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January 5, 2016Alerts

Take action TODAY to protect the rights of Americans with mental health needs!

Friends –

We are writing to ask you to take action to help protect the rights of Americans with significant mental health needs.  Buried deep within a larger Congressional mental health bill are some very dangerous provisions that would do great harm to the only federal program that offers legally-based advocacy for people with mental health needs, called the Protection and Advocacy for Individuals with Mental Illness program (PAIMI).

As written, this federal bill (H.R. 2646) would prohibit people with mental health needs from obtaining free legal and advocacy services for issues like housing rights, access to health care, access to mental health, employment discrimination, establishing services to prevent homelessness, access to Medicaid services, special education, or protecting other disability rights.

As currently written, H.R. 2646 allows a caregiver to have control over the advocacy or legal advice the PAIMI program provides to the person with mental health needs.  The PAIMI program would be prohibited from providing advocacy or legal advice if it is “against the wishes of the caregiver.”  There are many examples where the caregiver can be part of the problem, or may be the one actually doing the abuse.  The person with a disability should be in charge, not the abuser.

Here is where you come in.  Can you please take action TODAY to protect the rights of Americans with mental health needs?

It takes less than a minute to help.  Click the link below.  At the bottom of that page you simply provide your zip code.   It then pulls up your member of Congress.  You can then send a note asking them to fix this.  Click submit.  That’s it.  It takes less than a minute and you can really help protect the rights of people with mental health needs.

Thank you,

Disability Rights Network of Pennsylvania
Offices in Harrisburg, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh