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MHA's Blog: Chiming In

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Posted: May 10, 2017

By Jennifer Cheang, MHA Digital Marketing Manager and America Paredes, MHA Senior Director of Partnerships and Community Outreach Thank you all for joining us on a frank and honest discussion on your thoughts on media portrayal, messaging, mental health, outreach, and awareness – especially during Mental Health Month. ‘13 Reasons Why’ (13RW) provided a unique opportunity to catalyze the discussion and we thank you for your views, recommendations, and resources. The event was viewed...

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Posted: May 9, 2017

By Paul Gionfriddo, MHA President and CEO, and Nathaniel Counts, J.D., MHA Senior Policy Director Medicaid is an expensive program.  For elders in nursing homes, for adults with chronic conditions, and for children with health care needs, it is also a life-saving one. Among the many messages the House of Representatives sent in its passage of the American Health Care Act (AHCA), it sent this one – the majority does not value Medicaid at the level of its current spending. What...

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Posted: May 8, 2017

By Ken Majkowski, Pharm.D and Chief Pharmacy Officer at FamilyWize Taking medication to support and improve one’s mental health is very common. Researchers from the Institute of Safe Medication Practices found that more than 40 million U.S. adults reported filling one or more mental health prescriptions in 2013, the most recent year of collected information. In fact, data from the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health¹ shows that about 18 percent of U.S. adults experienced...

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Posted: May 4, 2017

By Paul Gionfriddo, MHA president and CEO   On Wednesday, May 3rd, five Mental Health America staff people held an honest, hour-long Facebook live conversation about the Netflix show “13 Reasons Why,” about suicide, and about suicide prevention. More than 7,500 people tuned in live, and despite some technical difficulties with the recording, within twenty-four hours more than 9,000 people had viewed the discussion. You can view the conversation here. “13 Reasons Why”...

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Posted: May 2, 2017

By: Paul Gionfriddo, MHA president and CEO *This statement was also sent as a letter to the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee As President and CEO of Mental Health America (MHA), the nation’s oldest mental health advocacy organization, I am writing in support of Dr. Elinore McCance-Katz as Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Abuse. For more than a century, MHA (first as the National Committee for Mental Hygiene and later as the...

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Posted: April 28, 2017

By: Caren Howard, Advocacy Manager It’s hard to believe that the U.S. House of Representatives, the legislative body of the people, by the people, and for the people, would seriously consider a health care bill that harms people by eliminating their eligibility to a health insurance plan. I think everyone agrees, Democrats and Republicans alike, that Obamacare was a start to making the American health care system better, but that it wasn’t perfect. It contained costs across the country by...

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Posted: April 4, 2017

By: Mike Thornsbury, MHA Board Member Last Wednesday was just a normal day for me - continuing my normal daily routine of fighting with mental illness, but getting up, staying positive and getting to work for the day. I'm in a better place, but still have those days; all of us that struggle have those hopeless days. Most can always put on a good front for the world, but inside is a totally different story.  Then I saw the social media posts about Amy… It was devastating news. And then...

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Posted: March 24, 2017

By: Nathaniel Counts, J.D. Today, Congress is voting on the American Health Care Act (AHCA), the Obamacare replacement bill. As of yesterday, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) continued to estimate 24 million people will lose health insurance coverage in the next ten years, and among those that have coverage, they will have less. While these numbers are probably far from exact, no one else has provided a competing analysis and there is no reason to doubt the overall trends. MHA believes...

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Posted: March 23, 2017

By: Caren Howard, Advocacy Manager One in five people in their lifetime will experience a mental health condition and four in 20 people will experience chronic, ongoing issues. Mental health is integral to overall health of an individual throughout their lifespan. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) or “Obamacare” helped people in need of mental health and substance use disorder (MH/SUD) treatment because it no longer permitted insurance companies to exclude MH/SUD treatment from benefits....

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Posted: March 21, 2017

By: Debbie Plotnick As Vice President for Mental Health and Systems Advocacy at Mental Health America it’s my job to work to change hearts, minds, and especially policy.  As I think about where we’ve been regarding access to mental health and substance use disorder (MH/SUD) treatment, I see unprecedented (although maybe not perfect) successes that have happened over the last few years. The Affordable Care Act (ACA), or it’s more commonly known as Obamacare, is (without hyperbole) the best...

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Posted: March 20, 2017

By: Paul Gionfriddo, president and CEO As the past few days and weeks have unfolded, it is becoming increasingly clear how the American Health Care Act of 2017 (AHCA) as currently drafted will have mostly unintended, mostly negative consequences for people with behavioral health conditions. We believe that these consequences easily could and should be mitigated. At a very high level, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) scoring analysis suggests that millions of Americans with mental health...

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Posted: March 7, 2017

By: Paul Gionfriddo, president and CEO, Mental Health America House leadership has unveiled its Affordable Care Act (ACA) amendment. Cleverly marketed as a “repeal and replace” of Obamacare, it might be more accurate to describe it as something that “retains and revises” ACA. Fundamentally, it keeps health insurance exchanges and “Medicaid for more,” and builds on those concepts. Whether this approach will be palatable remains to be seen. Let’s examine how the initial draft provisions might...

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