The results of the 2016 election portend significant changes to the health care sector.
Its implications open a Pandora’s Box of questions, and it’s fair to ask, “What does this election mean for behavioral health?” With the last decade’s reforms of mental health parity and Medicaid expansion, it’s this question that bubbles to the surface as the most pressing – and arguably the most interesting.
When I started teaching at a high school for students with learning differences, my first goal was to make my communication as clear as possible.
I streamlined my presentations, tried to wipe out any sarcasm that could be taken literally, and crafted obnoxiously clear assignment instructions. These tactics proved apt, but little did I know that my most effective communication would involve neither instruction nor planning.
The Military OneSource EAP program is exactly that: a one-stop source of work/life services for active duty, National Guard and Reserve service members and their families.
However, in spite of this plethora of services – ranging from non-medical counseling and health and wellness coaching to financial counseling and tax consultations – Military OneSource remains unknown to many people who could benefit from this unique program.
Regardless of one’s political leanings, everyone can agree that this presidential campaign has caused more anxiety than most, if not all.
The ingredients concoct a recipe for a nail-biting anxiety: combative and often offensive rhetoric, Wikileaks disclosures, the suggestion of Russia’s role in tampering with our democratic process, a party at odds with itself due to its own candidate – all combine for a nasty plate of political heartburn.
As attention is gaining around parity and the implementation of the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equality Act (MHPAEA), Beacon Health Options stands front and center in its efforts to help propel the law’s goals. It’s been an ongoing process.
Being a part of the Awesome Beacon Bike Ride has been an incredible privilege, filled with many unexpected gifts.
I have lived in Florida for 17 years, but it was only when planning our routes and then actually pedaling down the road, that I discovered a treasure of scenic towns, spectacular views and parts of the state I did not know or appreciate.
Now that segments 16 and 17 of the ride have concluded, it is a pleasure to look back and consider the monumental task that was accomplished by the great many exceptional people involved in seeing this through.
The word “Awesome” describes it well in a variety of ways. I’ll admit that I was one of those among us who, at first, simply allowed those earliest Beacon bike ride emails to go right on by unnoticed.
Camaraderie, Advocacy, Health. What an apt set of objectives, though truth be told, I hadn’t fully processed their meanings before the ride.
However, staring at those words on the back of someone’s jersey while pedaling down the road stimulated a number of thoughts. Over the course of two days and part of a third, I not only thought about those words, I had the opportunity to experience them.
As a Beacon Health Options Peer Support Specialist raising a child with multiple disabilities, I never fully grasped that recovery is an inside job – until I had to recover myself.
Many Beacon locations employ peers, people with lived experience of mental illness or substance use disorder, to empower the individuals we serve to live their lives to the fullest potential. We might help them to navigate the health care system, or to define their own paths to recovery.
As a young person, whenever I saw a “coming of age” movie like “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” or “The Breakfast Club” or even “Footloose,” I would become angry rather than entertained.
I never knew why. I now believe it was because, as a young, closeted gay person living with a newly divorced mother, nothing could have been more inconceivable than the idea I would one day “come of age” and live my own life.