Masks, Mitigation, and the Urgent Need for Mental Health Advocacy

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DRTx Mental Illness Advisory Council Now Taking Volunteer Applications

Who would have guessed what we would be facing in the months to come as the clock struck midnight and ushered in 2020? This pandemic has changed life as we know it, for now and the foreseeable future – most likely until a vaccine is discovered.

As we continue to work to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, our new reality of social distancing, wearing masks, working and schooling from home, lost jobs and wages, closed businesses, and all else that has come because of the pandemic is impacting our mental health. We are already seeing increases in the need for mental health services and expect more demand in the months to come.

In an eye-opening article from WebMD.com on the impact of the pandemic on our mental health, Jonathan Porteus, Ph.D., said, “…the country is only starting to grapple with the pandemic’s psychological fallout…”

Protecting and advocating for the rights of people with mental health issues is always important, and it is now more than ever.

If you are a person who has a mental health diagnosis, have a family member with lived experience, or have a personal interest in advocating for people with mental illness, consider applying for the Disability Rights Texas PAIMI Advisory Council.

PAIMI stands for Protection and Advocacy for Individuals with Mental Illness. The PAIMI Council works closely with our Board and staff to advise on policies and priorities to be carried out in protecting and advocating for the rights of mentally ill individuals.

We are now accepting applications for membership to the Council for service for Fiscal Year 2021 which begins October 1, 2020.

Disability Rights Texas extends its most sincere wishes for everyone’s physical and emotional well-being during this difficult time. Please reach out for help if you believe you are facing mental health issues. Some resources in Texas include:

Texas Health and Human Services: Mental Health & Substance Use Resources

Hogg Foundation for Mental Health: COVID-19 Mental Health Resources

National Institute for Mental Health: Coping with Fear, Anxiety and Stress from COVID-19

CDC: Coping with Stress

If you are currently receiving inpatient or outpatient mental health services and believe your rights are being violated, please contact our intake request line at 1-800-252-9108. Visit the DRTx mental health civil rights resources page to learn more about your inpatient hospitalization rights.