Advocacy E-News November 8, 2016
November 8, 2016
FEDERAL PARITY TASK FORCE TAKES STEPS TO STRENGTHEN INSURANCE COVERAGE FOR MENTAL HEALTH AND SUBSTANCE USE DISORDERS
In March of this year, President Obama established the Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Parity Task Force and charged Federal Departments and Agencies to work together to ensure that Americans are benefiting from the mental health and substance use disorder parity protections under the law. Today in its final report, the Task Force announced a series of actions and recommendations to help ensure better implementation of parity; to help consumers, providers, and plans understand how parity works; and to ensure appropriate oversight and enforcement of parity protections.
AFTER A SUICIDE ATTEMPT, THE RISK OF ANOTHER TRY
A common yet highly inaccurate belief is that people who survive a suicide attempt are unlikely to try again. In fact, just the opposite is true. Within the first three months to a year following a suicide attempt, people are at highest risk of a second attempt — and this time perhaps succeeding.
INCREASE IN US SUICIDE RATES AND THE CRITICAL DECLINE IN PSYCHIATRIC BEDS
The closure of most US public mental hospital beds and the reduction in acute general psychiatric beds over recent decades have led to a crisis, as overall inpatient capacity has not kept pace with the needs of patients with psychiatric disorders. Very limited access to nonforensic psychiatric inpatient care is contributing to the risks of violence, incarceration, homelessness, premature mortality, and suicide among patients with psychiatric disorders. In particular, a safe minimum number of psychiatric beds is required to respond to suicide risk given the well-established and unchanging prevalence of mental illness, relapse rates, treatment resistance, nonadherence with treatment, and presentations after acute social crisis.
SCHOOL SECRETARY WHO ALLEGED MENTAL ILLNESS LED TO FIRING REPORTEDLY GETS $90K
BELLEVILLE — The township school district has paid out a $90,000 settlement to a former secretary who sued alleging she was fired because of a history of mental illness, according to a report. Belleville schools reached the settlement with the former secretary to the Superintendent according to NorthJersey.com. She alleged that she was told in June 2012 that her contract was not being renewed because of budgetary constraints, but she was actually fired because of her history of mental illness, the report said.
DMHAS ANNOUNCES SUPPORTIVE HOUSING AND FIRST EPISODE PSYCHOSIS PROGRAM AWARDS
The Division of Mental Health and Addictions Services (DMHAS) has announced the awarding of grants for Supportive Housing for individuals being discharged from state psychiatric hospitals. These programs are to focus on individuals who require medically enhanced services or for individuals who have been forensically involved. Additionally DMHAS has announced the award of grants to three programs for the implementation of Evidence Based Practices for first Episode Psychosis.