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Our Discussion of The U.S. Senate Psychiatric Residential Treatment Facilities Hearing

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On June 12, the United States Senate Committee on Finance held a hearing about youth psychiatric residential treatment facilities (PRTFs). The hearing coincided with the release of this report: Warehouses Of Neglect: How Taxpayers Are Funding Systemic Abuse In Youth Residential Treatment Facilities. We reviewed highlights and recommendations from the report and hearing in this blog on June 19.  

We discussed the report’s highlights and recommendations in our June 26 monthly policy and leadership meeting. You can see the recording of that discussion here. We shared how hard it is for families when it feels like there is no other option than residential treatment and discussed possible changes to systems and services that might make it less likely that families would end up in that position.   

We talked about how it is natural and human to assume that going to residential treatment will fundamentally change a child’s behavior, but, for most children, it usually does not. Plus, being away from home and familiar friends, family, and settings can create additional trauma.

We are glad this information is out there so we can all openly discuss whether and how these issues are relevant to Mississippi families and children. If you have any feedback you would like to share about your family’s experiences with psychiatric residential treatment facilities in Mississippi, you can share your feedback with these groups that have regulatory control over PRTFs: 

  • Mississippi State Department of Health (licenses PRTFs). Complaint procedure 
  • Mississippi Division of Medicaid
    • General Inquiry Form (appropriate for positive, negative and neutral feedback) 
    • Toll-free: 800-421-2408
    • DOM main switchboard phone: 601-359-6050 (ask for mental health services) 
  • Disability Rights Mississippi (federally designated protection and advocacy agency for Mississippi)

Families as Allies is also interested in any feedback about how we can support families considering residential treatment or policy issues you think we should be working on.

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