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In This Issue


Upcoming Events:

Saturday, October 17, is the Annual NAMI Walk with check in at 8:30 am, walk starts at 9:30 am at State Capitol, 1700 W. Washington, Phoenix.
ontact Gloria Abril at or call 602-315-2897.

Thursday, October 22nd, from 6:30 to 8:30 pm the 20th Annual Annual Candlelight Celebration sponsored by the Mental Health Awareness Coalition will be hosted by ASU Center for Applied Behavioral Health Policy at Downtown Phoenix Civic Space Park, 424 N. Central Avenue, Phoenix.  No cost to attend, please register here. 

Child & Adolescent Service Intensity Instrument Training on Thursday, October 22nd, from 9:00am-5:00 pm Location: HCIC, 1300 S. Yale St., Flagstaff. For more info check here.

Now You See Me Addiction: The Elephant in the Room on Thursday, October 22 from  8:30 to 11:30 am at Arizona State Capitol, Senate Lawn, 1700 W. Washington St., Phoenix. sponsored by the  Governor's Office of Youth, Faith & Family. Free but registration is requested. Click here to register.

A 3-day conference "Young Adult Conference: Failure to Launch", Intermediate to Advanced Clinical Training for Therapists & Counselors, presented by the Ben Franklin Institute, from October 29-31 in Tempe. For info click here.

Friday, October 30th in Scottsdale a conference on "Innovations and Trends in Pain Management: A Continuing Medical Educa- tion Conference". For health care professional or front-line clinicians who treat patients receiving specialized pain management. Sponsored by ASU Center for Applied Behavioral Health Policy. For more information or to register, click here.

Mental Health Awareness Night at the Arizona Coyotes. Join the Arizona Mental Health Awareness Coalition Thursday, November 5,  at 7 pm, Gila River Arena in Glendale.  Contact Jon Kane at 623.772.3256 about tickets.

Annual Kickball Tournament is Friday, November 13th starts at 9 am at Kiwanis Park, 5500 S. Mill Ave, Tempe. Contact Cheryl Anderson, at (480) 969-3800 ex 295 or e-mail cheryl.anderson@marccr
Regional Behavioral Health Authority Calendars:

Cenpatico Community Events Calendar
Mental Health First Aid Statewide Calendar
Mercy Maricopa  Community Events Calendar
Health Choice Integrated Care Community Events Calendar 
Board of Directors 

Michael Shafer, Chair  
Joshua Mozell, Vice Chair  
Kristina Sabetta, Secretary Jason Bernstein, Treasurer

Jack Beveridge
Max Dine, M.D.

Sheri George
Charles Goldstein, M.D
Laurie Goldstein

Emily Jenkins
Marcus Johnson
Barbara Lang

Karen Pitico
Clarke Romans
October 15, 2015
State of Mental Health in America, 2016
On October 1st, Mental Health America, our national office, released this year's report entitled "The State of Mental Health in America 2016".  Here's the link to the report.  The report's data is drawn from SAMHSA's National Survey of Drug Use & Health & the CDC's Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System.  These data sources are a national survey with samples from each state which make it possible to compare data across state lines.  Some subgroups not included in the national surveys such as homeless or incarcerated individuals may cause some of the report's conclusions to be understated.

The report provides a snapshot of youth & adult mental health status for policy & program planning, analysis, & evaluation; it tracks changes in prevalence of mental health issues & access to mental health care; & analyzes how changes in national data reflect the impact of legislation like the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA) & the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Some of the key finds of the report are:
* Southern states had the lowest prevalence of addiction at 7.5 percent while the Mountain West region had the highest at 10.0 percent
* More youth are becoming depressed, with 64 percent not receiving any treatment
* Nationally 57 percent of adults with mental illness were receiving no treatment
* Cost is a barrier to treatment, with 1-in-5 adults with a disability reporting difficulty getting care due to costs

Three states, Minnesota, Massachusetts, & Connecticut, ranked as the top three states for mental health, while Nevada, Arizona, & Oregon were at the bottom in this year's rankings. Yes, sadly Arizona is at the bottom in the overall ratings.  But, let's take a look at some of the indices that were used, because fortunately Arizona wasn't at the bottom for all measures.

Seven measures were used for the adult rankings, including adults with any mental illness, with dependence or abuse of illicit drugs or alcohol, with serious thoughts of suicide, did not receive treatment, reporting unmet needs, uninsured, & with a disability who found cost a barrier.  On these indices Arizona came in at 32nd.  

The measures for youth include at least one major depressive episode, dependence or abuse of illicit drugs or alcohol, severe depression, not receiving care, not receiving consistent care, having private insurance that didn't cover mental or emotional problems, & emotional disturbance as a part of an IEP.  On these indices Arizona fell to 47th.  

It is important for MHA-AZ, along with our mental health community, to review & examine this report to find out why Arizona is again at the bottom of the "pile".  On each of the indices identified above, Arizona's ranking on individual measures can be examined.  We're not consistently at the bottom, but we need to be aware of this data & not solely focus on the public behavioral health system.  Let's use this data to formulate public policy for the public & private sector so individuals needing services are accommodated.  Let's roll up our sleeves and get to it!
Information Available About Mental Health Research

The National Institutes of Mental Health has awarded the Arizona State University's Center for Applied Behavioral Health Policy an Educational Outreach grant.    Along with the other 55 Outreach Partners across the country, ASU is responsible for partnering with state & local organizations & communities to disseminate science based information about the causes, treatment, & prevention of mental illness. The primary targets for these information dissemination activities include individuals with mental illness, individuals at risk for mental illness, families & caregivers of individuals with mental illness, mental health primary care, & other healthcare providers & the general public.    As a result of this project, ASU will impact the communities of Arizona by:
* Fostering widespread understanding about mental disorders, the brain, & behavior, thereby helping to reduce misperceptions & negative attitudes about mental illness;
* Build awareness of the role of basic, translational, & clinical research in the understanding, prevention, & treatment of mental illness; &
* Promote understanding of the role that the public serves in advancing scientific discoveries.

Through this program, ASU can provide organizations with a variety of printed materials regarding mental health & mental health research.   On a limited basis, ASU can also provide free speakers for educational functions, conferences, or other events on a variety of mental health related topics.  For more information visit NIMH or contact the Center for Applied Behavioral Health Policy at
Mother May I 
AHCCCS did submit their Section 1115 waiver to the Center for Medicaid & Medicare (CMS) on September 30th.  A total of 138 comments were received by the agency in addition to the comments made during the public forums held in August statewide.  A summary of the common issues raised has been prepared by AHCCCS.  That summary document can be found here.   If you're into reading the full waiver package (all 489 pages), then please check it out.  The waiver will include all the comment letters as well as all the required documents that CMS requires.  Great bedtime reading for the policy nerds in the group. 

Is it done?  Not quite, AHCCCS will spend the next few months in conversations with CMS negotiating various aspects of the waiver.  Will there be an opportunity to submit comments to CMS?  Yes, agencies, groups & individuals can submit comments to CMS.  We are expecting some of the national advocacy groups such as Families USA or National Health Law Program to comment.  We're verifying the address & will make it available in the next newsletter.     
Rally for the Ride to Awareness Update
On Sunday, September 20th we welcomed the hardy band of bicyclists making their way across our country to raise awareness about the stigma associated with mental illness. We happily report we had 11 exhibitors at the event & over the morning about 75 individuals making a early Sunday morning appearance. We welcomed Representative Eric Meyer who rode down from his home in Paradise Valley. We also were pleased that the Tempe Fire Department sent over a Fire engine to the delight of participants. In addition, we had the Tempe Bike patrol with us & happy to report that each officers on this squad are CIT trained.

Thank you to our sponsors, donors, exhibitors, volunteers & all who came out.

The team continues their trek across country & as we prepare to publish they're in Texas. They've had winds, rains, coyotes, scorpions, trains & numerous flat tires. Indeed they're seeing the "real" America.  Here's a link to the video they shot on September 20th.

Mental Health America of Arizona wants to acknowledge the support of Janssen Pharmeutical Company for our activities.  Corporate support is key to assuring there's a voice in the community. 

We invite your participation and sharing of this newsletter by forwarding to your friends and colleagues.  If they wish to receive the newsletter, encourage them to simply click on the link here.  Let's share the word.  Time to get involved.
Eddie L. Sissons
Executive Consultant
Mental Health America of Arizona | | |