Mental Health – The State of Mississippi, the Division of Medicaid and the Department of Mental Health are being sued for discriminating against citizens with mental illness. The timeline below details these legal actions.
Mental Health Timeline
July 26, 1990 – Americans with Disabilities Act passes – “The ADA is one of America's most comprehensive pieces of civil rights legislation that prohibits discrimination and guarantees that people with disabilities have the same opportunities as everyone else to participate in the mainstream of American life -- to enjoy employment opportunities, to purchase goods and services, and to participate in State and local government programs and services. “
June 22, 1999 - Olmstead v L.C. ruling by the Supreme Court – “On June 22, 1999, the United States Supreme Court held in Olmstead v. L.C. that unjustified segregation of persons with disabilities (including those with mental illness) constitutes discrimination in violation of title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The Court held that public entities must provide community-based services to persons with disabilities when (1) such services are appropriate; (2) the affected persons do not oppose community-based treatment; and (3) community-based services can be reasonably accommodated, taking into account the resources available to the public entity and the needs of others who are receiving disability services from the entity.”
2000 – States are required to develop Olmstead Plans.
2003 – Mississippi Olmstead Plan completed but not completely implemented.
2009 – President Obama Commemorates Anniversary of Olmstead and announces New Initiatives to Assist Americans with Disabilities.
March 10, 2010 – Troupe v Barbour filed. “The federal lawsuit alleges that the state fails to meet the needs of children in two fundamental ways. First, the state discriminates against children with mental illnesses by unlawfully separating them from their families and communities and by forcing them to cycle through psychiatric institutions that fail to provide adequate services. Second, the state ignores the ongoing needs of children with mental illnesses by failing to provide federally mandated and medically necessary home- and community-based mental health services.”
December 22, 2011 – United States Department of Justice issues Olmstead findings letter about Mississippi’s mental health system, including services for adults, children and people with developmental disabilities.
August 29, 2014 – State of Mississippi and US DOJ sign temporary letter of agreement. DOJ agrees to forego suing if State meets certain conditions, including the state resolving issues in Troupe and also contracting with the Technical Assistance Collaborative (TAC) for independent assessments of the child and adult systems. Issues related to the children's independent assessment are detailed on a separate timeline.
August 11, 2015 - Attorney Michael Sussman contacts the Justice Department, Southern Poverty Law Center and the Attorney General Hood and asks them to meet jointly with Families as Allies. Mr. Sussman's letter
August 31, 2015 - Jody Owens, Executive Director, Southern Poverty Law Center Mississippi responds to Mr. Sussman's letter via email -
As always, SPLC is happy to meet with you and any other party at any time. Logistically, it might be helpful to wait until DOJ is in town again. Thanks, JO"
October 15, 2015 - AG Hood meets with Families as Allies Executive Director and states he wants to meet with families and family organizations to craft settlement terms that would be meaningful to their children.
November 3, 2015- AG Hood wins his re-election bid.
November 9, 2015 – Families as Allies provides all three parties recommended terms of a settlement that would be helpful to children and families via this press release.
December 18, 2015 – Families as Allies sends letter to AG Hood requesting follow up on his suggestion of meeting with families. We also request that assessment be made public given there are no longer negotiations.
January 11, 2016 - AG Hood's response to Families as Allies December 18 letter.
August 11, 2016 - US DOJ sues Mississippi for discriminating against adults with mental illness and states it remains a friend of the court in Troupe v. Barbour in order to resolve issues in the children's system.
October 11, 2016 - The State files its initial response to the DOJ lawsuit.
November 4, 2016 - Families as Allies obtains Phelps Dunbar's billing records for State's response to DOJ lawsuit.