Missouri Health Policy Summit

1 decade 6 months 3 weeks ago Monday, October 29 2007 Oct 29, 2007 Monday, October 29, 2007 8:46:08 PM CDT October 29, 2007 in News

For some at the event, these issues hit very close to home.

Pete Earley, author of an award-winning book, "Crazy: A Father's Search Through America's Mental Health Madness," spoke at the summit on the topic of mental health.

"My son has been arrested and charged with felonies. My son has been tasered by the police," says Earley. "And I am lucky compared to what most people have with someone who has mental illness."

A panel of Missouri health officials addressed the difficulty of helping those with mental illness stay away from jails and prisons.

"We are locking people up simply because they're ill and there is nowhere else to take care of them," Earley continued. "Now, I'm not talking about Hannibal Lector, serial killers..I'm talking about people with chronic illnesses...bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and major depression."

After lunch, the second half of the conference dealt with the implimentation of Missouri Health Net, the new state Medicaid program, and Insure Missouri, a program to help low-income workers pay for private insurance.

All in all, the purpose of the conference was to inform Missouri's policy makers. Judging by the registration list of the conference, many of the most influential health policy makers did attend.

The Missouri Health Summit meets once a year on the last Friday of October.

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