Mark Gale, serving as co-coordinator of the California Treatment Advocacy Coalition, Los Angeles, received The Community Champion Award in recognition of his “incredible advocacy work” in Los Angeles and in the state as a whole. He has been involved in criminal justice and mental health initiatives as a member of the NAMI Board, a chair of several NAMI committees, a member of several work groups for the Administrative Office of the Courts.
An expert on conditions of confinement testified this week that mental illnesses of inmates in California’s prisons are allowed to worsen for months – and sometimes years – in segregated isolation, while their plight makes it easier to manage them.
There are about 1.2 million California adults who live with some form of mental illness. Yet, nationwide, less than 40 percent of people with mental illness receive treatment. The ACA requires insurers to guarantee that financial requirements like co-pays and deductibles, as well as limits on doctors’ visits and care management, are no more restrictive in the behavioral health field than requirements or limitations on other medical or surgical benefits.
Less than half of American teens with mental health disorders receive treatment, and those who do get help rarely see a mental health specialist, a new study indicates. The findings underscore the need for better mental health services for teens, said study author E. Jane Costello, associate director of the Duke Center for Child and Family Policy in Durham, N.C.
Could the microbes that inhabit our guts help explain that old idea of "gut feelings?" There's growing evidence that gut bacteria really might influence our minds.
In the wake of any mass shooting, there's a predictable and justified burst of public outrage and sorrow followed by a series of do-something legislative proposals meant to prevent similar tragedies from ever occurring again. A recent Mayo Clinic study points out that mass shooters tend to meticulously plan their crimes weeks or months in advance, undermining the idea that the mentally ill simply "snap" and go on shooting rampages while also complicating the notion of effective gun control through gun registries, since a methodical planner has plenty of time to obtain weapons through illegal channels.
Thank you to all our riders who raised funds and to the volunteers who served breakfast and lunch, staffed the rest stops and kept the riders safe on the road. And thank you to our sponsors. Visit our photo gallery.
At 18 years of age in the United States, a young person not only acquires the right to vote. Among other facets of legal majority, he also acquires rights to prevent disclosure of details of his ongoing health status, including of course mental health care. Rights as to which, up to a point, he need answer to no one. This abrupt shift in the landscape can and does indeed unsettle a cornerstone of mental health care - - communication with concerned family members about the affected individual’s clinical care. In far too many instances, this is detrimental for young people and their parents/caregivers alike. Therein lies a problem - - and a challenge.
Under the Affordable Care Act, health plans are now required to provide mental health services. That means the newly insured, even the low income, will have the option to seek care anywhere they want, even outside the county health system. The upgrades are one way that government-run health services, including clinics and mental health centers, are coping with being thrust into a landscape of competition.
Our daughter, Maggie, was admitted to a psychiatric hospital and diagnosed with bipolar disorder, following years of secret alcohol and drug abuse. No one brings dinner when your daughter is an addict.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a long-awaited “final rule” dictating that mental health be covered equal to physical health. Currently, 60 percent of Americans affected by a mental health condition do not receive treatment. With rules requiring parity, we hope that more Americans will receive the care they need and deserve.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) is offering college students and others free tools to increase mental health education on college campuses. The special toolkit also supports the National Dialogue launched by the recent White House Conference on Mental Health.
NAMI applauds and thanks President Obama and Secretary of Health & Human Services Kathleen Sebelius for issuing today the final regulations that define parity under federal law, requiring insurers to provide mental health care benefits on the same terms that they cover physical illnesses.
An $88.9 million state-funded expansion of the jail could add 26 beds for the mentally and physically infirm by the fall of 2019. An outpatient clinic, more space for rehabilitation programs and improved security are also part of the conceptual plan. But it’s the mental-health resources that stand out.
Students throughout California are invited to Direct Change by submitting 60-second videos in two categories: “Suicide Prevention” and “Ending the Silence about Mental Illness”. The winning teams and their associated schools will win cash prizes, qualify to win mental health or suicide prevention programs for their schools and will be recognized at an award ceremony at the end of the 2013-14 school year.
New report summarizes the results of interviews conducted with California stakeholders responsible for implementing AB 109. Researchers conducted 125 interviews in 21 counties to produce a snapshot of how California counties are faring under Realignment.
Even though patients may turn first to their primary-care physicians with any concerns about depression, the tools that those doctors use to evaluate their patients for mental-health disorders aren’t necessarily helping to improve their patients’ symptoms, according to the latest study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association of some of the most common practices used by these physicians.
The Department of Veterans Affairs keeps more than a third of new mental health patients waiting longer than its goal of 14 days to begin treatment, Some of the worst bottlenecks are at large VA hospitals in Orlando, Houston and Los Angeles.
Many attitudes have changed since the Mental Health Act passed nearly a decade ago, but persistent social stigmas still prevent many from seeking help, county officials said Tuesday.
A new report shows the smoking cessation needs of people with mental disorders have been overlooked.
This RAND Corporation study examines the impacts arising from neuroscience and mental health research going back 20-25 years, and identifies attributes of the research, researchers or research setting that are associated with translation into patient benefit, in the particular case of schizophrenia.
Number of doctors on staff is down about 33 percent since September 2012, forcing Atascadero State Hospital to admit fewer patients, close unit.
Facing federal scrutiny of the way it uses force to subdue mentally ill prisoners, the California corrections department is working on new rules to curb some of those practices.In testimony Wednesday before a federal judge, the state official in charge of adult prisons said he sought the changes in part because of videotapes showing half a dozen inmates — some naked and screaming for help — being repeatedly sprayed with large amounts of pepper spray.
As the new health insurance Marketplaces get underway, scammers have begun to surface, ready to take advantage of those who may not realize they are giving personal and financial information to fraudulent people.
Vice President Joe Biden said Wednesday that the country is on the cusp of what he called “remarkable changes” in the treatment of mental illness.
The countywide "white card" project will allow people to voluntarily obtain a free photo identification card that will list information like their diagnosis, medication and contact numbers for their next of kin.
The last piece of legislation President John F. Kennedy signed turns 50 this month: the Community Mental Health Act, which helped transform the way people with mental illness are treated and cared for in the United States. But only half of the proposed centers were ever built, and those were never fully funded.
This first column of the 2013-14 school year is for sharing with Newsletter readers two recent developments which hold significance for students of all ages.
A talented young violinist's descent into mental illness and crime is checked by generosity and San Francisco's Behavioral Health Court. Now Kim Knoble is playing again.
The Bears receiver, diagnosed with borderline personality disorder in 2011, created a foundation to educate, fight stigma, and advocate for persons living with BPD.
Twitter may be a viable tool for real-time monitoring of suicide risk factors on a large scale, researchers say.
The most recent Global Burden of Disease 2010 study found mental disorders to be the largest contributor to disability. An estimated 75% of persons affected by mental disorders live in low and middle income countries, and up to 85% of them do not have access to treatment. Mental health is perhaps one of the most neglected of neglected diseases in global health.
The San Diego County community celebrated the ribbon-cutting and grand opening of Citronica One, a permanent and supportive housing complex that includes 15 units for TAY out of a total of 56 units to increase affordable housing for individuals and families in the County.
Historic Day for Millions of Californians Who Will Have Access to Quality, Affordable Health Care Coverage at CoveredCA.com
A new Gallup poll taken after last week's tragedy at the Washington Navy Yard reveals that Americans fault the mental health system for mass shootings, even more than inadequate gun laws.
Five years after President Obama signed the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act, there is widespread agreement that it has fallen short of its goal of creating parity for mental health coverage.
The Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission (MHSOAC) new app allows you to search for services in your county on your mobile device.
If California is serious about reducing its prison population, one crucial component will have to be reducing recidivism. A major new study of correctional education in U.S. state prisons suggests there are things California could do to slow that revolving door. Research demonstrates that ex-offenders' futures may depend on what, if anything, they learn while behind bars.
Steinberg’s visit is yet another reminder that before the supervisors ask taxpayers to spend $1 billion to build a new jail, the county ought to consider some alternative ways to deal with overcrowding, including diversion programs for those mentally ill inmates who pose no public safety threat.
The United States incarcerates hundreds of thousands of inmates suffering from mental illness, and jails and prisons are struggling to provide for inmates with severe mental health needs. Los Angeles County is even exploring specifically to house and provide treatment for mentally ill inmates. The proposal is estimated to cost more than $1 billion.
The National Association of Broadcasters announced today that local radio and TV stations across America have donated airtime valued at over $12 million for NAB's 'OK2Talk' mental health public service announcement campaign. This includes over 106,600 airings on local TV and radio stations.
Excellence in Mental Health Act would pump $2.8 billion into communities to initiate or expand 24-hour psychiatric crisis intervention, screenings and counseling. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., said he hoped mental health - an issue with bipartisan consensus - could provide leverage to win extra votes for expanded background checks, which last April fell six votes short of the 60 needed to overcome a Senate filibuster.
In the wake of the Navy Yard tragedy, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) has called on the President and Congress to act immediately on mental health legislation that has been stalled since the collapse of the gun debate earlier this year.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) will honor David O. Russell, writer and director of Silver Linings Playbook and The Fighter, with a Career Achievement Award at the 2013 Voice Awards for his efforts to educate film audiences about the real experiences of people with behavioral health problems.
It was an inspiration to be able to hear the speakers in plenary sessions of NAMI California’s Annual Conference last month in Burlingame. California Senate President Darrell Steinberg, renowned child psychiatrist Dr. William R. Beardslee, and pioneering radiologist Dr. Daniel Amen, each held me and others spellbound by their enlightening and uplifting remarks.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness has won national recognition for its “You Are Not Alone” public education campaign. PR News has named the campaign as a finalist for its annual “Platinum Awards,” which cover 40 public relations categories. The NAMI campaign is considered one of the “best of the best” in communications strategies that will have large cultural impact and be referred to in years to come.
On behalf of the tens of millions of people who have lost a loved one to suicide, this contest is extremely insensitive, and potentially dangerous. We know from research that graphic and sensational depictions of suicide can contribute to contagion.
The state of Nevada and its primary psychiatric hospital “intentionally and wrongfully” foisted the cost of caring for indigent mentally ill people onto California cities and counties by issuing patients bus tickets out of town without making proper arrangements for their care, a lawsuit filed Tuesday in San Francisco charges.
The agreement reflects a compromise between Brown, who proposed spending $315 million this budget year on alternative lockups, and Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, who lobbied for spending on drug and mental health treatment and rehabilitation programs instead.
This seminar, presented by the People with Disbilities Foundation, will address methods to overcome barriers to health care access & continues from their 2005 seminar related to hospital assessments and referrals.
Our understanding of the biology of mental disorders has been slow in coming, but recent advances like these have shown us that mental disorders are biological in nature, that people are not responsible for having schizophrenia or depression, and that individual biology and genetics make significant contributions.
One part of the federal law, which is also commonly referred to as Obamacare, will provide patients in need of behavioral health treatment with access to primary care. Such access will not only reduce the number of costly emergency room visits -- each visit running in the thousands -- but also prevent and curtail more serious problems before they occur, according to a San Mateo County Health System official.
The contractor for children's mental health services will offer inland and coastal access centers, with expected response times of 20 minutes to Fort Bragg and Ukiah, and 40-minute response times to the Willits area. Currently, response times are an hour to an hour-and-a-half
Brenda Scott worked as a family advocate with the Riverside County Department of Health for five years, served as vice president and president for the local Mt. San Jacinto board for several years and on the NAMI California board for six years until August 2012.
"People Empowering People (PEP) is a Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) funded program that embodies the spirit and intent of the MHSA and characteristics that the Council has identified as successful and essential practices in community-based services for consumers." -- California Mental Health Planning Council.
IHOT will serve more areas of the county with the recent approval of funds by county supervisors. The board approved $2.3 million in funding for mental health programs. County staff will provide quarterly reports to monitor the program's progress.
Sacramento was one of the first stops on the National Dialogue on Mental Health and was a huge success. A diverse audience of nearly 350 participants were on hand to hear presentations by various community leaders including Mayor Kevin Johnson, Congresswoman Doris Matsui, Senator Darrell Steinberg, and Assemblyman Roger Dickinson.
Only a very small proportion of service members who die by suicide visited a mental health care professional within the month preceding their deaths. Despite our decades-long battle with mental health stigma among service members and veterans, we have yet to see much success, primarily because we have failed to consider the issue of mental health treatment and stigma from within the context of the military culture.
On April 23, 2013, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) requesting public comments on whether the HIPAA Privacy Rule presents a barrier to reporting of individuals who should be prohibited from possessing firearms for specified mental health reasons such as involuntary commitment to a mental institution.
Anthem Blue Cross faces a class action lawsuit filed earlier this month that accuses the health insurer of violating California law by illegally denying recommended care to PPO policy-holders who suffer from eating disorders. The lawsuit, filed Aug. 19 in Los Angeles County Superior Court alleges the insurer has violated several state laws by refusing to cover recommended treatments for eating disorders.
Potential paths after an auditor's report criticized the way California agencies and government officials have overseen spending of mental health funding range from staying the course to replacing the entire oversight commission. Repercussions from the California State Auditor's report on the Mental Health Services Act released last week will probably fall closer to the former than the latter, most experts agree.
Last winter, I was declined by five health insurance companies. I am 26, do my preventative screenings like clockwork, and have no physical health problems. As my boss told me when I started working at a small start-up a few months ago that has no group health plan: “You’re young and healthy, I assume you’ll have no problems finding a new plan.” I smiled and weakly said, “of course.” Five applications and four declines later, I anxiously awaited my last and final letter. The verdict came: Declined. Reason: Bipolar II/ADHD.
Medicare pays three to five times more per hour for two common procedures than it does for evaluation and management services, according to a new study. After reviewing their data, researchers squarely blame the American Medical Association’s Relative Value Scale Update Committee () and Medicare for creating incentives that reward procedures over complex management of chronic illness.
A Republican lawmaker said Friday that he will introduce legislation seeking annual audits to show how California counties are spending billions of dollars in voter-approved money for mental health programs, after a state audit found there has been little oversight to ensure the money is going to those who need it most.
Finance leaders ask how Medicare, Medicaid changes can break down barriers, improve care in open letter to mental health community.
The state has failed to properly monitor more than $7 billion in voter-approved money for mental health programs from California's extra tax on millionaires and cannot reassure the public that it is going to help those most in need, the state auditor reported Thursday. California can offer "little assurance that the counties have effectively and appropriately used the almost $7.4 billion," Auditor Elaine Howle reported.
Building our map will require sitting down together and talking about what is happening in every corner of our state at our kitchen tables and city halls.
According to a government study, in 2010 about 40 percent of the 11.4 million adults with serious mental illness went untreated. The top two reasons were inability to afford mental care and the stigma of admitting psychiatric illness and seeking help.
The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that approximately 7 million Americans will purchase insurance coverage via the exchanges for 2014. The problem is that many Americans do not understand the basics of how health insurance works or is provided.
Most important was the opportunity to discuss critical issues on complex challenges relating to mental health issues and services, and recommend strategies that would have a greater impact on communities and individuals in need.
Almost 350 members of the U.S. military committed or may have committed suicide last year, the Pentagon says.
It may now be in our rearview mirror, but the Great Recession is impacting California’s Medi-Cal expansion, slated to start with Obamacare in January.
Welfare and Institutions Code Section (WIC) § 5847 states that county mental health programs shall prepare and submit a Three-Year Program and Expenditure Plan (Plan) and Annual Updates for Mental Health Service Act (MHSA) programs and expenditures. Plans and Annual Updates must be adopted by the county Board of Supervisors and submitted to the Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission (MHSOAC) within 30 days after Board of Supervisor adoption.
Participation in the committee entails a two-year membership and a commitment. Candidates must not currently serve on a MHSOAC committee.
A Nevada state hospital that discharged and bused hundreds of mentally ill patients across California and the nation during the last five years is poised to lose its accreditation. A committee of the Joint Commission, an independent agency that accredits more than 4,000 hospitals across the country, decided late last week to issue a preliminary denial of accreditation at Rawson-Neal Psychiatric Hospital in Las Vegas "due to the hospital placing patients at risk for a serious adverse outcome."
The Obama administration will release in a few months final rules implementing the 2008 mental health parity law, a former Congressman said Wednesday. Full scale-up of the law has been delayed because rules haven't been issued outlining treatment limits for some nonquantitative services -- rules that would define exactly how mental health services are comparable to physical medical care.
State Auditor Elaine Howle said that the audit -- which began in fall 2012 -- would require 4,500 work hours and take an estimated seven to eight months to complete. She said the audit would cost nearly $450,000.
The plan also calls for more help for children in foster care, more access to training to those in law enforcement, reaching out to veterans and other vulnerable populations, improving the website covering mental health care in the county and making other changes in the coming year.
In a large new study, people with bipolar disorder were more likely than those without the mental illness to die from a number of causes, and to die almost a decade younger. An expert on the condition, which is best known for including extreme swings in mood and energy levels, said the new findings illustrate a poorly understood point about the physical effects of the disease.
A disjointed financing system for mental health services in California has led to gaps in care, but the national healthcare law is expected to help close some of those holes, according to new research by the California HealthCare Foundation.
Step therapy requires that patients try and fail on up to five older, less effective medications before the insurer will cover the treatment originally prescribed by the doctor.
For many African Americans, the topic has carried particularly negative connotations — to the point where it’s easier to talk about drug or alcohol addiction than depression or anxiety
Yolo County may become one of the only places in California to implement Laura's Law after the Board of Supervisors agreed to a one-year pilot program Tuesday.
Plans are for NAB to produce the PSAs for distribution to local radio and TV stations in July. The Entertainment Industries Council and California Mental Health Services Authority also are teaming with NAB on creating materials for writers and producers with story ideas and tips for the depiction of mental illness in movies and TV shows.
A jail as a mental hospital? That’s the sad state we’re in, with thousands of homeless arrested and jailed in the Twin Towers, which provides minimal psychiatric and addiction rehabilitation, then sent back to the streets to sicken or die, or to be arrested again for another minor crime.
$4 Million Fine is Second Largest in DMHC’s History; Action Results from Caregivers’ Complaint to the Agency
Attorneys who represent California inmates asked a federal judge Wednesday to expand the court's oversight of prison mental health care to include the Department of State Hospitals.
Check the list of elected senate and assembly representatives who have joined the Mental Health Caucus in the California legislature.
Not only does throwing a kid in detention often reduce the chance that he or she will graduate high school, but it also raises the chance that the youth will commit more crimes later on in life.
What a wonderful and exciting year we’ve had for Mental Health in California! We are so proud of the commitment made by our lawmakers at the state Capitol in the establishment of the Mental Health Caucus and Sub-Committee, resulting in real dialogue with our government officials and law makers.
A Napa agency is planning to roll out a new program this fall that teaches older teenagers the skills needed to identify peers who may be developing serious mental health problems.
Disability and senior advocates say cut will mean “tremendous harm” to tens of thousands of Medi-cal recipients and thousands of Medi-cal providers across state
In a victory for the Democratic governor, sources said the agreement will largely assume the more conservative revenue estimates proposed by Brown. Legislative Democrats had urged about $2 billion more in spending on state services and programs than Brown proposed, after the state's nonpartisan legislative analyst issued a rosier economic forecast than Brown's. Senate Democrats are poised to get $206 million to improve mental health services, including $142 million in one-time general fund money