What if you were so stressed that you wanted to scream, but had nowhere to scream?
You had no voice. This is how we feel as individuals in our Meridian Connection group. The group is where persons with a mental illness can come for support. We have legitimate mental health care concerns to deal with every day.
But now the Mississippi Division of Medicaid is expanding managed care (MSCANS) to include mental health services.
This means that the managed care system removes decision making power from psychiatrists, patients, and family members – placing the power in the hands of managed care companies who typically profit by trimming mental health services by use of Prior Authorizations.
DOM is also cutting costs by closing Clubhouses, places where mentally ill persons can go to “scream” instead of hurting themselves or others. MSCANS wants people on certain medications to cut their dose in half. Other programs for the mentally ill are being cut, too.
The Connection groups will still go on, because they are part of NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) and we will continue to fight. Let your voice be heard – tell your legislators to reverse the mental health care portion of HB-421.
Jill R. Walsh