March 28, 2016
Maine will go down in history for having the worst record for mental health care in the country. This will be a terrible legacy for Mary Mayhew, DHHS’s head. Prior calls for her resignation should be stepped up. She should indeed resign. It’s fair to say she has no idea what she is doing. The people no longer covered by Maine Care’s Section 17 will be in the thousands. Thousands of people will no longer get coverage because they don’t have schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorders.
Section 17 does not allow for thousands of people with other mental health illnesses and issues, such as bipolar disorder, depression, agoraphobia, anxiety, and a host of other issues to get coverage. They will be on their own as of April 8. This has already been implemented and unless someone can get Governor LePage to change his mind, the mental health care industry will suffer a severe blow.
DHHS Head Mary Mayhew Should Resign
Section 17 is already causing one big mental health care company in the state to close its doors in a few weeks. As I indicated previously, my daughter is a DLS worker. She and her co-workers just learned that they are out of jobs. I advised her over the weekend to send out her resume, which she did. She is lucky she has a college degree to fall back on. Not everyone is in that position. She still has to get another job and still has to wonder how her rent will be paid.
Thank you, DHHS head Mary Mayhew for adding thousands of trained people–people who spent 2-4 years of their lives getting mental health certifications–to the newly unemployed. Thank you for taking vital services away from the people who need it most. We’ll call on you when the hospitals are filled to capacity with mentally ill people or people with depression, bipolar disorder, and other mental health issues such as agoraphobia and severe anxiety. Hopefully they won’t add to the criminal activity in the state. Hopefully they won’t add to the state’s homelessness. Maybe when these inevitable things happen you’ll realize what you did.
Governor LePage Should be Impeached or Resign
The blame also falls upon Governor LePage, who has shown time after time that he doesn’t care about the people of this state. The people who need help the most–people with mental illnesses who rely upon health care workers to help them with daily chores and routines, who rely upon workers to help improve their moods and keep them out of hospitals so they can stay home–are always affected by this governor.
It’s time for LePage to either resign or be impeached, and I’m not the only one calling for this. Impeachment has been brought up before. Now it’s time to revisit the issue. LePage’s nonsensical and cruel treatment for some mentally ill patients is to house them in the Windham Correctional Facility. Let’s face it–he has no clue what he’s doing, and he’s affecting thousands of people in the state.
State mental health care cuts is part of a national crisis. People claim that violent acts, such as the ones committed in Newtown, upon Gabby Giffords in Arizona, and the mass shooting at Virginia Tech, to name a few, would not have happened if the mental health care system was working. It’s not, and LePage is creating more dangerous situations right here in Maine.
LePage will have the blood of people who have lost their mental health services on his hands should they commit suicide. He will be responsible for a rapidly growing unemployment rate and thereby increasing the depression rate among Maine citizens. He is creating an environment where horrible acts of violence could happen here, right in Maine.
Remember These Cuts Next Time You Vote
Republicans seem to enjoy cutting out vital services. They pat themselves on the back for saving money. Their short-sighted ideas usually backfire. The changes to Section 17 are going to create a situation where:
- Thousands of skilled workers lose their jobs
- Companies all around the state will be forced to close
- Hospitals will be filled to capacity
- Ridiculous scenarios such as housing mentally ill patients in Windham Correctional will happen
- Homelessness will increase
- Depression will become rampant
- The suicide rate will increase
- The crime rate will increase
- People’s lives will be destroyed
Both Governor LePage and DHHS Head Mary Mayhew Should Resign
If you want to point fingers, Governor LePage and Mary Mayhew deserve the blame. LePage should be impeached or should resign. Democrats should take up the call to start impeachment proceedings again.
My daughter’s company has hundreds of patients who will be without care. That’s just one company. There are many such companies in the state. The patients will all be without their DSL workers and case managers. How are these people supposed to survive? How can we tell them that we care when the state government doesn’t care?
Remember this next time you think about voting Republican. Make sure Mary Mayhew doesn’t get near the State House as she is hoping to do after LePage’s term is up. Let’s all make sure that never happens.
The government in this state is a disgrace and an embarrassment when it comes to labor, mental health, education and so many other issues. In the name of saving money, it takes away services from the most needy. LePage and Mayhew will have the blood of these people on their hands. As John Lennon wrote, How do you sleep?
Ronna Lambiasi DeLoe