In January 2013, President Obama laid out an action plan in the aftermath of the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT, on December 14, 2012. One key element of that plan was a call for a "national dialogue on mental health."
As an association representing behavioral healthcare provider organizations and professionals, the National Association of Psychiatric Health Systems (NAPHS) developed a white paper that focuses on the issues that we understand best -- those affecting Americans of all ages who face serious and life-threatening mental and addictive disorders.
The NAPHS white paper presents an analysis of what we know about behavioral health, about treatment of these disorders, and about current barriers to necessary treatment. It includes extensive references and data along with specific recommendations for action. In the white paper, NAPHS notes that any policy actions “need to have broad impact, be feasible to accomplish, and be cost-effective.”
Specifically, NAPHS recommends a focus on four priority areas:
1) ensuring coverage for mental and addictive disorders at parity with coverage for other medical conditions;
2) access to all levels of behavioral health care (inpatient—intermediate—outpatient) so that all Americans can get the right help, at the right time, in the right setting;
3) adequate resources to fund gaps in community services; and
4) predictability and consistency of funding for the treatment continuum, with accountability for quality.
NAPHS and its member organizations are using the white paper to help educate Congress, the administration, local communities, and other constituencies as they come together in “national dialogue.”
NAPHS statement on Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act, H.R. 2646
Final Report of the Sandy Hook Advisory Commission (presented to CT Gov. Dannel P. Malloy)
Report of the Connecticut Office of the Child Advocate: "Shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School"
NAPHS comment letter on "HIPAA Privacy Rule and the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS)"
Justice Department notice of proposed rulemaking: "Amended Definition of Adjudicated as a Mental Defective and Committed to a Mental Institution"
HHS notice of proposed rulemaking: "HIPAA Privacy Rule and the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS)"
NAPHS wins 2013 “APEX Award of Excellence” for Newtown white paper.
Mental Health Liaison Group letter: Thanks to President Obama and Joe Biden for the National Conference on Mental Health and National Dialogue on Mental Health (reiterating MHLG priorities)
Logos for National Dialogue on Mental Health. NAPHS members can use these to brand their community and professional outreach efforts as part of the National Dialogue.
NAPHS comment letter on HHS Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on “HIPAA and the National Instant Criminal Background Check System”
NAPHS release: "NAPHS Applauds White House Initiative to Reduce Mental Health Stigma; Association Members Commit to Offering Community and Professional Education." See White House fact sheet and detailed summary, which reference NAPHS involvement.
HHS Office of Civil Rights: Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking: "HIPAA Privacy Rule and the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS)"
Mental Health Liaison Group letter to Senate HELP Committee outlining priorities for responding to Newtown
NAPHS White Paper: Responding to the Newtown Tragedy: A White Paper on Behavioral Health as a Partner in the Solution