Daily Briefing – October 1, 2019

“For decades, those struggling with behavioral and mental health problems have lived with a stigma and too often have suffered in the dark. More recently, a growing awareness of the impact mental health conditions have on the nation’s high prevalence of chronic conditions and an increasing rate of suicide has caused alarm—as well as a growing understanding of how a person’s physical and behavioral health needs are intertwined and must be treated on that basis. With one in five adults experiencing a mental illness each year, most Americans are more likely to encounter someone in a mental health crisis than needing CPR. Recognizing the relationship between behavioral and overall health, Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies are working to address this crisis through improved access, prevention and awareness. Here are some examples.”

“MHA’s 2020 Annual Conference: From Resiliency to Recovery will take place in Washington, DC on June 11-13, 2020. MHA’s conference brings together hundreds of MHA affiliates, peers, providers, government officials, media and more from across the country to discuss important and emerging mental health issues. Why this theme? At MHA, we work every day on addressing the needs of those living with mental illness and promoting the overall mental health of all Americans. At the heart of everything we do is the belief in the strength and resiliency of the individual, communities, the power of peers, and that recovery is possible. It’s important when working towards recovery of mental illnesses and substance use disorders, we understand the root causes. We know that trauma can greatly impact a person’s mental health – whether it occurs in childhood or as an adult – and the effects of trauma can last for a lifetime. We know that often substance use disorders can also coexist with mental illnesses. We know caregivers and peers can play an integral role in recovery. And we know that if we focus on early identification and care for those who need it, we can change the trajectory of lives. What We’re Looking For For our 2020 Annual Conference, we are looking for dynamic content that aligns with the following conference objectives: We will examine the individual’s capacity to thrive amid adversity – and how communities are coming together to help address these issues. We’ll talk about the recovery model in mental health care – centered on the belief that individuals with mental health conditions can lead full, rewarding, self-directed lives – and how peer support can be an effective and essential element of recovery-oriented mental health systems. We’ll focus on cognitive, emotional and behavioral effects of childhood trauma, their long lasting impacts into adulthood, and how research shows trauma can cause permanent changes in the structure and chemical activity of a growing brain; We’ll talk about how racism, anti-immigrant bias, and other forms of discrimination can impact mental health and wellbeing; We’ll dive into the principles of trauma-informed care – and how safety, trustworthiness, peer support, collaboration, empowerment, and cultural sensitivity must be incorporated into life-long services and supports for victims of trauma; and We’ll learn about the work that communities are developing and implementing in response to the specific barriers experienced by diverse individuals dealing with mental illnesses and substance use disorders. Deadline for Submission: November 29, 2019 at 5PM ET Notification of Acceptance: January 17, 2020”