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Ellen Epstein's Fund Raising Letter

RMH Services
1104 Pitt Avenue 
Bremerton, WA 98310 
(360) 479-4959

. . . the struggle continues

Dear Friends and Supporters,

Thank you for your past contributions. Due to your generous assistance, we have been able to provide intensive mental health services to our clients for another year.

As you may remember, RMH Services treats chronically mentally ill adults who had been unable to obtain mental health treatment prior to enrolling in our agency. Many turned to drugs and alcohol to self-medicate their psychiatric symptoms, only compounding the problem. The combination of untreated mental illness and substance abuse has a devastating impact on the affected individuals as well as on their families and their communities. Prior to entering RMH Services these community members ended up in a vicious cycle of homelessness, hospitalization, and jail.

RMH Services opened in Kitsap County in 1995. Our treatment has dramatically decreased our clients' psychiatric symptoms and substance abuse. We have reduced or eliminated further homelessness, hospitalization, and jailing. Many of our clients are now employed or in school.

Almost four years ago RMH Services lost its Medicaid funding when Washington State converted its Medicaid mental health care payment system to managed care and took away the right of the mentally ill to choose their own treatment provider.  Additionally, Kitsap County decided Medicaid reimbursement would be paid only to a single mental health provider in the county. Since February 1996 RMH Services has not been paid for the services it provides its clients. The money has been paid instead to the provider which refused them services.

Our clients initiated legal action against the State of Washington, demanding that the funding for their mental health treatment be pulled back from the county system and paid instead to RMH Services. On December 11, 1998 the first case was won in a landmark decision, the first in the state.  As expected the Attorney General appealed the decision. On July 29, 1999 the winning decision was unexpectedly overturned. There are clear grounds for our client to appeal his case to Superior Court. In the meantime another case is being filed with the help of a local legal-aid law firm.

But these legal actions are time consuming and RMH Services continues to operate on grants, fund raisers, and generous cash donations from members of our community.

We need your assistance to continue providing these valuable services.  Please send a tax-deductible contribution of $5, $25, $250, $1,000 or whatever you can afford.

Our untreated chronically mentally ill are ending up homeless and in jail.  Help us treat them instead.

Please mail your contribution to:

RMH Services
1104 Pitt Avenue
Bremerton, WA  98310


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© 1999 Richard H. Fox

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