The Weekly MashUp is a recurring segment on Hear Me Out, the Young Minds’ Blog, highlighting the most pertinent local and national news for children’s mental health advocates. If you haven’t already, sign up to be on our email list to get the Weekly MashUp delivered to your inbox automatically, every Friday!
In 1994, the University of Missouri launched the Missouri Telehealth Service to provide psychiatric and counseling services via telemedicine to patients around the state. The service has been connecting kids with telepsychiatry appointments at an increasing rate, where nearly 40% of the population lives outside urban areas. A recent study by the University of Missouri School of Medicine finds that the video-based mental health services are utilized in mostly rural parts of Missouri by people who would otherwise need to travel close to 20 miles for support, and whose average age is 16. Mirna Becevic, lead author of the study, notes that the “findings indicate that there is limited access to child and adolescent psychiatric services in our state.” She suggests that “more important, our study illustrates how remote populations have severe barriers to access…
Medicaid Plans Can Now Pay Mental Health Institutions. Most Won’t Until 2017
Modern Healthcare – 7.5.16
Since Medicaid’s creation in 1965, the program has excluded payment for institutions of mental disease (IMDs) for beneficiaries 21 and over. This meant most residential treatment facilities for mental health and substance-use disorders with more than 16 beds did not qualify for Medicaid reimbursement. The exclusion has meant “a tumultuous care experience for Medicaid beneficiaries suffering from mental illness,” said Mark Covall, president of the National Association of Psychiatric Health Systems. “Patients endure long stays in emergency departments and are transferred from one general acute-care hospital to another, sometimes far from their homes, because of bed shortages,” he said. However, in April the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) finalized a policy allowing “Medicaid managed-care plans to pay facilities for short-term stays lasting 15 days or fewer in a month.” The new policy went into effect this week, however few beneficiaries are expected to take advantage of it right away. “No radical change is expected…as plans need to contract with facilities and those agreements may not kick in until the next contract year,” said Andrew Sperling, director of legislative affairs for NAMI.
Nation’s Psychiatric Bed Count Falls To Record Low
Washington Post – 7.1.16
Last month, researchers for the Treatment Advocacy Center released finding that the number of psychiatric beds in state hospitals have fallen by 17% since 2010 — from 43,318 in 2010 to 37,559 this year. This leaves 11.7 beds per 100,000 people, far below the count in other developed countries. The study suggests reforming Medicaid and Medicare regulations, which may have contributed to bed shortages, and calls for the implementation of interventions that can prevent hospitalization. Researchers also found an increase in the diversion of beds to criminal justice needs. Of states’ nearly 38,000 psychiatric beds, 17,601 were only available for forensic cases, such as arrested suspects, individuals in local jails or state prison inmates. To make up for the lack of beds, a few states, including California, Michigan, and North Carolina, have added publicly funded psychiatric beds over the past six years.
What Does Watching Someone Die on Social Media Do To Our Mental Health?
Mashable – 7.8.16
When I Was Diagnosed With Bipolar Disorder, People Thought I Was Cursed
NPR – 7.5.16
10 Tips For Talking To Your Parents About Your Mental Health
Buzzfeed – 7.2.16
Art Is an Umbrella, Shielding Youth in Stormy Times
The Chronicle of Social Change – 7.2.16
Crisis Text Line Takes Suicide Prevention into The Age of Texting
USA Today – 7.1.16
First New Funding For Homeless Youth in California in Over 28 Years!
California Coalition for Youth – June 2016
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**News stories shared in the Weekly MashUp do not necessarily represent the views of Young Minds Advocacy.