will also be added to the public record and distributed to the members of the committee.

The following link will help you find the contact information for committees and your local representatives. (http://legislature.idaho.gov/howtocontactlegislators.htm)

For tips on what to say or write please email Anne Shoup at namiboise@earthlink.net.

If not now, when? Please come. And please contact your legislators, they represent you!!! YOUR VOICE NEEDS TO BE HEARD–IT COULD BE THE VOICE THAT MAKES THE DIFFERENCE!

Published in: on January 26, 2011 at 4:04 pm  Leave a Comment  
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