The Proposed Reasons behind the closing of many Mental Health Buildings in AL and NJ

Mental health hospitals are facing closure in Alabama and New Jersey. Government officials in both states believe they can provide the needed mental health services by reorganizing catchment areas, redirecting new mental health admissions and assessing the placement options for new and current mental health patients in both states. The cutback in services includes autism NJ clients.

New Jersey
Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey has accepted the recommendations of the Department of Human Services. This includes closing the Senator Garrett W. Hagedorn Psychiatric Hospital in June, 2012. What this means for affected populations is that mental health services, including autism NJ will be reassessed and delivered in different ways. Patients who formerly had been admitted for inpatient services will now be served through outpatient services.

Addiction and mental health services are beginning to send patients to psychiatric service providers in new catchment areas. To save on funds, these patients are being provided with outpatient services such as day treatment programs.

Capitol Care, Inc., which operates in New Jersey, adheres to the philosophy that requires each mental health patient to own his or her progress toward recovery. Capitol Care achieves this by helping each patient to look at their own situations and respond to difficulties, using positive actions and healthy psychological actions and thoughts. The company also embraces mutual respect and trust of every individual admitted to their care programs. Management and staff makes a commitment to each patient and works to help them work through their individual mental health issues using positive thought. Finally, Capitol Care uses its accumulated knowledge and experience as it guides every patient through treatment to recovery.

Capitol Care holds several beliefs central to its treatment philosophy. These include:

v Encouraging patients and families to make informed choices through education;
v Leading each patient and their family to empower themselves in connection to their diagnosis;
v Including all patients and family members in planning and implementing treatment – this, believes Capitol Care, is the right of all;
v Every counselor and staff member responds to patient needs, building flexibility into its documented outcomes.

Every counselor works with his patients to identify health conditions, both mental and physical, that may be blocking recovery. Staff is encouraged to use treatment methods shown to be the most effective in academic, medical and clinical research.

Peer groups are utilized, including autism NJ, which enables each patient to build safe, healthy friendships and trust others in their social living and establishment of trust.

Changes in Alabama

State government officials in Alabama have decided to slow down the closure of mental health hospitals throughout the state. A September deadline, which had been previously set, has now been lifted, which will keep some mental health hospitals open.

Alabama governor Robert Bentley still supports the plan to transition patients out of mental health hospitals and into community outpatient treatment centers. The plan to close mental hospitals came about because of a budget crisis in the state. Tony Thompson, Department of Mental Health in Alabama, believes “true recovery” can happen in individual communities.

Put on the Puzzle Ribbon and support Autism Awareness Month

What is Autism Awareness Month? How does a puzzle ribbon figure into celebrating this event? Autism Awareness Month is celebrated every April, allowing families impacted by autism and autism spectrum disorder (ASD) to say they are affected by autism. The Autism Society, along with DDD NJ is working to increase the public's awareness of this condition.

The puzzle ribbon is one of the most visible symbols people can put on their clothing. It symbolizes the daily life of people with autism, as well as the successes they achieve. “How does pinning on a puzzle ribbon help those affected by autism?” This is a good question. By wearing the puzzle pin, those who wear it help to increase the public’s awareness of autism, one by one. Because of its recognizability, they show their support of children with autism when they pin it to their clothing.

As of the time of this article, autism impacts one in 88 children – in America. Impact of Autism on Families Children with autism are not always aware of safety issues or how they can protect themselves. Capitol Care, a behavioral health program for individuals with mental health disorders works to make safety a major part of the residential services offered to families affected by autism. DDD NJ knows that some of the behaviors related to autism may increase the level of danger to children with autism. If a child experiences a behavioral melt-down in public, those who have never had to deal with autism may not know how to deal with the behaviors or what to do to keep the child safe. For this reason, staff members work with family members, teachers, neighbors, caretakers and extended family to develop safety-related actions as responses to possible situations in the community. 

In the home, children are at increased risk of accidents and injuries. For this reason, the Autism Safety Project has developed strategies aimed at children and adults with autism. One of these resources is a video and related workbook that young adults, older teenagers and parents use. Called “Safe Signals,” the program teaches fire safety and burn prevention. Children with autism learn to respond to vinyl clings as they learn safety messages in the home. Because autism impacts the entire family, it is important for the general public to learn about this condition so they can take positive action and spread the message, increasing awareness throughout the community.

Everyone who learns about autism can contact their state and federal representatives, asking them to “vote 4 autism” when bills are presented. Men, women, youth and older teens can also participate in autism awareness-related events alongside DDD NJ during Autism Awareness Month. Because children with autism are not always able to sit in a darkened theater to watch a movie, this is one way of increasing awareness of this condition. The Autism Society has begun to work with AMC Theatres to present movies that are sensory-friendly to these families – a way for children with autism to take part in a simple pleasure.

Why the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Monitors Developmental Disorders

State Funded Organizations to Help Individuals with Developmental Disabilities A developmental disability is characterized as a chronic mental and/or physical disability diagnosed prior to 22 years of age, and impact activities like learning, mobility, language, independent living and self help. Good news is that such individuals can also live healthy, happy lives. The CDC (Center for Disease Control) monitors and keeps track of the population estimate of school aged children facing any type of developmental disabilities.

Several disorders coming within the periphery of developmental disabilities are:
· Cerebral palsy
· Autism spectrum disorders
· Intellectual disabilities
· Spina bifida
· Epilepsy
· Traumatic brain injuries
· Neurological impairment

 The CDC’s monitored results help in supporting the funding of state and local schedules conducted especially for developmentally disabled children. Such children usually need financial assistance, and also medical and educational services throughout their lives. CDC makes the going more productive and healthier for them by conducting specific schedules. DDD NJ since its origin in 1959 has grown significantly and is funding services to thousands of individuals facing developmental disability. The DDD NJ provides funding for facilities like community residences, group homes, and supervised apartments to the eligible individuals. Capitol Care, Inc. is funded by the Division of Developmental Disabilities in New Jersey. Capitol Care in New Jersey and Alabama aim to meet the comprehensive behavioral health needs of individuals with developmental disabilities. They believe that mental health plays a crucial role in an individual’s quality of life and hence has developed a comprehensive recovery program for individuals having developmental disabilities and/or mentally illness. Using the strength of the individual, this agency tries to enhance his/her personal development and aims to achieve the highest level of wellness possible.

 In New Jersey, Capitol Care offers residential treatment in natural surroundings. Individuals enrolled for their developmental disabilities get therapeutic, clinical and person centered residential treatment from a caring and skilled team. The staff is well trained in the different clinical areas needed to provide assistance in the health and well-being of the individuals. It aims to make them independent through its compassionate, patient, dedicated approach. Its focus is on helping the individuals to develop skills in personal development, life management, goal setting, and community integration.

 To request more information about screening, eligibility and admissions at the New Jersey, visit and for Alabama.