California State University, Northridge Certificate in LGBTQ+ Health

The Padavan Law and Group Home Placement

The term “Not in My Back Yard,” familiarized by the acronym NIMBY, held true with particular force in New York in the 1970’s with regard to group homes for the mentally ill. Towns, villages, and cities, often with misplaced and misinformed fears about the effect the mentally ill will have on...

An Overview of Timothy’s Law: Past, Present, and Future

Like many structural shifts in public policy, it often takes a horrific tragedy to move us to do the right thing. Case in point-Timothy’s Law. Named after Timothy O’Clair, a 12-year old boy who committed suicide shortly before his thirteenth birthday, the law requires that insurance companies...

A Mother’s Challenge: Planning for the Transition of Decision-Making

On a recent airing of National Public Radio’s “This American Life” the narrator tells the story of Emily Feldman, a New Jersey woman in her 70’s who has been caring for her 39-year-old autistic son, Scott, all his life. Emily is getting on in years and she knows she cannot continue to care...

Planning Ahead for Difficult Health Care Decisions

During recent debates over healthcare legislation the term “death panels” was thrown around at a regular interval, conjuring up ideas of bureaucrats meeting in secret to decide who would live and who would die. Despite the ominous title and political imagery it provoked, “death panels”...

Obtaining Judicial Authorization to Medicate a Minor

A decision to give a child powerful psychotropic medication is a difficult one, fraught with uncertainty and is often viewed as the lesser of two evils. While the administration of medication to a child is itself a complicated decision the stakes are raised if either the child or the parents do not...

The Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law by the first President Bush in 1990. The bill, championed by Senator Bob Dole, who himself suffers from a physical disability, was enacted with the intention of eliminating discrimination against the disabled, whether it be a physical or...

Addressing the Needs of Caregivers

All too often, the severely mentally ill do not have family or friends involved in their care to act as a vital support system when they become symptomatic. For those people who are lucky enough to have supportive family and friends, those support people are often, and validly so, frustrated with...

Subjects or Saviors: The Rules and Regulations Surrounding Human Clinical Trials of Experimental Psychiatric Medication

In opening his opinion striking down the Office of Mental Health’s regulations controlling the administration of experimental psychiatric medications to patients who lack the capacity to make decisions for themselves, Justice Edward J. Greenfield of the New York Supreme Court poignantly...

Our Economy’s Effect on New York State’s Mental Health Budget

One can hardly turn on a television or listen to the radio without coming across some discussion of our present economic times. Terms like financial tsunami and economic disaster are cavalierly bandied about as ways of describing where our economy presently stands. With unemployment rates reaching...

An Overview of Timothy’s Law: Its Past, Present, and Future

Like many structural shifts in public policy, it often takes a horrific tragedy to move us to do the right thing. Case in point-Timothy’s Law. Named after Timothy O’Clair, a 12-year old boy who committed suicide shortly before his thirteenth birthday, the law demands that insurance companies...