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Op-Ed: ‘Accountability, real-world outcomes needed in Mississippi mental health system’

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This week the Magnolia Tribune published an opinion column by Families as Allies Executive Director Joy Hogge. The column, headlined: “Accountability, real-world outcomes needed in Mississippi mental health system,” discussed the 12-year battle that the state of Mississippi has fought in the lawsuit United States v. Mississippi, where United State District Judge Carlton Reeves found that the State of Mississippi’s mental health system violates the Americans with Disabilities Act by “unlawfully segregating people with mental illness in institutions.” The State appealed the Fifth Circuit in 2022.

Joy writes:

Throughout its twelve-year battle with the federal government, the State has consistently argued three points:

    • Mississippi’s mental health system does not and never has violated the ADA.
    • To implement the changes the federal government demands would fundamentally alter Mississippi’s mental health system.
    • There should not be a monitor to oversee Mississippi’s compliance and progress.

The State may win its appeal on the technicalities of one or more of these points, especially given the millions of tax-payer dollars it has spent on outside counsel. That is a very different issue than whether Mississippi’s mental health system helps people with mental illness.

Read the full story here, in which Joy goes through each argument one by one so that you can consider the merits of each. We thank the Magnolia Tribune for publishing this important information.

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