News & Announcements
New Report on Trends in Addressing Behavioral Health Disparities (posted 6/22)
Posted: June 22, 2010
As a part of the June 2009 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) National Policy Summit on the Elimination of Disparities in Mental Health Care, the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services conducted a report to review recent trends related to addressing health disparities at the national and state levels. Addressing Behavioral Health Service Disparities: Current and Potential Strategies with Washington State and the National Context's focus is on documentation and assessment of the range of current and potential strategies to reduce disparities in the access to and quality of mental health services nationally and within Washington State. To download the full report click here.
The report provides a summary of national trends on strategies to eliminate disparities in behavioral health care, a summary of state-level trends within Washington State, and a set of policy recommendations to continue to address disparity reduction nationally and within Washington State. The study was unable to find any states or health plans that stand out as models for addressing health disparities. The analysis of strategies employed by Medicaid managed behavioral health organizations (MBHOs) in other states found that states and their contracted MBHOs tend to address health disparities through ongoing quality improvement activities and tailored performance improvement projects. Behavioral health plans across the nation struggle with finding an adequate number of culturally competent providers. One strategy used in several states (FL, MA, and NM, among others) involves broadening credentialing standards so that community?based organizations that would not otherwise currently qualify as fully credentialed network providers would be allowed to participate under specific conditions. Additionally, the emerging national focus on integrated primary care and behavioral health care has necessitated a reconceptualization of the historical target populations and associated documentation and service delivery requirements of behavioral health systems.
State-specific Study of Attitudes Toward Mental Illness (posted 6/22)
Posted: June 22, 2010
The May 28, 2010 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report presented the findings of a state-specific study on Attitudes Toward Mental Illness. The study sought to assess attitudes related to the course of mental illness (i.e., treatment prognosis and possibility of recovery; and perception of supportive behaviors) that might directly influence seeking treatment or recovery and might reflect stigmatizing attitudes amenable to public health intervention. To study such attitudes, the Centers for Disease Control analyzed data from the District of Columbia (DC), Puerto Rico, and the 35 states participating in the 2007 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) (the most recent data available), which included two questions on attitudes toward mental illness. Most adults (88.6%) agreed with a statement that treatment can help persons with mental illness lead normal lives, but fewer (57.3%) agreed with a statement that people are generally caring and sympathetic to persons with mental illness. Responses to these questions differed by age, sex, race/ethnicity, and education level. Although most adults with mental health symptoms (77.6%) agreed that treatment can help persons with mental illness lead normal lives, fewer persons with symptoms (24.6%) believed that people are caring and sympathetic to persons with mental illness. To read the full report click here.
These results have public health implications because adverse attitudes about mental illness can lead to stigmatization of persons with mental illness. In addition, the results have implications for mental health treatment because adults who do not believe in the effectiveness of mental illness treatment might be less likely to seek treatment when needed. Also, persons with mental health symptoms who believe that others are not caring and sympathetic toward persons with mental illness might be less likely to disclose mental health problems to friends, family members, colleagues, or other persons who could help. Some of the adverse attitudes indicated in this report might be caused by stigma experienced by some respondents (e.g., those with mental health problems who received less support at work or at home or who experienced exclusion from activities). Respondents who perceived adverse attitudes about empathy in other persons also might have had less contact with persons with mental illness, or also might harbor misconceptions about the risks associated with mental illness symptoms.
Are You Ready for National Minority Mental Health Month This July? (posted 6/17)
Posted: June 17, 2010
Help to celebrate Bebe Moore Campbell National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month this July by raising awareness about mental health issues in minority communities. In May 2008 the US House of Representatives proclaimed July as Bebe Moore Campbell National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month. The resolution, sponsored by Rep. Albert Wynn [D-MD] and cosponsored by a large bipartisan group, was passed in recognition that:
Bebe Moore Campbell was an accomplished author, advocate, co-founder of NAMI Urban Los Angeles and national spokesperson, who passed away in November 2006. It is in honor of her that this month was created.
To learn how you can plan activities in your community watch this webinar - Community Voices: Minority Mental Health. You will learn more about Bebe Moore Campbell National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month in July and how people across the nation are celebrating this month and working to raise awareness about issues surrounding minority mental health. Through presentations from NAMI Augusta, GA; NAMI Tennessee; and the National Leadership Council on African American Behavioral Health (NLC) with NAMI Urban LA you will learn how you and your organization can implement community activities to raise awareness about minority mental health. Through dialogue with these community leaders you will hear about strategies for organizing events during this month and how to reach out to minority populations in order to have an effective National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month. To watch the video click here or scroll to the bottom of this screen.
Help to raise awareness by:
Learn what other communities have done this July by joining the next NNED Network in Action Forum Call: Celebrating Mental Health in Diverse Communities
Wednesday, July 7, 2010 3:00-4:30 p.m. ET
These two webinars will highlight the ways communities across the country are celebrating minority mental health in honor of Bebe Moore Campbell. To learn about this important month and see how your community can celebrate minority mental health this year and in future years join these two webinars!
Study on Feasibility of an AI/AN Suicide Prevention Hotline (posted 6/17)
Posted: June 17, 2010
At the request of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation conducted a study intended to inform a SAMHSA/National Suicide Prevention Lifeline pilot project entitled Lifeline Native American Community Liaison Initiative, Suicide Prevention Resource Center reports. The study consists of a literature review and telephone discussions with 13 respondents working in the area of American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) suicide prevention. Although the literature review did not identify studies of AI/AN suicide prevention hotlines, evaluations of non-hotline suicide prevention programs have indicated that AI/ANs prefer helpers of their own background who are able to address key cultural factors unique to AI/ANs. Experts participating in the telephone discussions felt that an AI/AN hotline would be used if the service provided appropriate resource information, included a local and national public awareness component, and were implemented by culturally responsive AI/AN staff who protected confidentiality. To view the study online click here.
Transition-Age Youth Have Highest Rates of SMI, Least Likely to Receive Treatment (posted 6/16)
Posted: June 16, 2010
According to a national survey by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) there are an estimated 9.8 million adults aged 18 or older living with serious mental illness. Among adults, the prevalence of serious mental illness is highest in the 18 to 25 age group, yet this age group is also the least likely to receive services or counseling for mental health issues.
To read the full SAMHSA Press Release click here.