Posts Tagged ‘mental health’

Mental Overall health Dietary supplements

Mental Overall health Dietary supplements

Photo by: Shelby Deeter / Unsplash

Most persons, who put up with from melancholy, also put up with from panic problem. In reality, panic and melancholy are the most common kinds of mental health and fitness issues. The cause of these disorders is because of to chemical imbalances in the brain. There are prescription prescription drugs that a health practitioner can prescribe to assist reduce the consequences of melancholy and panic. These remedies can present reduction, but there are also choices. Numerous people today have had success with making use of mental health and fitness nutritional supplements. Some people today count on a hundred% mental health and fitness nutritional supplements for treatment method, while other people use health and fitness nutritional supplements in addition to recommended medications. Before deciding upon to consider mental health and fitness nutritional supplements for melancholy or panic, be absolutely sure you 1st speak with your medical professional.

Omega-three fatty acids are an outstanding way to assist with signs and symptoms of melancholy. There are many ways to increase omega-three consider. The most common way as with fish oil nutritional supplements or you can consider flax seed oil nutritional supplements. The purpose why this is an effective treatment for melancholy is because of to the eicosapentaenoic acid, which is observed in fish. For persons who are depressed, they are inclined to have reduced ranges of eicosapentaenoic acid.

Normally observed in research on mental health and fitness nutritional supplements, is the suggestion of expanding amino acids. When persons put up with from panic or melancholy, reduced ranges of amino acids are commonly observed. Some doctors focus in amino acid treatment. Therapy may perhaps or may perhaps not be desired, but you can uncover many amino…


Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - November 29, 2017 at 11:45 pm

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1000+ Health and Human Services Leaders Converge for Technology Event Featuring Innovations and Collaboration | Business Wire

1000+ Health and Human Services Leaders Converge for Technology Event Featuring Innovations and Collaboration | Business Wire

WASHINGTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–More than 1,000 health and human services professionals are gathering

near Washington, D.C. as CONNECTIONS2015

opens today at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center. The

four day client conference by Netsmart,

the largest post-acute electronic health record (EHR) provider, examines

ways information technology (IT) can positively impact services for the

more than 25 million people across the country served by Netsmart

clients. This year’s theme is: Innovating TODAY, Impacting TOMORROW,

Inspiring COMMUNITY.

“Health IT is changing lives – whether it’s coordinating care between

mental health and physical health providers, medication management that

reduces errors, or predictive analytics that provides key insights into

optimizing services and treatment,” said Netsmart CEO Mike Valentine.

“Our goal is to enable our clients to adapt to the ever-changing

healthcare landscape while innovating together to transform services


Valentine’s opening keynote will include Netsmart clients sharing

stories about their innovative use of technology.

“Behind every healthcare data point is a person, a life,” said Tom

Herzog, Netsmart chief operating officer, who will also speak at the

keynote. “Our clients are at the center of providing life-changing care

and services 24/7. This conference is an opportunity for them to

collaborate, share and take back information that will help them make an

even stronger impact on lives in their communities.”

Attendees at CONNECTIONS2015 from across the country include public and

private sector mental health and addiction treatment organizations,

social services and child and family services agencies, managed care

organizations and public health departments.

This year’s conference features 13 tracks with more than 150

user-selected sessions on topics ranging from how to get the most out of

your Netsmart solutions to care integration to harnessing big data. The Executive

Symposium, a special conference track for CEOs and others with

strategic management roles, focuses on managing the rapid evolution to

value-based contracting and care coordination.

CONNECTIONS2015 features an extensive Solutionarium (innovative exhibit

area) where attendees can get an up close and personal look at solutions

and talk with experts on coordinated care, mobile apps, consumer

engagement, predictive analytics, population health management and other

innovations from Netsmart and key partners/exhibitors. New this year in

the Solutionarium are CareTalks, short, informal learning sessions by

Netsmart and client experts.

Netsmart executive vice president Kevin Scalia will deliver the second

day keynote, and will be joined on stage by mental health advocate and

former Congressman Patrick Kennedy, co-founder of One

Mind for Research, Linda Rosenberg, president and CEO, National

Council for Behavioral Health, and Matt Salo, executive director, National

Association of Medicaid Directors.

The panel will address implications for providers, consumers and payers

of capitalization, funding and service provision in a changing

healthcare ecosystem.

Attendees at CONNECTIONS2015 can also engage with Netsmart’s HIT

Value Model™, a vendor-agnostic planning and measurement system,

which provides a path for health and human services organizations to

evaluate where on the healthcare IT spectrum they should focus their

efforts, the value associated with that strategic decision and a

comparison with peer organizations nationwide.

“The ability to come together and collaborate in our nation’s capital is

invaluable,” said Valentine. “Each year at CONNECTIONS, the people on

the front lines of care share their knowledge for the betterment of our

most vulnerable populations. We’re excited to see the tangible results

of that same kind of collaboration at CONNECTIONS2015.”

About Netsmart

Netsmart is healthcare’s largest post-acute EHR provider, and is

committed to helping health and human services providers deliver

coordinated, integrated, outcomes-based services and care. Netsmart

serves more than 20,000 clients across all 50 states, resulting in

approximately 450,000 users of its software and technology solutions.

Netsmart clients include mental health and addiction services agencies,

health homes, psychiatric hospitals, private and group mental health

practices, public health departments, social services and child and

family services agencies, managed care organizations, and vital records


Netsmart’s CareFabric™,

a framework of innovative clinical and business solutions and services,

supports integrated, coordinated delivery of health services across the

spectrum of care.

Netsmart’s HIT

Value Model™, a vendor-agnostic planning and measurement system,

provides a path for health and human services organizations to evaluate

where on the healthcare IT spectrum they should focus their efforts, the

value associated with that strategic decision and a comparison with peer

organizations nationwide.

Netsmart is pleased to support the EveryDay Matters Foundation, which

was established for behavioral and public health organizations to learn

from each other and share their causes and stories. For more

information, visit

Learn more about how Netsmart is changing the face of healthcare today.


call 1-800-472-5509, follow us on LinkedIn

and Twitter,

like us on Facebook

or visit us on YouTube

HIT Value Model and CareFabric are trademarks of Netsmart Technologies,


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Child and Adolescent Mental Health

Child and Adolescent Mental Health

Mental Health Is Important

Mental health is how people think, feel, and act as they face life’s situations. It affects how people handle stress, relate to one another, and make decisions. Mental health influences the ways individuals look at themselves, their lives, and others in their lives. Like physical health, mental health is important at every stage of life.

All aspects of our lives are affected by our mental health. Caring for and protecting our children is an obligation and is critical to their daily lives and their independence.

Children and Adolescents Can Have Serious Mental Health Problems Like adults, children and adolescents can have mental health disorders that interfere with the way they think, feel, and act. When untreated, mental health disorders can lead to school failure, family conflicts, drug abuse, violence, and even suicide. Untreated mental health disorders can be very costly to families, communities, and the health care system.

In this fact sheet, “Mental Health Problems” for children and adolescents refers to the range of all diagnosable emotional, behavioral, and mental disorders. They include depression, attention- deficit/hyperactivity disorder, and anxiety, conduct, and eating disorders. Mental health problems affect one in every five young people at any given time. “Serious Emotional Disturbances” for children and adolescents refers to the above disorders when they severely disrupt daily functioning in home, school, or community. Serious emotional disturbances affect 1 in every 10 young people at any given time.

Mental Health Disorders Are More Common in Young People than Many Realize.

Studies show that at least one in five children and adolescents have a mental health disorder. At least one in 10, or about 6 million people, have a serious emotional disturbance.

The Causes Are Complicated

Mental health disorders in children and adolescents are caused mostly by biology and environment. Examples of biological causes are genetics, chemical imbalances in the body, or damage to the central nervous system, such as a head injury. Many environmental factors also put young people at risk for developing mental health disorders. Examples include:

Exposure to environmental toxins, such as high levels of lead; Exposure to violence, such as witnessing or being the victim of physical or sexual abuse, drive-by shootings, muggings, or other disasters; Stress related to chronic poverty, discrimination, or other serious hardships; and The loss of important people through death, divorce, or broken relationships.

Signs of Mental Health Disorders Can Signal a Need for Help

Children and adolescents with mental health issues need to get help as soon as possible. A variety of signs may point to mental health disorders or serious emotional disturbances in children or adolescents. Pay attention if a child or adolescent you know has any of these warning signs:

A child or adolescent is troubled by feeling:

Sad and hopeless for no reason, and these feelings do not go away. Very angry most of the time and crying a lot or overreacting to things.

Worthless or guilty often.

Anxious or worried often.

Unable to get over a loss or death of someone important. Extremely fearful or having unexplained fears.

Constantly concerned about physical problems or physical appearance.

Frightened that his or her mind either is controlled or is out of control.

A child or adolescent experiences big changes, such as:

Showing declining performance in school.

Losing interest in things once enjoyed.

Experiencing unexplained changes in sleeping or eating patterns.

Avoiding friends or family and wanting to be alone all the time.

Daydreaming too much and not completing tasks.

Feeling life is too hard to handle.

Hearing voices that cannot be explained.

Experiencing suicidal thoughts.

A child or adolescent experiences:

Poor concentration and is unable to think straight or make up his or her mind.

An inability to sit still or focus attention. Worry about being harmed, hurting others, or doing something “bad”.

A need to wash, clean things, or perform certain routines hundreds of times a day, in order to avoid an unsubstantiated danger.

Racing thoughts that are almost too fast to follow. Persistent nightmares.

A child or adolescent behaves in ways that cause problems, such as:

Using alcohol or other drugs.

Eating large amounts of food and then purging, or abusing laxatives, to avoid weight gain.

Dieting and/or exercising obsessively.

Violating the rights of others or constantly breaking the law without regard for other people.

Setting fires.

Doing things that can be life threatening.

Killing animals.

Comprehensive Services through Systems of Care Can Help Some children diagnosed with severe mental health disorders may be eligible for comprehensive and community-based services through systems of care. Systems of care help children with serious emotional disturbances and their families cope with the challenges of difficult mental, emotional, or behavioral problems. To learn more about systems of care, call the National Mental Health Information Center at 1-800-789-2647, and request fact sheets on systems of care and serious emotional disturbances, or visit the Center’s web site at

Finding the Right Services Is Critical

To find the right services for their children, families can do the following:

Get accurate information from hotlines, libraries, or other sources.

Seek referrals from professionals.

Ask questions about treatments and services.

Talk to other families in their communities.

Find family network organizations.

It is critical that people who are not satisfied with the mental health care they receive discuss their concerns with providers, ask for information, and seek help from other sources.

Important Messages About Child and Adolescent Mental Health:

Every child’s mental health is important.

Many children have mental health problems.

These problems are real, painful, and can be severe.

Mental health problems can be recognized and treated.

Caring families and communities working together can help.

Information is available; call 1-800-789-2647.

This is one of many fact sheets on children’s mental health disorders. All the fact sheets listed below are written in an easy-to-read style. Families, caretakers, and media professionals may find them helpful when looking for information about mental health disorders. For free copies, call 1-800-789-2647, or visit

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - August 26, 2017 at 9:56 pm

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10 Crucial Questions That You Ought To Ask When You Are Buying Health Insurance

10 Crucial Questions That You Ought To Ask When You Are Buying Health Insurance

If you are considering requesting a health insurance quote the specific details of the plan are critical and there a number of questions that you must ask. Just looking at the premium which you are being asked to pay is not enough and you need to look at various different things including any limitations, restrictions on where treatment can be sought, exclusions, additional fees and payment requirements and several other things.

Here are several very important things that you should always consider whenever you are buying a health insurance plan:

1. What out-of-pocket expenses and deductibles will I need to pay? The premiums are merely a starting point and almost all plans will require you to cover your bills up to a specified amount before your insurance kicks in. Thereafter, you will normally also have to make a contribution towards the cost of each individual bill.

2. Are health screenings and medical examinations covered under the plan? Examine the plan to find out whether or not the plan covers you for routine health exams including such things as mammograms, breast exams and pap smears for women.

3. How are specialist care treatments and referrals dealt with? Examine the procedures you need to follow if you require referral for specialist treatment and whether or not there are special rules for meeting the cost of special care treatment.

4. What cover is provided for emergency care and hospital treatment? {Take a good look to see whether you will need pre-approval for emergency or hospital treatment. It may seem crazy but some plans will not let you ask for emergency treatment without the pre-approval of a designated physician.

5. Is cover provided for prescription medication? A lot of plans will limit the drugs that can be prescribed often stating that listed generic drugs rather than brand name drugs must be prescribed. You also have to look very carefully at what proportion of any cost you will have to meet for medication.

6. Is cover for dental and vision care provided? A lot of plans do not cover vision and dental care at all although some limit treatment to merely routine annual dental and eye checkups.

7. Is psychiatry, psychotherapy and other mental health care cover provided? Not all insurance plans will provide cover for mental health care and when cover is provided you need to look very carefully at the extent of the cover being offered.

8. Is hospital, home and nursing home care covered? It is very important to look at the extent to which cover is provided for care in hospital, in a nursing home or at home and whether or not there is a cap on any cover.

9. Is physical therapy and rehabilitation cover given? Accident or illness frequently leads to a need for physical therapy or rehabilitation and so it is important to examine the extent to which such treatment is covered.

10. Is alternative therapy covered? As an increasing number of us are turning to alternative treatments such as the use of acupuncture or holistic treatments you should check to see whether these are covered if this is something that you want to make use of.

The premium you are paying for your health insurance plan is of course very important but you have to bear in mind that it is merely one small part of the total package you are buying.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - August 15, 2017 at 8:48 pm

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Part Two of Seventh Annual Spok Survey Confirms Infrastructure Improvements and Mobile Device Diversity | Business Wire

Part Two of Seventh Annual Spok Survey Confirms Infrastructure Improvements and Mobile Device Diversity | Business Wire

SPRINGFIELD, Va.–()–[DOWNLOAD], a wholly owned subsidiary of Spok Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:

SPOK) and the global leader in healthcare communications, today released

the [DOWNLOAD] of the Company's annual mobility in healthcare survey. Spok has

been conducting this survey since 2011 to assess mobile workflow

enablement trends in hospitals across the country. More than 300 U.S.

healthcare professionals responded to this year’s questions about mobile

strategy development, bring your own device (BYOD) policies,

communications infrastructure, and opportunities to improve mobile



<p style="text-align: center"> on May 4, 2017.

Spok’s 2017 Mobile Communications in Healthcare

Survey Series

About Spok

Spok, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Spok Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:

SPOK), headquartered in Springfield, Va., is proud to be the global

leader in healthcare communications. We deliver clinical information to

care teams when and where it matters most to improve patient outcomes.

Top hospitals rely on the Spok Care Connect® platform to enhance

workflows for clinicians, support administrative compliance, and provide

a better experience for patients. Our customers send over 100 million

messages each month through their Spok® solutions. When seconds count,

count on Spok. For more information, visit

or follow @spoktweets on Twitter.

Spok is a trademark of Spok Holdings, Inc.

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Mental Health – How To Stop Believing In Illusions

Mental Health – How To Stop Believing In Illusions

Our dreams don’t let us doubt of the fact that we are absurd and we are making mistakes. We have the tendency to be false, aggressive, immoral, indifferent, selfish, greedy, and cruel. This is why we have many mental health problems and our world is a living hell camouflaged by hypocrisy.

When I declared that human beings are in fact demons many people thought that they were insulted, but the truth is that everyone is absurd and evil in the world, and this is why so many crimes are committed every day.

Everyone is mentally ill and everyone’s behavior must be condemned. Everyone has the satanic behavior imposed by their anti-conscience in numerous situations, even if they don’t commit crimes.

Since we live in a crazy world ruled by terror, violence, immorality, and greed, we tend to have an aggressive behavior. Since we inherit absurdity and evilness into our anti-conscience, we have numerous absurd tendencies.

Now that we know the truth we must be humble and recognize the fact that we need God’s therapy in our dreams because we think and act like mentally retarded in numerous situations. We have to stop believing that we are intelligent, that we can control our behavior, or that there is real goodness in our psyche.

Until today we believed in illusions and this is why we admired our capacity to think. However, the truth is that we are too far from sound mental health. The fact that we can think is extremely dangerous.

We believe that we are able to understand what is best for us with our deficient conscience, and we don’t perceive the influence of our satanic anti-conscience in numerous situations.

Now we have to stop being naïve.

The knowledge we have now that we know the truth helps us better understand the meaning of dreams and the meaning of life.

* Now we know that our dreams reflect the depth of our absurdity.

* Now we know that we are alive in order to stop being absurd and evil.

* Now we know that we have to become mentally healthy human beings by trying to attain sanctity.

The hidden mystery became known. All illusions were unmasked.

Perfect mental health depends on goodness because evilness generates absurdity, terror, and despair.

We must learn how to cultivate goodness in our hearts in order to find peace.

Now that God showed us that our primitive conscience has a satanic origin we have to be afraid of our thoughts and our desires.

We must learn how to be sensitive and wise through dream translation and we have to respect our religion.

All religions were created by God, the same way that all races and all animals and plants were created by Him with the intention to help us eliminate our satanic anti-conscience through consciousness.

Religion is more important than materialism and mental health is more important than money.

Source by Christina Sponias

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Mental Health Alert!

Mental Health Alert!

It's come to my attention, that there seem to be an increasing amount of mental health issues popping-up these days, including, but not limited to, "selective memory loss, paranoia, and delusion". Otherwise healthy and rational human animals, have been coming up with the most extraordinary statements lately, which lead me to believe that they must be effected by a highly virulent strain of some mental blockage / malfunction. We may be experiencing a deadly virus more sinister than the passing cold (and I doubt we'll be able to have this one analyzed by the CDC).

In recent weeks I've actually heard with my very own ears, lifelong democrats, and rational fence-sitting Republicans, say they are not going to vote for Obama! (What the hell does that mean ?!)

For some, that means they are actually consideringoting for McCain, & more of the failed Republican agenda, which got us into this mess in the first place (re: "selective memory loss"). They reason that the dysfunctional known, is better than the wide-open unknown, and have retreated to the well worn paths of the past. (I suspect the oft used Republican ploy of "paranoia politics" has taken it's toll here, and these people have finally succumb to it's oozing, baseless fear.)) They've lost so much of their happiness in the last 8 years, that they 'Re attributable to put any more of their existence on the line, and will try to hold onto the little sanity they have left, with both hands.

For others, they've swung their two-cents into the various Independent Parties, reasoning that they have to vote their conscience, … no matter what! (Now this group, although I applaud their basic merit and integrity, I have to diagnose in the "delusional" category.) In theory, our voting system is set up to bend to the will of the majority of the people it Governs. Sounds good on paper! However in practice, if you split up the majority into numerous separate issue groups, this enables a carpet-bagging minority to slip in the back door, and push their limited agenda on everyone else, … whether we really agree with it, or Not. So, although initially well intended, this approach will become the equivalent of shooting yourself in the foot to avoid future cuticle issues, and their votes will essentially be negated in the ultimate electoral results.

I've even heard underlying implications (and a few outright ones), that some just will not vote for a black man for President. Disregarding that Obama is also 50% white, these people seem to be succumbing to the outdated ethnic opinions and fears of their forefathers 'generation, totally dismissing the fact that if our country were in a world-wide dog show, … we' D definitely be in the 'Mutt' category.

I know in normal, everyday life, these people would never treat another human being cruelly, or with unprovoked malice (here's where we touch briefly on "multiple personality disorder"). But somewhere in the building anxiety over the condition we find our country in, their past rote teachings, of ancient paranoia, start whispering to them. They end up robotically reciting the unwarranted anger, and hatred of someone 'different', like a speech you had to memorize in school once, and can not get out of your head. (* Note: This symptom also balances on "post traumatic stress disorder", which makes sense, if you consider the last 8+ years our leaders have been holding the population host, with their astronomically incompetent decision making.)

Due to the widespread aggravated symptoms I have described above, I find it necessary to issue a nationwide alert at this time! Even if you're not exhibiting any symptoms of the aforementioned mental health issues, we have all been exposed to this insipid virus, and need to be inoculated. Therefore, we must immediately dispense a massive dose of Sanity and Common Sense to the entire voting crowd! (As always, generic doses will be readily available.)

After these people have had a chance to truly ponder their future, without the debilitating constrictions of this mental dis-ease, they too will come to the inevitable conclusion that there is no other choice, if we want to save our beloved country from disaster, And will thank us in the long run.

© 2008

Source by Georgia Twain

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Bringing Behavioral Health Into The Electronic Age

Bringing Behavioral Health Into The Electronic Age

Health Care Hoops – watch more funny videos

Mental health and addiction treatment providers today face a critical issue – how can they best manage information to improve patient care and safety while protecting patient rights and privacy. Behavioral health is part of the broader healthcare industry, which is in the midst of a massive transformation to better manage patient health information. This transformation has been occurring almost naturally because of advances in information technology and management. It promises an improved healthcare system that will hopefully put an end to the 44,000 to 98,000 patient deaths that occur annually due to preventable information related mistakes.

The federal government is participating in healthcare’s information technology transformation. In 2004, President Bush issued Executive Order 13335 that called for the widespread adoption of information technology in healthcare and established the Office of the National Coordinator of Health Information Technology (ONCHIT) to help achieve this goal. To a service provider, the Electronic Health Record may sound like a software issue, but it is in fact a retooling of business practices affecting patient safety and quality of care.

How can behavioral health become part of healthcare’s information technology transformation? Behavioral health providers must first decide on essential mental health and addictions treatment information for inclusion in a common EHR. This decision must resolve five key policy issues:

1. What unique behavioral health information must be incorporated into an EHR?

2. Should there be time limits on behavioral health information in the EHR – for instance, should a diagnosis of alcoholism be maintained 25 years after sobriety has been attained?

3. What opportunities exist for the behavioral health field to participate in the development of the EHR?

4. What role should behavioral health consumers and service providers play in actively managing behavioral health information and other data standards?

5. How should the EHR address privacy and confidentiality?

How is the behavioral healthcare faring so far in this transformation? Unfortunately, not very well. Information technology used in behavioral health generally supports only administrative reporting and is a far cry from fulfilling the potential to improve clinical decision-making and program planning.

To help behavioral health better react to this transformation, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s Center for Substance Abuse Treatment sponsored the Behavioral Health Treatment Standards Group (BHTS) in 2005. The mission of BHTS is to increase knowledge, understanding, and use of behavioral health data standards in addictions treatment and mental health. BHTS members include a mix of organizations representing addictions prevention and treatment, and mental health services as well as software vendors involved in developing EHRs for behavioral health providers.

BHTS is achieving results. One important result has been to get standards-setting organizations that are shaping the design of the technology and information infrastructure for EHRs (like Health Level Seven) to reflect the unique needs behavioral health patients and providers with regard to privacy and confidentiality. BHTS is also raising awareness and understanding within the public and private sector about the significant potential of EHRs in clinical services and administrative matters, especially for reporting to the multiple entities that fund behavioral health services. BHTS is now working to collect information about the cost of adopting such systems and to learn more about reporting requirements for behavioral health providers. This knowledge will be used to better shape the public effort to make behavioral health part of the transformation occurring in healthcare.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - March 4, 2017 at 7:46 pm

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Saving Jobs, Saving Public Dollars: Intervening Before Disability

Saving Jobs, Saving Public Dollars: Intervening Before Disability The News Part 9&w=144&h=78&pos=2&vid=39a9775c4d0568987eccf5f3a5f882a8&sigr=125lq7se4&sigt=10pb8s4h2&sigi=12jc19sq9" title="Auto-tune The News Part 9" data-pos="1"

Juan was a delivery driver, but his health problems were putting him at risk of losing his job. His diabetes was poorly controlled and had caused foot ulcers that made it difficult for him to walk. He also had bipolar disorder, which was not being controlled. When he joined the Working Well program in Harris County, Texas, Juan worked with a case manager to get orthopedic shoes, to receive support in developing a diabetic diet and exercise plan, and to make an appointment with a psychiatrist to bring his mental health condition under control. As a result, Juan was able to continue working full time as a delivery driver and received a raise for exceptional performance (Bohman, Stoner, & Chimera, 2009).

Working Well is part of the Demonstration to Maintain Independence and Employment, which is funded by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The DMIE is one of the federal initiatives currently evaluating the impact of earlier intervention for people with mental illnesses (earlier interventions in the context of this article refer to interventions prior to application for Social Security Benefits but do not include first onset interventions).

Current federal policy provides support – through Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Insurance – for people who are no longer able to work. These programs, in turn, act as gateways to health insurance – Medicare in the case of SSDI and Medicaid for those who quality for SSI. This safety net is vital for people who are too disabled to work. Once people qualify for Social Security, however, they rarely move off it, despite strong evidence that many people with mental health problems want to and can work. People with mental illnesses now constitute the largest and most rapidly growing group of Social Security disability beneficiaries, and every year only 1 percent of people who qualify for SSDI on the basis of a mental illness leave the rolls and return to work.

The DMIE represents a break with existing policy. Its purpose is to actively support people who are at risk of becoming too disabled to work, so that they can remain in their jobs and do not apply for public disability programs. Two of the demonstration sites, Texas and Minnesota, focus on people with serious mental illnesses and people with chronic physical health problems who also have a mental health condition. The ingredients that make up the service packages in Minnesota and Texas are similar: comprehensive health insurance, including dental and vision services as well as behavioral health benefits; employment supports; and a “broker” who works with participants to help them keep their jobs. The broker’s role is broad; it can range from helping a participant get an appointment with a psychiatrist to finding him or her place to live to organizing child care (Gimm & Weathers, 2007).

Early results are promising. In Minnesota, the DMIE intervention is proving to be effective in improving clients’ access to healthcare services, health and functional status, job stability, and earnings. It has also reduced the number of applications for SSDI (Linkins & Brya, 2009). Analysis indicates that earlier interventions, such as the DMIE, could make sound financial sense for the federal government as well as for clients. A new study by Drake, Skinner, Bond, and Goldman (2009) concluded that providing integrated behavioral healthcare and supported employment to a third of Social Security applicants with mental health conditions to help them return to work and stay off the disability rolls could save the government $48 million in providing all the necessary services.

One of the challenges of adopting a more comprehensive approach to earlier intervention is the absence of strong evidence as to how to effectively support people before they become Social Security beneficiaries. DMIE is one federal effort to address this evidence gap; the Recovery After, an Initial Schizophrenia Episode program is another. RAISE is a major new initiative from the National Institute for Mental Health that will be launched this summer. For most people, the first onset of schizophrenia occurs in adolescence or early adulthood. Emerging evidence suggests that intervening at this point can reduce the likelihood that a patient will develop full-blown schizophrenia, but researchers have not reached a consensus as to which early interventions work best. RAISE will test two sets of interventions to assess whether they can effectively prevent the development of the condition and reduce long-term disability as a result of mental illness.

Research has indicated other opportunities for earlier intervention to prevent long-term dependence on disability programs. A recent study by the Urban Institute showed that close to 14 percent of recipients of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families have an emotional or mental health problem (Loprest & Maag, 2009). States have to meet strict work participation criteria for the TANF population, and participation in mental health treatment does not qualify as work participation. As a result, it is often in the state’s interest to try to move women with mental health problems and other disabilities onto SSI. A focus on earlier intervention, by contrast, would seek to address the mental health needs of women on TANF and support them back into work, following the principle that economic self-sufficiency is in the best interest of their families. The Social Security Administration is currently working with the Administration for Children and Families to look in greater depth- at the movement of beneficiaries between TANF and SSI.

Drake et al. (2009) concluded their analysis of the potential savings from earlier intervention with several policy proposals. First, they suggested that states provide supported employment and mental health services early in the course of mental illness. Initiatives such as the DMIE and RAISE are testing that approach. Second, they suggested that health insurance be delinked from disability status. The two recommendations are intimately connected. For people with any kind of chronic condition, including a mental illness, access to healthcare is vital. The only way some people can access healthcare is to qualify for disability benefits. Fear of losing healthcare then becomes a major barrier to moving off benefits. In this respect, current discussions around extending health insurance to the uninsured are particularly important. Earlier intervention will only take hold if patients have a route to accessing healthcare that does not depend on qualifying for disability benefits.

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