Your Signature Can Help Protect Mental Health Recovery Programs

National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery & National Disability Rights Network

Advocates are actively seeking grassroots support to protect funding for programs that advance mental health recovery and civil rights protection and advocacy. Here, Care for Your Mind shares an “Action Alert” with links so you can learn more and take action.

Congress will soon make decisions that could slash funding for—and restrict access to—state mental health consumer networks, national mental health technical assistance centers, and human and civil rights protections for people with serious mental heal...

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Should We Screen Middle and High School Students for Mental Health Disorders?

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90% of youth who die by suicide suffer from a treatable mental illness. 

65% experience symptoms for a full year prior to their death.

When we identify kids at risk, we can save lives.

Over 10 years ago, President George Bush accepted The New Freedom Commission on Mental Health recommendation that the federal and state governments work to implement broader access for youth mental health screenings as a matter of public health.  While we are still waiting for federal assistance, local organizations are taking up the challenge and offering free mental health screenings to middle and high school age students. One of those organizations, Mental Health America of Illinois (MHAI) has been quietly running a mental health screening program, Youth Screen, in Chicago-area schools since 2007.

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Can Erasing Stigma Lead to Earlier Acceptance of Treatment?

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Today, on National Depression Screening Day, CFYM reader, Steve, shares his story of emerging from depression onto a new life path of mental health advocacy. Erasing the social stigma of depressive disorders, he believes, will pave the way to earlier use of depression screenings and encourage people to seek and accept treatment.

After a distinguished career in the Navy, I was proud to join the public sector utilizing the immeasurable discipline and knowledge I had acquired serving in our country’s military. I enrolled in a rigorous doctor of education program at Vanderbilt University with an emphasis in Human Resource Development. I was well on the way to establishing a name for myself as an independent management consultant, focusing on organizational development, prospective employee screening, and middle-management development.

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How Can Mental Health Screening Help?

For more information on participating in National Depression Screening Day, please contact Michelle Holmberg at (781) 239-0071 or by email. Information is also available at mentalhealthscreening.org and helpyourselfhelpothers.org.

Screening for Mental Health

Do you think mental health screening can help address deficiencies in our nation’s approach to diagnosing and treating mood disorders? Policymakers certainly think so: mental health screening is an essential component of several pieces of legislation, incorporating the finding that early detection of mental health conditions increases the likelihood of successful treatment.

Mental health screening is private and anonymous, cost-effective, quick, and accessible, and it provides information and encouragement for people to seek help early. This Thursday is National Depression Screening Day, so there’s still time to rally your network to participate! Here, the nonprofit organization Screening for Mental Health tells why screening is important and how it supports workplace mental health.

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Will Your New Insurance Plan Do a Better Job Covering Your Mental Health Care?

Gretchen is optimistic that hers will.

The federal government is in shutdown mode but the health insurance marketplaces are open for business. People with mood disorders and their families have the opportunity to explore the pros and cons of different insurance plans that become effective in January 2014. Mental health care must be covered, but will the different levels of plans pay for the services you need? What will you need to pay for yourself?

Gretchen, who lives with a mental health condition, is hopeful that her new insurance will cover her preferred therapist and psychiatrist...

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Participate in Largest Expansion of Mental Health Coverage in a Generation

healthinsurance2The government may not be open for business, but the market exchanges and 24 hour phone lines are operating today!

Marking today’s opening of the health exchanges, Care for Your Mind shares information and resources about who has to have insurance, what’s involved in enrollment, and what we know about mental health care coverage.

Millions more will now have access to mental health care

If you’re looking for health insurance, you have some new options! Today the health exchanges are open for business. That’s because today is the first day of the enrollment period for the health exchanges established under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to enable the purchase of health insurance.

Here we are providing links to information covering the individual mandate, enrollment in a health exchange, and what is currently known about mental health coverage. Do you know how the ACA is changing health care?

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Are You Getting All the Mental Health Coverage You Deserve?

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Winning strategies for filing a mental health insurance coverage grievance

CFYM Note: This is the last in the series by Carol McDaid on your rights with regards to mental health insurance parity laws and expanded coverage under the Affordable Care Act. Tuesday’s post provided an overview of what types of denials to look out for. Today, Ms. McDaid tells readers how to file a grievance for denial of mental health insurance coverage.

When should I file an appeal

Mental Health America compiled this list of questions to help you understand if you should appeal a coverage denial. At first glance, the questions may seem to require a sophisticated understanding of your plan and the law, but you can simplify it this way: If the answer is YES to any of the following questions, the plan is most likely not in compliance with the new laws.

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What Can You Do If Your Mental Health Benefits Are Denied?

Carol McDaid
Carol McDaid
Parity Implementation Coalition

Follow these practical steps to win your appeal.

CFYM Note: Last week, Carol McDaid answered the question, “Doesn’t health insurance have to cover mental health care?” She also described steps to make sure you’re getting all the health care benefits you should. This week, Ms. McDaid covers what the mental health parity law means for you when you don’t get the benefits you’re entitled to.

From promise to reality

The fact that we now have two federal laws requiring mental health parity is cause for celebration—both for those of us who spent years advocating for the laws and those of us, me included, who have been denied coverage by our insurance plans.

The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act was signed into law in 2008. The Affordable Care Act goes into effect January 1, 2014, and will require more plans, including those in the newly created health insurance exchanges, to offer mental health parity. (Read more about the laws in Part 1 of this series.)

The federal laws are on top of state laws that exist in approximately 40 states to protect people from being denied mental health benefits through public and/or private employer-sponsored health insurance. (View a chart of state mental health parity laws from the National Alliance on Mental Illness.)

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