Category Archives: Mental Health

September 7, 2018 – SAVE THE DATE | 6th Annual Lebanon Veterans Affairs Medical Center Community Mental Health Summit

VA mh summit save the date

Community HealthChoices “delivery of service coordination”

chc delivery of services.jpg

Though the counties in Service Area 13 — Berks, Lancaster, Lebanon — are not impacted until January 2019, we wanted to share this information.

REMINDER: Many of our partners in Service Area 13’s footprint will be attending the special Community HealthChoices seminar on June 18.

In preparation for the launch of Community HealthChoices (CHC) in the Southeast region, the above CHC Fact Sheet explains the delivery of service coordination through the program. Under CHC, service coordination is a function of the managed care organizations (MCOs). A service coordinator is the MCO’s designated, accountable point-of-contact for each participant receiving long-term care services, their person-centered service plan, and service coordination. Therefore, the Office of Long-Term Living sees the service coordinators as part of the MCO under CHC.

Trainings | In addition to the fact sheets, the department has developed short, easily digestible overview trainings on CHC that can be found here. We encourage everyone to take the time to review the training and increase their knowledge in anticipation of the Southeast rollout and to familiarize themselves with the program.

Additional resources | To assist stakeholders in finding answers to questions more quickly, we recently consolidated all FAQs into a single CHC Questions and Answers Document.  The new document is in searchable PDF format and contains a table of contents that allows the user to easily move to different sections within the document.

The CHC Questions and Answers Document can be found on both the Participant and Provider sections of the CHC website by clicking on “View CHC Publications” or by following this link:

http://www.healthchoices.pa.gov/cs/groups/webcontent/documents/document/c_274784.pdf

Please note: | The individual FAQ documents have been removed from the CHC website.  All questions and answers are now on one document.

CONTACT:  If you have any questions, please visit www.HealthChoices.pa.gov or submit comments electronically to RA-PWCHC@pa.gov.

A listserv has been established for ongoing updates on the CHC program. It is titled OLTL-COMMUNITY-HEALTHCHOICES, please visit the ListServ Archives page at http://listserv.dpw.state.pa.us to update or register your email address.

Please share with other members of your organization as appropriate. Also, it is imperative that you notify the Office of Long-Term Living for changes that would affect your provider file, such as addresses and telephone numbers. Mail to/pay to addresses, email addresses, and phone numbers may be updated electronically through ePEAP, which can be accessed through the PROMISe™ provider portal. For any other provider file changes please notify the Bureau of Quality and Provider Management Enrollment and Certification Section at 1-800-932-0939 Option #1.

To ensure you receive email communications distributed from the Office of Long-Term Living, please visit the ListServ Archives page at http://listserv.dpw.state.pa.us to update or register your email address.

“Suicide nation: What’s behind the need to numb and to seek a final escape?” – The Conversation

suicide rate

“Suicide rates in the U.S. have increased nearly 30 percent in less than 20 years, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported June 7. These mind-numbing statistics were released the same week two very famous, successful and beloved people committed suicide – Kate Spade, a tremendous entrepreneur, trendsetter and fashion icon, and Anthony Bourdain, a distinguished chef and world traveler who took us on gastronomic journeys to all corners of the world through his TV shows.

Their tragic deaths, and others like them, have brought new awareness to the rapidly growing public health problem of suicide in the U.S. These deaths have renewed the country’s conversation about the scope of the problem. The sad truth is that suicide is the 10th leading cause of death among all Americans, and among youth and young adults, suicide is the third leading cause of death.

Read this article at The Conversation in its entirety, click here.

“Why predicting suicide is a difficult and complex challenge” – The Conversation

suicides“Anthony Bourdain, left, and Kate Spade, right. The Conversation with images from PeabodyAwards/flickr, CC BY-SA”

“Who is going to die by suicide? This terrible mystery of human behavior takes on particular poignance in the wake of suicides by high-profile and much-beloved celebrities Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain. It is only natural that people want to know why such tragedies occur. Those closest to those who take their lives are often tormented, wondering if there is something they could have – or should have – known to prevent their loved one’s suicide.

“As a scientist who has focused on this question for the past decade, I should have a pretty good idea of who is and isn’t going to die by suicide. But the sad truth is, I don’t. The sadder truth is, neither do any other suicide experts, psychiatrists or physicians. The sum of the research on suicide shows that it does not matter how long we’ve known someone or how much we know about them. In my research, my colleagues and I have shown that we can only predict who is going to die by suicide slightly more accurately than random guessing.”

Click here to continue reading this article in its entirety at The Conversation.

 

Psychiatric disorders common among kids on Medicaid – STAT: Morning Rounds

psych disorders medicaid

Psychiatric disorders are strikingly prevalent among young children covered by Medicaid — as are psychiatric medications, researchers report in JAMA Pediatrics. They analyzed data from more than 35,000 kids born in 2007 and enrolled in one state’s Medicaid program. Here’s what they found:

  • By age 8, nearly 20 percent of kids had been diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder. Roughly 44 percent of diagnoses were ADHD and 32 percent were learning disorders. Diagnoses were far more common among kids in foster care, 59 percent of whom had a psychiatric disorder.
  • Roughly 10 percent of kids were taking a psychiatric drug by age 8. Of those, 75 percent had been prescribed a stimulant, 32 percent an alpha agonist, and 20 percent an anxiolytic or hypnotic. Many of those drugs haven’t been approved specifically for use in children.
  • This is claims data from one state, so the findings don’t apply broadly to other states or to kids who aren’t insured by Medicaid.

Source: STAT: Morning Rounds

50plus LIFE COVER STORY: Senior Volunteers Close the Generation Gap”

senior life

April is National Volunteer Month. National Volunteer month in the United States takes place in the month of April. This month is dedicated to honoring all of the volunteers in our communities as well as encouraging volunteerism throughout the month.

The April 2018 issue of 50plus LIFE includes several articles that hone in on the beneficial aspects and opportunities for volunteering.

Read the COVER STORY: Senior Volunteers Close the Generation Gap.

Here’s a link to a page listing volunteer opportunities: http://50pluslifepa.com/local-stories/volunteering

50plus LIFE (formerly 50plus Senior News), an award-winning publication published monthly, provides individuals 50 and over in the Susquehanna and Delaware valleys with engaging editorial on a range of relevant topics: entertainment, travel, healthy living, financial matters, profiles, veterans’ issues, community events, and more.

With more than 20 years in publication, 50plus LIFE is available in six county-specific issues: Chester, Cumberland, Dauphin, Lancaster, Lebanon, and York. 50plus LIFE and can be found in print, online, and on Facebook.

Study: Evaluation of the Department of Veterans Affairs Mental Health Services

va mental health

Approximately 4 million U.S. service members took part in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Shortly after troops started returning from their deployments, some active-duty service members and veterans began experiencing mental health problems. Given the stressors associated with war, it is not surprising that some service members developed such mental health conditions as posttraumatic stress disorder, depression, and substance use disorder. Subsequent epidemiologic studies conducted on military and veteran populations that served in the operations in Afghanistan and Iraq provided scientific evidence that those who fought were in fact being diagnosed with mental illnesses and experiencing mental health–related outcomes—in particular, suicide—at a higher rate than the general population.

This report provides a comprehensive assessment of the quality, capacity, and access to mental health care services for veterans who served in the Armed Forces in Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom/Operation New Dawn. It includes an analysis of not only the quality and capacity of mental health care services within the Department of Veterans Affairs, but also barriers faced by patients in utilizing those services.

Inpatient Care Surveys—Open from March 13th-27th

The Pennsylvania Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (OMHSAS) has begun the process of reviewing and updating the regulations (state requirements) for the inpatient level of care. This includes services provided in private psychiatric hospitals, psychiatric units in a general hospital, residential treatment facilities for adults (RTF-As), psychiatric residential treatment facilities for youth under 21 (PRTFs) and extended acute care (EACs) settings.

We want to hear from you as we move forward with this very important work. Below are links to surveys for the following groups: nursing staff, clinical staff, direct care staff and individuals who have, or are, receiving inpatient services. Please click on the link below to complete the survey that is appropriate for you.

Individuals-
Individuals

Family Member Survey: **
Family Member Survey

Direct Care staff-
Direct Care Staff

Clinical-
Clinical

Nursing**
Nursing

“Chronic loneliness, some say, is like ‘smoking 15 cigarettes a day.’ It ‘kills more people than obesity.’ | A history of loneliness”

lonelinessAndrew Wyeth’s ‘Baleen’ (1982). Mia Feigelson, CC BY-NC-SA”

“Is loneliness our modern malaise?

“Former U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy says the most common pathology he saw during his years of service “was not heart disease or diabetes; it was loneliness.”

“Chronic loneliness, some say, is like ‘smoking 15 cigarettes a day.’ It ‘kills more people than obesity.’

“Because loneliness is now considered a public health issue – and even an epidemic – people are exploring its causes and trying to find solutions.”

Read this article at The Conversation in its entirety; click here.

“A Quiet Drug Problem Among the Elderly” – The New York Times

Despite warnings from experts, older people are using more anti-anxiety and sleep medications, putting them at risk of serious side effects and even overdoses.

elderly drugs

by Paula Spahn

“At first, the pills helped her feel so much better.

“Jessica Falstein, an artist living in the East Village in Manhattan, learned she had an anxiety disorder in 1992. It led to panic attacks, a racing pulse, sleeplessness. ‘Whenever there was too much stress, the anxiety would become almost intolerable, like acid in the veins,’ she recalled.

“When a psychopharmacologist prescribed the drug Klonopin, everything brightened. ‘It just leveled me out,’ Ms. Falstein said. ‘I had more energy. And it helped me sleep, which I was desperate for.’

“After several months, however, the horrible symptoms returned. ‘My body became accustomed to half a milligram, and the drug stopped working,’ she said. ‘So then I was up to one milligram. And then two.’ Her doctor kept increasing the dosage and added Ativan to the mix.

“Now 67, with her health and stamina in decline …

Click here to read this New York Times article in its entirety.