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MHA News From National: March 10, 2016

In this update:

2016 Annual Conference Update

MHA 2016 Film Festival: Tickets Now Available
MHA is excited that for the first time ever, our 2016 Annual Conference will also have a film festival! On Thursday, June 9—the second evening of our conference—we will host MHA Film Festival: Exploring the World of Mental Health through Films, where we will present a selection of short and full-length films discussing the different aspects of mental illness, addiction and recovery.  This year, the films will include Touched With Fire, The Love Effect, A Drop of Sunshine, Hollywood Beauty Salon, Healing Voices, Buried Above Ground, and Mind/Game: The Unquiet Journey of Chamique Holdsclaw.

The Film Festival is included in all conference registrations (except student registrations), and individual ticket options are also available for those interested in just attending the evening. We anticipate a sell-out crowd, do don’t delay…register today for the full conference (it’s worth it, I promise) or get your Film Festival tickets today! 

Sue Klebold to Speak at Clifford W. Beers Awards Dinner
This week, MHA announced that Sue Klebold will speak at MHA’s 2016 Annual Conference this June. Sue Klebold is the mother of Dylan Klebold, one of the two shooters at Columbine High School in 1999 who killed thirteen people before ending their own lives. Sue Klebold broke her silence last month with the release of the book, A Mother’s Reckoning: Living in the Aftermath of Tragedy, and has given limited interviews since then. She has spent the last 15 years excavating every detail of her family life, trying to understand the crucial intersection between her son Dylan’s mental health problems and his violent behavior at the end of his life. Instead of becoming paralyzed by her grief and remorse, she has become a passionate and effective agent working tirelessly to advance mental health awareness and intervention. 

MHA had an opportunity last month to read her book, and MHA’s president and CEO Paul Gionfriddo had this to say.

Sue will be joining us at MHA’s Annual Conference, and will be the featured speaker Wednesday, June 8 during our Clifford W. Beers Awards Dinner. If you are interested in attending the Awards Dinner, individual tickets are available.

2016 Call for Award Nominations
Each year, MHA recognizes outstanding work in the field by its affiliates, young people and adult mental health consumers.  This year, in addition to the Media Awards, MHA will be distributing the Clifford W. Beers Award, the mPower Award, the Ruth P. Brudney Award, the Betty Humphrey Cultural Competency Award, and the Innovation in Programing Award.  Nominations are now being accepted, and anyone interested in learning more about the awards and/or nominating someone for any of the awards listed above can review the instructions and submit an application. Nominations will be accepted until midnight, March 31, 2016. All award recipients will be honored during events held at MHA’s 2016 Annual Conference, June 8-10, in Alexandria, Virginia. 


What's Up with Congress?

The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee released this week a bipartisan draft of mental health reform legislation. In MHA’s opinion, the proposal put forth by Senators Lamar Alexander and Patty Murray is another good start toward mental health reform but in its draft form falls short of the necessary steps needed to truly bring about real change to those dealing with mental health concerns.  You can read our blog on the HELP draft here.

While the bill has a good foundation, it lacks important provisions—including 42 CFR reform, identified funding for innovation grants or grant programs, and a national plan to end the incarceration of individuals with serious mental illnesses for nonviolent offenses within ten years.  We think more can be done to promote screening, which has now been endorsed by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force for everyone over the age of 11.

MHA believe it is time for investment in earlier identification and intervention, time to integrate health and behavioral health care and remove barriers to services integration, time to make it possible for peers to be reimbursed by insurers when they work on clinical care teams, time to promote innovation, and time to strengthen the lead federal agency dealing with mental health. We are hopeful that the House and Senate committees that have jurisdiction over H.R. 2646 and S. 1945 will be marking up the bills soon.  As we go to press, the Senate’s plan is to take up the HELP draft on March 16, and there are indications that the House could soon take action as well.


What We're Reading

Modern Healthcare: Mental Health Advocates Disappointed in Latest Bill (Paul Gionfriddo quoted)
Las Vegas Sun: Prevention is Needed in Mental Health Field (Paul Gionfriddo quoted)
New York Times: Are You a Toxic Waste Disposal Site?
Washington Post: Mental health patients to Bernie Sanders: Don’t compare us to the GOP candidates
Huffington Post: Why Every Parent Needs to Start Caring About Children’s Mental Health
NBC News: MIT Students Use Their Coding Skills for Suicide Prevention


Where in the World is Paul Gionfriddo?

Paul welcomed MHA’s Board of Directors last week for its quarterly meeting, and is busy this week on Capitol Hill and meeting with national partners on MHA activities. Over the next two weeks, Paul travels to Palm Beach County, Florida, to present as part of a program on schizophrenia  and then to San Francisco, California where he is working with our partners at ITN Productions for the follow-up to the #B4Stage4 Program that premiered at last year’s conference. “Changing The Conversation: #B4Stage4” will premiere at the 2016 Annual Conference, and will look at how we are all responsible for challenging the perception of mental health in America. Through the telling of personal stories like Paul’s journey with his son Tim, ITN will explore insights, personal experiences and real stories of people and organizations that are driving change, advocacy and policy.


Did You Know?

New MHA-Avalere Report Shows Burden of Major Depressive Disorder, Access a Significant Problem
A new analysis by Avalere and MHA finds that significant barriers to quality care for individuals with Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) exist, that insurance coverage does not necessarily equal access to care, and that patients often feel left out of their own treatment.  

About 16 million American adults have MDD.  MDD can often cause cognitive difficulties, lack of energy, and sleep issues that affect people’s ability to manage day-to-day activities.  Avalere and MHA developed this report to describe the current state of quality of care for individuals with MDD and provide an evidence-based assessment of challenges and opportunities for quality improvement. 

Read our full press release and access the report here.  This infographic summarizes the results found in the white paper.

May is Mental Health Month is Coming!
For over 65 years, MHA and our affiliates across the country have been responsible for the continuation and led the observance of the mental health advocacy community’s signature public education event,  May is Mental Health Month by reaching millions of people through the media, local events and screenings. This year’s theme for Mental Health Month is - Life with a Mental Illness - and will call on individuals to share what life with a mental illness feels like for them in words, pictures and video by tagging their social media posts with #mentalillnessfeelslike (or submitting to MHA anonymously). Posts will be collected and displayed on a special page on MHA’s website.

Posting with the hashtag will allow people to speak up about their own experiences, to share their point of view with individuals who may be struggling to explain what they are going through—and help others figure out if they too are showing signs of a mental illness. Sharing is the key to breaking down the discrimination and stigma surrounding mental illnesses, and to show others that they are not alone in their feelings and their symptoms.

The toolkit will be available in the coming weeks. Stay tuned! 


Affiliate News

Pre-Conference Day for Affiliates Only
The 2016 MHA Conference will have pre-conference workshops for MHA affiliates only on Tuesday, June 7, 2016. If MHA affiliates register for the full conference, pre-conference activities are included (please remember to check yes for Affiliate Pre-Conference Day, if you are planning to attend).  All activities will be held at the Hilton Mark Center. A complete preconference schedule, travel stipends, the chance to receive complimentary conference registrations and more details will be announced soon. So stay tuned!

Affiliate Name Change
MHA in Allen County (IN) changed its name to MHA of Northeast Indiana.

Webinar Opportunity
Team-based Treatment for First Episode Psychosis is Cost Effective: Implications for Policy and Practice
Tuesday, March 22, 2:00 – 3:30 p.m. ET

Please join moderator David Shern, Ph.D., Senior Science Advisor, MHA, for an informational webinar sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Mental Health Services (SAMHSA/CMHS).

The webinar will feature the following speakers, and time will be provided for audience questions:

  • Robert Rosenheck, M.D., Professor of Psychiatry, Yale University
  • Howard Goldman, M.D., Ph.D., Professor of Psychiatry, University of Maryland

Dr. Robert Rosenheck will discuss a recently published analysis from the RAISE-ETP initiative that shows that “coordinated specialty care” (CSC) for young people with first episode psychosis is more cost-effective than typical community care. While the team-based CSC approach has modestly higher costs than typical care, it produces better clinical and quality of life outcomes. A series of multi-stage analyses was used to estimate the monetary value of these health benefits, which showed that the CSC treatment program is a better value than standard care.  Since some of the medication used in the study to minimize metabolic effects will soon become generic, costs will soon be reduced while benefits will be unchanged.  Serving individuals earlier in their episode of illness further increased cost/effectiveness of the program.   Dr. Rosenheck will review study methods and results and—along with discussant, Dr. Howard Goldman—will consider their implications for policy and practice. 

Registration: https://jbsinternational.webex.com/jbsinternational/onstage/g.php?MTID=e55d07652a26dc06bd6650ecde7f0e51f (Click on the highlighted word "Register" on the Event Status line).


Feedback on NFN?

Want to see more or less of something? MHA welcomes your feedback! Please send any thoughts and suggestions to me at ewallace@mentalhealthamerica.net

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 Alexandria, VA 22314

Phone (703) 684.7722

Toll Free (800) 969.6642

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