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It’s Outrageous: Jails and Prisons Are No Place to Treat Mental Illness; Just Ask Paton Blough

August 22nd, 2015 Posted by Advocacy, Articles, Media, Published Media 1 thought on “It’s Outrageous: Jails and Prisons Are No Place to Treat Mental Illness; Just Ask Paton Blough”

May 22nd, 2015

The Huffington Post has published a piece on the cruelty and injustice in US prisons towards inmates with mental illnesses. soldes newbalance chaussures Paton is featured in the article where he talks about his experiences with the justice system and prisons as a person with bipolar. acheter newbalance The article and Paton also takes the time to talk about CIT training and how it can help aid law enforcement when dealing with mentally ill individuals.

You can read the full article on the Huffington Post website.

Human Rights Watch has released a report, Callous and Cruel, on the “unnecessary, excessive, and even malicious force” used in jails and prison to control inmates with mental illness. newbalance 2018 pas cher It’s an issue that NAMI has long been concerned with, except that it’s more than an issue or a concern. It’s an outrage that should shock the conscience of America and we need your help to change it. People unfortunately often end up in jail or prison when they don’t get effective treatment for mental illness. vente de newbalance In another report this year, Incarceration’s Front Door, the Vera Institute of Justice found that more than two million people with mental illness are booked into county jails alone, but as many as 80 percent don’t get treatment after they arrive.

Better outcomes include recovery and wellness.. NAMI South Carolina leader Paton Blough’s story serves as inspiration. acheter newbalance At the age of 26, he was jailed after onset of a manic episode. New Balance Baskets Femme Over three years he was arrested six times and every time, he was convinced police intended to murder him. He received two felony convictions for actions while incarcerated — spitting on a guard and threatening a public official. new balance femme pas cher Financially he was ruined. He lost his home in foreclosure, his marriage and contact with his children. As part of recovery, Paton had to overcome the stigma he himself internalized. His actions weren’t a reflection of bad character, but instead medical illness. Today, he helps train police officers for CIT programs.

More Mental Health Courts Could Open in SC

August 20th, 2015 Posted by Advocacy, Articles, Media, Published Media 0 thoughts on “More Mental Health Courts Could Open in SC”

February 20th, 2015

The Bluffton Times published a nice article today featuring Paton and his work towards more mental health courts in South Carolina. newbalance pas cher

Read the full article in the Bluffton Times

Paton Blough thought the police were trying to kill him. acheter newbalance en ligne When he was 29, he had demanded to use the telephone at a gas station, and the attendant called the police. soldes newbalance Blough, now 38 and a father of six, racked up nine charges, including one for breaking the leg irons confining him in the backseat of a patrol car when an officer tased him. newbalance 2018 pas cher “It’s actually kind of a miracle that I’m here today,” Blough told a Senate subcommittee Thursday. He urged the lawmakers to support a proposal allowing counties to establish mental health courts, similar the drug courts created 10 years ago. new balance 2018 pas cher Blough is a graduate of mental health court in Greenville County and credits it, in part, with saving him and allowing him to live psychosis-free for five years. chaussures new balance He said the answer is not to send those with mental illness into the state prison system.


 

“If you go into any hospital today, if you go into any jail today, you’ll see warehoused folks who are mentally ill who are in the revolving system,” said Sen. Vincent Sheheen, D-Camden, who introduced the legislation. The idea is modeled on Richland, Greenville, and Charleston county programs to encourage other counties to divert convicts with mental illness away from the prison system.

Senate Gets Bill Expanding Mental Health Courts

August 18th, 2015 Posted by Advocacy, Articles, Media, News Commentary, Published Media, Stories of Hope 0 thoughts on “Senate Gets Bill Expanding Mental Health Courts”

March 18th, 2015

Senate Judiciary Panel Passes Mental Health Courts Bill! Yesterday was a major step for mental health reform in South Carolina! The SC Senate Judiciary Committee voted 23-0 for the Bill S.426, the Mental Health Court Program Act, to move forward to the SC House. new balance pas cher This is a crucial piece of legislation that will help reduce the number of mentally ill individuals incarcerated in state prisons, while diverting them to appropriate mental health services. This bill passing the SC Senate yesterday was thanks to not only the efforts of Paton Blough and other mental health advocates and local politicians, but also everyone who contacted their senators to encourage them to support the Mental Health Court Program Act. Thank you for your support now and in the future as this bill moves through the legislative process!

Read the full article about the vote in the Greenville News.

The Senate Judiciary Committee today voted unanimously to approve a bill to expand mental health courts in the state, sending the proposal to the full Senate. Sen. vente de newbalance Shane Massey, an Edgefield Republican, said the bill establishes a framework for a statewide system that is already being used in several judicial circuits. “These things have been very popular and successful in communities where they are now,” he said. solde newbalance map Mental health courts divert mentally ill offenders away from the criminal justice system and into treatment programs, much as drug courts do for drug offenders. new balance femme pas cher Currently, three mental health courts operate in Greenville, Columbia and Charleston. Grants for their operation ran out years ago but they have continued to operate, officials say. new balance pas cher 2018 Two other courts have closed in recent years due to lack of funding. new balance 2018 “I think this is a huge first step for the Senate to acknowledge mental health reform in our state,” said Paton Blough, a Greenville mental health advocate who has spent a year pushing for the legislation.

Climber Scales Table Rock Daily to Push Mental Health Court Bill

August 15th, 2015 Posted by Advocacy, Articles, Media, News Commentary, Published Media, Video 0 thoughts on “Climber Scales Table Rock Daily to Push Mental Health Court Bill”

April 15th, 2015

Paton and Rehinge made the front page of the Greenville News today with a wonderful article written by Liv Osby and photos taken by Heidi Heilbrunn. The article covers Paton’s recent journeys up Table Rock in order to push for SC House support for S.426, the Mental Health Court Program Act. This article has great exposure for this bill, and will help bring the issue more into the light in the Upstate. You can learn more about how to support the Mental Health Court Program Act here. soldes newbalance chaussures

Read the full article on the Greenville News website

day-05-01In 2006 after he was arrested on nonviolent charges, Blough went through mental health court. Though he dealt with a couple of issues since then, he said, he credits the experience with helping him come to grips with his illness. He got support from the National Alliance on Mental Illness, the right medication and therapy, he said. And for the past five years, he’s been an advocate for people with mental illness. The daily climb up Table Rock and back, which he said takes roughly three hours, is the latest effort in that advocacy. Blough starts out early in the morning on the trek, which begins with a gentle slope along a creek flanked by large mossy rocks before becoming more rugged and elevated in some sections. “Parts of it are pretty easy,” said the stay-at-home father of six, “though it’s steep in some places and 2,000 vertical feel and a little over 3 miles.” Sometimes he’s joined by supporters or his children. He believes he can continue until the bill becomes law. “I recognize I can’t keep it up for a year or whatever,” he said. new balance pas cher “But I think I can keep going.” The bill doesn’t mandate the courts, but it creates a statewide program with the provision that solicitors who take state dollars for such courts must create them within six months. While it doesn’t include any funding, its sponsor Sen. acheter newbalance Vincent Sheheen has said he hopes that money will be found in the budget at some point to help. Blough says that although it comes with no funds, he considers it a leadership bill. “I can’t say there will be a mental health court in every circuit in the next 12 months, but I think this is significant,” he said. “If it works, there’s no reason why we shouldn’t be expanding it in our state.”

Judge Debora Faulkner of Greenville County Probate Court said mental health court is successful because it costs far less than imprisoning someone and it turns their lives around. Since it began, it has accepted 84 participants, she said, and 55 have graduated. There are now eight active participants. “It’s a way to not only be prudent with tax dollars, but to get people the help that they need and out of that revolving door,” she said. “Those individuals are no longer in the criminal justice system. They are productive members of society.” Mental health courts operate in Greenville, Charleston and Columbia. Greenville’s began with a grant in 2005, Faulkner said. But for years it’s been operating without any funding because officials believe so much in it. Probate pays the judge’s time, she said, and other services are provided by Greenville Mental Health and Piedmont Mental Health employees. soldes newbalance “It’s a wonderful program. new balance Homme pas cher It’s a savings for the taxpayer, it keeps the jail population down, and I can’t tell you how grateful I am to see the results,” she said. “They’re all trying so hard. I saw someone have their very first paycheck. And another graduate who has gone on and gotten a master’s in social work.” Under the system, the solicitor selects the participants, who must meet certain criteria, like being charged with nonviolent offenses such as public disorderly or property crimes and have no past convictions for violent crimes, Faulkner said. They must attend mental health court weekly along with seeing a case manager and medical professionals, she said. They are also subject to random drug testing and can be terminated if they are rearrested or otherwise violate terms of the program. And they’re linked to community resources so they can find other help they might need, like employment and housing, she said.

House Gives Key Approval to Mental Health Courts Bill

August 13th, 2015 Posted by Articles, Media, News Commentary, Published Media 0 thoughts on “House Gives Key Approval to Mental Health Courts Bill”

May 13th, 2015

Tim Smith wrote a nice piece in the Greenville News this morning about the SC House passing bill S.426, the Mental Health Court Program Act. This is an exciting victory in South Carolina, and we hope to see many more in the coming months and years!

Read the full article in the Greenville News

The House gave key approval Tuesday to a bill to expand the state’s mental health courts. New Balance Baskets The 98-2 vote came after no debate. acheter newbalance After a final reading, the bill will head to Gov. new balance 2018 Nikki Haley. acheter newbalance Mental health courts divert mentally ill offenders away from the criminal justice system and into treatment programs, much as drug courts do for drug offenders. new balance sitemap Currently, three mental health courts operate in Greenville, Columbia and Charleston. Grants for their operation ran out years ago but they have continued to operate, officials say. soldes newbalance Two other courts have closed in recent years due to lack of funding. soldes newbalance chaussures “It’s nice to see both bodies working together for the greater good of our state,” said Paton Blough, a Greenville mental health advocate who proposed the bill last year [….] “Hopefully, this is the beginning of years of mental health reform to come.” Blough and other supporters for the bill, including Sen. Vincent Sheheen, a Camden Democrat who authored the bill, have argued the legislation would save lives and taxpayers’ dollars.

Advocacy Alert for the Mental Health Court Program Act

August 13th, 2015 Posted by Advocacy, Articles, Media, News Commentary, Published Media, Video 0 thoughts on “Advocacy Alert for the Mental Health Court Program Act”

March 13th, 2015

An article and video published yesterday by WYFF News Channel 4 discusses the Mental Health Court Program Act and SC’s need for it. The article features Paton Blough and Senator Larry Martin of Pickens discussing the necessity of the bill in the state. Bill S.426 (formerly titled S.209), the Mental Health Court Program Act, is a bill designed to treat mentally ill criminals, rather than incarcerate them for actions that are often outside their control. This bill has been a crucial bi-partisan effort by Paton Blough and a number of SC politicians like Senator Vincent Sheheen (D) and Senator Larry Martin (R). You can watch the video on the WYFF Channel 4 website.

You can help us out in fighting for the Mental Health Court Program Act as well!

You can help us to fight for the passing of this bill by contacting the SC Senate Judiciary Committee! By contacting the following senators, you can encourage them to support S.426, the Mental Health Court Program Act in the Senate Judiciary Committee. By showing these senators your support for this bill, you are telling South Carolina that we NEED mental health courts and mental health reform in the state. Following is a list of the SC senators currently sitting on the Senate Judiciary Committee along with their contact information. Now is the time to act for mental health reform! Not sure what to say when you contact these senators? You can use this example letter/speech to help yourself out.

2015 Senate Judiciary Committee

Larry A. Martin (Chairman) SRulesComm@scsenate.gov (803) 212-6610 Room 101 Gressette Bldg. newbalance pas cher Dist. 2 – Pickens Lee Bright LeeBright@scsenate.gov (803) 212-6008 Room 602 Gressette Bldg. Dist. No. 12 – Greenville & Spartanburg George E. “Chip” Campsen, III ChipCampsen@scsenate.gov (803) 212-6340 Room 305 Gressette Bldg. Dist. 43 – Berkeley, Charleston & Collecton Creighton B. Coleman CreightonColeman@scsenate.gov (803) 212-6132 Room 508 Gressette Bldg. Chaussures NEW BALANCE Dist.17-Chester, Fairfield & York Ronnie A. Sabb RonnieSabb@scsenate.gov (803) 212-6032 Room 504 Gressette Bldg. Dist.32-Berkeley, Florence, Georgetown, Horry & Williamsburg Thomas D. Chaussures New Balance “Tom” Corbin TomCorbin@scsenate.gov (803) 212-6100 Room 501 Gressette Bldg. Dist. 5 – Greenville & Spartanburg Chauncey K. Gregory GregGregory@scsenate.gov 803-212-6024 Room 606 Gressette Bldg. Dist. 16 – Lancaster & York Cos. Greg Hembree GregHembree@scsenate.gov (803) 212-6016 Room 604 Gressette Bldg. Dist. 28 – Dillon & Horry A. Shane Massey ShaneMassey@scsenate.gov (803) 212-6024 Room 606 Gressette Bldg. Dist. 25 – Aiken, Edgefield, Lexington, McCormick & Saluda Cos. Luke A. Rankin SethicsComm@scsenate.gov (803) 212-6410 Room 205 Gressette Bldg. Dist. 33 – Horry Katrina Frye Shealy KatrinaShealy@scsenate.gov (803) 212-6108 Room 502 Gressette Bldg. Dist. 23- Lexington Paul Thurmond PaulThurmond@scsenate.gov (803) 212-6172 Room 513 Gressette Bldg. Dist. 41 – Charleston & Dorchester Ross Turner RossTurner@scsenate.gov (803) 212-6148 Room 512 Gressette Bldg. Dist. 8 – Greenville Tom Young, Jr. TomYoung@scsenate.gov (803) 212-6124 Room 506 Gressette Bldg. Dist. 24 – Aiken Sean Bennett SeanBennett@scsenate.gov (803) 212-6116 Room 601 Gressette Bldg. Dist. 7 – Berkeley, Charleston & Dorchester C. Bradley Hutto BradHutto@scsenate.gov (803) 212-6140 Room 510 Gressette Bldg. Dist. 40 – Allendale, Bamberg, Barnwell,Colleton, Hampton & Orangeburg Kevin L. Johnson KevinJohnson@scsenate.gov (803) 212-6048 Room 612 Gressette Bldg. Dist. 36 – Clarendon, Darlington, Florence & Sumter Gerald Malloy GeraldMalloy@scsenate.gov (803) 212-6172 Room 513 Gressette Bldg. Dist. 29 – Chesterfield, Darlington, Lee & Marlboro J. Thomas McElveen, III ThomasMcElveen@scsenate.gov (803) 212-6132 Room 508 Gressette Bldg. Dist. 35 – Kershaw, Lee, Richland & Sumter John L. Scott, Jr. JohnScott@scsenate.gov (803) 212-6124 Room 506 Gressette Bldg. acheter newbalance Dist. new balance sitemap 19 – Richland Karl B. Allen KarlAllen@scsenate.gov (803) 212-6040 Room 610 Gressette Bldg. Dist. 7 – Greenville Shane R. Martin ShaneMartin@scsenate.gov (803) 212-6100 Room 501 Gressette Bldg. Dist.13 – Greenville, Spartanburg & Union Marlon E. Kimpson marlonkimpson@scsenate.gov (803) 212-6056 Room 613 Gressette Bldg. Dist.

Bipolar Teen’s Death in Police Station Highlights Rift Between Cops and Mentally Ill

August 6th, 2015 Posted by Advocacy, Articles, Media, News Commentary, Published Media 1 thought on “Bipolar Teen’s Death in Police Station Highlights Rift Between Cops and Mentally Ill”

February 06, 2015

Yahoo News has recently published an excellent article about the tragic death of Kristiana Coignard, a teenage girl with bipolar disorder who was shot down in a Texas police station. vente de newbalance This story shows how CIT training is needed for police throughout the whole US. chaussures new balance Paton is also interviewed and quoted in the story, discussing the need for CIT.

Read the full article on Yahoo News

Kristiana Coignard walked into the lobby of an East Texas police station last month with a knife in her waistband and “I have a gun” written on her hand. After asking for help, she instigated a scuffle with police officers that ended in her shooting death. A few days later, police released a security video of the encounter as proof that the officers who shot Coignard were justified in doing so. She was 17 years old.

She also, according to her aunt, Heather Robertson, had been struggling with depression and bipolar disorder for much of her life. Robertson told ThinkProgress that two separate suicide attempts had landed her niece in the hospital in recent years but that Coignard had been keeping up with regular therapy and medication since December, when she came to live with her aunt in Longview, Texas.

“I think it was a cry for help,” Robertson said of the police interaction that ended in Coignard’s death. new balance pas cher “I think they could have done something. They are grown men. I think there is something they are not telling us.”

Coignard’s story is as tragic as it is tragically unexceptional. In fact, the recently piqued public interest in police brutality seems to have revealed Americans with mental illness as the population most vulnerable to excessive or unnecessary use of force by law enforcement.
The absence of abundant, affordable and easily accessible mental health services has seen a comparative rise in the number of mentally ill inmates, parolees, emergency room patients and, though fortunately less common, police casualties.

“What you see on the news is just the tip of the of the iceberg,” Usher said, referring to stories like Kristiana Coignard’s or Keith Vidal’s. “The absolute worst situations get the attention, but they reveal just a tiny percentage of this huge tragedy.”

Paton Blough found himself in the middle of this tragedy 10 years ago. After successfully managing his bipolar disorder with therapy and medication for about three years, an extreme manic episode launched him on a terrifying tour of the criminal justice system. He was arrested six times within three years, racking up a variety of felony and misdemeanor convictions. new balance sitemap He cycled in and out of jail and mental hospitals, ruled by paranoid delusions and extreme depression, before a jail counselor finally helped him get his psychosis and severe depression under control. It was on the road to recovery that Blough learned about NAMI and, eventually, the CIT program.

In 2010, Blough was back on track, living in Greenville, South Carolina, with his new wife when Andrew Torres, a local man with mental illness, died after he was tased in a tussle with police. Torres’s death showed Blough just how lucky he was in comparison. soldes newbalance After all the pepper spray, Tasers and batons he’d been hit with in his many police altercations, he’d never even been seriously injured. He decided to get involved with NAMI that year and has been sharing his story with police officers undergoing CIT training across the country since.

“Advocacy, being able to tell my story, is a big part of my recovery,” Blough told Yahoo News. “It makes me feel better to think that maybe this stuff happened for a reason.

Paton in DC – Stepping Up for Mental Health

August 6th, 2015 Posted by Advocacy, Articles, Media, Published Media, Speaking Events, Video 0 thoughts on “Paton in DC – Stepping Up for Mental Health”

Paton Blough delivered a wonderful speech about his life with mental illness, his recovery and his advocacy efforts at the Stepping Up initiative in Washington DC. Paton had the honor of speaking along with Representative Patrick Kennedy and Senator Al Franken. newbalance 2018 Rep Kennedy, the head of the Kennedy Forum–an organization working toward lasting change in the way mental health and addictions are treated in our healthcare system. acheter newbalance en ligne Following are some highlights from Paton’s speech   paton-kennedy-dc What is Stepping Up? Stepping Up is a national initiative designed to push counties nationwide to work on access to mental health treatment and alternatives to jail for people with mental illnesses. new balance pas cher 2018 NAMI is working with a powerful coalition of national organizations, including the Council of State Governments Justice Center, the National Association of Counties, the American Psychiatric Foundation and numerous law enforcement, mental health and substance abuse organizations. Chaussures NEW BALANCE The initiative will challenge county, state and local leaders to work together to find solutions that work for the local community. Counties will be asked to follow a step-by-step process to build partnerships, assess current practices and develop a plan to implement research-based programs and services. newbalance 2018 It will also support local leaders by providing resources and examples of effective reforms and connecting them with other communities that are successfully reducing the number of people with mental illness in jails.

Local Agencies Seek Solutions for Mental Health Issues

August 6th, 2015 Posted by Advocacy, Articles, Media, Published Media 0 thoughts on “Local Agencies Seek Solutions for Mental Health Issues”

March 06, 2015

April Morris of the Greenville Journal has written an excellent piece in the Greenville Journal as a follow up to the recent Mental Health Round-Table that Rehinge and Redhype sponsored a couple of weeks ago. newbalance 2018 pas cher

Read the full article in the Greenville Journal

Representatives from Upstate agencies and providers met at the Commerce Club in Greenville recently to discuss service gaps and find ways to support residents struggling with mental illness.

…. chaussures newbalance pas cher

“We have a tremendous opportunity in our community to do something different,” said National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI) Greenville executive director Ken Dority in support of mental health courts. Those at the Greenville roundtable also praised crisis intervention training (CIT), which helps law enforcement officers de-escalate a situation with someone in crisis. Since Greenville police officers began receiving CIT training in 2010, only 15 out of 168 crisis cases resulted in the use of force in 2013, said Capt. new balance pas cher Stacey Owens. chaussures new balance Rich Jones, director of Faces and Voices of Recovery (FAVOR), said more everyday support is needed. newbalance 2018 “The best crisis intervention is what is done between the crises,” he said. Attendees voiced a wide variety of ideas to address the challenges the mentally ill and their families face.

….

Greenville Mental Health Advocate Pushes for Federal Funding

August 4th, 2015 Posted by Advocacy, Articles, Media, News Commentary, Published Media 1 thought on “Greenville Mental Health Advocate Pushes for Federal Funding”

December 4th, 2015

The Greenville Journal wrote an article yesterday on Paton’s meeting with Trey Gowdy where he announced his support and cosponsorship for HR731, the Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Act of 2015. New Balance Baskets Femme We are still trying to get the rest of South Carolina’s Congressional delegation to support HR731 as well. Click here to learn more about how you can reach out to SC’s delegates to get them to support HR731.

Read the Full Article on the Greenville Journal’s Website

Greenville mental health advocate Paton Blough last week met with U.S. soldes new balance chaussures Rep. newbalance chaussures Trey Gowdy and convinced him to support federal legislation that would help fund mental health treatment courts. newbalance pas cher Blough, who benefitted from a mental health court program and is a state board member of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), started a petition campaign this fall to run against Gowdy. In a letter to the congressman, he said Gowdy lacked “leadership in the area of mental health reform.” “The reason I got into this race… was to make the point of the needed mental health reform,” Blough said. However, the evening after the meeting between Gowdy and Blough, which County Councilman Bob Taylor also attended, one of Gowdy’s staffers emailed Blough to let him know that Gowdy would sign on as a cosponsor of the Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Act of 2015. chaussures newbalance pas cher The bill has been referred to the Judiciary Committee’s Crime Subcommittee, which Gowdy sits on, and Blough said he was excited and hoped Gowdy’s leadership would aid the passage of the bill.

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  • “It has been one of my greatest rewards as NAMI Greenville, SC Program Director to see your recovery from when we first met to your award as NAMI South Carolina’s Recovery Person of the Year to your appearance on the same stage with author Pete Early. I hope your book is every bit as successful as his has been.”

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  • “It has been one of my greatest rewards as NAMI Greenville, SC Program Director to see your recovery from when we first met to your award as NAMI South Carolina’s Recovery Person of the Year to your appearance on the same stage with author Pete Early. I hope your book is every bit as successful as his has been.”

    Brian Lewis
    • Fletcher Mann
    • Program Director NAMI Greenville, SC
  • “It’s incredible. If you aren’t sure, always go for Cast. I don’t always clop, but when I do, it’s because of Cast. I made back the purchase price in just 48 hours!”

    Patrick Bates
    • Patrick Bates
    • CEO, SouthCentral
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