News for the Week of July 4, 2016
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This Week's Top Stories For Children's Mental
Health Advocates!

Families In Rural Areas Using Telemedicine For Psychiatric, Specialty Care
Forbes - 7.5.16

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…[and] highlights the severity of the need for mental health services in our state, especially for children and adolescents.” This effort to use telehealth to support individuals in need of mental healthcare is quickly spreading across the country.

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 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.

Other Stories:

What Does Watching Someone Die on Social Media Do To Our Mental Health?
Mashable - 7.8.16

'Unbroken Brain' Explains Why 'Tough' Treatment Doesn't Help Drug Addicts
NPR - 7.7.16

Obama Administration Eases Restrictions on Doctors Who Treat Opioid Addiction
NPR - 7.6.16

Mental Health Reform Bill Overwhelmingly Clears House of Representatives
TIME - 7.6.16

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

How Therapy Became A Hobby Of The Wealthy, Out Of Reach For Those In Need
NPR - 6.30.16

Read the Blog!

This fall marks another year of successful advocacy for Young Minds! To celebrate, we’re hosting our 4th Anniversary Celebration and fundraiser at the beautiful Allied Arts Guild in Menlo Park, California. This annual event brings together a diverse group of community members to improve California’s mental health system for young people and their families. Join us for a night of collective action (and fun!) to improve the lives of youth in our community.

Friday, October 7 | 6:00 - 9:00 PM | Allied Arts Guild, Menlo Park

This year's special guest speaker will be Mike Porath. Mike is the founder and CEO of The Mighty, a digital publisher and online community that helps millions of people facing mental illnesses, disabilities and diseases. Join us for food, drinks, live music, and a silent auction! Tickets are only $50 for adults, $10 for youth under 21. Space is limited--reserve your spot today. Learn more by visiting

Count Me In!
Young Minds Advocacy uses strategic advocacy and communications to help youths and their families access mental health services and supports, and improve mental health system performance and accountability. Learn more by visiting

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News stories shared by Young Minds in the Weekly MashUp do not necessarily represent the views of the organization.