National Prevention Week (NPW) is May 14 to 20, 2017, and is an annual health observance focused on increasing public awareness of, and action around, mental health and substance use disorders. Each year, communities and organizations across the country come together to raise awareness about the importance of substance use prevention and positive mental health. This year’s theme is “Making Each Day Count.”
For more information and to register for their live web event on Monday, May 15th visit SAMHSA’s Prevention Day website.
National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day seeks to raise awareness about the importance of children’s mental health and to show that positive mental health is essential to a child’s healthy development from birth.
Awareness Day 2017’s national focus is on the importance of integrating behavioral health and primary care for children, youth, and young adults with mental and/or substance use disorders. The 2017 national theme is “Partnering for Help and Hope.”
Olympic champions Michael Phelps, the world’s most decorated Olympian, and Allison Schmitt, an eight–time Olympic medalist will serve as Honorary Chairpersons of SAMHSA’s National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day 2017 national event on Thursday, May 4th at 7 p.m. EDT in Washington, DC.
The event will feature interactive panel discussions about understanding the connection between physical and behavioral health; improving communication between primary care providers, behavioral health providers, and youth and families; and supporting the mental health needs of youth who experience chronic illness.
SAMHSA will webcast the event live on www.samhsa.gov/children. Viewers can join the online conversation using #HeroesofHope and pose questions to onstage panelists via Twitter and email during the event.
Psychologists are homing in on the best ways to treat and prevent the most common mental health disorder among children and adolescents. Check out the article about anxiety disorders in children in the American Psychological Association’s March issue of Monitor.
The Kennedy Forum has launched the Parity Complaint Registry to track, study and report on how insurance companies are making adverse determinations against people with mental health or addiction issues.
Health insurance carriers are supposed to provide coverage for mental health and substance use disorders that is equal to the kind of coverage that is offered for medical/surgical benefits, especially in regard to financial requirements and treatment limitations.
The Parity Complaint Registry will record and document complaints of people who were denied their rights to equal coverage by insurers who are evading the consumer protections intended by federal parity law.
The Resources Page of the Parity Complaint Registry website also provides information to help consumers who want to file a complaint or appeal with their health plan or State regulatory agency.
On December 28, 2016 the U.S. Department of Education released three new sets of guidance on federal civil rights laws protecting the rights of students with disabilities.
The guidance documents include a Parent and Educator Resource Guide to Section 504 in Public Elementary and Secondary Schools; a Dear Colleague letter (DCL) and Q & A document on the Restraint and Seclusion of Students with Disabilities in Public Schools; and DCL and Q & A documents on the Rights of Students with Disabilities in Public Charter Schools.
Data collected by the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights indicates that schools restrain and seclude students with disabilities at higher rates than students without disabilities. During the 2013-14 school year, students with disabilities served by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) represented 12% of students enrolled in public schools nationally, but 67% of the students who were subjected to restraint or seclusion in school.
These new guidance documents will help to clarify the rights of students with disabilities and outline the steps parents can take to ensure that their children secure all of the services they are entitled to receive.
10 year old Kaylee Rodgers who has autism and ADHD has wowed the world with her rendition of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah”. The video of Kaylee singing with the Killard House Special School’s choir has gone viral. Colin Millar, the school’s headteacher, told BBC News that Kaylee is often shy but when she sings, she just opens up. Check out the video:
Federal Government seeks public comment regarding home and community-based services provided to Medicaid beneficiariesPosted: November 17, 2016
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is asking the public to comment on reforms and policy options they think the government should consider in order to improve and accelerate the provision of home and community-based services (HCBS) to Medicaid beneficiaries. To read more about it this Request for Information (RFI) or to submit a formal comment visit the Federal Register website at www.federalregister.gov.
To be assured consideration, comments must be received no later than 5 p.m. on January 9, 2017.
September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. Suicidal thoughts can affect anyone regardless of age, gender or background. Suicide is the third leading cause of death (behind accidents and homicides) for teenagers. For additional information see:
The American Academy of Child Adolescent Psychiatry’s Facts for Families on Teen Suicide.
Before Josh, 36, arrived at First Place Transition Academy, he had never taken public transportation on his own, much less held down a paying job. But a new pilot program is empowering adults with autism to overcome hurdles to independence. Special correspondent John Donvan, co-author with Caren Zucker of “In a Different Key: The Story of Autism,” reports from Phoenix.