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New CMS Rule a Huge Boost for Mental Health Screening B4Stage4

By Paul Gionfriddo, President/CEO, Mental Health America

The best news sometimes comes when we least expect it. And those of us who have been pushing for years for early identification and intervention in schools for kids with mental health concerns got some unexpectedly good news last month.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services issued a letter that reversed a long-standing “Free Care” rule

The Wrap on a Great 2014 Annual Conference

By Paul Gionfriddo, President/CEO

Mental Health America hosted its 2014 Annual Conference in Atlanta last week, and it was a terrific and energizing event. Those who attended know what I’m talking about – the drive, the content, the messaging, the enthusiasm in the room – well, pretty much everything – suggested that in Mental Health America and its affiliates we have some of the most innovative, dedicated, and inspiring mental health advocates in the nation.

Here’s just a sampling of what transpired over the two days:

The Dangers of Stage 4 Thinking about Serious Mental Illnesses

By Paul Gionfriddo, President/CEO

During my first hundred days at Mental Health America, I have frequently made the case that mental health policymakers and practitioners are too often mired in “Stage 4” thinking when they think about serious mental illnesses.

Here’s what I mean – they use an “imminent danger to self or others” as a standard for determining who gets care.  That near-death time typically only comes during the latest stages of a chronic disease process, or Stage 4.

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