Happy New Year, Veterans (and all of us who benefit from your selfless service on behalf of our country)!
Despite a year of political upheaval and angst in Washington, veterans can be pleased with the new administration’s Veterans Affairs (VA) policy direction that has earned significant bipartisan support.
The prevalence of substance use disorder (SUD), highlighted by the opioid crisis, is not new news.
Approximately, 21 million Americans have an SUD. In 2015 alone, opioids killed more than 33,000 people in the United States, more than any previous year on record, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
The room was packed at the Primary Care Development Corporation’s (PCDC)* Primary Care Innovation Circle.
More than 200 health care executives, providers, community-based agency leaders and practitioners assembled to listen to panelists address the most audacious of tasks: the fate of health care in the United States.
Emergency Department (ED) “boarding” – when patients get stuck in the ED for hours, sometimes days, because there is no placement option readily available – is an issue across the country and has received much attention in Massachusetts recently.
Earlier this month, The Boston Globe published an article highlighting the fact that many of these individuals have behavioral health conditions.
Serendipity made me a barbecue judge in Memphis, a martial arts student in Little Rock, and a psychiatrist/epidemiologist in a conference call about the implementation of measurement-based mental health care – this in the last several weeks. This serendipity also made it clear to me what all of these activities have in common: the need to quantify quality.
In the wake of the recent nightclub shooting in Orlando, there are voices that are again loudly touting mental illness as a key target for preventing the repetition of such horrors.
Yet, as we wrote last year, researchers have already debunked the link between mental illness and gun violence. Instead, we found access to guns increases rates of suicide, but not of homicide. However, what most people don’t know is that, underlying all of this, there is policy prohibiting research from delving further into the issue and discovering where the evidence leads us.
In the midst of an election year and a national opioid addiction crisis, mental health is finally getting the attention it’s due.
The Mental Health Reform Act, which has already been approved by the Senate HELP Committee, is one of those efforts that is trying to right the ship to balance mental and physical health care.
When it comes to government funding for mental health services, there’s good news and some bad news.
The good news is that the federal government is putting its money where its mouth is. President Obama recently announced that the administration is proposing for 2017 the expenditure of $500 million for a series of two-year mental health initiatives and $1.1 billion for new addiction treatment, prevention and recovery programs.