OCTOBER 28, 2020 5:00 p.m.

In Rhode Island, 15% to 20% of inmates have serious mental illnesses like schizophrenia, schizo-affective disorder, major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, brief psychotic disorder and substance use disorder. Mental illness itself is not predictive of criminal behavior. In fact, it increases the likelihood of being victimized. Many of the 400 to 530 inmates with mental illness at the ACI lack permanent housing and support options and were left to live on the streets. Untreated, symptoms of mental illness led them into the criminal justice system. Most are incarcerated for minor offenses or probation violations like missing an appointment. The ACI is now Rhode Island’s largest“psychiatric institution,” and we all pay the price.

Join this Town Hall to discuss how an Olmstead Plan would plan for and provide supportive housing and community services to break this cycle and improve the lives of these vulnerable Rhode Islanders.

*The Integration For All Town Hall Series is funded with support from
the Rhode Island Foundation*

Parity Initiative Awarded a RI Foundation Grant
MHARI was recently awarded a grant from the Rhode Island Foundation. Funding from this grant will support our RI Parity Initiative to continue our public awareness and education efforts to help empower people to understand and assert their rights to mental health and substance use disorder treatments.

MHARI Leads Campaign to Establish an Olmstead Plan in RI
On September 29, 2020, MHARI hosted its first virtual town hall in its three-part series, "Integration For All". In this first town hall, four RI Community Leaders came together to discuss the need for Rhode Islanders to have an Olmstead Plan. An Olmstead Plan would ensure the State is putting funding strategies in place to provide housing options and community support services to people with disabilities, serious mental illness, older adults, and youth at risk of institutionalization. Join the next virtual Town Hall on Oct. 28th.
Register at mhari.org.

MHARI Spearheads Outreach Campaign to Rhode Islanders Touched by the Pandemic
We have partnered with the RI Community Food Bank. Over the next few months, "The Mental Health Association of Rhode Island Cares about Your Mental Health" initiative will be working to distribute information to those utilizing the food bank about how and where to access treatment for mental health services.

MHARI Celebrates World Mental Health Day
October 10, 2020 marked World Mental Health Day. MHARI celebrated this important day with a week-long campaign providing information and resources about mental health awareness and resources available.
On Saturday, September 28, 2020 community members came together at Slater Memorial Park in Pawtucket to support the Mental Health Association of Rhode Island and United States Tennis Association of Rhode Island inaugural tennis tournament.

Thank you to all the tennis players from across the state who came out and raised their racquets to compete. Thank you to our Board Member, Terry Charles, for brining these two organizations together and putting this great idea into action. Lastly, we are grateful to our Ace Sponsors, Pawtucket Credit Union and BankNewport, for their support of the tournament..
Have you received a letter from your health insurance plan denying payment for a health service you need? This video and other videos in the RI Parity series will prepare you with all the information you need to know.

The RI Parity Initiative has a three-part video series that can aid you in dealing with understanding mental health parity, how to respond to a denied insurance claim and knowing and defending your rights as a consumer.

This second video in the series provides step-by step instructions on preparing for the call, what questions to ask during your call and follow-up resources that you can reach out to if you are still having trouble.

Just because October 10th is over, World Mental Health Day should not be over. With your support, the Mental Health Association of Rhode Island can continue to advocate, educate and aid in policy development that increases awareness about mental health issues and removes obstacles to treatment. Together, we will make mental healthcare a reality for all Rhode Islanders.

We are looking for a volunteer to edit videos. If you have experience and want to learn more about this project and how you can help, contact laurie.piciottta@mhari.org.