It's Time to Take Action.
The Montana Legislature is moving towards the finish line All of the work that NAMI Montana advocates have done over the last two years is going to come down to the next few weeks. Can you help us get some of the critical efforts across the finish line?
The HELP Act - An Affordable Insurance Plan for Montana's Working Poor
Senator Ed Buttrey of Great Falls developed the bipartisan Montana Health and Economic Livelihood Partnership (HELP), Senate Bill 405. According to Mike Dennison's article on the HELP Act, the HELP Act would accept federal dollars to expand Medicaid to cover anyone earning up to 138 percent of the federal poverty line, an annual income of $16,200 for a single person. The insurance plan will would charge those eligible an annual premium of 2 percent of their income. It also charge them more if the value of their assets exceeds a $250,000 house, one light vehicle and $50,000 in cash or cash equivalents.
The proposal also would allow those accepting the coverage to take part in a state program that aims to help them become employed or better-employed so they can earn more money and get off the Medicaid health plan.
The HELP Act could provide a critical lifeline for Montanans who cannot afford health coverage on their own. NAMI Montana understands how big of a difference an affordable health insurance premium can make on a person and family's health and life trajectory. Please support this critical legislation either by taking the HELP Act Challenge or contacting your Legislators through this website and asking them to vote for the HELP ACT.
You can check out the full article on the HELP Act to learn more.
Mental Health Crisis and Transition Bills
The Mental Health Crisis and Transition bills are in front of the Senate Finance and Claims Committee. These bills were painstakingly developed through a two-year analysis by the Children and Families interim commitee of Montana Insitutions. The bills tackle: adult mental health crises (HB 33, 34, 35), children's mental health crisis (HB 47), and transition care for offenders with mental illness coming out of Montana State Hospital and the Prison (HB 24). The adult mental health bills are carried by Representative Ron Ehli. The children's crisis bill is carried by Representative Carolyn Pease Lopez. The transition bill is carried by Representative Casey Schreiner.
Please help us keep up the momentum by sending an email message to the Senate Finance and Claims Committee through this website asking them to support improvements to the Montana's mental illness treatment system.
Mental Illness Research Update
Science update from the National Institute of Mental Health
Risk genes for different mental disorders affect the same biological pathways, a new and powerful analysis of genome-wide data has found. People with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and depression shared genetic risk affecting pathways for a key gene expression regulation mechanism, the immune system, and neuronal communication.
“Building on recent evidence of genetic overlap between traditionally-defined mental disorders, the field has now moved a step further, showing how risk gene variants cluster to affect certain shared pathways – further blurring boundaries between diagnostic categories,” explained Bruce Cuthbert, Ph.D., director of the NIMH RDoC Unit, which is reframing research in an effort to identify neurobiological and environmental factors related to the development of specific behavioral symptoms rather than traditional diagnostic categories. “Narrowing genetic risk to just a few suspect pathways provides clues to shared mechanisms, more accurate diagnosis and, ultimately, more effective treatments.”
Read the who article here.
Watch Dr. Thomas Insel's description of the research challenges and sources of hope for overcoming serious mental illnesses.
Click to set custom HTML