A Conversation with David Baron, MSED, DO

david_baronDavid Baron, MSED, DO

Professor and Vice Chair, and Chief of Psychiatry, University Hospital, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California

Care For Your Mind: As the provisions of the Affordable Care Act are implemented, what are the big changes you see for mental health care?

David Baron: Mostly, they are positive changes. More people will receive services whether under expanded Medicaid or purchasing insurance: this will enable them to seek care that they might not have had previously. The key will be making sure there are enough professionals to provide the care that people need and, of course, helping people to understand what kind of care they are entitled to.

Read More

Two Stories of Consequences of Not Having Insurance through Work

On Tuesday, inspired by Labor Day, we looked at three mental health policy issues for employees. One of those was the declining number of people who have health insurance through their work.

What are the ramifications for people who do not have employer-sponsored health insurance?

Today, two members of the CFYM community describe their struggles to access mental health care services in the absence of employer-sponsored health insurance. After her health insurance through COBRA ran out, Janet faced the prospect of highly-restrictive coverage, then no coverage...

Read More

Labor Day Thoughts on Mental Health Policy and the Workforce

Care for Your Mind

young woman in computer lab

As we return from the Labor Day holiday and our annual tribute to the contributions of workers to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country, it’s fitting to take a quick look at mental health policy issues for employees. The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (ACA) presented new opportunities for people to receive mental health care from their employer-provided health coverage. The Mental Health Parity law attempts to level the field between medical/surgical health care and care for mental health and substance use disorders, while the ACA aims to open access to affordable health care, including behavioral health care services, for more people. Both of these laws come into play, in part, through employees’ health insurance benefits.

Fewer people are getting health insurance through work.

Read More

Ensure the Peer Voice Is Heard in D.C. September 16-17

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance

Hill Day

The lived experience of a mood disorder must be represented everywhere decisions are being made that affect mental health care. To that end, DBSA is pleased to join NAMI, MHA, and other national behavioral health organizations as a National Council Hill Day 2013 partner. We are indeed stronger together and by joining forces and voices, we can make the most impact.

Read More

Improving the Quality of Life for People with Mental Illness

CFYM Note: Mental Health Advocate Profile posts allow CFYM to highlight an organization’s broader range of advocacy interests and concerns. Today’s profile features the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).

Any organizations seeking to be featured in a CFYM Mental Health Advocate Profile should submit information about current legislative interests and activities to info@careforyourmind.org. We welcome your submissions!

nami

NAMI is a grassroots organization of individuals with mental illnesses, especially serious mental illnesses, their family members, and friends whose mission is to advocate for effective prevention, diagnosis, treatment, support, research, and recovery to improve the quality of life of persons of all ages who are affected by mental illnesses.

Read More

Poll Results Enforces the Need for Specialized Care

aapgChristine M. deVries
Chief Executive Officer
American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry

Care for Your Mind is an excellent example of providing needed information to the public on late life mental illness. AAGP applauds the efforts of Care for Your Mind and its efforts on public education as well as encouraging dialogue through polls and other mechanisms on these critical issues.

The results of the recent poll by Care for Your Mind on mood disorders clearly confirms the need for a well-trained health care workforce to take care of the current and future generations of older adults with mood disorders. This same conclusion was reported by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) in their report released last year entitled, The Mental Health and Substance Use Workforce for Older Adults: In Whose Hands? The IOM called for immediate action to promote research and incentivize training in geriatric mental health to adequately meet the needs of an elderly population expected to rise above 70 million people by 2030. We know the need is there, but now it is time to take action. It is critical that people contact their policymakers and urge them to eliminate the gaps in services to the elderly with mental illness including mood disorders by increasing access to quality mental health care and addressing the prevalent stigma associated with these diseases. The White House took a first step when they convened a National Conference on Mental Health in June of this year, but there needs to be more. We must now advocate to the US Congress on the need for a well prepared workforce to provide quality care for the older adults with mood disorders. Following are some specific legislative proposals that have been introduced in this session of Congress:

The Care for Your Mind poll enforces the need for health care professionals with specialized training to treat those individuals with mood disorders and other late life mental illnesses. There is a bill that has been introduced into the Senate that would promote teams of health care providers with this expertise to work with primary care providers.

Read More

Mental Health Care for Older Adults: Survey Results to Date!

august18_2013In connection with our post, “Older Adults Need Specialized Mental Health Care” on July 2, we asked readers to answer a brief survey about mental health care for older people.

We figured it was a good time to bring you the results so far, and to invite you to participate in the survey.

Of all of the results, there were two items of particular interest to us at CFYM.

64.5% of respondents indicated that they know an older person who they believe has a mood disorder but who is not diagnosed or treated. We are hopeful that changes in care under the Affordable Care Act will help to remedy that deficiency, but it’s likely that it will take more than changes in the law. Many older adults will have to reconsider their perceptions of mental health, as well as their expectations of maintaining mental wellness and happiness during their later years. Also, their physicians need to learn more about the special mental health care needs of older adults.

Read More

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention: Thoughtful public policies can reduce the number of suicides

afspCFYM Note: Throughout Care for Your Mind, we provide a platform for mental health care advocates to present their perspectives and proposals for change, with an implicit invitation for interested community members to contact those organizations for more information and opportunities to get involved. Today, we launch a new category of posts: the Mental Health Advocate Profile. Rather than being specific to a discrete issue, the Profile allows CFYM to show an organization’s broader range of advocacy interests and concerns. We’ll start off with a look at the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, taking note of their Capitol Hill visiting day in June 2013.

Any organizations seeking to be featured in a CFYM Mental Health Advocate Profile should submit information about current legislative interests and activities to info@careforyourmind.org. We welcome your submissions!

Read More