Alyssa Goodin testified before Democratic Policy Committee about mental health coverage reform in Pennsylvania

Democratic Policy Committee talks mental health

UPPER DARBY — Medical professionals and mental health advocates testified Wednesday afternoon before the Democratic Policy Committee asking to bring reform to mental health coverage in the state. 

State Rep. Margo Davidson, D-164, of Upper Darby, hosted the hearing in the council chambers of the Upper Darby Municipal Building, joined by policy committee Chairman Mike Sturla, D-96, of Lancaster, and other state leaders to discuss better access and treatment for those with a mental health diagnosis.

“We have to fix this system,” said Davison, “there has to be parity so people have access to deal with their brain disease and brain illness.”

As Davidson reminded committee and audience members that because her son, diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder, didn’t fall into one of the insurance company’s three “boxes” — hospitalization, partial hospitalization, and intensive outpatient — she had to fight nine months with her insurance company to allow him to get the level of care he needed when first diagnosed.

“It was a nightmare from start to finish,” Davidson said.

Of those to testify before the committee was Alyssa Goodin, director of policy and advocacy at the Mental Health Association of Southeastern Pennsylvania, who spoke at length about proper care for those who need it.

“One of the most expansive ways we can increase access to behavioral health services is through the acceptance of federal dollars to expand our current Medicaid program,” Goodin said.

Goodin stated that Medicaid expansion will not only be beneficial to the state’s economy and job growth, but that it’s a “safety net” for those whose insurance doesn’t cover comprehensive behavioral health coverage.

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'Beating the Blues' Online Program Helps Those Battling Depression

Right now it's a pilot program from the Philadelphia Department of Behavioral Health and the Mental Health Association of Southeastern Pennsylvania. 

Like many people, Cynthia Butts struggles with depression and anxiety. It stems from childhood experiences.

She goes to traditional therapy, but recently also went through the city's 'Beating the Blues' online program.

"It's important to remember our thoughts are not facts," Cynthia said.

Jake Bowling from the Mental Health Association of Southeastern Pennsylvania shows us how it works.

There are eight 50-minute sessions. They're user-friendly and can be done right at home. 
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National Children's Mental Health Awareness Week May 4 - 10, 2014
WHAT CAN YOU DO?


* Create awareness surrounding positive mental health practicesand supports. Actively work to reduce     stigma, awareness of mentalhealth needs and promote wellness programs.

* Contact your local, state and federal legislators to requestfunding for early intervention and prevention programs, enactinganti-bullying legislation and promoting the "system of care" approach.


* Encourage culturally and linguistically competent supports andservices.

* One in five young people have one or more mental, emotional, orbehavioral challenges. One in ten youth have challenges that are severeenough to impair how they function at home, school, or in the community.

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Becky Espanol Received the Family Leadership Award given by the Family Resource Network (FRN)

Please join me in congratulating Becky on receiving the Family Leadership Award, given by the Family Recourse Network (FRN) at their family recognition celebration last Saturday, April 26th. (photos of the event will be posted soon!)

Becky has been a committed and tireless family advocate for over a decade here at MHASP. And as most of you know, her support, enthusiasm, generosity and compassion is boundless.

She can be counted on to provide information, support or at times a homemade cake , when there is a need.

Thank you Becky for all you do here at MHASP and for those in the community who you support and assist.

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Innovation of Peer Support at MHASP

For nearly three decades, the Mental Health Association of Southeastern Pennsylvania (MHASP) has been a leader in the creation, implementation, development and promotion of services run by and for individuals with mental health conditions, also called consumers or peers. In 1984, MHASP—founded in 1951 as a regional advocacy agency serving individuals with mental health conditions and their families—launched an initiative to create consumer self-help/advocacy groups to help these individuals empower themselves and work toward recovery. Today, MHASP has earned an international reputation for designing and implementing dozens of peer-to-peer services, for participating in rigorous research to demonstrate the effectiveness of peer-run services, for providing technical assistance and training to enable others to replicate these model peer-run programs around the United States and for leadership in promoting the burgeoning profession of certified peer specialist (CPS), whose practitioners, in recovery themselves, help their peers on their own recovery journeys.

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Workshops will help families cope with mental illness

Having a family member with bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder, or major depression can feel like being trapped on an emotional roller coaster, said Edie Mannion, director and cofounder of the Mental Health Association of Southeastern Pennsylvania's Training and Education Center.

She helped develop a class for family members who want to get off the carnival ride. Beginning this month, it will be offered in Philadelphia, Delaware, and Montgomery Counties.

 

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Help Is On Hand for Family Members of People with Borderline Personality Disorder, Bipolar Disorder and/or Depression
A popular Philadelphia workshop is coming to two Philadelphia suburban locations to help family members of people with borderline personality, bipolar and/or depressive disorders deal with the many challenges they face daily. “Getting Off the Emotional Roller Coaster” Family Skill-Building Workshop in Wallingford, Delaware County, will run for 10 Thursdays from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., from March 13  to May 22, 2014 (with no class on April 17). The same workshop in Montgomery County will be held in Plymouth Meeting, also on Thursdays from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., from Thursday, April 10, to June 19, 2014 (with no class on May 22). Sponsored by the Training and Education Center (TEC) of the Mental Health Association of Southeastern Pennsylvania, the workshops will be facilitated by a licensed therapist specializing in caregiver issues, a trainer who is also in recovery from one of the disorders, and a graduate of the workshop who mentors other family members. The cost is nominal.
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Seasoned Behavioral Health Services Executive to Lead Mental Health Association of Southeastern Pennsylvania
Michael Brody, until recently the Vice President of Service Operations of the Mental Health Association of Southeastern Pennsylvania (MHASP), has rejoined MHASP as its Chief Executive Officer. Brody assumed leadership of MHASP on January 8, 2014, following the early retirement of MHASP’s President and CEO, Bill Dinwiddie, for health reasons.
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Critical Mental Health Resources for College Students

With the pressures facing most people today, it is essential to take your mental health seriously. This is especially true for college students and young people, whose lack of experience in the real world could lead to major mental health issues resulting from stress, overwork, fatigue, or even the onset of a more serious mental illness. In fact, up to 75 percent of college students with possible mental health issues do not seek help for what ails them.

While this resource is meant to provide college students and young people with quality information on maintaining good mental health and identifying mental health issues, it is not meant to take the place of professional advice from a qualified mental health specialist. Anyone who wishes to learn more keeping tabs on their mental health should consider taking this mental health assessment before diving into the resource.

Most Common Mental Health Issues Facing College Students

Below is a list of serious mental health issues known to affect college students and young people:

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