In case you missed last Thursday’s Google+ On Air Hangout on mental health care here in Washington state, here’s a three-minute highlight video from the nearly 45-minute long online chat.
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Watch the full replay and read The Seattle Times editorial board’s week-long series of editorials, which shine a bright light on the successes and pitfalls so far of the mental health system in this new era of the Affordable Care Act.
The hangout — a live-streamed video conversation involving several local health care experts and the Times’ Jonathan Martin — had a forward-looking bent, with ideas aimed at the next Washington State Legislature:
- Washington State Hospital Association CEO Scott Bond addressed the immediate crisis with psychiatric boarding, recommending wards be reopened at Western and Eastern State Hospitals after years of downsizing. He also emphasized the potential of telemedicine (also known as HB 1448, which died in the 2014 Legislature) as a way to ease shortages of psychiatrists.
- Sound Mental Health CEO David Stone recommended an expansion of the community safety net, including a controversial idea (which Martin has also blogged about) of Assisted Outpatient Treatment, which is a form of court-ordered outpatient care.
- Cinda Johnson, an educator , author and the mother of a woman living with bipolar, suggested the creation of a “navigator” network to help families access the best care for their loved ones.
- Editorial writer Jonathan Martin talked about the financial cost of the Supreme Court’s psychiatric boarding ruling, and why more robust funding should be considered a core function of government.