Do you have a story to tell about one of our issue areas? Use the questions below to help frame your experience in the Call-for-Stories form. Also, see our children's Supplemental Security Income call-for-stories.
- Have you or a family member benefited from Olmstead principles, receiving services in the most integrated setting possible? How has receiving services in your community changed your day-to-day life?
- Have you or a family member ever lived in both a supportive apartment and a group home? If so, which did you like better, and why?
- Do you or a family member live in supportive housing? Or do you work with someone who has? What kind of housing do you live in now and what supportive services do you receive? Have they made your life better?
- Have you requested a reasonable accommodation because of a mental illness or disability, in your workplace, school, housing or other setting? Did you receive the accommodation? What was it and how was it helpful?
- Have you ceated an psychiatric advance directive to explain what you want to have happen in a mental health crisis when you might be considered incompetent? If so, how do you make sure everyone knows about it?
- Do you or a family member participate in self-directed care through the public mental health system? If so, how do you spend your resources and how helpful has this approach been?
Success for All Children
- Has a child in your family attended a school that uses Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBS)? If so, has this made a difference for your child? Do you think this is more effective than traditional school discipline approaches (depending on the school, traditional approaches might include negative feedback for troubling behavior, suspension and expulsion, or use of seclusion and restraints)?
- Does a child in your family attend a school that provides wraparound services jointly with the community in a systems-of-care approach to address his or her mental, emotional or behavioral needs? What services does the child receive? Or do you provide these services? If so, what changes have you noted as a result?
- Has any child in your family been assessed for special education due to a mental health problem and then been denied special education and related services? If your child has an IEP, do you find it effective?
Access to Services
- Have you ever been denied meaningful help or support by a mental health system? Have you faced extreme delays in getting appointments or found sites for services inaccessible? Have you encounter ed cultural or language barriers?
- If you are eligible for Medicaid, have you been unable to find providers of Medicaid services? If your family income is over the Medicaid limits, have you been unable to find services you can afford for yourself or your child?
- Does mental health parity in private insurance make a difference to your family? What are your hopes for parity?
- Does your insurance limit coverage for mental health treatment? If so, what benefit(s) are limited and how have these limits led to the denial of needed treatment?
- Health Care Reform
- Why is it important to you that mental health care be included in overall health care reform?
- Have you ever had problems getting health insurance due to a mental health condition, maybe because your insurer considered it a pre-existing condition? If so, what was the outcome? Did you have to go without treatment, pay a lot of money out-of-pocket or something else?
- If you or anyone in your family participates in a local community mental health program, would it be helpful if that program also had doctors who could address your general health issues? Is it a problem to coordinate the care you receive from a mental health provider and from your internist/family practitioner?
Access to Courts
- Why is it important to you to have federal judges who understand mental disability issues?
- Have you or a member of your family who has a mental illness ever been before a judge who didn’t understand the problems and potential ways to address them? What happened? Or can you tell us about a time when a judge took extra steps to make sure the problems were addressed?
- Has a court ever appointed a guardian or conservator for you or a member of your family? If so, did the guardian help or did the guardianship or conservatorship create unreasonable limits?
- Have you or a family member in a mental health crisis been picked up by police? If so, was the result booking and incarceration, or crisis intervention by the mental health system? What was the outcome?
- If you or a family member were incarcerated, how long after release did it take to get mental health and other benefits, such as SSI, reinstated? How did this affect recovery and reintegration in society?
- Have you or a family member been housed in a jail or prison because of a mental illness, as a juvenile or an adult, instead of being provided services in the community?