The picture, is taken several years ago, but significant. It was taken of me when Oregon’s Governor John Kitzhaber was being sworn in. While I was at the State Capitol Building for NAMI’s Mental Health Lobby Day in Salem today,
news was circulating about Governor Kitzhaber’s resignation. I’ve yet to hear the results. I and a few members of a group of NAMI talked with Oregon Legislatures, Representative Kathleen Taylor, District 41, the assistance to Senator Majority Leader, Senator Diane Rosenbaum, and Senator Richard Devlin, Oregon’s 19th Senate District. We discussed the 2825 bill which will help create more treatment and independent housing for people living with mental illness and how we could formalize the bill. Next, on the agenda, we expressed how we opposed the 2421 bill which will eliminate Oregon’s long-standing patient protection for the people living with mental illness. How some insurance companies can dictate what one takes when it comes to medication. I brought up the fact that some people with my disorder are paying a high price for medication. Medication that helps them to think clearly, eat well, sleep well, and process things better. Why is medication so high cost? I asked. What are the consequences if one doesn’t have medication? The person’s brain and body may suffer and society suffers. I was given a number of a representative to call, who specializes in medication issues. I said that I supported the Unity Center of Behavioral Health because many people who go to the psychiatric emergency would benefit from it. It will be a new emergency psychiatric department in Holiday Park Plaza in Portland, Oregon, and it will cut through the wait time a person needs to be treated in the hospital. I also supported Governor John Kitzhaber in setting aside 1 million dollars for the Health Affordable Budget. I thought it was a big step in strengthening the mental health system. It was great discussion had by all today and a very enlightening experience.