Monday, January 12, 2009

Keep up pressure on the Wyoming Legislature for mental health bills

Thanks to Rep. Keith Gingery for this quick reply of my e-mail from Jan. 10 (see text of my e-mail below):

Dear Michael:

The Children’s Mental Health Waiver has taken a lot of work to finally get it off the ground and it is great to hear that it is being used by your family. The idea originated back in 2005 when we had parents testifying about the need to have a waiver. It took some strong arguing, but we were able to get it passed in either 2006 or 2007 (I can’t remember), and then it took a lot of work from the dedicated employees at the State Department of Health who figured out how to implement the program. It took a lot longer than I thought it should have to get the program operating and it had a few bugs ( too much paperwork and overly burdensome reporting requirements), but after incessant harassing on mine and other’s parts, we got it operating. I, too, was excited to see that the Mental Health Parity act passed in the bailout bill. We had tried that bill two years in a row here at the state level, but with no success. I think the Federal parity law will really help many Wyoming families.

We still have a long ways to go to get our mental health system working the way I want it to, but with stories like yours, it inspires me and other legislators like Rep. Millin, to redouble our efforts. The only thing I ask of you is to keep up the pressure on me and my fellow legislators to make the system even better.

State Representative Keith Gingery – Jackson Hole
Co-Chair, Select Committee on Mental Health and Substance Abuse

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