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National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors Resource Management Guide: Impacts of the Affordable Care Act on Coverage for Uninsured People with Behavioral Health Conditions (2013)

February 18, 2014 Comments off

NASMHPD Resource Management Guide: Impacts of the Affordable Care Act on Coverage for Uninsured People with Behavioral Health Conditions (2013)
Source: National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors

Click on your state to access state-specific data on the number of uninsured people with behavioral health disorders who are eligible for health insurance under the ACA, the projected use rates for behavioral health services, and characteristics of the newly insured population.

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Responding to a High-Profile, Tragic Incident Involving a Person With a Serious Mental Illness: A Toolkit for State Mental Health Commissioners

March 22, 2011 Comments off

Responding to a High-Profile, Tragic Incident Involving a Person With a Serious Mental Illness: A Toolkit for State Mental Health Commissioners (PDF)
Source: National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors

The National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors (NASMHPD) and the Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center are pleased to provide you with what we hope will be an invaluable tool for your stewardship of state mental health policy–Responding to a High-Profile, Tragic Incident Involving a Person with a Serious Mental Illness: A Toolkit for State Mental Health Commissioners. We know of no other resource that combines practical tips and experiential knowledge, supported by relevant research, to respond to the unthinkable–a terrible act of violence committed by a person with a history or current diagnosis of serious mental illness.

We all recognize that state mental health commissioners have a complex range of responsibilities, few of which involve regular contact with the media or intense scrutiny by the public. However, when a crisis occurs involving one or more individuals with mental illness, it is the state commissioner who is instantly put on the hot seat– expected to explain the unexplainable; account, fairly or unfairly, for perceived failings of the public mental health system; and calm understandable fears. There is no time to “come up to speed” to successfully manage such a high-pressure situation.

That is why this toolkit is so important. It can help you prepare for, manage and evaluate your response to a violent incident. No one wants to think about such an event happening on his or her watch, and we must always be sensitive to the stigma our constituents with mental illnesses face, despite a weak association between violence and mental illness. Yet preparing for these rare but highly visible events makes it possible to speed the healing process for victims, to avoid adverse consequences for people with mental illnesses and to continue educating the public and policymakers on the need for effective systems of treatment and support. The best way to promote recovery and mitigate potential negative consequences is to be prepared. This toolkit is designed to help you and your staff gather the information that you need to have on hand, know what challenges you are likely to face and be equipped to advance the twin goals of public health and public safety.

To that end, we strongly encourage every commissioner to name an individual on his or her staff–not a position or an office, but a specific person–to be responsible for studying this toolkit, adopting or adapting its contents, and implementing its recommendations. It won’t be of use if it gathers dust on a shelf!

We are certain you will find that preparation guided by this toolkit will pay dividends in team development, time saved, resource conservation and enhanced credibility–even if a crisis never occurs on your watch. Above all, we believe the materials we have gathered and presented in this toolkit are meant to support the commitment we all share to increase public safety and to develop person-centered, recovery-oriented, evidence-based systems of care for Americans with, or at risk for, mental illnesses. They deserve nothing less.

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