A Report on America’s Health Care System for Adults with Serious Mental Illness
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Grading the States Authors and Acknowledgements
Grading the States 2009 was written and produced by the following members of NAMI National staff:
LAUDAN ARON, M.A.
RON HONBERG, J.D.
KEN DUCKWORTH, M.D.
ELIZABETH EDGAR, M.S.S.W.
BOB CAROLLA, J.D.
KIMBERLY MELTZER, M.P.P.
LAURA USHER, M.S.
MARY GILIBERTI, J.D.
MARIA JOSÉ CARRASCO, M.P.A.
ANAND PANDYA, M.D.
MICHAEL FITZPATRICK, M.S.W.
Grading the States: 2009 would not have been possible without the vision and foresight of Theodore, Vada, and Jonathan Stanley, who have provided NAMI with valuable guidance and generous support through the Stanley Family Foundation.
We are very grateful to those state mental health commissioners, and their staff, who responded to the NAMI survey with candor and insight, and provided extensive supporting information on their state systems of care. Their dedication and commitment to helping people living with mental illnesses is truly inspiring, particularly under increasingly challenging budgetary and bureaucratic circumstances.
We would also like to thank the many NAMI leaders across the country who provided background information and conducted fact-checking on the condition of public mental health services in their states. Their insights and perspectives have enriched every aspect of this report.
For their time and efforts in providing additional data used in this report, we thank Charles E. Holzer, III of the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, Texas and his colleague, Hoang T. Nguyen of LifeStat LLC; Joseph P. Morrissey, Thomas R. Konrad, Kathleen C. Thomas, and Alan R. Ellis, all of the Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; and Diana Culbertson, Senior Information Specialist at the American Hospital Association.
Michael Cohen of NAMI New Hampshire designed and executed the Consumer and Family Test Drive portion of the report. A group of local volunteers, including Robin Alvanos, Liz Biron, Ken Braiterman, Diane Cyr, Liane Henry, Sarah Johnston, Deb Karr, Lisa Mercado, Bodie Morey, Diana Teixeira, Tina Larochelle, Peter LaRose, David Sawyer, and Tom Smith, made this test drive possible.
The following members of NAMI National’s Board of Directors and staff supported this project in many different ways: Board Members Sheila Amdur, Nancy Carter, Carol Caruso, Suzanne Finneran Clifford, Guyla Daley, Stephen Feinstein, Fred Frese, Clarence Jordan, H. Richard Lamb, David J. Lushbaugh, Joseph Mucenski, Keris Jän Myrick, Marty Raaymakers, Clarice Raichel, and Kevin Sullivan; and staff members Christine Armstrong, Jeny Beausoliel, Loren Booda, Lynn Borton, Doug Bradley, John Bradley (Consultant on Veterans Affairs), Lorener Brayboy, Martha Brick, Joyce Burland, Chuck Carroll, Brandie Childs, Danya Haywood, Scott Johnson, Arlene Krohmal, Don Lamm, Jim McNulty, Sarah O’Brien, Bianca Ruffin, Lynne Saunders, Maggie Scheie-Lurie, Andrew Sperling, Peggy Stedman, Marin Swesey, CW Tillman, Alexis Wadsworth, and Ann Wroth. Two wonderful NAMI Interns, Heather Churchill and Hillary Walters, also gave much of their time and energy to this report. And a special thank you to one of the authors of the report, Kimberly Meltzer, who managed every aspect of this ambitious project with such grace and enthusiasm.
Our thanks also go to Benjamin Brody, Director of Research, and Melanie Wilson, Senior Project Manager, of TeleSage, Inc. who helped NAMI conduct a nationwide Web-based survey of over 13,000 people with serious mental illnesses and their families; to the thousands of individuals across the country who responded to this survey; and to Ben Cichocki, Laysha Ostrow, Kimberly Warsett, Clifton M. Chow, and H. Stephen Leff, all of the Evaluation Center of the Human Services Research Institute (HSRI), who generously assisted us in compiling the Web-based data.
We thank photographer Michael Nye and his assistant Mark Menjivar for the beautiful and compelling portraits of people with mental illnesses. Nye’s images are a powerful reminder that this report is first and foremost about people—not numbers and percentages, or plans and policies.
For invaluable assistance with the drafting and production of this report, we thank independent consultants Wendy Jacobson (writing/editing), Juan Thomassie (charts and map design), Kelly Douglas and Deborah Feldman (copy editors), and Chris Phillips (designer) of Circle Graphics, Inc.
Finally, while the findings and opinions expressed in this report belong only to NAMI, we thank the many individuals we consulted at various points in the process of developing Grading the States 2009. They have been extraordinarily generous in sharing their expertise, insights, opinions, and cautions as NAMI undertook this ambitious project:
JEFFREY A. BUCK
PEGGY A. CLARK
MICHAEL A. HOGE
MAREASA R. ISAACS
RONALD C. KESSLER
BARBARA J. MAUER
E. FULLER TORREY
ALAN M. ZASLAVSKY
"I prefer to use the terms 'manage' and 'coping' rather than recovery. (It's like) my struggle with heart disease. Given the limits of modern medicine, I'll never recover from my damaged heart, but I've learned to manage the symptoms."
Mike Fitzpatrick, NAMI Executive Director
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