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MHA's Blog: Chiming In

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Posted: October 28, 2016

By: Kelly Davis, MHA Policy and Programs Associate and Theresa Nguyen, MHA Senior Director of Policy and Programs Every year around Halloween we see a recurring rise of haunted asylums, straight jacket “psycho” costumes, and costumes depicting suicide. At MHA, we’ve called for the removal of offensive costumes and attractions, and to draw attention to why these representations are just wrong. They falsely paint people with mental health conditions as violent and scary. They dishonor countless...

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Posted: October 12, 2016

By: Paul Gionfriddo, president and CEO, Mental Health America From the time Mental Health America launched our online mental health screening program in 2014, we have asked screeners what they want. Their most frequent response?  “Help.” We’ve been thinking a a lot about what screeners need and how we can most effectively provide them help. But what do they mean by “help?”  And does the meaning change based on who is answering the question? As we approach two million screeners, we...

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Posted: September 22, 2016

By Paul Gionfriddo, President and CEO Tulsa, Milwaukee, Charlotte… North Charleston, Ferguson, Baltimore… Orlando, Baton Rouge, Falcon Heights… These are communities forever linked by acts of violence, where in nearly every instance, a person attempting to preserve the peace of the moment lost a life. These events are the sources of daily headlines, focusing on seemingly unchecked violence and unrest in America. Emotions are high, and finger pointing from all sides is ongoing. But as we...

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Posted: September 15, 2016

By: Nathaniel Counts, J.D., MHA Director of Policy and Kelly Davis, MHA Policy and Programs Associate When you have your first child, you go to classes throughout your pregnancy. The classes help you feel as comfortable as you can be on the big day. But then the classes stop. You might have made it through pregnancy, but now you suddenly have a baby to take care of – and most parents would tell you that this is hardly the easiest part. So why do the classes stop when the baby is born? Why don...

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Posted: July 14, 2016

From Patrick Hendry, Vice President of Peer Advocacy, Supports & Services One of the leading criticisms about MHA creating a national certified peer specialist credential is that many people feel this should be done by a peer-run organization. Unfortunately, no peer-run organization has taken on this challenge yet. While MHA National is not a peer-run organization, many of our affiliates are. Our Board of Directors typically runs around 30% peers and well...

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Posted: June 16, 2016

Mental Health America mourns the victims in the tragic shootings in Orlando, Florida at Pulse Orlando Night Club. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families, victims and everyone who has been affected by this horrific event.  Terrorism and hate crimes have no place in any modern society, and we applaud so many of our national leaders who have condemned them while pledging to support everyone victimized by trauma in the Orlando community and the nation as a whole. After a...

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Posted: May 5, 2016

By: Paul Gionfriddo, Theresa Nguyen, Nathaniel Counts and Kelly Davis Advocates have been awaiting – and many dreading – a proposed rule from the Social Security Administration (SSA) relating to firearms ownership among people with certain disabilities. The rule was proposed today. Mental Health America understands and acknowledges the challenge that SSA faces in implementing the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act of 1993 (the Brady Act), as amended by the NICS Improvement Amendments Act...

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Posted: March 10, 2016

By:  Paul Gionfriddo, MHA president and CEO The Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee released a draft of mental health reform legislation this week and invited comments from advocates.  The committee plans to take it up on March 16. The draft does not follow the structure of either S. 1945 or H.R. 2646, but takes an entirely different approach.  For example, it does not include a new Assistant Secretary, relying instead on the current Assistant...

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Posted: February 19, 2016

by Casey Dillon, Advocacy Associate February 19th, 2016 marks Mental Health America's 107th birthday! To celebrate, we asked our network to share reasons to celebrate MHA, its history, and its affiliates. Here’s what they had to say:  MHA National is (to my knowledge) the first organization to be founded by a person who openly acknowledged his lived experience of mental illness (Clifford Beers). Mental Health America's focus on early intervention is a great example of how the...

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Posted: February 16, 2016

By: Paul Gionfiddo, president and CEO, Mental Health America We don’t usually use this blog to review books. A Mother’s Reckoning was for me — as it will be for many people — a difficult book to read. It speaks to an incredibly raw and relevant topic. A Mother’s Reckoning was written by Sue Klebold. Sue’s son Dylan died by suicide in 1999, and she writes of her pain in his passing. But Sue’s pain is different and more intense than most. This is because before he died by suicide, Dylan and...

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Posted: January 28, 2016

By Paul Gionfriddo, President and CEO; Theresa Nguyen, Senior Director of Policy and Programming; and Nathaniel Counts, Director of Policy Mental Health America’s campaign for ubiquitous mental health screening picked up more momentum this week, as yet another major national organization recommended widespread mental health screening. This week’s support comes from the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), an expert panel of the US Department of Health and Human Services. The...

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Posted: January 11, 2016

By: Nathaniel Z. Counts, J.D., Director of Policy, Mental Health America, and Aaron Konopasky, J.D., Ph.D., Senior Attorney-Advisor, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission At Mental Health America (MHA), we work to make sure people can get help Before Stage 4. When we think of cancer or heart disease, we don’t wait years to treat people. We start before Stage 4—we begin with prevention, identify symptoms, and develop a plan to treat and support the person. We need to do the same with mental...

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