ACTION ALERT: Tell Dan Rather He is Wrong on Mental Health Reform!

On December 6, a report ran in the Herald-Tribune covering a panel discussion featuring former CBS anchorman Dan Rather. You may watch the video of his remarks here.

According to the article, Mr. Rather said the following concerning things:

  • “Rather traced the crisis back to a failure of follow-through in the 1960s, after a national consensus was reached across party lines to close psychiatric hospitals in favor of community-based outpatient treatment.”
  • “Rather said he believes early detection and treatment — including the easing of doctor/patient confidentiality laws that prevent families from seeking help for a loved one until it’s too late — would be one step in the right direction.”
  • “We can’t eliminate mass killings, but we can curb some of the gun violence by addressing the mental health crisis.”
  • “Rather said to reach a national consensus on what should be done would take a willingness for people on all sides of the political and ideological spectrum to acknowledge the magnitude of the problem and coordinate on potential solutions. He specifically cited the inclusion of the National Rifle Association in that consensus, an organization he said ‘tends to be demonized.'”

What you can do:

  • Send a letter to the Herald-Tribune using this form. If you send a letter, please try to do it in the next day or so to maximize opportunities for publication. Tips on sending effective letters to the editor can be found here. You may use our talking points below, or use your own.
  • Leave comment at the bottom of the Herald-Tribune article.
  • Post to Dan Rather’s Facebook page:
  • Tweet to Dan Rather:
  • Use the hashtags #realmhchange #protectpaimi and #stopmurphybill
  • Links you can Tweet or share on Facebook:
    Collected Statements from the Campaign for Real Change in Mental Health Policy
    “Mental Illness, Mass Shootings, and the Politics of American Firearms” by Jonathan M. Metzl, MD, PhD, and Kenneth T. MacLeish, PhD
    “Paul Ryan blames mass shootings on mental health laws” by David Perry
    “Mental illness: an easy scapegoat for those who won’t point fingers elsewhere” by Ari Ne’eman

Talking points:

  • We should not blame de-institutionalization for the current state of affairs. The reason for today’s broken system is that states haven’t fully funded — and continue to underfund — community-based services that can prevent homelessness, institutionalization, and incarceration. According to a recent NAMI report, “funding for mental health services fell in more states than it grew. This is the third year in a row the number of states willing to increase spending on mental health shrank.”
  • Regarding health privacy, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) is clear that information can be shared with caregivers in case of an emergency. Providers need to be better educated as to how HIPAA works. We do not need to change the law. Weakening HIPAA privacy protections will scare people away from seeking help. We should not support health privacy discrimination against people with mental health issues.
  • Reforming the mental health system will not “curb gun violence.” The research is clear that people with mental health conditions are not responsible for the vast majority of gun violence in our nation. Only 3-5% of violent acts in America can be traced to a person with a psychiatric diagnosis. In fact, they are 11 times more likely to be the victims of violence than the perpetrators. The known risks for gun violence include: access to guns, substance use, poverty, and a history of violence. For more information, see this excellent review of the evidence.
  • Given that mental health conditions are not a significant risk factor for gun violence, reform of the mental health system should be discussed separately from gun reform. Therefore, the NRA is not a relevant partner for discussion on mental health reform. To reach consensus, we should include the perspectives of people with mental health issues themselves, who are often left out of the discussion on national policy matters.

2 thoughts on “ACTION ALERT: Tell Dan Rather He is Wrong on Mental Health Reform!


    Mental Health reform needs to be done but not by CORRUPT organizations and people that many states have on advisory boards!!! The people’s best interests are not on their agendas.
    It’s so much more cost effective and beneficial for the County and State to collect $$$ for people that have even once stepped foot into a court house (whether they were innocent or not) and then label them addicts or mental. This way the $ystem gets to keep them in rehab/psychiatric facilities and/or incarcerated (whether they were innocent or not) which on the most part DOES NOT HELP people but makes them RETURN CUSTOMER$.
    Pennsylvania and other states are trying to get laws passed to commit people to psychiatric institutions (like the corrupt Meadows UHS of Centre County) without any evidence of a person having broken a Mental Health Law but merely going on the word of some deceitful, vengeful and/or corrupt person or organization’s say so.
    Similar to Kids for Cash scheme but they’re wanting to make it legal for all ages to get committed without just cause but just a say so.
    Pathetic organizations like Mid Penn Legal Aid/Services are predominantly taking domestic abuse cases because it’s like shooting fish in a barrel and it feeds the court system $$$. Mid Penn is blowing cases like judicial abuse and mental health law violations off even though the victims and their families are being severely traumatized by it and taking easier to handle domestic violence cases instead. As long as there is no free legal assistance for wrongfully committed individuals (checks and balances) there should be no changes done to the current laws.
    Taylor Andrews, Esquire
    NAMI PA Cumberland and Perry Counties
    Andrews and Johnson
    78 West Pomfret Street
    Carlisle, Pennsylvania 17013
    Taylor Andrews is one of many SCUM on Governor Tom Wolf’s Mental Health and Justice Advisory Committee. To me and many others, it clearly seems like they are gearing up to put as many people as possible into institutions to get DANGEROUS FORCED MEDS administered against their wills with FALSE diagnosises for PROFIT sake.
    Taylor Andrews was the Chief Public Defender at Cumberland County Court House with my lousy PD Arla Waller under him when Judge Edgar Bayley conducted my illegal trial. I find it impossible to believe that Andrews had no clue of the corruption and illegal misconduct his employees like Waller and of judge Edgar Bayley yet he did nothing to protect innocent people like me. It was bussine$ as usual.

    Attorney Dan Pollock appealed my case and PROVED ineffective assistance of counsel but corrupt judge Edgar Bayley ruled otherwise and put me in Cumberland County Prison where I got raped right before release. DA Freed blew my rape complaint off as he’s blown off police misconduct complaints years later. I am seeing a clear pattern of abuse of power and gang stalking.

    If Taylor Andrews, as the Chief public defender, would have glanced at the transcript of my appeals trial accusing one of his public defenders of innapropriately handling my case he would have CLEARLY seen that Arla Waller LIED on the witness stand repeatedly and my new attorney Dan Pollock NAILED HER GOOD and PROVED she was lying and ineffective but Andrews did NOTHING about it and the appeal was heard before the corrupt judge Edgar Bayley so of course we lost.

    Taylor Andrews failed miserably as a Chief Public Defender of Cumberland County as did his NAMI when an innocent person needed his help. How many others have had to endure trauma and suffering because of scum like him?

    Can we trust people like Taylor Andrews on State advisory boards for Mental Health in what to me looks like a very HORRIBLE plan of institutionalizing people as THEY see fit? All one has to do is say they think a person can cause harm WITHOUT ANY EVIDENCE OF IT and have them committed into a CORRUPT facility like The Meadows UHS of Centre County who in turn will keep people indefinitely as the corrupt courts deam fit.
    The Kids for Cash trial judge, Bradley Lunsford, kept approving longer stays for me at the Meadows. The mental health trials where horrifically corrupt!!! My public defender Stephan Flemming was horrifically ineffective!!! I was not allowed to speak or present evidence or use witnesses!!! EVERYTHING was incredibly illegal and corrupted. Bradley Lunsford of Centre County is scum and clearly has a dark affiliation with the (under investigation) Meadows psychiatric institute just like the Luzerne County judge he tried for the Kids for Cash scheme.
    Taylor Andrews is the head of National Aliance for Mentally Ill in Pennsylvania (NAMI) but those SCUMBAGS refused to help me get out of The Meadows Psychiatric Institution last year and they refused to help fix things once I got out even though I had all sorts of evidence to prove that EVERYTHING involving my commitment was ILLEGALLY done!!!

    The County Mental Health IDD was involved in my illegal involuntary commitment and not only refused to help me but they purposefully negatively intervened in my appeals process and my trying to get another public defender as THEY WERE PARTY TO GETTING ME COMMITTED which I did not know at the time I was BEGGING for help!!! I was committed because I’m a whistle blower and they wanted to shut me up. They wanted to break me.
    If Taylor Andrews’ NAMI is the type of organization that REFUSED to help a mentally traumatized rape victim with PTSD get help for CORRUPTLY and WRONGFULLY being accused of not being able to take care of themselves and suicidal WITH ABSOLUTELY NO EVIDENCE TO BACK THOSE ACCUSATION UP…but with plenty of evidence TO PROVE OTHERWISE than how can we trust scum like him to be on this Mental board that is wanting to make it easy to commit people?
    This is what happens when you stand up against CORRUPT judges and officials.
    Attorney General Kathleen Kane of Pennsylvania was voted into her position by several million Pennsylvanians because she promised she’d get rid of the Mob like corrupt judges that are throughout our court systems. This corruption is an epidemic throughout the nation!
    Those that are active with the corruption that’s rampant in the judicial systems are predominately embedded in the mental health advisory boards. They are not wanting to HELP people. They are wanting to ruin people’s lives because it’s the nature of this BEAST and it keeps the $ystem well fed.
    Taylor Andrews was also a former President of the Cumberland County Bar Association. The Bar Association has come under public scrutiny for corruption as well.
    There have been over 22 UHS mental health facilities closed by States Attorney Generals throughout the United States. The Meadows UHS is on the list of ones under investigation. While there is this much corruption going on in the judicial system that is feeding off of people they falsely put in prisons and mental institutions we should not allow this generation of CORRUPT officials to make ANY changes!!!
    Just look at the list of names and organizations in this article. Something needs to be done to stop these monsters and their plans to destroy more lives.


  2. For more info on the corrupt dealings if the state and facilities like the Meadows UHS please put this in your browser:

    PCTAPerryCountyTransportationAuthority.weebly after which you’d put a dotcom
    My email address is on that page. Please contact me if you’ve had illegal dealings with Lunsford, Dr. Richman or The Meadows.



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