As you may know, Kenneth Feinberg, the Administrator of the Independent Gulf Coast Claims Facility (GCCF) which will adjudicate claims for individuals and businesses experiencing health and economic losses due to the oil spill, stated last month at a House Judiciary Committee hearing that he would likely not be compensating individuals for mental illnesses that result from the disaster. Mental Health America finds this appalling and has sent a letter to Mr. Feinberg urging him to consider the overwhelming evidence that mental health conditions are real, treatable illnesses and that denying compensation is discriminatory and wrong.
We encourage you to also send Mr. Feinberg a letter stating your disappointment and concern with his current policy. We have provided a sample letter for you to use and adapt as you see fit.
Dear Mr. Feinberg,
I am deeply disappointed by your intention to exclude mental health conditions from coverage by the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund and am concerned about the short and long term effects the BP Spill will have on the behavioral health of Gulf Coast residents. Mental illnesses, including those conditions that have occurred as a result of experiencing the stress and trauma associated with the Gulf oil catastrophe, are real, treatable debilitating illnesses that can lead to profound disability and death by suicide.
Sincerely,[Your Name] [Your Address] [City, State ZIP]
Mental Health America (MHA) founded in 1909 is the nation's leading community-based nonprofit dedicated to addressing the needs of those living with mental illness and to promoting the overall mental health of all Americans.
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