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Mental Health America Blog - Chiming In

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 harrowing event, such as the Orlando shootings,...

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...

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 Secretary for Planning and Evaluation to play that role.  It does not include the same new demonstration...

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: 

  1. 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).
    Clifford W. Beers
  2. ...

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,...

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 USPSTF amended...

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 health.

When you think of acting Before Stage 4, you might think of...

By: Paul Gionfriddo, President and CEO

This week, the President announced a number of initiatives aimed at reducing violence in America.  Two of them specifically touched on mental health/mental illness.  The first was an announcement that the Administration was proposing the expenditure of $500 million for mental health services.  There were no details about how those dollars might be spent and so we will address that later.  The second was an announcement about changes to HIPAA that would permit HIPAA-covered entities to report information to the FBI firearms registry...

By Casey Dillon, Advocacy Associate

This year was really big for Mental Health America! Take a look at what made 2015 so successful.

1.      #B4Stage4

This year, all of MHA’s messaging focused around our #B4Stage4 philosophy – that mental health conditions should be treated long...

By: Paul Gionfriddo, president and CEO, MHA

I’ve now been at this job for about a year and a half, but I have to say, the last couple months has been the highlight to date. Because MHA and mental health advocates are at a pivotal moment. We could very well see major mental health reform—and for the first time in years there has been real, tangible progress on Capitol Hill. But not everyone in the mental health community has been supportive of the current legislation before Congress. There are legitimate concerns, but I want to speak directly to my...

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