Thursday, March 7, 2019

A Mother's Pain. When will the mental health system improve?

While searching for online items from past years to support our nonprofit narrative, 
google led me to this article my Mother wrote, during a time of grief over her son - my brother - and his long-suffering circumstances.  

To honor this TRUTH, her words will replace of my blog, today.  
This needs to be read, and understood, deeply.

From her heart.  Eloquent.  
These beautiful words encapsulate so many things that 

MUST CHANGE.

Behold, a mother's pain...



October 7, 2015
Beyond Murphy

by- Marilyn Welton

It’s 9/11/2015.  On 9/11/2001, I was at work in Tulsa, OK at the church I attended.  The pastor put a television in the lobby of the church as the Twin Towers were being destroyed by terrorists.  I remember how stunned I was, not at what was happening at that moment, but by my own lack of emotion.  And I questioned – why.  Why was there no feeling inside of me for this crime against my country, for the deaths of over 3000 souls?  
It took some time but I finally understood.  It was because in my own personal life, residually, and in the life of my dear son, Jeff, for 10 years prior to 9/11, we had been experiencing our own kind of terrorism.  This terrorism was committed against him by psychiatry and mental health courts by forcing him to take psychotropic ‘medications’ that he, literally, physically, could not tolerate because of their side effects.  Side effects, such as akathisia and hyperthermia and others, that caused him so much pain that he was terrified of them and still is.  So much terror that he would run away and try to survive on the street any way he could.  It was, residually, against me because as a mother, it zaps the life out of you not knowing where your son is or how is he surviving. 
This started happening in 1991, when he was first put in the mental health system.  The running away and abruptly stopping the drugs prescribed by psychiatrists. Then he would either end back up in a hospital somewhere or coming back home; and, because he was in violation of a mental health court order to take the drugs and he wasn’t, and because he wasn’t, he would be in rebound withdrawal and/or severe detox, he would be acting so weird that he would be picked up and be rehospitalized again – and again – and again.  Usually, the drugs and the dosages would be changed on each rehospitalization.
No, I do not believe that he was in decompensation, or he was just getting sick again as I was told.  I believe that he was in detox because of stopping the drugs cold-turkey.  We were told that he would have to stay on the drugs the rest of his life. That was not acceptable.  It was always a dilemma.  Why do some psychiatrists not know that these drugs cause dependence?  This disbelief by a psychiatrist was presented to me in a treatment team meeting held regarding Jeff in 2011.  She wanted proof that these drugs cause dependence.
It is my opinion that my son is brain damaged now.  It is very dangerous to abruptly stop taking psychotropic medications.  I don’t call them medications anymore.  I call them drugs.  I think of medications as helping.  I think of drugs as hurting.  I think he is brain damaged now because in 2007, after 16 years of this, he started verbally expressing fixed delusions or false memories. 
It takes me a while to catch on.  It is my firm belief that Jeff has been so brain damaged by drugs he has been forced to take since 1991, that I might never get my son back.  What I had to do on Sunday, September 6, 2015, is tell Jeff that as long as he is at my home, that I would not go back there.  No mother should ever have to tell her own son that.  It’s too much of a heartbreak. He wants to be where I am.  Every time he would run away from where he was, he would always end up back at my home, no matter where I was, or how cold it was outside.  What does a mother do when her son knocks at her door at 2:30 a.m. and it’s 20 degrees outside?  Out of deep love, a mother allows her son to come into her home.  But there’s a catch.  He refuses to leave.  There is so much wrong now that even though she tries to let him stay, because of fixed delusions and false memories caused by the drugs he was forced to take, she can’t because there is abuse now, verbal, emotional, and the real possibility of physical abuse.
So, one Sunday while away from home, I called Jeff and told him to leave and to never come back.  He told me to bring his bank debit card to him and he would.  I did.  He did.  And while hitchhiking again, he was picked up by a Deputy Sheriff and taken, again, to a crisis stabilization unit, where he will, again, come to mental health court in an Oklahoma County and be committed, again, to a psychiatric hospital and be forced to take more drugs, again.  Then, he will be deemed stabilized, again, and he will be discharged homeless.  He has already called me and told me that he will return to the small city where I live and stay in the men’s shelter.  What I know is that he will not stay at the shelter.  He will not take the drugs he is prescribed and will be in detox of the drugs he was given while hospitalized.  He will, again, appear at my door and want to come in – and he will want to stay.  This forces me to file a Protective Order against my own son, my Jeff.  
So – will I get to see my son again?  Will I get to give him a Christmas gift again or share thanksgiving dinner with him again.  Will our family ever get to be together again to celebrate a birthday?  Will he be able to get housing anywhere again?
The mental health system has destroyed my Jeff’s life.  It has residually destroyed my life.  I am only one mother out of countless others whose son has been stolen from her by psychiatry and mental health courts.  Jeff is only one son whose life has been destroyed by prescribed psychotropic drugs..  The mental health system must be changed.  There is a dire need now for recovery homes, houses, units, farms, ranches, etc. for people whose lives have been stolen from then by psychiatry and the current medical model of psychiatric treatment.  It destroys lives.  It destroys families.  It destroys hope.
Thank you, Mom.
Jackie

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

2018: Observations & The Rundown

2018 began with trauma and despair, grasping for answers.

Our Jeff was facing LIFE in prison, due to being a "repeat offender", which is the ultra simplified version.  In actuality, it's well documented, even on the news clips from the arrest, that this was a man suffering from mental illness delusions.  Every arrest has been due to this, yet he still gets punished for his disability.

Jeff has never been a criminal.  Jeff is a victim of being damaged by medications his body cannot metabolize, and that actually made him more psychotic, instead of less.  He is 49 years old, and this has been going on for 30 years.

DAMAGED by the system, and by "treatment".  Oh, they've treated him, alright.  There are volumes of stories about how he has been "treated". Mistreated. Raped.  Held in seclusion. Beat up.  Restrained, phsically and chemically. Trauma from a young age, nonstop.  HE IS A SURVIVOR.

Looking back on a breakthrough year, here's the rundown.

January 2018
Armed with momentum from nonstop networking... call after call, conversation after conversation, searching for a lawyer for years, to DECRIMINALIZE our mentally ill loved one, who was suffering severely in DLMCJC Tulsa County jail (yet again).

The family put our money where our mouths (and hearts!) were.  The stars lined up when we landed the perfect legal team.  Brave, ultra intelligent, rare.  In a state that has zero mental disability attorneys, these are legal SUPER HEROES.
We were breaking new ground.

FEBRUARY 2018 brought:
Knowledge-sharing.
Expert-finding.
Evidence-gathering.
Meetings that slammed doors in our faces -
yet became open windows of FREEDOM!
A very challenging month.
But this is when the axis began shifting, from:

REVOLVING DOOR
crisis center>to>homelessness>to>jail>to>homelessness>to> crisis center>to>jail>to>homelessness>to>crisis center>to>homelessness>to>jail>to>homelessness>to> crisis center>to>jail>to>homelessness>to>crisis center>to>homelessness>to>jail>to>homelessness>to> crisis center>to>jail>to>homelessness>to>crisis center>to>homelessness>to>jail>to>homelessness>to> crisis center>to>jail>to>homelessness>to>crisis center>to>homelessness>to>jail>to>homelessness>to> crisis center>to>jail>to>homelessness
...AND ON AND ON AND ON...



MARCH 2018 
...blew in a high stakes, dramatic entr'acte of law-and-order that turned the tide of torture and death, toward safety and care, via some never before litigated mental health laws.  
Amazing what following the law, can do.

The winds of change. 
We unearthed these buried statutes, and were able to enlighten everyone.  And when I say everyone, I MEAN EVERYONE.
(That's all I'll say on that. Must save the meat of this shocking true story for the movie!)









APRIL 2018
The curtain was drawn back.
No more crying "ignorance."

For, Behold!
"Consumer Bill of Rights"

Listed on the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services' website:
For those that don't know, the word "consumer" refers to patient.  
From the POV of the patient, that word is insensitive, hurtful, and has to be changed.


Document is found specifically at this link:

We found out WHY 
our loved one 
got worse in the name of mental health "treatment,"
by asserting this right: 


"Each consumer has the right to request the opinion 
of an outside medical or psychiatric consultant 
at his or her own expense 
or a right to an internal consultation upon request 
at no expense."

!!!EUREKA!!!

I'll bottom line it:
We brought in an outside psychiatrist.  This doctor was able to administer a DNA swab, to show which medications the patient can metabolize, because each individual human being has unique DNA. Should be the FIRST thing they do, prior to forced "meds".  Seems like a no-brainer, right?  What better way to zero in on the most effective, least damaging, least expensive, approach?  But caregivers RESIST (HARD).  YOU HAVE NO IDEA.  Mind boggling!  This simple mouth swab - developed by the Mayo Clinic - is a foolproof tool to GUIDE the caregivers to appropriate treatment, and lessen the guessing game of "this drug or that."  You see, not everyone's DNA can tolerate certain chemical concoctions.  Some people are allergic.  So, we exercised the patient's rights, and got it done.  What we learned is...  
Sometimes 
the pill and/or injection 
IS THE PROBLEM  

Plus, the arrogance of caregivers that don't believe the patient when the patient or the patient's family/advocate says the drugs are harming the patient is a massive, over-reaching, expensive issue that needs a seriously humble solution.  Laws about this are broken every day, at every facility.  This leads to the criminalization of the patient.  There needs to be an oversight committee to make sure the patient's rights are being upheld and not usurped by misinformed employees and omitted by those that should know better!  Hospitals need to be training employees on the rights of patients and the treatment advocate...blatantly ignored.  This all adds to the patient's suffering.

MAY 2018
The day we got the www.Genesight.com DNA mouth swab results, proving that three decades of forced meds have indeed harmed our loved one, felt MIRACULOUS.  FINALLY!  Relief found, in genetic facts.  Complete horror at the 49 legal pages - the database/list mom has kept of every psych drug Jeff has been forced to endure, and every "hospital" that exisits in Oklahoma that he has been a patient at over the years. It's daunting, and truly a miracle Jeff is still alive after decades of harmful drugging, homelessness, jail, hunger, and abuse.

Jeff's story is an important story.  
His story will be told.
This is just the beginning.

The damage is beyond immense and extends exponentially to mom, and the rest of the family.  
We were told by one of our attorneys that families always give up on their loved one in the mental health system, because it's too hard.  
You got that right.  
WAY TOO HARD. 

JUNE 2018
The legal process found everyone looking for an appropriate place for Jeff to live, upon discharge from the crisis center.  (I've blogged about this.)  There is a gaping hole in a system that allows vulnerable psychiatric patients to be put on the street, without any way to know if the drugs are helping or hurting them, and for them to maintain meds if they ARE helping them.  The burden is huge.  This hole needs to be acknowledged and closed, with appropriate housing/hospital options, so the "frequent flyer" psych patients can start to be productive citizens again, instead of the perpetual cycle/trap many of them are in.  Jeff has been sent from hospital to homelessness many times.  But our legal team prevented it in 2018.  We are eternally grateful for that.

JULY 2018
Mental Health Association of Oklahoma told us they cannot serve Jeff this time, because his needs are beyond their scope. It amazes me that the MOST chronic, get the LEAST care and assistance.  Plus, the HUD regulation prevented Jeff from retaining his eligibility for subsidized housing options.  Another gaping hole in the system that I've written about. We will be on that, soon.


Our attorney found the one and only place for Jeff to live, that serves his skill level.  
On July 19, 2018 Jeff got his life back.  What a moment that was.  
Long time coming is the understatement of the century.  
Complex details that I've written about as it was happening, so I won't repeat, here. 
For the first time in Jeff's life, we had hope.
A place to live where people actually care about him.  
A huge VICTORY in the grand scheme of his life.  

But It shouldn't have cost one family so much to prevent this tender human from being punished because he has a disability.  It was worth it, and we have no regret, but it was expensive.  And....our WJWMHLF nonprofit will be up and running soon in 2019, which will help change the system for everyone, not just for our loved one.  I'll be blogging about that...  SO much, it's overwhelming.

AUGUST 2018
Jeff's story begins shifting here, and I am not going to divulge details, even though he has given permission.  What was stunning, was the timing of our father's health declining, overlapping from Jeff's discharge and new living situation.  This subsequently took over MY life, as our father is 82 yrs old, depends on a walker, lives alone, and he has no one to help him.  I had already spent most of 2018 in Oklahoma back and forth from where I live in Georgia, and suddenly I realize dad needs me.

Why does dad's story matter here?  Because Jeff and dad are 50% related by DNA, and dad had one of his rare bouts of "episodic mania" starting summer 2018. I couldn't believe the timing.  It also matters, because it highlights how important it is to know that hydration and nutrition affect mental status, while doctors only focus on psych meds, as usual.  So I had to stand firm, and be strong, to prevent dad being damaged by the psych drug guessing game.

I am my father's Designated Treatment Advocate under Oklahoma Statute under 43A O.S. § 1-109.1.
http://www.oscn.net/applications/oscn/DeliverDocument.asp?CiteID=436655.
As outlined in Jeff's story, Dad's and my rights as his TA were ignored.  
This is how it ALWAYS goes.

SEPTEMBER - DECEMBER 2018
Without giving specifics, Dad spent over two months in one hospital.
It's way more involved than that, but I'm refraining from too much detail.  #LongHaul 

*Did you know that UTIs (Urinary Tract Infections) can cause delirium?
http://www.benrose.org/resources/article-delirium-uti.cfm

*Did you know that Sepsis can cause an abrupt change in mental status?
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3673822/

*Did you know that dehydration can cause sugar/glucose levels to spike?
https://www.everydayhealth.com/type-2-diabetes/symptoms/surprising-causes-of-blood-sugar-swings/

*Did you know that hospitals count carbs for diabetic patients, but don't care if the diabetic patient binges on diet pop, potato chips and sugar-free deserts - as long as the carb count is adhered to?

*Did you know that when a patient has a surgery at one hospital, but ends up in another hospital, there is a fear-based lack of continuity of care, that creates more problems, end up costing more money and could become permanent issues?

*Did you know that when an elderly patient is in ICU, then moved to the main hospital, the staff sometimes doesn't get the patient up, and they could lose their ability to walk?

*Did you know that stress releases cortisol in the body, and cortisol causes glucose levels to rise?
https://insulinnation.com/treatment/how-stress-hormones-raise-blood-sugar/

*Did you know sugar causes inflammation in the brain, which can cause depression and mania?
https://kellybroganmd.com/from-gut-to-brain-the-inflammation-connection/
and
https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-depression-cure/200907/dietary-sugar-and-mental-illness-surprising-link
and
https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanpsy/article/PIIS2215-0366(16)30262-0/fulltext

*Did you know there are promising studies on probiotics to treat mania? https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/probiotics-for-bipolar-disorder-mania-2018062514125

* Did you know administering first-generation psych drugs to the elderly can cause death twice as often?  https://www.webmd.com/alzheimers/news/20120223/dementia-some-antipsychotic-drugs-riskier-than-others#1

*Did you know that a small percentage of patients given injections of certain psych drugs, lose bladder function? https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4730936/ 
and https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3488871/

*Did you know that even if a judge tells a doctor to try to get the genesight swab done, and even if the hospital has the swab kit in another part of their building, it still may not get done?

*Did you know, sometimes doctors may say one thing to the patient at bedside and say something completely different/quite the opposite in private to the family/advocate that witnessed the patient/doctor conversation?  And when you address it with the hospital, fear may become a power play, which could lead, once again, to the treatment advocate rights being violated, undermining the health of the patient.

*Did you know, hospitalists, 95% of the time, don't return family/treatment advocate requests for a call back?  And they get mad when social workers tell them to.

*Did you know, that if a hospital chart says a patient has a psych issue, that all SNF's (Skilled Nursing Facilities) will say no, they can't take that patient?  Makes me worry about these days, 1 in 6 Americans, popping psych meds. When YOU'RE elderly, you will not have a SNF.  Think about that.
https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/1-in-6-americans-takes-a-psychiatric-drug/

*Did you know the doctor always knows best - even when they don't?!
#CultureOfArrogance #StandardOfCare #MedicalModel

BEWARE of issues you might never consider, 
because no one cares for your loved one like you.
STAY ON THEM, lest severe complications and even death are real posibilities.

The things we learned this year have BLOWN OUR MINDS.

ALL VERY BACKWARD.  
ALL VERY WRONG.

This story is astouding.  I realize I'm not painting a clear picture, using generalizations.  But I am chomping at the bit to WRITE THIS STORY and SHOUT IT FROM THE MOUNTAINTOPS.  Now that the storm has passed and we were able to save dad's LIFE, maybe I can have time to carve out the screenplay.  All the records have been tucked away for safe keeping, and shared with appropriate folks.  And nothing important ever changes, unless we go through the fire to make it happen.  So, that's what we did.
This fall was unreal.  My dad almost died.  
If I hadn't have fought for him, he would've been stuffed in a nursing home, all his assets liquidated, and forgotten about.  
NO WAY I was gonna allow that.

But we stuck it out.  Dad and the family endured shocking things I will not divulge here, and now, Dad is doing great.  Many serious, life-threatening health issues later, a couple of surgeries, thirty-five pounds gained, and he is about to have the best year of his life.  At some point I will send an update to those doctors that were giving up on him, so they will know WHY I bucked their system.  Dad has years left in him, and he brings joy to many with his music, wit and charm.  He has left a very positive impression on those that didn't scorn him because of multiple health issues that caused a period of manic behavior.

NOTE:  Psych MEDS, Dad DID NOT NEED.  Oh, they still gave them to him in secret...and I confronted those caregivers.  It's not right.  And over time, a nurse told me she agreed that the psych med was doing nothing.  I told them it wouldn't.  And now, his new/current doctor in Assisted Living has taken him off, and is listening to the family, as he should.  Thankful for that.

IT WAS ALWAYS MORE ABOUT 
* (DE)HYDRATION
* STRESS
* NUTRITION/SUGARS ... Which is what I told them, but the doctors were taught in med school to deal in medications, not natural solutions.  But TIME HAS PROVEN all we tried to tell them, to be true.  Thank GOD my Dad made it through the storm. 

*********************************************

In this family, the suffering of loved ones isn't left in secret silence.  We are their voices.  And this year brought some long overdue attention to wrongs that were made right, in hard fought battles to end the criminalization of my brother, and standing up to MANY "powers that be"in both his and Dad's cases.  So many instances of the family being right, against the grain of medical professionals.

We'd rather not have to tackle these issues.  But standards of care sometimes need to be rattled when harm has been done over and over, year after year, and the patient getting worse and worse.  We are paying attention.  We did not allow the "life in prison" Jeff was facing.  It made me older.  It made me wiser.

I'm sorry to be so vague.  I'm just a sister, writing about life-long family issues, while not divulging too much.  Must protect privacy of all involved.  But the complexities are layered in the abyss.

For sure, in 2018 there is more gratitude than in years past.  The world seems to be catching on, slowly.  Mom isn't alone in her advocacy journey for Jeff, any more.  And DNA doesn't lie.

Eternally grateful for the extremely intelligent folks 
that have been on this maverick journey with us, this year.  

* Milestones reached * Mountains moved * Loved-Ones Lives Literally Saved *


We are tired.  But even though it was a gargantuan year, 
it's only the tip of this iceberg.  
And our ship, moving forward
even though it IS a titanic voyage... will not sink.  
Love does not shrink, or tremble, 
especially when real change has begun.

After we catch our breath, hit refresh, refuel, refill our wells... This destined journey will continue.  There's no way all the suffering so many dear human beings have endured for decades will not, in the end, have great meaning.  So, we document and discuss.  We present facts and resources.  We learn and share.  Communication is key, and we must not fear ruffling some feathers, here and there.

A far cry from one year ago, when Jeff was sitting in jail, secluded and delusional,
facing years of punishment he did NOT deserve.

I was told by a highly respected attorney who is a lifelong friend, that he had never seen an outcome like we got for Jeff.  He called it "Herculean".  I won't disagree.  That's what it felt like.   Dad's too.  And it was all worth it. 
It's 2019.  Onward! 
Here's to positive change like never before.
Time to
STOP THE MADNESS

************************
Jackie Welton DiPillo


Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Oklahoma Wasteland: Money Down the Drain

"Treatment" costs, per the OKLAHOMA HEALTHCARE AUTHORITY
Fiscal Records
$288,094.76 (January 2015 - July 2016; the 18 months prior to Jeff's last arrest)
$326,905.24 (August 2016 - Sept 2018; the 2 years after Jeff's last arrest)

Jeff's cost of "care" the past 3 1/2 years
$615,000.00 
That's $14,643/month.

That would pay for a private hospital, like www.RoseHillCenter.org - one of the top 30 Gold Standard Psychiatric facilities in the USA according to www.artausa.org

Rose Hill Center is located in Michigan, but this private mental health facility is willing to and DOES contract with others states (and countries!), to appropriately care for the most chronic mentally ill.  For example, Rose Hill has contracted with the state of Wyoming, to care for some of that state's most chronic mentally ill.  It's the right and smart thing to do.  
That's probably because saves Wyoming $MONEY$

So, why can't Oklahoma do this?

I live by a "where there's a will there's a way" mentality.  So, we've made our case.  We've presented the numbers, and these facts.  But no.  Oklahoma won't consider this.  We've proposed this, because it as an appropriate placement option for a "chronically mentally ill" person the state had no appropriate options for.  We've spoken to legislators and told of how it would be fiscally responsible.  


Still...no.  

Instead, Oklahoma has thrown this huge amount of money down the drain.  And it gets worse.  Oklahoma has SPENT this money making a chronically "mentally ill" man WORSE, due to the standard of care currently in place in the Sooner state.

This has been going on with my brother, Jeff, for 30 years.  
Time for some simple math: 

$175,714/year X 30yrs.
We're looking at 

$5,271,428.00

FIVE & A QUARTER

!!!!!     MILLION     !!!!!
DOLLARS

our government has
 WASTED 
MAKING MY BROTHER WORSE.

What put a stop to this madness was the 
DNA swab.

At least now any medications given to Jeff will not harm him.
At least there's that.  
But he has been damaged.  Exponentially.  For decades.  
Only by the grace of GOD, and our Mother's eternal LOVE for her son, has he survived.  At some point I'll post his consent to share his medical/psych info
(he has signed a consent...he wants the world to know, especially if these facts can help change things for the better, which is our GOAL.)  

Mother has been diligent.  She has done an amazing job of keeping track of the facts.  
Mom has put together what has grown into a 60 legal-sized page document listing Jeff's hospitalizations and medication list. It's shocking and hard to believe one person has been subjected to such a massive list of every medication on the market.  You wouldn't believe how VAST this document is.  Jeff is truly a miracle walking...and his life WILL have great meaning, because soon enough, his story will be told in MAJOR ways.  Many wheels are turning, and our dear Jeff stays strong, in the midst of damage and anxiety that sometimes feels crippling.  I'm dying to be more specific, but time will have to do those honors...and let cats out of bags in an organic way.  
But it IS happening...finally. 
It can't be soon enough for this family!

So, let me pose some questions.
Is $5 million enough wasted government money to LEARN from this real story?

Are 30 YEARS of this man's life, ENOUGH to learn and change?  

Or - are we going to keep ignoring and refusing to learn from black and white hard facts, that are a perfect example of what NEVER to do again.

This life...Jeff's life... has LESSONS ON:
* HUMANE TREATMENT
* the hyppocratic oath to first DO NO HARM
* how to save enough money on the hundreds of chronic mentally ill in the state of Oklahoma!


Then we would have enough money to build an appropriate new kind of care facility.  
One modeled after the www.artausa.org private facilites like Rose Hill Center.

But our facility will be for the indigent.  For the forgotten ones.  For the criminalized and long-suffering that have been treated like animals, and way worse.

The burden has been on the taxpayer forever, and the statistics are getting worse.  

Jeff is a survivor.  A hero.  He is a living example of strength
                                                                                honor
                                                                                hope
                                                                                generosity
                                                                                kindness

He doesn't and has never used street drugs.  His troubles are from trauma, nutrition, PTSD, and forced treatment that has harmed him.  The standard of care needs to adapt the latest technology: The DNA swab.  It will save lives.  It HAS saved Jeff's life.  And in turn, has eased our mother's 3-decades long WAR to save her son from the scourge of chemical restraint and sheer torture by an arrogant psychiatric culture.


Tough words.  But they fit the circumstance.  

Pay attention.  Closely.  The times are starting to shift.

We feel it.

And I'll just put this out there... every mental health facility should have a therapy animal or two, or three...  




Anyone want to sponsor a 
PTSD therapy dog 
for Grand Lake Mental Health Center?  


We can start there.  

Benefactors and team effort needed.  


We can do this.
Jackie Welton DiPillo




Thursday, September 27, 2018

UNDER THE LAW: Treatment Advocates and Mental Competency

This post's subject matter is LONG overdue.



Oklahoma, do you know...?

There's a statute under Oklahoma Law, that stiplulates a person with mental illness has the right to a designated Treatment Advocate.  This means, unless the person has been deemed officially incompetent by a court of law, they are allowed to sign a Treatment Advocate form, in order for this person to be a voice on their bahalf, and all those in charge of the administration and care of the patient MUST comply with the wishes of the patient's TREATMENT ADVOCATE.

Hospitals/Facilities (Inpatient or Outpatient, community-based, acute care, et al.)
  Residential Care Facilities (RCF's, Nursing homes, and all other.)
    PACT teams (Programs of Assertive Community Treatment)
      Psychiatrists/Doctors
        Nurses - RN/LPNs
          Med Passers
            Therapists
              Behavioral Health Specialists
                Physician Assistants
                  Social Workers
                    Case Managers
                      Discharge Planners
                        Staff/Employees/Administrators
                          Lawyers for the ODMHSAS
                            Consumer Advocates for the ODMHSAS
                              EMT/Paramedics (if they are licensed as a mental health professional)
                                      etc., etc., etc...

ALL licensed mental health professionals are required to adhere to and respect the designated
Treatment Advocate 
that speaks on behalf of the patient, and as such, are allowed to make decisions on their behalf.

Truth.
We've had a very refreshing and kind of shocking thing happen since Jeff was discharged from the Tulsa facility where he was for 185 days.

For the first time, Mom - Jeff's #1 Treatment Advocate, was contacted by Grand Lake Mental Health Center to ASK for her input.

WHAT?!!!  Could this be real?  She thought she was dreaming!!!!

This is what is supposed to happen.  Having an advocate in place, when the person is suffering and needs those that care about him/her to offer input to HELP THEM HELP the patient.

This was the very first time, in all these years, the caregivers asked.  The legal case we just finished had a lot to do with adhering to this statute, and sometimes it was like pulling teeth.  Gnashing, for sure...

Should those that work in mental health field already know this?  (Resounding>) YES!
Sadly, that has not been the case.

There are times, folks being paid to "care" for the mentally ill, sometimes just DON'T.  (care)  
#speakingfromexperience #sorrynotsorry #bringittothelight!


For years and years,
mother has carried around a 
Designation of Treatment Advocate Form
that Jeff signed
and almost EVERY HOSPITAL 
HAS DISREGARDED IT.

Here's the statute.  Look it up yourself:
http://www.oscn.net/applications/oscn/DeliverDocument.asp?CiteID=436655



PDF 
if the 
link 
doesn't 
want to
cooperate.
Voila!
 >>>>>>>>>>>

The facility is tasked with offering this to the patient.  But believe me, it hardly ever happens.

This is yet another BIG PROBLEM, and why the jails and streets are filled with individuals with a mental illness diagnosis.

The Treatment Advocate can ease the burden by streamlining appropriate care, because they know this person, whereas the facility and caregivers do not.  
                                     *************************************************************

In a field where none of these conditions can be proven in a lab, or a scan, by bloodwork, or in a petri dish...you'd think the caregivers would want as much HELP as they could get.  And if they don't, WHY NOT?  It's a subjective field, and opinion often changes from one caregiver/facility/doctor to the next, so the common thread is the TREATMENT ADVOCATE.  It boggles my mind why the blatant disregard!

Our plan is to spread the word about 
Designated Treatment Advocates 
under 
Oklahoma Statute under 43A O.S. § 1-109.1


Another aspect: 
It's highly misunderstood that a person can be court committed for mental health treatment, but that does not mean they have been deemed legally incompetent.  There has to be a separate competency hearing for that to happen.  Hospitals and caregivers routinely tell people they are not allowed to sign Treatment Advocate forms after being court committed.  
THIS IS FALSE
if they have not had the required separate legal proceeding deeming them officially incompetent.  

Yet another way those that need the most help,
get the SHAFT.

"Universal Citation: 43A OK Stat § 43A-1-105 (2014) 
No person admitted to any facility shall be considered or presumed to be mentally or legally incompetent except those persons who have been determined to be mentally or legally incompetent in separate and independent proceedings of an appropriate district court.
See:
https://law.justia.com/codes/oklahoma/2014/title-43a/section-43a-1-105

Furthermore...
regarding Treatment Advocate rights to records 
obo the patient in question:


"The court shall make and keep records of all cases brought before it. ...
Except as provided in Section 3 of this act, no records of proceedings pursuant to this section shall be open to public inspection except by order of the court or to employees of the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, the person's attorney of record, the person's treatment advocate as defined pursuant to Section 1-109.1 of this title"
See:
https://law.justia.com/codes/oklahoma/2016/title-43a/section-43a-5-415/


<<<<<<<

Providing 
every 
means 
of 
reading 
this.  

You're 
welcome!

<<<<<<<
*************************************************************

Our Mother, Marilyn Welton, has been a diehard Warrior for the most chronic suffering with these issues.  To her, every person like Jeff - IS Jeff.  It's time we obeyed the LAW and allowed the Treatment Advocates to do the job their loved one asks of them.  It's not an easy job, and Treatment Advocates do not get "paid".  Quite the opposite!  They would be in a category of the most selfless, generous, unconditionally caring of types.  Treatment Advocate should be held in high esteem, as it is very difficult, mostly thankless, time-consuming, emotionally painful and draining, expensive, and is met with opposition as the norm.  
Again, another backward situation in my home state.   grrrr....!

I long for the day when I can brag about Oklahoma 
and it's Mental Health practices.  
We are weary of fighting against all odds.
I believe, until the attitudes of those in charge of our loved ones does a 180, the state will continue to rack up more and more statistics that demonstrate decline and criminalization, instead of the progress we all long for and need.

IDEA:

If you have a mental illness diagnosis,
ask your caregiver for a Treatment Advocate form.  
If they don't know what it is, direct them to THIS blog link,
https://notesfromjackie.blogspot.com/2018/09/
and have them contact
to ask where they can get one. 
 #PowerOfThePeople~!

Here's our HOPE:  That the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuses Services will, sooner than later, offer a UNIVERSAL Treatment Advocate form for download from the ODMHSAS website, so everyone will have easy access and information about being advocates for those they care about.  To take it even further, we believe the ODMHSAS should design a portal for easy UPLOAD of the completed form, so authorized caregivers/facilities/entites can "sign in" and gain access to the form, no matter where in the entire state, a suffering soul might possibly end up.  You see, it's the most chronic this will help.  Those that are the biggest burden to the system, as well as being the most forgotten.  This will help to end them slipping through the preverbial cracks.

Let's help them, shall we?



Until next time.
Jackie Welton DiPillo


Monday, September 3, 2018

Tragic Tort Enlightenment. Wake Up America.

On July 20, 2017
I, Jacqueline DiPillo,  
filed a tort claim, acting as "agent" obo my brother, Jeff.

Life has been overwhelming this summer, and very high and serious priorities neglected this blog.  So, why not use a document I created last year, to tell just ONE of the thousands of stories about the state of affairs regarding the treatment of the chronically mentally ill in Okahoma.  
This case, specifically, Tulsa.  July 26, 2016.

Tort. Governmental Tort Claims Act.  ( GTCA )
https://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/tort+claims+act

Attached here, in four screenshots. (scratched out address/phone)
Behold.





I'm proud of having created and submitted this legal document.  I had an outline assist, due to our extensive 2017 lawyer search.  One big Tulsa firm took Jeff's massive case into consideration, and then, turned it down.  The case is too big.  It would take too many resources and would be extremely costly.  There's no guarantee that anyone will not lose their time/money investment. 

 It's one thing to desire justice.  
It's another thing altogether when actually TRYING to attain justice. 

The tort caps in Oklahoma are one of the lowest in the country.  $175,000.  
This GTCA totalled $975,000, with multiple counts, and multiple entities involved. 
It's all about $$$. 

Nothing ever came of this GTCA.  The time limit passed without an attorney to file it.  But not for lack of effort!  Refer back to one of my first blogs:  Lawyers Part 1.  (posted August 31, 2017)   That blog was written only one month after I filed this very complicated document.  There were zero lawyers, interested.  So, I filed the GTCA to all the right parties, and made sure I followed the rules and legalities.  I learned QUITE A LOT, in this process.  And...we got a darned great slice of evidence, spelled out nice and neat, all buttoned up with records as proof, to use to educated the public on the realities.

Having zero lawyers in the state or the country that want to handle mental health cases is a huge problem.  This is one huge reason why we are forming our nonprofit:  WJW Mental Health Legal Fund.  By this time next year, we hope to be rolling, getting funding to help so many "Jeff's" across the state and across the country.  
The potential is gargantuan, because the NEED is GARGANTUAN.  


This is Jeff. Now.  We saved him.  It was necessary.  God love this great man.
As our dad always says:  
"Necessity breeds invention"
So, we roll up our sleeves, and do it ourselves.  
Ongoing...
Today I share this, as a means of enlightening the public about one incident that was disastrous and wrong on so many levels.  But with much effort, from a fantastic team of people, we were able to pull Jeff out of the ashes of criminalization, and SAVE HIS LIFE.  He was facing LIFE IN PRISON over this delusional episode, caused by medications forced on him that his body cannot tolerate.  We have that proof, now.  And if you need help with medication tolerance issues, Genesight.com is the answer.
No, we didn't have attorneys to file this tort claim, but we did get the attention of a couple of the state's best and most respected lawyers, and after the deadline passed on this GTCA, we proceeded with other avenues to start changing the trajectory of the downward spiral our country currently uses as it's "system."  

There's really no good word for it.  It's not a system.  It's throwing the mentally disabled in jail, and punishing them for their delusions.  That's what we are doing in the USA.  The jails are now the mental hospitals, and NOTHING IS GETTING BETTER, except how much money the department of corrections and other jail type entities make.  Sickening.  
Are YOU ok with this?
What if the developmentally disabled were thrown in jail for their disabiliy?  Would you be okay with that?  What if those with Autism or Aspergers or Alzheimer's were thrown in solitary confinement, labelled a criminal, because of something that could not be helped?  
ARE YOU REALLY OK WITH THIS?
******SHAME ON US******
This is only one tiny chapter in a very long history of one person, and this story will continue to unfold, as we go.  It's daunting.  We are on overwhelm.  But it's one very difficult step at a friggin time, and mark my words:  
WE WILL CHANGE THIS DEBACLE OF A "SYSTEM" 
and 
END THE INCARCERATION 
of the mentally ill.
Everything written in this tort claim is the truth.  We had a solid case.  Money is what stopped true justice from being served for Jeff, a severely suffering soul.  The system should hang it's head in shame for contining to allow punishment of those not convicted of any crimes other than having a DISABILITY.

So, today's installment is this document.  And not to worry, I have all the legal consents I need, signed by Jeff himself, to allow me to show all to the world.  And...we will.
I'll give you a bonus:  Here's the truncated version of the Oklahoma Highway Patrol dash cam video.  (We own the full version, now.)  https://www.kjrh.com/news/local-news/oklahoma-highway-patrol-released-dash-cam-video-of-high-speed-pursuit-of-jeff-william-welton
And one of the untruths, spread by a fear mongering news outlet:

~ Jackie Welton DiPillo
#WJWMHLF 501(c)3
#LotsGoingOn
#MuchProgressBeingMade
#SomeonesGottaDoIt #IfNotMeWHO?
#ForJeff