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Behavioral Health Response:
314-469-6644 or 1-800-811-4760
Life Crisis Services:
Anywhere in the country, call:
1-800-273-TALK (8255) National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
Mental Health Advocates In Action
More than 300 advocates brought their energy and passion to the mental health rally at the capitol rotunda on February 19. Their message: Protect and Strengthen Mental Health Services.
Governor Jay Nixon delivered the opening remarks. Citing Missouri’s recent examples as a leader in mental health initiatives, he urged legislators to take the steps necessary to make Medicaid expansion and construction of a new Fulton State Hospital realities. He noted how Missouri leads the nation in two education programs to assist persons in a mental health crisis and in an innovative and highly successful program to improve overall health care for individuals with chronic mental illness.
Other speakers were State Treasurer Clint Zweifel, Representative Jay Barnes, Sgt. Jeremy Romo, Deanna Orf and Brittany Adams Jenkins. All spoke from their professional or personal perspectives about the mental health needs of our state, the positive impact existing programs are making, and the need for critical programs to continue to serve our citizens.
Two teams from Mental Health America used the day as an opportunity to meet with legislators and reinforce our public policy goals. Our conversations with them focused on strengthening the mental health safety net through Medicaid transformation, and protecting funding for the public mental health system.
This Week in News You Can Use
When it comes to depression, most articles, books and therapies focus on what to do to improve your symptoms. Sometimes it's also important to flip that approach around and know what to avoid. Check out 6 Things That Can Worsen Depression for ideas on maintaining wellness.
Get To The Insurance Marketplace
If you're without insurance or pay costly monthly premiums, check out the Health Insurance Marketplace. With numerous options to choose from, you might be able to find more affordable coverage for you and your family.
In the Marketplace, insurance plans must provide coverage for mental health treatment at the same level as other physical health treatment. This equality in coverage is known as parity.
Important Marketplace dates to remember are:
- Coverage can start as early as January 1, 2014
- Open enrollment ends March 31, 2014
For information specific to Missouri, including contact info for personalized assistance, visit CoverMissouri.
Mental Health Parity 101
Understanding insurance benefits and restrictions is never easy, especially when new regulations or laws make it more difficult to decipher. Kaiser Health News does a nice job of using Q&A format to clarify and help us better understand the implications of new rules in the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act.
Image courtesy of StuartMiles/FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Time for Psychiatric Intervention?
Chances are, at some point or another, all of us have wondered whether or not it's time to intervene with someone who's struggling emotionally. We might wonder if it's a phase or an isolated incident that doesn't warrant intervention. Maybe we want to intervene, but we're not sure how to help or what we might uncover. These two articles don't provide all the answers, but they give good pointers on when it's probably time to take things seriously.
Thriving with Mental Illness
As individuals raise their expectations about living as healthy a life as possible when diagnosed with mental illness, the goal of thriving emerges. PsychCentral.com has created a new interview series, Thriving With Mental Illness, to not only say individuals live successfully with mental illness, but to share how they do it. This first interview is with Elaina Martin, popular blogger of Being Beautifully Bipolar, but the conversation has relevance for any diagnosis.
Image courtesy of alhovik/123RF.com
Neuroscience and Mental Illness
Time Perspective Therapy
Could It Really Cost A Half-Trillion Dollars?
While much of our agency's work is educational, another important aspect of our mission is legislative and public policy advocacy. As an agency, these issues are front-and-center for us all the time. The Half-Trillion-Dollar Depression from The New York Times clearly articulates why access to mental health services is so important across so many dimensions of our society.
RAND Study Assesses Medicaid Expansion
Governors and legislators across the country, including Missouri, have the opportunity to decide how their state will expand Medicaid or whether to forgo Medicaid expansion altogether. An independent study by RAND Corporation shows serious consequences for states that decline to draw down these dollars. According to the study, states that choose not to strengthen Medicaid will increase spending on the cost of treating uninsured residents and foreit billions in federal dollars. This brief summary demonstrates what's at stake for Missouri and its residents.