Advocacy E-News November 19, 2018
November 19, 2018
MORE LEEWAY FOR STATES TO EXPAND INPATIENT MENTAL HEALTH
The Trump administration Tuesday allowed states to provide more inpatient treatment for people with serious mental illness by tapping Medicaid, a potentially far-reaching move to address issues from homelessness to violence. A longstanding federal law has barred Medicaid from paying for mental health treatment in facilities with more than 16 beds, to prevent “warehousing” of the mentally ill at the expense of federal taxpayers. Azar said states will now be able to seek waivers from that restriction, provided they can satisfy certain specific requirements.
THE CONNECTION BETWEEN SUICIDES AND MASS SHOOTINGS — AND A WAY TO REDUCE BOTH
Across the country and over the past couple of decades, homicide rates are going down. Suicides, however are spiking. But there is a way to prevent the nation’s spiking epidemic of gun suicides and, eventually, curb mass shootings. They’re called Extreme Risk Protection Orders — usually called “red flag” laws. Red flag laws — there are now 13 states that have them — allow a family member, roommate, beau, law enforcement officer or any type of medical professional to file a petition asking that a person’s home be temporarily cleared of firearms. It doesn’t require a mental-health diagnosis or an arrest.
NEW JERSEY’S RECIDIVISM RATE PLUMMETS
New Jersey’s rate of prison recidivism has dropped by 19 percent over six years, with fewer than three in 10 of those released winding up reincarcerated within three years, a new report has found. The most effective approach to lowering recidivism rates has been to rehabilitate the entire person through such initiatives as drug addiction treatment, addressing mental health issues, and expanding offender reentry programs.
HOW PAYING ATTENTION TO TRAUMA IS CHANGING THIS SCHOOL
Middle School Principal Rick Amato recently encountered a student wearing his jacket inside the school building. That’s a violation of the school rules. Three years ago, Amato might have taken a hard line with the boy, demanding he take the coat off. But that was before Amato knew what trauma — exposure to abuse, neglect, family dysfunction, drug abuse or mental health issues — does to a child’s brain. Now, Amato knows that when a child experiences trauma it causes the child’s stress hormones to rise, literally turning off the part of the brain that facilitates learning.
TALENT. A FOOTBALL SCHOLARSHIP. THEN CRUSHING DEPRESSION
A promising wide receiver hit rock bottom with mental illness and is among a number of college athletes learning about, and dealing with, depression. What experts know is this: Recent studies place suicide as the third leading cause of death for college athletes, behind motor vehicle accidents and medical issues. And nearly 25 percent of college athletes who participated in a widely touted 2016 study led by researchers at Drexel University displayed signs of depressive symptoms.