Focus newsletter

A Focus on SAMHSA’s New Strategic Plan

Like any organization, from the largest corporation to the smallest grassroots advocacy group, our nation’s lead agency for behavioral health, SAMHSA, has a strategic plan to guide it. After more than 1,400 public comments and months of refinement, the latest version of that plan, Leading Change 2.0: Advancing the Behavioral Health of the Nation 2015-2018 …

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Focus: A Policy Model for Campus Mental Health

On campuses across the country there is a growing consensus that the mental health of the student body must be a topic of open conversation. Many colleges and universities offer free, confidential counseling services, and the stigma associated with behavioral health is being challenged by student activists. While the atmosphere surrounding campus mental health is …

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Focus: Peers at the Center of New Approaches to Coordinated Care

It’s no secret that we live in an extraordinarily dynamic moment for behavioral health, and the healthcare system in general. Major changes to healthcare laws, including the Affordable Care Act and mental health parity legislation, have opened up access to behavioral health care. At the same time, the value of lived experience as a professional …

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Make Your Voice Heard through Boards, Committees and Councils

One of the goals of the mental health consumer movement is to change the system. People with lived experience want a more compassionate system of care, that sees people with mental health challenges as experts in their own lives, relies on recovery principles, and considers the strengths of an individual as a whole person, instead …

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Managing Peer Support Employees Experiencing Mental Health Crisis

For any organization, recruiting, managing and retaining qualified professional staff is an essential part of doing business. For consumer mental health organizations, taking care of their employees while providing quality services to the community is an even more complex challenge. Not only must organizations ensure that the supports and services their employees provide are of …

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Focus: Thirty Schools Recognized for Quality Mental Health Programming

It’s no secret that student mental health and suicide prevention have become major issues on college campuses across the country. While some institutions have made meaningful efforts to encourage dialogue, counter stigma, and make mental health services readily accessible, concerns about liability, an inability to adequately serve students and other factors have made higher education …

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A Focus on The Mental Health Workforce Crisis

As last year’s SAMHSA report to Congress on the nation’s substance abuse and mental health workforce noted, the demand for behavioral health services in the US exceeds what is available. With expanded access to care through the Affordable Care Act and new Mental Health Parity rules, that demand will only increase in coming years, and …

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Focus: Behavioral Health Leads the Way in Changing the Accreditation Process

What is “accreditation” and why does it matter? “Accreditation” is the process whereby a health care provider obtains impartial, outside approval for the manner in which it provides services. Traditionally, the accreditation process has involved outside experts looking closely at health care providers, their staffs, their internal processes, and other measurable factors. Rarely has accreditation …

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A Focus on the Debate Over Community Care and Compulsory Treatment

One of the long-standing debates in the discussion about how to best meet the needs of people with serious mental illness centers around the issue of whether treating people in the community is the best course, or if in-patient treatment is the better choice for society. For people in the recovery community, the value of …

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