Honoring President George H. W. Bush

President Bush
Families as Allies joins the nation in honoring the life of President George Herbert Walker Bush. 

President Bush’s signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) into law in 1990 is likely the single most important presidential action ever taken to support people with disabilities. It reflected what he knew: people with disabilities can live, work and thrive in their communities with the right kinds of support. He did not pity people with disabilities.  In fact, he worked side by side with them to pass the ADA.

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GIVING TUESDAY: IN THE SPIRIT OF GIVING

 

Today is #Giving Tuesday. I hope that Monica's story and her experience with Families as Allies inspires you to give generously so that families across the state can support each other and work together on behalf of our children.

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IDEA. IEP. What Do Those Letters Mean to Me???

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Families as Allies brings together many different families across geographic regions, political persuasions and all kinds of demographics.  But one thing that unites almost all of us is knowing all too well that heart-stopping moment when we see the school’s, sometimes even the preschool’s, number pop up on our phones.  Dreaded questions immediately arise. What now? Are they going to tell me to come pick up my child? Do I even want to answer? What do I say if I do?

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Children's Cabinet: HB 985

Hoggephotolgcrop.jpgEach year, bills are introduced that can affect our children. I encourage you to learn as much as possible about proposed legislation that you think is relevant to your family. 

I also urge you to evaluate how family-driven bills are. Family-driven means “families have a primary decision-making role in the care of their own children as well as the policies and procedures governing care for all children in their community, state, tribe, territory and nation.

House Bill 985 establishes a Children’s Cabinet, made up of the Heads of the State Agencies that serve children as well as a Youth Court Judge and appointees of the Lt. Governor and the Speaker of the House. It combines several currently existing committees and councils in an attempt to increase efficiency.

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FAMILIES AS ALLIES MAKES PRESENTATION TO ATTORNEY GENERAL'S MENTAL HEALTH TASK FORCE


IMG_4561JHagcrop.jpgPresentation to Attorney General's Mental Health Task Force:
What Happens When Families Seek Help for Their Children?

In July 2016, the Mississippi Department of Mental Health contracted with Families as Allies to learn what happens when families access services for their children in the mental health and education systems.  Families as Allies spent the next year gathering data from over 400 families throughout the state via phone interviews, surveys and town hall meetings.

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OPEN HOUSE 2018

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A big THANK YOU to all of you who helped us welcome in 2018 at Families as Allies’ New Year Open House on Thursday, January 11. 

Every family who is part of our organization, every partner from our child serving systems, every policy maker, and every community supporter who unites with us around our mission – to make sure families are partners in their children’s care – brings us closer to making our vision – that all children will have the opportunity to reach their potential and succeed – a reality.  It was wonderful to start the new year in such a meaningful way with all of you.

The food and friendship were terrific.  Another highlight was gathering feedback from our guests on What’s Working, What’s Not Working, and What’s Needed in some of our child serving systems and with Families as Allies.  This is the same format we use in town halls with families throughout the state and we use this feedback to guide our work, in partnership with all of you, throughout the year.

This is what you told us about the different systems that serve children and about us.

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WINTER 2017 NEWSLETTER

OUR WINTER 2017 NEWSLETTER IS OUT WITH LOTS OF NEWS AND INFO!

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Mental Health Funding Cuts

Budget-300x300.jpgWe have been asked a number of questions about the Department of Mental Health budget over the past few weeks.  Our responses are below.  Please feel free to contact us if you have additional feedback.

  • What is the crisis with mental health funding?  In its 2017 session, the Mississippi State Legislature reduced the annual budget for the Department of Mental Health from approximately $600,000,000 to $585,000,000, although various people interpret the numbers differently.  The Board of the Department of Mental Health then allocated the money. Mental health care should be adequately funded, but it is crucial that we examine both the adequacy and the allocation of funds.  Most funds, even after the cuts, went to the twelve state-run institutions. 

  • What is the most helpful way to use mental health funds? Institutional care is very costly, and there is little, if any, objective evidence that it helps people. A wide range of services in the community that allow people to work, go to school, and be with their friends and family while they get treatment means almost all people with mental illness can get better outside of institutions. Institutions are then freed up for people who genuinely need them - for example, people with mental illness who are incarcerated.

  • How do other states allocate mental health funds? States across the country, including those that neighbor Mississippi, have moved services to the community.  Arkansas, similar to Mississippi in demographics and population, has only one state-run institution and spends most of its mental health money locally. It also leverages federal funds for community services. If Mississippi did the same, it would likely have nearly one billion dollars each year for community services.
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FROM THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR: A GREAT START TO THE NEW YEAR!

BMH5crop.jpgIt's been a great start to the new year for Families as Allies! Beginning with an open house that was attended by many old and new friends, continuing with a new training session held in conjunction with the Department of Mental Health (DMH), two more community town halls and a presentation to the Board of Mental Health, it's been quite a busy time. And that's not counting a recent meeting with Governor Bryant. Shown at right: Executive Director Joy Hogge and member of the Board of Mental Health Dr. Jim Herzog.

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STATE RESPONSE TO REQUEST FOR JUDGE WINGATE TO REVIEW TAC REPORT

This is the state response to the request by plaintiffs that Judge Wingate review the TAC report.pg1stateobjtroupecl.jpg The Clarion Ledger has sued to make the TAC report public, and this issue was argued
in court last Friday, Feb. 10th as part of the Troupe v. Barbour suit.


Families as Allies is funded through generous donations, training fees, grants from the Substance Abuse and Mental Heath Services Administration, the City of Jackson and the Department of Mental Health, and contracts with other non-profits and agencies.