News & Announcements

Health Care Reform Applauded (posted 3/23)

Posted: March 23, 2010

Many community-based organizations are applauding the passing of the historic HR 3580 Patient Protection & Affordability Care Act.  The $940 billion bill will cover 32 million uninsured Americans and ban the denial of coverage for preexisting conditions. Additionally, the bill includes investments in prevention, public health, mental health parity, and disease research. There are important implications in this legislation for behavioral healthcare, treatment and prevention of HIV/AIDS, and minority health. Questions still remain, however, about how meaningful this healthcare reform bill is, and how it will affect vulnerable populations.

The Asian and Pacific Islander American Health Forum reports, "Additional health policy changes [are] needed to improve the health of AA and NHPI communities, including increased funding for qualified health interpreters and translators and the elimination of a five-year waiting period for legal immigrants to access the Federal Medicaid program. Allowing legal immigrants to access cost-saving preventive care would in many cases eliminate costly emergency room treatment for health problems that have become too severe to ignore."

The Black AIDS Institute reports, "While the new legislation may be a step toward the establishment of a more perfect union, it is far from perfect—the Senate still has some significant work to do during the reconciliation process before real victory can be claimed. However, the legislation already has some elements that dramatically change the healthcare prospects for the 1.2 million Americans living with HIV/AIDS."

The National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare reports, "We applaud the passage of a health care reform package that includes parity for mental health and addiction services, ban on pre-existing condition exclusions, Medicaid expansion to 133% of Federal Poverty Level, and many other provisions that expand the opportunities for individuals with mental illness and addiction to maintain insurance coverage and access needed services." The National Council will be holding a webinar on what healthcare reform means for behavioral healthcare organizations on March 30th.  For more information click here.

The National Council for LGBT Health reports, "While the final bill was not as inclusive of the diversity of the LGBT community as we could have wished, the National Coalition for LGBT Health commends the bill’s focus on setting goals and objectives for improving health through federally-supported prevention; a comprehensive sexuality education program; an increase in funding for community health centers; and the focus on addressing and alleviating health disparities."

To engage in discussion about what healthcare reform means in your community become a member of the NNED Forum, click here.  Visit the NNED Forum space on What Healthcare Reform Means for Diverse Communities.

Report on Latino Behavioral Health Workforce (posted 3/23)

Posted: March 23, 2010

The National Resource Center for Hispanic Mental Health (NRCHMH) has released a consensus and policy recommendations report. The report, prepared by the Office of Minority Health, contains consensus statements, recommendations and action items specifically focused on developing a diverse workforce for Latinos in order to ensure meaningful access to behavioral health care services. Movilizandonos por Nuestro Futuro: Strategic Development of a Mental Health Workforce for Latinos was developed with input from nearly 50 leaders from the Latino behavioral health community, who participated in a national roundtable discussion on Latino behavioral health workforce over the past year, which were sponsored by OMH and coordinated by the NRCHMH. For more information click here.  To download the report click here.

"There is a crisis affecting Latinos in need of behavioral health and the behavioral health workforce in the United States. While at over 15% of the overall population, not including the four million residents of Puerto Rico, Latinos are visibly absent from all areas of the behavioral health professions including medicine, nursing, psychology and social work. Although a sizable population to be reckoned with, a critical mass cannot be found in positions of leadership, or on national board and advisory committees. Due to the shortage of Latino professionals in behavioral health, issues pertaining specifically to the Latino behavioral health agenda go widely unnoticed and unaddressed."

SAMHSA Releases Kit on Advancing Evidence-Based and Promising Practices (posted 3/22)

Posted: March 22, 2010

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is committed to promoting evidence-based and promising practices in serving persons with mental illnesses and/or substance use disorders. The Evidence-Based Practice (EBP) Knowledge Informing Transformation (KIT) series helps to further that commitment. The materials provide innovative, engaging, and effective learning tools that help shape mental health services toward recovery. The first-generation EBP KIT topics include:

Assertive Community Treatment (SMA08-4345)
The goal of Assertive Community Treatment is to help people stay out of the hospital and to develop skills for living in the community, so that their mental illness is not the driving force in their lives. Assertive community treatment offers services that are customized to the individual needs of the consumer, delivered by a team of practitioners, and available 24 hours a day.

Co-Occurring Disorders: Integrated Dual Disorders Treatment (SMA08-4367)
Integrated Dual Diagnosis Treatment is for people who have co-occurring disorders, mental illness and a substance abuse addiction. This treatment approach helps people recover by offering both mental health and substance abuse services at the same time and in one setting.

Supported Employment (SMA08-4365)  
Supported Employment is a well-defined approach to helping people with mental illnesses find and keep competitive employment within their communities. Supported employment programs are staffed by employment specialists who have frequent meetings with treatment providers to integrate supported employment with mental health services.

Family Psychoeducation (Online Only) 
Family Psychoeducation involves a partnership among consumers, families and supporters, and practitioners. 

Illness Management and Recovery (Online Only)  
The Illness Management and Recovery program strongly emphasizes helping people to set and pursue personal goals and to implement action strategies in their everyday lives.


Children’s Health Data Website (posted 3/22)

Posted: March 22, 2010

The Data Resource Center for Child and Adolescent Health has recently retooled its Web site so visitors can create custom data profiles, including new health disparities snapshots, using data from the 2007 National Survey of Children's Health. The website, a project of the Child and Adolescent Health Measurement Initiative at the Oregon Health and Science University that was produced with support from the Health Resources and Services Administration's Maternal and Child Health Bureau, is intended for use by researchers, policymakers, families, and others in obtaining national, regional, and state-level data on a broad range of topics relating to children’s health and well-being. The Custom Data Profiles webpage allows users to (1) search and compare results on over 80 indicators of child health and well-being, (2) compare child health indicator results for children with and without special health care needs within a state or nationwide, (3) compare nationwide results for Rural Urban Commuting Area designations, and (4) compare nationwide results for five race and ethnicity categories: Hispanic (all races) and non-Hispanic Asian, African-American, white, and other/multiracial. To access the webpage click here.

Mental Health-Addictions and Criminal Justice Collaborations (posted 3/18)

Posted: March 18, 2010

The National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare has relased their quarterly publication, National Council Magazine, focusing on the relationship between mental health and the criminal justice system.  “Beyond Bars: Mental Health-Addictions and Criminal Justice Collaborations” focuses on the crisis in our nation’s jails and prisons — men and women with mental illnesses and addictions incarcerated because they didn’t get the treatments they desperately need — and emphasizes possibilities for effective services. The magazine highlights the initiatives of National Council member organizations that are endlessly creative in overcoming financial, bureaucratic, and cultural barriers to nurture programs and services that offer productive lives to people with mental illnesses and addictions as the alternative to incarceration.  To download the magazine click here (8.9MB). For more information and access to past issues click here.

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