For the last 43 years, Mental Health Advocacy Services (MHAS) has existed because we believe that people with mental health disabilities deserve dignity, respect, and quality of life. We have fought discrimination and protected the rights of these individuals in order to maximize their autonomy, promote equality, and secure the resources they need to thrive in the community.
These hard-fought rights and protections are currently under threatas medical teams around the country develop plans to ration care among patients suffering from the novel coronavirus. History teaches us - and what we have seen so far from these plans confirms our fears - that people with disabilities are most likely to bear the burden of these rationing measures. In response, MHAS is urging California policymakers and medical providers to act now to stop deadly discrimination against people with mental disabilities before it starts. The lives of people with mental health disabilities are NOT worth less than anyone else's and disability discrimination is never acceptable.
Outside of the hospitals, this crisis is similarly already disproportionately affecting low-income people with mental health disabilities who do not have the benefit of strong safety nets or savings to face the economic challenges that this pandemic brings. This is why our attorneys and advocates continue working (safely from home) to ensure that our clients' rights are upheld and that their calls do not go unanswered.
In light of this crisis, we'd like to call on you - our supporters and our volunteers - to consider making a special one-time, emergency gift to MHAS' Emergency Response Fund. Please give whatever you can so that we can help those who have nothing. The funds we are collecting right now are immediately being put to use to purchase technology that Mental Health Advocacy Services needs to continue remote operations for as long as necessary.
We appreciate you standing with our clients during these unprecedented times.
P.S. If you don't already, please follow us on social media where we are sharing self care tips, mental health resources, and advocacy calls to action multiple times a week!