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Regional Policy Council


The ​Mental ​Health ​America ​(MHA) ​Regional ​Policy ​Council ​(RPC) ​cultivates ​a ​constructive ​partnership ​with ​its ​affiliate ​field, ​state ​policy ​leaders, ​and ​other ​mental ​health ​stakeholders ​working ​together ​to ​initiate, ​advocate ​for, ​and ​implement ​federal ​and ​state ​policies ​that ​positively ​affect ​children, youth, and adults ​living ​with ​mental ​health ​and ​substance ​use ​conditions.

MHA established in 2009 a Regional Policy Council (RPC) to work with MHA's Public Policy and Advocacy Department to achieve these policy goals in a coordinated and effective manner.

The RPC is comprised of six of MHA's most knowledgeable affiliate public policy or executive directors that serve a one year term.

Many of the issues facing mental health treatment infrastructure and adequacy are related to implementation of federal laws, or are state level issues that are common across the states.

Each state faces challenges related to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Medicaid Expansion, the Mental Health Parity and Equity Act (MHPAEA), integration of behavioral health services, workforce adequacy, access to community-based services and supports, and the use of peers.

The RPC forms a nationwide movement toward a robust mental health system that promotes prevention and early intervention initiatives, access to integrated community-based treatments, and supports that are recovery-focused and that encompass community inclusion.



In 2018, MHA’s Regional Policy Council (RPC) meetings and events coincide with four major policymaker groups:



    Barbara Johnston, Director of Advocacy, MHA in New Jersey
    Represents ME, NH, VT, NY, NJ, MA, CT, DE, PA, MD, VA

    Ben Harrington, Executive Director, MHA of East Tennessee
    Represents IN, KY, NC, SC, TN, AR, LA, TX, MS, GA

    Moe Keller, Vice President of Public Affairs and Systems Advocacy, Mental Health Colorado
    Represents OK, ND, SD, WY, MT, CO, ID, AZ, NM, UT, NV, WA, OR, HI

    Shel Gross, Director of Public Policy, MHA of Wisconsin
    Represents OH, IL, WI, MN, MO, KS, MI, NE, IA, CA, FL



    Mental Health America would like to thank our generous sponsors for supporting the 2017 Regional Policy Council.





    Read the 2016 RPC Recap

    • Evolving Strategies for the Delivery and Payment of Mental Health Services - February 19, Washington, DC

      • Hill Update - Debbie Plotnick, MSS, MLSP and Nathaniel Counts, JD, Mental Health America (Slides)
      • Integration of Physical and Behavioral Health - Tenly Pau Biggs, MSW, LGSW, SAMHSA/CMHS (Slides); Alex Ross, Sc.D., HRSA (Slides)
      • Medicaid Redesign: The NY Model - Harvey Rosenthal, NYAPRS (Slides); Glenn Liebman, MHANY (Slides)
      • Funding for Peer and Crisis Services in Managed Care Behavioral Health - Dr. Larry Goldman and Lori Szczygiel, Beacon Health Options (Slides)
    • Economics of State-Funded Mental Health: Penny Wise or Pound Foolish? - July 27-28, Indianapolis, IN

      • State of the States: Indiana Mental Health - John Wernert, M.D., Indiana's Family and Social Services Administration (Slides)
      • Value-Based Healthcare - Debbie Plotnick, MSS, MLSP, Mental Health America (Slides)
      • Reconnecting Medicaid Prior to Prison Release - Marianne Burdison, LCSW, Centene (Slides)
    • Walking the MHA Talk - August 10-11, Chicago, IL

      • How States Can Address Mental Health at the Front End - Barbara Shaw, Children's Behavioral Health Integration Initiative (Slides)
      • Suicide Prevention: Start Anywhere, End Everywhere - Shel Gross and Karissa Young, MHA of Wisconsin (Slides)
      • Treatment for Those Who Need It: Redux - Tim Clement, MPH, ParityTrack; Kelly O'Brien, Illinois Parity Coalition; Barbara Johnston,  MHA New Jersey; Rep. Lou Lang, Illinois (Slides)
    • Dealing Effectively with Fiscal Challenges at the State Level - September 7-8, Coeur d'Alene, ID

      • State Trusts for Mental Health - Moe Keller, Mental Health Colorado (Slides)
      • Tobacco Tax Initiatives - Carlotta McCleary, MHA of North Dakota; Moe Keller
      • Social Impact Bonds - Moe Keller; Richard Wansley, MHA Oklahoma (Slide Deck 1; Slide Deck 2)
      • Messaging to Elected Officials: Achieving Value by Addressing Community Values (Slides)
      • Medicaid Waiver and Rules Options - Rusty Selix, MHA California (Slides)

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