On November 17th, the Mental Health Association of RI wrapped up its three-part "Integration For All" series. The third webinar focused on how to establish, fund and implement an Olmstead Plan. For years, our leaders have argued we can’t create an Olmstead Plan because we can’t afford to implement it.
During the conversation we heard from representatives from other states that have working plans in place. They discussed how they established a plan, funded it and the implementation process.
Rhode Island's failure to plan means that people with disabilities who, if given proper support services, could live in the community, parent their children, be gainfully employed, or attend college or vocational school are otherwise left to fend for themselves, often unemployed or institutionalized, dependent on disability benefits, with little money to spend in the economy. Many individuals with severe mental illness cycle through hospitals, emergency departments, jail or homeless shelters at great public expense. With determination and creativity, Rhode Island can fund an Olmstead Plan.
*The Integration For All Town Hall Series was funded with support from
the Rhode Island Foundation*