Sandra Masin: Representative Minnesota House District 52A
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This article was originally posted on 06-23-2016
Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders

Rep. Masin posted this recently in her private blog:

Women In Government is holding a Summit on Mental Health & Substance Use Disorders today and tomorrow in Bloomington. William Moyers, Vice President of Public Affairs, at the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation talked about "Eliminating Barriers to Success." He said that he appreciates the use of "Substance Use Disorders" over "Substance Abuse." He said we need to eliminate the stigma attached to the problem and repeatedly said that "addiction doesn't discriminate." People need to know that it is okay to ask for help.

Kelly O'Brien, the Executive Director of The Kennedy Forum started her presentation with a video about "The System We Need." Both she and Sue Abderholden, the Executive Director of NAMI Minnesota, concentrated on the parity of mental health treatment to physical health treatment. Basically, it sounds like mental health has a ways to go.

Senator Barb Goodwin of Minnesota and Ira Burnim, Legal Director of Judge David Bazelon Center on Mental Health talked about mental health concerns in the Criminal Justice System. The sad fact is that we are imprisoning people that should be treated in mental health facilities. Not only is this barbaric, it is more costly and it hardly achieves a positive outcome.

The evening concluded with a screening of If Only, a movie about drug addiction among teens. Two men who worked on this project gave passionate presentations about the need to have community discussions this issue. Too many children are dying.
 

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