The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and SAMHSA recently released a new publication titled, Roadmap to Behavioral Health: A Guide to Using Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Services.
The free publication is designed to serve as a behavioral health resource for consumers and offers important information about mental health and substance use disorder services, including definitions of behavioral health terms and guidance on how to find a behavioral health services provider, receive treatment, and obtain follow-up care.
The resource walks through the "8 Steps of the Roadmap" to offer information specific to behavioral health, and contains a glossary and links to other federal resources.
CLick here to view the guide.
The National Association for the Dually Diagnosed (NADD) presents five awards annually, at the NADD Annual Conference, which this year will be in Charlotte, North Carolina, November 1-3, 2017. The deadline for submitting nominations for these awards is August 31. Click each award for details on criteria and submission information.
Wolf Administration Discusses Negative Impact of Proposed Cuts to Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Funding
Today, the Department of Human Services’ (DHS) Deputy Secretary for the Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (OMHSAS) Dr. Dale Adair was joined by county agencies, providers, and other advocates at the Rehabilitation and Community Providers Association to discuss the $9 million in cuts to mental health and substance use disorder services proposed in the House Republican budget, House Bill 218.
“The proposed cuts to mental health funding within House Bill 218 would jeopardize the way counties perform mental health services to some of Pennsylvania’s most vulnerable citizens. The last time funding was cut to mental health programs, the counties were unable to absorb the costs and critical programs ceased,” said Dr. Adair.
The proposed budget includes a reduction of $5 million in community mental health county allocations. This cut will jeopardize available funding to serve individuals leaving state hospitals to live in the community with related impact on serving individuals in the forensic unit.
In addition, there is a reduction of $4 million to county behavioral health funding, which would eliminate the amount that was included for treatment costs for 1,200 individuals not eligible for Medical Assistance who are newly able to receive substance use disorder treatment through the Centers of Excellence.
“Our providers have mastered the ability to do more with less during times of fiscal constraint, but without sufficient funding over the long term, there is only so much each provider can do to meet service needs,” said Richard S. Edley, PhD, President and CEO of the Rehabilitation and Community Providers Association (RCPA), the state’s largest and most diverse health and human services trade association. “Funding reductions have a negative effect both on those providing services as well as those receiving services. Funding cuts don’t just hurt the organizations receiving the funding. The cuts ultimately hurt the individuals and their families who rely on services and assistance through providers.”
Governor Wolf’s proposed 2017-18 budget included continuing the $20.4 million investment in creating 45 Centers of Excellence to improve opioid treatment outcomes, providing $13.4 million to partner with PCCD to increase access to naloxone for first responders and expand specialty drug court, and maximizing the $26.5 million in federal Cures Act funding annually for the next two years to help address the opioid epidemic.
For more information on DHS and OMHSAS, click here.
Disability Rights Pennsylvania on the Passage of The American Health Care Act by the United States House of Representatives
As a leader in the advancement of the civil rights of people with disabilities for forty years (40), Disability Rights Pennsylvania (DRP) is alarmed at the passage of the American Health Care Act (AHCA) today by the United States House of Representatives (House). We are deeply concerned about the impact this legislation will have on rights and health of individuals. Today, the House ensured that individuals with disabilities in Pennsylvania will not be guaranteed access to health and mental care.
In the passage of The American Health Care Act, people with disabilities will again be on the losing end of access to health and mental health care. Medicaid as it has existed since it was created will no longer exist to ensure critical access to supports and services to allow individuals with disabilities to remain vital and active in their communities. The decision to allow states to either Block Grant or create a Per-Capita payment will result in the program being eligibility based instead of an entitlement. Individuals will only get services if funding is available, and if there is not enough funding then individuals will be placed on a waiting list. Waiting lists for services will grow exponentially and individuals with disabilities could be placed in life threatening situations.
Governor Tom Wolf proclaimed May Mental Health Awareness Month
Today, the Department of Human Services (DHS) in collaboration with PA System of Care Partnership, PA Healthy Transitions Partnership, and Youth M.O.V.E. PA, hosted the 2017 Mental Health Awareness Fair in Harrisburg to raise awareness and understanding of mental illness and substance use disorders. Governor Tom Wolf has proclaimed May Mental Health Awareness Month.
"Mental illness and substance use disorders affect Pennsylvanians from all walks of life. Only about half of those people, however, seek treatment,” said DHS Secretary Ted Dallas. “The department is committed to increasing awareness and providing quality care to these individuals so that all Pennsylvanians who need help can get it.”
Representative Mike Schlossberg (D-Lehigh) joined the event to speak about the challenges he has seen in trying to reduce the stigma associated with mental illness.