2017 MHAI Public Policy Agenda

ISSUE: ACCESS TO MEDICATIONS for MENTAL HEALTH and SUBSTANCE ABUSE

STATEMENT:  Access to medications is critical for people with serious mental illness and addiction. Due to research in the last decade, new medications...
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ISSUE: FORENSIC ISSUES

STATEMENT:  Mental health, addictions, as well as individuals with co-occurring developmental disabilities often fall through the cracks in our criminal...
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ISSUE: OPIOID TREATMENT

STATEMENT:  Indiana, along with the rest of the nation, is experiencing a public health crisis. Prescription drug abuse has been declared an epidemic...
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ISSUE: MENTAL HEALTH AND ADDICTION FUNDING

STATEMENT: By all accounts, there are many more persons in need of services from the Division of Mental Health and Addiction up to 200% of poverty level,...
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ISSUE: SMOKEFREE AIR AND CIGARETTE TAX

STATEMENT: The incidence of smoking among those with mental illness and addictive disorders far ex-ceeds the rates of the overall population. Secondhand smoke...
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ISSUE: UNDERAGE DRINKING

STATEMENT: More than a quarter of the American population who are too young to drink are doing so anyway according to a new report issued today by the Substance...
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ISSUE: ACCESS TO HEALTHCARE

STATEMENT: Mental Health America believes that all individuals and families should have access to a broad scope of medically appropriate, evidence-based interventions...
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ISSUE: SUICIDE PREVENTION

STATEMENT: Each year in the U.S., thousands of Americans commit suicide. Suicide is the third leading cause of death for 15-to-24-year-olds, and the sixth...
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ISSUE: MARRIAGE EQUALITY

STATEMENT: Studies have shown that stigmatization and marginalization that is fostered by legal and so-cial barriers to equality can have mental health...
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ISSUE: PERINATAL SUBSTANCE ABUSE

STATEMENT: While recognizing the potential harmful effects of perinatal exposure to alcohol, opioids, and other drugs including nicotine on the health...
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ISSUE: ACCESS TO MENTAL HEALTH AND ADDICTION SERVICES FOR VETERANS

STATEMENT: Indiana has the fourth largest number of National Guard members in the country. A large number of these individuals, reservists, and other...
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ISSUE: CHILDREN’S MENTAL HEALTH AND SAFETY

STATEMENT: The statistics describing the health, mental health, and safety issues affecting today's youths are concerning, yet represent a minute image...
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ISSUE: MENTAL HEALTH AND ADDICTION WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT

STATEMENT: The mental health and addiction workforce has long been plagued by shortages, high turn-over, and a lack of diversity. There is certainly...
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ISSUE: MENTAL HEALTH HOSPITALS

STATEMENT: Indiana’s commitment to the provision of mental health care is stated in the Constitution. This commitment has historically taken the form...
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ISSUE: DEATH PENALTY and PEOPLE with MENTAL ILLNESS

STATEMENT: The process of determining guilt and imposing sentence is necessarily more complex for individuals with mental illness. A high standard of...
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ISSUE: ACCESS TO HEALTHCARE

STATEMENT: Mental Health America believes that all individuals and families should have access to a broad scope of medically appropriate, evidence-based interventions in the continuum of be-havioral health services and supports.

Indiana--and the country as a whole--has expanded health care coverage in a way that in-cludes Parity for mental health and addictive disorders.

We have taken groundbreaking steps toward improving access to mental health and sub-stance use disorder treatment services. Significantly, we have included mental health and substance use disorder services as well as rehabilitative services as components of the es-sential benefits package that must be offered. We have created a health care system that provides a comprehensive, culturally and linguistically appropriate behavioral health system of services and supports.

MHAI supports the State of Indiana’ program in an effort to provide mental health and ad-diction services. In particular, MHAI supports the inclusion of individuals with Serious Mental Illness or chronic Substance Use Disorders access to the Medicaid Rehabilitation Option. In addition, MHAI supports CMHCs ability to make presumptive eligibility de-terminations under the Medicaid Program to ensure timely access of services. Finally, MHAI supports health care service integration including the establishment of behavioral Health Homes as well as the ability of CMHCs to bill for primary health services when an-cillary to behavioral health services.

Mental Health America of Indiana will work to educate the public through public relations and other means of advocacy regarding the need to access mental health and addiction ser-vices at parity. MHA will also work with local, state, and federal decision makers to en-sure adequate representation of behavioral health interests in the implementation of any healthcare legislation. Additionally, MHA will be engaged with employers, insurers, and providers to ensure that the implementation provides for meaningful access to behavioral health coverage and services.

PRIORITY LEVEL: I

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The Third House, LLC

The Third House, a full service government affairs firm, represents Mental Health America of Indiana at the Indiana General Assembly where Stephen C. McCaffrey serves as Principal.

The Third House specializes in health policy, assisting patients, providers, professionals, not-for-profits and pharmaceutical companies to collaborate with other stakeholders to improve access to healthcare in public health and criminal justice settings. The Third House attempts to collectively mobilize The Third House clients to ensure that all patients have access to appropriate treatment options in a manner that is patient-focused and transparent.

The Third House provides services to MHAI that include legislative and regulatory monitoring, issue management, research, and legislative and administrative lobbying.  All The Third House clients receiving lobbying services are registered with the Indiana Lobby Registration Commission at: https://www.in.gov/ilrc/.

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