NEWS FROM MENTAL HEALTH AMERICA
Open Enrollment for the Health Insurance Marketplace: Mental Health America has released a toolkit with a wealth of information and resources.
The MHA Career Center matches the best employers with the best talent in the mental health field. Find your employment match at http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/go/mhacareercenter.
NEWS FOR THE FIELD
MARCH 7-8—2014 Tools for Change Conference: The Center for Dignity, Recovery, and Empowerment, a project of the Mental Health Association of San Francisco, presents the Tools for Change Conference, now in its second year. Tools For Change, which will be held at the Hilton at Union Square in San Francisco, CA, is the first international conference focused on lived experience and culture change around mental health and mental illness. This year, Tools For Change brings effective stigma-change strategies into focus with culturally-responsive programs and the power of stigma change for prevention of suicide. Keynote speakers include former Surgeon General Dr. David Satcher and Paolo del Vecchio, Director of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Center for Mental Health Services. To register, go to http://dignityandrecoverycenter.org/toolsforchange2014/.
The Thomas Scattergood Behavioral Health Foundation Design Challenge 2014: This year’s Design Challenge is exploring the most effective avenue to integrate mental health care into retail clinics. Retail Clinics (CVS' Minute Clinic, Walgreens' Take Care Clinic, Target Clinic, and local healthcare systems clinics) have existed since 2000. They are small health clinics located within a larger store in which patients can receive basic primary health care. They are known for convenience, low cost and high quality care however the model of retail clinics focuses on primary physical health and currently does not provide behavioral health interventions (e.g. screening, referral, and crisis management). Scattergood is challenging Mental Health experts to create a program that includes an education, access and/or service component for Behavioral/Mental Health in a Retail Clinic. Award: The winning solution will be considered for implementation at QCare, the first retail clinic in North Philadelphia. QCare is operated by Family Practice and Counseling Network. For more information and to download the user guide, go to http://www.scattergoodfoundation.org/design-challenge#.Utbnrvko7ct. Additionally, the Scattergood Behavioral Health Foundation has started a crowd-funding page on the website, Indiegogo, to support the funding for mental health care at QCare: http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/making-mental-health-care-accessible.
20th Annual Zarrow Mental Health Symposium Call for Presentations—All Things Prevention: In September 2014 the Mental Health Association in Tulsa will celebrate the 20th anniversary of its Zarrow Mental Health Symposium. This annual educational forum brings together local, state, and national leaders to focus on state-of-the-art research, best practice information, and model programs about current issues related to mental health and substance abuse disorders. This year’s theme is All Things Prevention. Proposals for conference presentations are now being accepted. Deadline for submission is Monday, March 10. For additional information, go to http://mhat.org/get-involved/events-and-conferences/zarrow/call-for-presentations/.
SAMHSA Health Insurance Marketplace Enrollment Toolkit: The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has released a training resource toolkit, developed through the Enrollment Coalitions Initiative, entitled “Getting Ready for the Health Insurance Marketplace.” The toolkit will assist organizations with outreach, education and enrollment of individuals in the Health Insurance Marketplace. It is composed of three sections: A description of the health care law, how it works, and why it is important for uninsured individuals with behavioral health conditions; An explanation of how the Health Insurance Marketplace works, how to apply for health coverage and where to get help; and Numerous communication ideas and materials from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) that can be used to raise awareness and encourage uninsured individuals to enroll. The toolkit has been developed in six slightly different 30-minute, interactive formats, each of which can be accessed and viewed online: http://tiny.cc/GettingReady (General information); http://tiny.cc/CommunityPrevention; http://tiny.cc/ConsumerPeerFamily; http://tiny.cc/HomelessServices; http://tiny.cc/CriminalJustice; http://tiny.cc/TreatmentProviders.
Become a Champion for Coverage: Help make sure all Americans can get the care they need, when they need it, at a price they can afford. Go to http://marketplace.cms.gov/help-us/champion.html.
IN THE NEWS
Parity Has Little Effect on Substance Use Spending: Despite predictions that requiring health insurers to provide equal coverage for substance use disorder treatment would raise costs, a new study finds that the economic impact so far has been minimal. Published in The American Journal of Managed Care, researchers studied the first year of the implementation of the Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act. They found that it did not result in an increase in the proportion of enrollees seeking treatment for substance use disorders (SUDs). Their analysis also identified only a modest increase in spending for substance use disorder treatment—$10 annually per health plan enrollee. Prior to the law's passage, health plans often imposed limitations on treatment for SUDs, including restricting the number of visits and requiring higher cost-sharing. During congressional debate on the bill, some employers and health plans opposed the parity measure on the grounds that it would significantly raise their costs. The researchers concluded that in terms of SUD treatment, it appears that this concern was unfounded. However, they noted that their analysis only considered the first year after the law took effect and further research is needed to gauge subsequent impact. (HealthCanal.com, 1/24/13)
Reporting on Health looks at “Trauma science puts immigrants under the microscope.”
Kaiser Health News reports on a “Mental health program hailed as way to reduce Medicaid costs.”
60 Minutes looks at mental illness and children in crisis.
ESPN examines better treatment of college athletes' mental health.
Children Who Experience a Death in the Family at Increased Risk for Psychotic Illness: Children who experience the death of a family member are at slightly increased risk for psychotic illnesses such as schizophrenia later in life, according to a new study. The risk is highest among children who had a sibling or parent take their own life, according to findings published in the journal BMJ. Researchers analyzed data from nearly 947,000 children born in Sweden between 1973 and 1985. Of those children, 33 percent experienced the death of a family member before they reached age 13. More than 11,000 children were exposed to death from suicide, more than 15,000 to death from accidents and more than 280,000 to death from natural causes. Among those who experienced the death of a family member as a child, 0.4 percent developed a non-affective psychosis (not related to emotions or mood) such as schizophrenia. In addition, 0.17 percent developed a so-called affective psychosis, such as bipolar disorder with psychosis and depression with psychosis, according to a BMJ news release. Overall, there was an increased risk of psychosis among people who suffered a death in the family during childhood and the risk increased the earlier in childhood the death occurred, the news release said. The greatest risk was seen in those who experienced the death of a family member when they were aged newborn to 3 years old. (HealthDay News, 1/22/14)
MORE NEWS AND VIEWS
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Mental Health in the Headlines is produced weekly by Mental Health America. Staff: Steve Vetzner, senior director, Media Relations.
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