Monday, October 6, 2008

We Won: Why Doesn't It Feel Like It Yet?

Today, the markets tanked again, despite the passage of the massive rescue or bailout bill that made it out of Congress last week.  It is a bit frustrating;  the bailout (which, incidently was the vehicle for the passage of the Wellstone-Domenici Mental Health and Substance Abuse Parity Law) apparently is not sufficient to stabilize the economy once it start wobbling.  It is, rather, a vehicle that, if we use it properly, may be able to stabilize the economy.  
I think that feeling of "we won, what do we do now?" is present among many of us who have been working for the Children's Behavioral Health Initiative and the Children's Mental Health Campaign.  We won a lot last year, but the legislative and judicial victories need to be implemented in order for us to see results.  Meanwhile, I still have patients with anxiety disorder  who I can't get to into Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and kids with multiple medications who should see a psychiatrist, and families that just don't believe that it is possible to do anything that will make a difference in their child's life.  So, while it will take a while to establish the committees and develop the protocols and figure out the paperwork that will allow children with mental illness to be appropriately managed, we need to get started with the task.
Tomorrow, the Worcester Mental Health Network is meeting to discuss how we can begin to build culturally competent, accessible levels of care.  We will see how it goes.

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