Last week was an eventful one, with the House of Representatives advancing HR 2646, the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act. This bill represents the most significant effort at national mental health reform in a generation. It will now go to the Senate, where it is likely to be reconciled with mental health legislation that has been brought forth in that body.
As it stands, the bill has a number of noteworthy provisions:
- Expands Medicaid funding for stays in private or state mental health and for addiction treatment facilities by relaxing the IMD exclusion. Medicaid managed care programs will be able to pay for inpatient treatment up to 15 days.
- Makes no changes to HIPAA. The bill includes funding for education about flexibility in the existing law, and asks Health and Human Services and the Office of Civil Rights to consider new rules surrounding HIPAA.
- Allocates funding for compulsory outpatient treatment (aka AOT). The bill includes increase funding for AOT pilot programs, but does not penalize states for lacking AOT programs as earlier versions of the bill did.
- Makes no changes to the role of Protection and Advocacy Agencies P&A agencies.
- Creates the position of Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders within SAMHSA to oversee federal behavioral health policy and set priorities. This position is intended to be filled by a psychiatrist or psychologist.
- Re-authorizes SAMHSA Block Grants.
- Calls for a GAO study on parity compliance.
We have gathered some summaries and reactions to the passage of this bill below. CAFÉ TAC will continue to share information on the progress of federal mental health reform legislation as the discussion moves to the Senate.
In addition to legislative developments, peers around the country are getting ready for the iNAPS Conference, which will be held in Philadelphia this August. Please find info about that event below. We have also included information about Alternatives, including a call for award nominations.
Recent events have also brought issues of race to the forefront of the nation’s attention. This edition of our News and Notes email includes some items that highlight the inextricable connections between race and mental health.
House Passes Mental Health Bill
A summary from The Hill: http://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/286705-house-passes-mental-health-bill
An account from the hometown paper of the bill’s author: http://www.post-gazette.com/news/state/2016/07/07/Pennsylvania-House-passes-Murphy-s-mental-health-reform-bill/stories/201607070099
Reaction from the National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery: http://www.madinamerica.com/2016/07/hr-2636-coming-to-a-vote/
Reaction from the National Council for Behavioral Health: http://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/healthcare/287014-the-helping-families-in-mental-health-crisis-act-a-good-start
Reaction from Mental Health America: http://www.cmhnetwork.org/media-center/morning-zen/an-open-letter-to-advocates-about-the-murphyjohnson-bill
Full text of the bill is available at https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/house-bill/2646
Webinar: Back to the Basics: Primary and Behavioral Health Care Integration
Monday, July 11
2:00 pm Eastern / 11:00 am Pacific
Integration is a hot topic and buzzword in health care. And, integrated primary and behavioral health care is the best approach to care for people with complex health care needs. But do you have an elevator speech when someone asks you about integrated care? What do you tell new staff during orientation and how do you communicate the value to potential partners and your board of directors? Join this webinar to go back to the basics of primary and behavioral health care integration and learn how to effectively communicate the importance of integrated care and the benefit to the people you serve.
This webinar is for any service provider in mental health, substance abuse or primary care interested in implementing integration.
Register for free at: https://goto.webcasts.com/starthere.jsp?ei=1108262
Webinar: Working Together to Support the Caregivers of Service Members, Veterans, and Their Families
Tue., July 12
2:00-3:30 p.m. ET
Over 1.1 million spouses, parents, and friends are caring for injured and disabled veterans who have served since 09/11/01. Caregivers of service members, veterans, and their families (SMVF) have been described as crucial partners in providing a supportive environment for SMVF. The responsibilities of supporting the needs of returning service members and transitioning veterans can prove challenging, and without a strong support system, caregiving can take a toll on one’s health and wellbeing over time.
Understanding those who serve as caregivers—and the array of challenges they face when accessing help—is the first step in supporting their resiliency and behavioral health.
In this webinar, Ms. Tanielian from RAND Corporation will present information on their sweeping study of military caregivers. Ms. Kabat, from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), will discuss the VA’s services that specifically support caregivers. Ms. Bauer of Operation Family Caregiver, a program of the Rosalyn Carter Institute for Caregiving, will discuss examples of possible partnerships to support caregivers. Several other key federal and community resources will also be shared. Through public-private partnerships, some of our best solutions and supports for military families can be offered.
iNAPS: A story of resilience and sustainability
The 2016 iNAPS (International Association of Peer Supporters) Conference will take place August 26-28 in Philadelphia. This event presents a great opportunity to connect with peers from across the nation and the world.
To view the agenda, find travel information, or register, visit the event website at https://inaops.org/2016-annual-conference/.
With the 10th Annual iNAPS Conference set for next month, here’s an article that describes its purpose, growth and history.
Funding Opportunity: Advanced Laboratories for Accelerating the Reach and Impact of Treatments for Youth and Adults with Mental Illness (ALACRITY) Research Centers
This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) invites applications for centers to support transdisciplinary teams of clinical and mental health services researchers, behavioral scientists, social scientists, health information and communications technologists, health systems engineers, decision scientists, and mental health stakeholders (e.g., service users, family members, clinicians, payers) to engage in high-impact studies that will significantly advance clinical practice and generate knowledge that will fuel transformation of mental health care in the United States. Advanced Laboratories for Accelerating the Reach and Impact of Treatments for Youth and Adults with Mental Illness (ALACRITY) Research Centers will support the rapid development, testing, and refinement of novel and integrative approaches for (1) optimizing the effectiveness of therapeutic or preventive interventions for mental disorders within well-defined target populations; (2) organizing and delivering optimized mental health services within real world treatment settings; and (3) continuously improving the quality, impact, and durability of optimized interventions and service delivery within diverse care systems.
One-Time Proponent of Community Treatment Orders in UK Reverses Opinion
A psychiatrist who advocated for the UK equivalent of Assisted Outpatient Treatment has made it known that he no longer supports compulsory community treatment, after recent research has found it to be ineffective.
Alternatives 2016 Award Nominations are Now Open
The Alternatives Conference has a history of recognizing those who go above and beyond in exemplifying the values of the peer movement. We are honored to present three award opportunities to leaders in the field of recovery and wellness.
If you know someone who you feel should be honored, be sure to nominate them on or before the deadline on July 22, 2016.
Visit the Awards page of the Alternatives website at http://www.alternatives2016peerlinktac.org/awards/.
To learn more about Alternatives, or to register, visit the homepage at http://www.alternatives2016peerlinktac.org/.
Become a Member of the Team Developing the MHA National Peer Specialist (NCPS) Credential!
Mental Health America (MHA) is working in partnership with the Florida Certification Board (FCB) to develop and implement a national, accredited certification for whole health peer specialists that will set new standards in the field. This credential has been peer initiated, conceived, and developed, including peer staff at FCB.
The development of a new credential is a complex process. MHA established a national panel of subject matter experts, many of whom are accomplished leaders in the peer community to guide the development of the credential. The team has completed the Role Delineation Study, which resulted in the MHA NCPS core competencies and examination blueprint. Please download the MHA National Certified Peer Specialist RDS Report for detailed information
Mental Health America and the Florida Certification Board are beginning to develop the written examination for our new credential, the MHA National Certified Peer Specialist. We are preparing to launch an item writing training, item writing and item validation effort and we need subject matter experts who are willing to volunteer their valuable time and expertise as we develop the item bank for the NCPS credential. To limit financial impact, the FCB is planning a series of webinars and does not intend to hold any face-to-face meetings. If you are interested in becoming a part of this exciting project — or if you know someone who would be a fantastic MHA-NCPS item writer, please review and complete the MHA-FCB Item Writer Nomination Form by August 1, 2016.
Promoting the Mental Health Needs of College Students of Color
The Steve Fund supports the mental health and emotional well-being of students of color. It was founded two years after the death of Stephen Rose, a Harvard alumnus who, at age 29, took his own life. After Steve’s death, the Rose family marshaled its grief and created the Fund to address issues such as stigma and fear, as well as the lack of access to mental health services in communities of color.
Depression in the Black Community Looks Different Causing Mental Health Workers to Overlook Symptoms Such as Anger and Agitation
African-Americans have a distinct perception of depression, and it doesn’t line up with the classic signs and symptoms promoted by the American Psychiatric Association, a new study suggests.
How Racism Affects Mental Health — & What We Can Do About It
This article features and interview with Jules P. Harrell, PhD of Howard University on the state of mental health care for minorities.
Study finds evidence of racial, class discrimination among psychotherapists
Psychotherapists discriminate against prospective patients who are black or working class, a new study shows. Among middle-class people who contacted a therapist to schedule an appointment, the study found that 28 percent of whites and 17 percent of blacks received appointment offers. Appointment offer rates for both black and white working-class therapy seekers were 8 percent.
New Guide to Federal Parity Law Available
A federal law forbids health insurers from discriminating against people with substance use or mental disorders. Health Insurance for Addiction & Mental Health Care: A Guide to the Federal Parity Law explains patients’ and providers’ rights care under this law, which is called the Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act, or the “federal parity law”. The Guide also briefly explains some relevant New York State laws. Although written for a New York audience, much of the Guide can be used anywhere in the country.
Know Your Rights: Parity for Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Benefits
This SAMHSA publication provides an overview of Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008, lists some of the common limits placed on mental health and substance use disorder benefits and services, and includes resources for additional information on parity.
Webinar: Understanding your Rights and Responsibilities: Getting Clarity on HIPAA Privacy Laws
Tue., July 19
3:00-4:00 p.m. ET
In a continued effort to clarify the rules and regulations surrounding the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has created and distributed a guidance making clear a provider’s rights and responsibilities on what patient information can and cannot be shared. To further this effort, the National Council is teaming up with OCR to highlight these efforts and bring this important information to our members. Join Deven McGraw, Deputy Director of Health Information Privacy, and Sherri Morgan, Health Information Privacy Specialist, to hear more about OCR guidance clarifying HIPAA’s rules on sharing patient information with friends and family and on the right of individuals under the HIPAA Privacy Rule to access and receive copies of their own health information. Join us and gain valuable insight into health care’s most important, yet widely misunderstood protections.
Consumer-Driven Services Directory
The Clearinghouse welcomes all programs in which consumers play a significant role in leadership and operation to apply for inclusion in its Directory of Consumer-Driven Services. The directory, accessible at http://www.cdsdirectory.org, is searchable by location, type of organization, and targeted clientele, and serves as a free resource for consumers, program administrators and researchers. Apply online at http://www.cdsdirectory.org/database/cds.php, via fax at 215.636.6312, or by phone at 800.553.4KEY (4539). To receive an application by mail, write to firstname.lastname@example.org or Susan Rogers, Clearinghouse, 1211 Chestnut Street, Suite 1100, Philadelphia, PA 19107.
And speaking of the Clearinghouse, we suggest that you subscribe to their valuable newsletter, the Key Update. You can do so at http://www.mhselfhelp.org/subscription-to-key-update/
PEERLINK Webinar: Reframing Recovery
11:00-12:00 p.m. PT / 2:00-3:00 p.m. ET
Reframing Recovery challenges perceptions and ideals around mental health recovery, including how we, as a community, define it. Too often, our ability to recovery is questioned, challenged, and defined by others. With visuals, frank discussion, narratives, and thought-provoking statements, participants are challenged to reframe how they see recovery from mental health challenges. Reframing Recovery has been offered in several formats to a variety of audiences; including peers, peer support workers, mental health providers, and allies, all with generally high praises for its well-constructed content. In this first ever webinar format, we will discuss the concept of recovery in detail through story-sharing and interactive questions.
To learn more and register, visit http://www.peerlinktac.org/webinars-and-publications/
Trauma and Mental Health: 7 Facts You Should Know
This article offers some basic things to keep in mind in trying to understand the role of trauma.
From ‘OITNB’ to ‘Lady Dynamite’: TV’s Mental Health Revolution
This Rolling Stone article explores how several television programs are taking fresh, new approaches to depicting characters with mental health concerns.
SAMHSA releases new quality measurement tools for mental health and substance use treatment
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is issuing a new set of quality measures – in the form of a resource manual, technical specifications and data reporting templates – all designed to help states and behavioral health clinics (BHCs) better assess and document their performance and effectiveness in providing treatment to people with mental and/or substance use disorders.