December 2013 Issue
By DBHR Director, Chris Imhoff
Holidays are a perfect time to talk about underage drinking
During the holiday season many families and friends get together for celebrations which may include alcohol. This is a good time for families to talk with their children and teens about the ways alcohol can impact their health and safety. Protecting children from the negative consequences of underage drinking is a valuable gift for an entire family and community. For tips on talking with your children and teens, visit www.StartTalkingNow.org.
If your party plans include alcohol for those who are 21 or older, get tips for celebrating safely any time of the year.
If alcohol use has become a problem for you or someone you care about, help is available. For free referrals and emotional support, contact the Washington Recovery Help Line at (866) 789-1511 or www.warecoveryhelpline.org.
The Department of Social and Health Services will distribute $23 million to Regional Support Networks across the state to improve the availability, access, quality and coordination of intensive mental health services. Starting July 1, 2014, as established in Senate Bill 5480, new standards for involuntary mental health treatment will take effect. The bill set aside funding to create specialized crisis services to address the expected increase in individuals accessing the mental health system. Read more ...
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has made outreach to Spanish-speaking families easier. All Campaign materials for parents and caregivers are now available in Spanish. These materials, which include the factsheets, tip sheets, and brochure, are available at http://www.underagedrinking.samhsa.gov as PDFs and in customizable Word files. A poster in Spanish that directs viewers to the Campaign homepage also is available.
DBHR has completed the first year of a four-year grant to implement an integrated system of care for youth with mental health challenges and their families that improves the delivery and outcomes for behavioral health services. To assess progress on implementing system of care values, principles, services and supports in Washington State, 12 youth from across the state conducted 72 interviews with youth and family members, and providers and administrators from child-serving mental health, substance abuse, juvenile justice, developmental disabilities, schools, and child welfare systems.
The youth used the Rating Tool for Assessing Implementation of the System of Care Approach for Children, Youth, and Young Adults with Mental Health Challenges and their Families. This method was selected to showcase youth capabilities and support them in engaging with others. The youth also developed skills in business-like approaches to work, using data, and giving effective presentations.
Youth assessed five major areas for the level of implementation (from little or no to extensive) in the interview. These areas include:
- A plan for the system of care approach
- Service delivery guided by system of care values and principles
- Services and supports based on the system of care approach
- System infrastructure based on the system of care approach
- Commitment to the system of care philosophy
Youth received training in the system of care approach, how to plan, schedule and conduct an interview, and the rating tool. Six months later they met again to debrief the process, learn principles for analyzing data, review the results and form recommendations. The good news is that with only one year of statewide implementation, we are at a “moderate” level of implementation in each of the five assessed areas.This provides a solid baseline on which to improve. The results are being shared statewide with Family, Youth, System Partner Roundtables. Each region will decide how to focus their improvement efforts in the coming year. In 2014, the youth will reconvene and plan their approach to assessment for a second year.
SAMHSA’s newly-released publication, Behavioral Health, United States, 2012, the latest in a series of publications issued by SAMHSA biannually since 1980, provides in-depth information regarding the current status of the mental health and substance abuse field. It includes behavioral health statistics at the national and State levels from 40 different data sources. The report includes three analytic chapters:
- Behavioral Health Disorders across the Life Span
- Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders: Impairment in Functioning
- Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders: Treatment Landscape
The volume also includes 172 tables, which are organized into four sections:
- Behavioral Health of the Population: the mental health status of the U.S. population and prevalence of mental illness;
- Behavioral Health Service Utilization: providers and settings for behavioral health services; types of behavioral health services provided; and rates of utilization;
- Behavioral Health Treatment Capacity: number of facilities providing mental health and substance abuse services; numbers of qualified specialty mental health and substance abuse providers; and
- Payer and Payment Mechanisms: expenditures and sources of funding for behavioral health services.
No other HHS publication provides this type of comprehensive information regarding behavioral health services delivery in the U.S. This publication is the only available comprehensive source of national-level statistical information on trends in both private and public sector behavioral health services, costs, and clients. Drawing on 40 different data sources, this publication also includes State-level data, and information on behavioral health treatment for special populations such as children, military personnel, nursing home residents, and incarcerated individuals.
The Office of National Drug Control Policy has developed a guide to identify, educate and prevent youth drugged driving. Donwload the guide at: http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/ondcp/issues-content/drugged_driving_toolkit.pdf.
DSHS and the Health Care Authority have been meeting with behavioral health professionals to hear suggestions for addressing procurement for Medicaid-funded behavioral health services. Details are available on our Stakeholder Notices page.
8.30.13 - Seattle Times: State to boost care for Medicaid youths
7.22.13 - Seattle Times Editorial: Feds make hash of state's mental health system
7.19.13 - Seattle Times: Feds put state's mental health system in jeopardy
7.14.13 - News Tribune: Special report: boarding the mentally ill
6.11.13 - Seattle Times: Heroin use spikes in young adults, UW report says
6.11.13 – Seattle Times: Will state budget make mental health “boarding” crisis worse?
5.31.13 – Columbia Basin Herald: Help WA teens have a graduation to remember
5.31.13 – Columbian Basin Herald: Help Washington state teens have a graduation to remember
5.6.13 – Seattle Times: Notable gains on mental health in state legislature
5.1.13 – Seattle Times: Medicaid improved mental health for uninsured
4.17.13 – Islander: Town hall about underage drinking
3.29.13 – KPLU: State's mental health reform focuses on preventive care
3.27.13 – Seattle Times: Get kids mental health care instead of sending to juvenile courts
3.21.13 – Seattle Times: legislature heeds call for mental health reform
3.14.13 – Seattle Times: Pot more popular than cigarettes
3.14.13 – Fox News: state survey on kids' attitudes toward pot, thoughts of suicide
2.25.13 - Spokesman Review: Experts warn effects of drinking impact us faster as we age
2.18.13 - The Columbian: Can mental health treatment help halt gun violence?
2.18.13 - Seattle Times: Bill tackles alcohol poisoning among underage drinkers
2.13.13 - Seattle Times: Painful tales of mental illness spur lawmakers to action
2.8.13 - NW News: Government Agency Feels Brunt of Increased Gun Permit Applications
2.6.13 - King 5: The Consequences of Mixing Energy Drinks and Alcohol
2.4.13 - USA Today: Bring Mental Illness Out of the Shadows
2.4.13 - The Olympian: Mental health funds sought as help falls short
2.3.13 - Seattle Times: Time to Overhaul Washington State's Broken Mental Health System
2.1.13 - SAMHSA - One Response to the Newtown Tragedy
1.28.13 -The Olympian: New Plan to Avoid ER Visits Could Save State $31 Million
1.25.13 - Seattle Times: Changing How We Talk About Mental Illness
1.20.13 - Seattle Times Editorial Prevent Active Duty Military from Committing Suicide
1.19.13 - Spokesman Review: We need to nurture young brains
1.15.13 - Peninsual Daily News: Clallam To Expand Youth Treatment
A new Toolkit for Community Conversations About Mental Health is designed to be a resource to help those interested in holding a community dialogue about mental health. It is comprised of three parts that will help communities and groups plan and facilitate a dialogue about mental health. Read more...
Settlement Agreement Filed for Children's Mental Health Services
State officials and attorneys for the plaintiffs in TR v. Dreyfus filed a preliminary settlement on August 29 that begins implementation of a program to provide intensive home and community-based mental health services to high-needs Medicaid eligible children and youth.
More information about the settlement:
Final Settlement Agreement
Notice of Settlement Agreement and Fairness Hearing
Notice of Settlement Agreement and Fairness Hearing Translations:
Brief Overview of Improvements to Children's Intensive Mental Health Services
Video: Community-Based Mental Health Services for Youth
There's No Trick To Keeping Teens Away from Alcohol
There’s no trick and there’s no treat when it comes to underage drinking on Halloween. The spookiest holiday of the year is also considered one of the biggest drinking holidays, so it’s no surprise that the alcohol industry wants to cash in on getting into the spirit. Unfortunately, the Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth researchers have found that that there is a link between minors who recognize advertisements for beer and spirits and the likelihood of them drinking. See more...
September 8-14 is Suicide Prevention Week
Suicide is preventable, and we can all play a role in this. To do this, we need to know more about it. We need to know how big the problem is in our communities, what the warning signs are, and what to do if we see these signs in someone we know.
To learn what you and others can do in your community, please download and share the Suicide Prevention Community Participation Packet, and Governor Inslee's Proclamation. If you know someone who needs help, the Washington Recovery Help Line (1-866-789-1511) offers 24/7 emotional support and referrals to resources in your area.
September is National Recovery Month: Join the Voices for Recovery
Governor Inslee has proclaimed September as Recovery Month in Washington. The proclamation may be added to websites and shared at events in your community.
A mental health or substance use problem can affect anyone. These conditions do not discriminate by age, race, ethnicity, gender, or income status, and are as prevalent as many other health issues.
Each September the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration sponsors Recovery Month to promote the benefits of prevention, treatment and recovery for mental and substance use disorders. Find out how to get involved, and access outreach materials at www.RecoveryMonth.gov.
Fatal medication and drug overdoses have surpassed traffic fatalities in Washington State. Governor Inslee has declared August 31 as Overdose Awareness Day in Washington State, and encourages families and communities to learn how to prevent and intervene in overdoses at www.stopoverdose.org.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has just released an Opioid Overdose Prevention Toolkit, with materials to develop policies and practices for preventing overdoses and deaths. The toolkit is intended for first responders, treatment providers, and those recovering from opioid overdose.
The University of Washington recently completed an info brief on heroin trends in Washington.
King County Passes Drug Take-Back Rules
The King County Board of Health took a significant step towards reducing preventable deaths from drug overdoses by passing a Rule & Regulation to create a drug take-back system for King County residents. The program promotes the safe disposal of unused prescription and over-the-counter medicines, and will be funded and operated by the drug manufacturers who produce the medications. Read more…
Health Care Authority, DSHS Launch Health Homes on July 1
Two state agencies will combine forces on July 1 to launch the state’s first Health
Homes — an enhanced delivery system for health care services. The Department of Social and Health Services and the Health Care Authority have been collaborating on the initiative with federal partners for almost three years, and the project has received solid input and strong support from local health jurisdictions, health care providers and advocates. Read more…
State death rate from RX pain medication overdose drops 23 percent
This state Department of Health announced the good news that several key initiatives, involving many partners across our state, are working to reduce overdose deaths. Fewer people in Washington died from prescription pain medication overdoses from 2008 to 2011, after an eightfold increase in deaths in the decade before. The overdose death rate dropped 23 percent, and the number of deaths dropped from 512 in 2008 to 407 in 2011. Read more...
New website for communicating outcomes, performance and evaluation
A new website (www.scopewa.net) is available to all DASA-TA and MHD-PI users. The System for Communicating Outcomes, Performance and Evaluation (SCOPE) will combine the functionality of the other two services into a single site. With a single login, you will be able to run both mental health and substance abuse related reports. All reports available on the two older sites will be available on SCOPE.
In addition to centralizing substance abuse and mental health reporting, SCOPE will give users several new analysis tools and features, including:
Charting: after generating custom tables in the Analyzer, for most queries users will have the option of viewing the results as a chart. Vertical or horizontal bar charts, grouped bar charts and line plots will all be available.
Saved queries: for routine monitoring, many users run the same query month after month as the data is updated. SCOPE will allow users to save queries and re-run them with a single click of a mouse.
Expanded Access: regardless of your role in the treatment system, if you are a registered user of SCOPE you will be able to generate results for the state as a whole, any county or RSN in the state, and any treatment agency. To protect patient confidentiality, if you are generating results for a county or agency that you are not associated with, the results will be rounded to the nearest multiple of 5.
If you are a registered user of DASA-TA, your username and password will work on SCOPE. If you are a registered user of just the MHD-PI site, you will need to re-register on SCOPE.
Statewide news release: 2012 Healthy Youth Survey
Fewer teens use tobacco and alcohol; many need support for depressive feelings
Fewer students are smoking cigarettes or drinking alcohol, according to a recent survey of kids in our state. At the same time, a large number of students seriously considered suicide in the past year. The number of secondary school students who believe using marijuana is risky dropped to the lowest level since the state started collecting data.
The Healthy Youth Survey is taken every two years by students in grades 6, 8, 10, and 12 in more than 1,000 public schools in Washington. More than 200,000 youth took part in the survey in October 2012 by answering a wide variety of questions about their health and health behaviors. All responses were voluntary and anonymous. The Healthy Youth Survey provides communities with needed information to make solid decisions about which health issues to focus on.
“The physical and emotional health of our youth is crucial to their success in school, in work, in personal relationships, and in their communities,” said Department of Social and Health Services Secretary Kevin W. Quigley. “It’s good to celebrate that fewer teens are using alcohol and tobacco, but it’s clear many teens need more support from the adults in their lives and from friends to make healthy choices and cope with challenges.” Read more...
DBHR's Children's Mental Health Key Activities for 2013-2014 has been finalized. Thank you to all stakeholders who submitted thoughtful feedback.
DBHR Recognized by CADCA: CADCA has named the Division of Behavioral Health and Recovery its 2013 oustanding state member. In their award letter CADCA wrote that "DBHR has rightfully earned this esteemed honor as a result of your commitment to community substance abuse prevention coalitions, continued work and support of the Drug Free Communities program, the implementation of the Prevention System Redesign as well as your significant investment through training and technical assistance to local leaders." Read more...
Surveys Due from Behavioral Health Treatment Providers: DBHR is currently conducting the 2012 Behavioral Health Treatment Provider Survey. It is available online (http://www.wabhtxprovidersurvey.com) for publicly funded mental health and chemical dependency treatment providers in Washington State. The survey will collect baseline information on the use of evidence-based practices in services to children and juveniles, quality improvement efforts and staffing. Participation is crucial - we ask that providers complete the survey ASAP. For further information contact Felix Rodriguez at 360-725-3761or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Department of Social and Health Services, Division of Behavioral Health and Recovery (DBHR), is in the process of submitting its 2014-2015 Uniform Application for the Mental Health Block Grant and the Substance Abuse Block Grant for federal funding of behavioral health services. DBHR must submit this application to the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) by April 1, 2013. Webinars for public comment about the needs assessment and priorities were held in January and February. A copy of this presentation can be found at: http://www.dshs.wa.gov/dbhr/stakeholders.shtml.
New guide for parents: Growing Up Drug-Free: A Parent's Guide to Prevention
Workshop Feb 6 for Rule Changes: Residential Treatment Facilities
The Department of Health withdrew the CR 101 statement of inquiry for chapter 246-337 which was filed August 18, 2010. The original intent of that pre proposal was to update the residential treatment facility (RTF) rules to reflect federal and state regulatory changes and current business and professional practices. Since that filing and five rules workshops, the department recognizes the additional need to consider the scope of places the RTF regulations and standards should be applied to, and to address 2011 legislation establishing the licensure of triage facilities. The department filed a revised CR 101 on October 31, 2012 that expanded the scope of the proposed rule making. The department will host rule workshops whereby interested parties are encourage to participate in the updating of the rules. A RTF rules workshop will be held on February 6, 2012. If you have any questions, please contact program manager, Barbara Runyon at (360) 236-2937 or email Barbara.email@example.com.
DBHR has posters available to display in waiting rooms at treatment agencies, CSOs, and other community organizations. The poster informs people about state funded treatment, who has priority for treatment, and the number to the Washington Recovery Help Line for referrals.
To order free copies of the printed posters, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
(November 2012 )
Washington awarded grant to help foster children with emotional disabilities
This project will focus on comprehensive planning to improve the social and emotional well-being of children in foster care. The primary goals of the grant are to streamline and standardize processes to identify and refer children for services, increase capacity to deliver evidence-based practices and trauma-informed care, and coordinate planning between professionals in mental health and childwelfare. Read more...
MeLinda Trujillo, a DBHR Behavioral Health Program Manager, received an Oxford House Founders Award at the Oxford House World Convention held in Oklahoma City on September 15, 2012. The Oxford House Inc. Founders Award is given to men or women who have made a lasting contribution to the growth and success of Oxford House. The award, a crystal glass flame, was inscribed: MeLinda Trujillo, for her strength, dedication, wisdom, and tireless leadership for Oxford House.
New action guide by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration uses a case study approach to present resources that service providers, advocates, and practitioners can use to better understand and engage the community in responding to children whose caregivers are negatively impacted by mental illness, substance abuse, or trauma.
Jennifer Bliss joined DBHR in Oct. as the Office of Consumer Partnerships Program Manager. Jennifer comes to us from the OptumHealth Pierce Regional Support Network. Jennifer brings a range of experience and many skills to the Division. At Optum she has worked as a complaint/grievance specialist and quality analyst. She has extensive experience providing training on consumer rights and recovery-based approaches. Jennifer has a passion for recovery and for including consumer voice throughout mental health services and system. She may be reached at email@example.com.
New notices about consolidating the Regional Support Networks, and rule-making for Triage Facilities, Standards for Administration, and Mental Health Treatment for Minors, have been added to DBHR's Notices and Rule-Making page.
More than 800 youth and adults from across the state participated in the Washington State Prevention Summit, presented by DBHR, November 4-6. This year's theme was Prevention is EPIC: Empower, Promote, Innovate, Collaborate. The Prevention Summit provided an excellent opportunity to strengthen our prevention efforts as alcohol and other drugs become more available and promoted in our communities. Lt. Governor Brad Owen presented State Exemplary Prevention Awards to the following individuals and programs for their remarkable achievements: Prevention Summit Awards.
DBHR has issued draft rules for licensing and certifying behavioral health agencies. We are asking stakeholders to review the proposed rules for consolidation, and provide comments by November 29. See Letter to Stakeholders, Draft Program Requirements and Draft Admin Standards.
A SAMHSA brief on issues facing returning veterans and available resources. http://store.samhsa.gov/shin/content//SMA12-4670/SMA12-4670.pdf
Healthy Youth Survey underway in Washington schools this week: Survey tracks tobacco, alcohol and drug use, and other behaviors that impact health
The latest issue of FOCUS newsletter is now available here.
Cheryl Wilcox began work as the Division of Behavioral Health and Recovery's new Problem and Pathological Gambling Program Manager in September. Cheryl has worked with DBHR's previous Problem Gambling Program Manager, Linda Graves, supporting the program and providers. For the last three years Cheryl has focused on recovery support services while managing two federal grants: Access to Recovery and Washington Court and Recovery Enhancement System (WA-CARES). For information about DBHR's Problem Gambling Program, contact Cheryl at firstname.lastname@example.org.
DBHR Awarded Two SAMHSA Grants: System of Care, Improving Treatment for Adolescents. Information about the grant awards is available in the following news releases:
Washington state awarded grant to help children with emotional disabilities
More Washington youth to receive services for substance use conditions
Posted 9-10-12 The Washington State Prevention Enhancement Policy Consortium has completed a Substance Abuse Prevention and Mental Health Promotion Five Year Strategic Plan. The purpose of this plan is to provide the best service to children, individuals, families and communities in our state, through building a healthy, nurturing and safe environment in Washington communities. DBHR would like to thank all of the partners involved in contributing to and reviewing the plan.
Sept 12: 1st Annual Walk to Raise Awareness about Suicide among Native Americans
Several Tribal groups, as part of the National NNEDLearn 2012 Training sponsored by SAMHSA’s Office of Behavioral Health Equity, have organized the nation’s 1st Annual Walk to Raise Awareness about Suicide among Native Americans for Wednesday, September 12, 2012 in conjunction with National Suicide Prevention Week (September 9-15). Read more…
Oct. 13: Webinar on Revised National Strategy for Suicide Prevention
On September 10 the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention and the Office of the Surgeon General released the revised National Strategy for Suicide Prevention (NSSP). The Suicide Prevention Resource Center will host a Research to Practice webinar on the revised NSSP for our field on October 3, 2012. To learn more about that webinar and to register, please visit: https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/278794616. If you would like to share or gain ideas related to advancing the NSSP in your organization/sector, please contact Emily Barocas, our Director of Communications, at email@example.com.
First Annual “Above the Influence” Day Planning Webinars: Sept 6 & 12
Join the White House Office on National Drug Control Policy on October 18, 2012, for the first ever National “Above the Influence” (ATI) Day. Taking place during National Substance Abuse Prevention Month in October, ATI Day will be a time to celebrate youth living the “Above the Influence” lifestyle as well as recognize the power of prevention efforts in local communities.
This annual tradition will reinforce ATI as a central substance abuse prevention tool on the national level and among community partners, key stakeholders and youth around the country.
The ATI Team is providing a webinar on how to prepare for the first ATI Day by organizing an ATI activity, event or youth experience that supports your respective missions. During the webinar, you will have an opportunity to hear from coalition leaders who will share key learnings on how they have implemented ATI in their communities.
The ATI Day Webinar is being offered on two dates – register for a session now by clicking the date below that best first your schedule: Thu, Sep 6, 2012 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM EDT or Wed, Sep 12, 2012 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM EDT. Once registered you will receive an email confirming your registration with information you need to join the Webinar. For more information on “Above the Influence” and to download the ATI Activities Toolkit and other FREE resources, visit www.ATIPartnerships.com.
Agency Affiliated Counselor Application Pilot Program
Under a new pilot program, applicants for Agency Affiliated Counselor may submit an application to the Department of Health prior to obtaining employment with an approved agency.
Although applicants will not receive a state license prior to an employment with an agency, the Department of Health will begin the steps of processing the applications upon receipt.
The goal of this pilot program is that Agency Affiliated Counselor applicants can more quickly obtain licenses after the department receives verification of the counselor's employment.
For additional information, see the Application packet, or call the DOH Customer Service Office at 360-236-4700.
DOH Tobacco Quit Line Available Again to Residents of Washington State
The DOH Tobacco Quit Line (1-800-QUIT-NOW) is once again available to the uninsured and underinsured in Washington state. Anyone who lives in our state is now eligible for at least one call to the quit line. 1-800-QUIT-NOW is a free service to help you or someone you care about quit using tobacco. Different people need different resources as they try to quit. The quit line can support both your immediate and long-term needs. Our coaches can talk to you about overcoming common barriers, like dealing with stress, cravings, irritability, and weight gain. The quit line is available in both English and Spanish with translation and TTY services. It is open 7 days a week. 24 hours a day except the Fourth of July, Thanksgiving, and Christmas Day.
Julián Gonzales Selected DBHR Certification Section Supervisor
I am pleased to announce Julián Gonzales has been selected to serve at Certification Supervisor for the Division of Behavioral Health and Recovery. Dennis Malmer, our former Certification Supervisor, is now leading our state’s Screening, Brief Intervention, Referral and Treatment program.
As a Certification Section lead worker, Julián has been an integral member of the section’s management team. Julián has many years of experience conducting on-site surveys of treatment providers across the entire continuum of care as well as school based, tribal, county and state operated programs. He has a deep and comprehensive knowledge of federal statutes and state rules and policies, including how they relate to treatment and the quality of care. This knowledge and understanding will be critical as we continue our efforts to support providers during the WAC rewrites and the transitions that will occur with implementing the Affordable Care Act.
Comments Requested for Children’s Mental Health Redesign Plan – Due by Sept 15.
Given the many requests for a broader timeframe for review and comment on the Draft Children’s Mental Health Redesign Plan, DBHR is extending the feedback time until Friday September 14th. Please submit your feedback to Rebecca Kelly by 9/14. We will continue to move forward with required implementation activities during this time. Thank you to all who have submitted excellent and thoughtful feedback to date. We are grateful for your interest, investment and partnership in improving our children’s mental health system. The final plan will continue to be a living strategic plan with regular updates informed by youth, families, and system partners.
Please see the Draft Children's Mental Health Redesign Plan.
Washington State Recruitment Notice: Problem Gambling Manager, Closes 8/24
Nominations for Prevention Awards Due August 27
We are pleased to announce the call for nominations for the 2012 Washington State Exemplary Substance Abuse Prevention Awards. Please see the Announcement and Nomination Packet for more information and to check out the expanded award categories. Nominations are due by 5:00 p.m. on Monday, August 27th and will be accepted online using Survey Monkey™, via email or fax.
Preventing Suicide: A Tool Kit for High Schools
This new SAMHSA tool kit assists high schools and school districts in designing and implementing strategies to prevent suicide and promote behavioral health. Includes tools to implement a multi-faceted suicide prevention program that responds to the needs and cultures of students.
Stay Involved With Your Teen Over Summer To Guide Healthy Choices
The Washington State Coalition to Reduce Underage Drinking offers tips for parents in a new article: Summertime, and the living is easy...www.StartTalkingNow.org.
DSHS schedules public hearings on proposed Lummi Counseling opiate substitution treatment program
The Department of Social and Health Services has scheduled two public hearings in Bellingham to receive comments on plans to add an opiate substitution treatment service to an existing chemical dependency treatment program. The program would serve people who are dependent on opiates, such as heroin and OxyContin. Read more…
Medicaid Emergency Psychiatric Demonstration begins July 19
On March 13, 2012 DSHS announced Washington state was selected to participate in the Medicaid Emergency Psychiatric Demonstration project. This Demonstration is designed to test whether Medicaid beneficiaries who experience a psychiatric emergency receive more immediate, appropriate care when psychiatric hospitals receive Medicaid reimbursement. See news release.
Beginning July 19, CMS will provide federal match dollars to the state for Demonstration-eligible individuals (ages 22-64, Medicaid eligible, and who are experiencing a mental health related emergency medical condition) who are admitted to our state’s three non-government psychiatric hospitals (Fairfax Hospital, Navos Mental Health and Lourdes Counseling Center). This means that the equivalent amount of state dollars will be freed-up to invest in our mental health system. We are currently planning with our project partners how to invest these dollars to meet the Demonstration goals to increase psychiatric services capacity and to reduce psychiatric boarding in community hospitals.
DBHR is very pleased about our participation in the Demonstration and we look forward to improving our mental health system to better serve mental health consumers.
Summer Issue of FOCUS E-Newsletter
Message From Secretary Robin Arnold-Williams on Affordable Care Act Decision
The U.S. Supreme Court this morning upheld the Affordable Care Act, the most extensive reform of American health care since the creation of Medicare in the 1960s. This historic ruling means Washington state can continue in its role as one of the leaders in expanding health care coverage to hundreds of thousands more people in a more equitable system, where people are not denied coverage or have to pay surcharges because they or their children have a pre-existing condition and don’t have to face lifetime limits on their medical care.
The Supreme Court’s ruling means the Department of Social and Health Services can continue our innovation in the integration of care for individuals who are eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid. It means tens of thousands of our clients can look forward to having access to health care coverage in January 2014, children aging out of foster care can get coverage until 26 years of age and quality improvement efforts can continue to reduce return hospitalizations for nursing home and long-term-care patients.
Perhaps most importantly, the ruling means that we have a lot of work to do to make sure that this historic transition in health care coverage is successful for our clients. Thanks to the leadership of Governor Gregoire, our colleagues at the Health Care Authority and the Health Benefits Exchange, our Aging and Disability Services Administration, Economic Services Administration and ISSD, Washington and the Department are well prepared to make this transition.
Health and wellness play a key role in the lives of the individuals and families we serve. I will rely on your knowledge and skills to help our clients benefit from a new era in health care.
June 28, 2012
Nearly One-Fourth of Suicide Victims Intoxicated At Time of Death. Almost one-fourth of suicide victims in the United States are legally intoxicated at the time of death, a new study has found. People who commit suicide while intoxicated are much more likely than those who are sober to kill themselves by violent means, such as using a firearm, falling or hanging themselves, Fox News reports. The researchers analyzed the blood-alcohol levels of almost 58,000 people who committed suicide. They found 22 percent overall were drunk when they died—24 percent of men, and 17 percent of women. “One hypothesis is these were individuals responding to major life stressors or crises, who engaged in drinking with a firearm present within a few hours of taking their lives and became disinhibited by the alcohol,” Kaplan told Fox News. “They were drinking excessively in order to make it possible to die by suicide.” The study appears in the journal Injury Prevention.
Rainier Says No To Teen Drinking. The Rainier City Council has passed a law that aims to curb underage drinking. It goes into effect June 21. If an underage gathering involving alcohol occurs, Ordinance 607 will hold responsible the person who owns, rents, leases or controls the property where the party happened. Breaking the law will have civil repercussions, including fines. It’s only the second such "social host" law in the state, following Mercer Island. Planning partners and supporters include TOGETHER!, Target Zero Thurston, local law enforcement and judicial representatives, the Rainier Community Coalition, the state Coalition to Reduce Underage Drinking, and the state Division of Behavioral Health & Recovery. For more information on social host laws and how alcohol affects teens, go to www.liq.wa.gov or www.niaaa.nih.gov.