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In This Issue


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
Coming Events
November 25th the Child and Family Advisory Partnership will meet from 5:30 to 7:30 pm at the Family Involvement Center, 5333 N. 7th St., Ste. A-100 in Phoenix. Learn the latest on mental health services. Dinner, Spanish interpretation, and child care will be provided. Date is subject to change due to the holiday. Call 602-288-0155 for info.

December 1st. "From Understanding to Action: A Framework for Behavior Management" will be presented by Southwest Human Development at Here We Grow Learning Center, 16901 East Palisades Blvd, Fountain Hills. Training is free. Registration is required. Call (602) 266-5976 or visit their website.

December 5th, the Arizona Psychological Association will present "The Trust Ethics & Risk Management in the Age of The Affordable Care Act" at Embassy Suites , 4400 S. Rural Road, Tempe. Focus will be on ethical and risk management issues as they relate to the broader changes in psychological practice. Fees range from $85 - $225. Call Kate Gagne at  480-675-9477 for info.

December 6th Join Cenpatico Integrated Care for the Ronald McDonalds House Charities Walk for Kids, 8:00 am - 12:00 pm University of Arizona Mall Tucson. Join us for the Kids' Zone, a grand entrance by Santa Claus, live music, food, a 3K family walk, and much more. Click here.  

Regional Behavioral Health Authority Calendars:

Cenpatico Community Events Calendar 
Mercy Maricopa Community Events Calendar 
Health Choice Integrated Care Community Events Calendar 
November 15, 2015
It's Time to Go Shopping

The third open enrollment period  for the Affordable Care Act's Insurance Marketplace program started on November 1 and continues until January 31. Anyone who is uninsured or currently has Marketplace coverage should enroll or renew coverage by December 15 so they will have coverage effective on January 1, 2016.

Remaining uninsured is risky. No one plans on accidents or illness but they occur to every family at some time. Affordable coverage is available for those who shop. People who have Marketplace coverage and took the time to shop and switched plans last year, saved an average of $507. Eight out of ten Arizonans who bought coverage through the Marketplace received an average of $157 a month in financial assistance. But, more than 300,000 Arizonans who are eligible for AHCCCS (Medicaid), which has no premiums, are not yet enrolled. If you don't shop, you won't know what you are eligible for and how affordable plans can be.

You don't have to be an expert because free in-person help is available. More than 500 unbiased, certified and licensed in-person helpers can assist Arizonans in more than 30 languages. To find in-person help near you check here or call 844.790.4946 (Spanish and English).  You can window shop to see what financial assistance you may qualify for by going to this website and answering a few simple questions. You don't even need to enter your name, just zip code, age and your estimated 2016 income. now has a new tool to help you estimate your full insurance costs based on how much you think you will use medical services.      
If you remain uninsured during 2016 you are likely to face a penalty of $695 per adult in your household or 2.5% of your income, whichever is greater. Do the math, compute what is 2.5% of your income, and then go shopping to see what coverage will cost you after financial assistance. Who wants to pay a penalty and get nothing, compared to spending money and getting coverage that includes free preventive visits? Go shopping.
 State Laws  on Bullying 

According to an October report in JAMA Pediatrics, students who live in states with an anti-bullying law that includes at least one U.S. Department of Education recom-mended legislative component had lower odds of reporting bullying and cyberbullying compared with students in states whose laws had no such provisions. The study conducted by Mark Hatzenbuehler, Ph.D. of the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health evaluated data from 25 states to evaluate the effectiveness of anti-bullying legislation in reducing students' risk of being bullied and cyberbullied.

Data on anti-bullying legislation came from the U.S. Department of Education (DOE), which had recommended a framework for anti-bullying laws that was disseminated to schools across the country. In a 2011 report, the DOE reviewed the extent to which state anti-bullying laws adhered to those recommendations and found substantial diversity across states.

The report identified 16 components divided into four broad categories: definitions of the policy, district policy development and review, mandated procedures, and strategies for communication, training and legal support. Policy variables from 25 states were linked to data from the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System on bullying and cyberbullying.

When children or youth face difficulties at school because of bullying and the risk of cyberbullying, this report provides a ray of hope.  Currently 49 states have anti-bullying laws in place, including Arizona.  Let's support local school districts to have in place policies, training, and strategies for compliance so we can make the lives of the children better.  

Check out the entire story on the JAMA Network site here.
Mother May I, Part 2  

The Center for Medicaid and Medicare (CMS) did indeed officially receive the AHCCCS Section 1115 waiver request back in late September along with the 138 comments submitted to the agency.  Remember, a summary of the common issues raised has been prepared by AHCCCS.  That summary document can be found here.   We had been expecting the official comment period to close on November 6th, but CMS has extended the comment period to December 6th. Community groups can make additional comments now.  We do know that some of the national partners like Families USA, Center for Budget & Policy Priorities and National Health Law Program will be submitting comments.

To comment on the waiver, people can go to this site and click on "Answer the Questionnaire".  Easy, and it is always good to let decision makers know any remaining concerns you have.
Identify Your Session Priorities

It doesn't seem possible but the Arizona Legislature will be coming into regular legislative session on January 11th, and that's less than 60 days from now.  They did indeed come into Special Session to deal with the education crisis, but up next is the regular session

As usual, there may be about 1,200 bills introduced with less than 250 enacted.  The major decision will be the 2016-17 state budget with much competition for all available "spare" state general funds.  There continues to be the "no new tax" pledge by many legislators and an effort to drive taxes down. In addition, there will be other public policy debates with no clear, as yet, priority.

MHA-AZ has developed a short survey asking your opinion on what you see as the priorities for the coming session.  Please take a few minutes and complete the survey.  Just click here.  Our target is for you to complete your input by December 5th

Join & Support MHA-AZ's Network
Since its re-launch in the 2013 Mental Health America of Arizona (MHA-AZ) sought to promote the mental health and well-being of all Arizonans through education, advocacy, and the shaping of public policy. On a national basis 1 in 5 individuals will have a diagnosable mental illness in any year while half will have symptoms in their lifetime. We know that genetics, environment, biology and lifestyle may influence the likelihood of having a mental illness. We also know there are recognizable signs and symptoms of the illness that need to be acknowledged, and care sought. The good news is that mental health conditions are treatable, ranging from talk therapy, to medications, to peer group support. 
When we think about cancer, heart disease, or diabetes, we shouldn't wait years to treat them. We start before Stage 4.  We start with prevention.  When people are in the first stage of those diseases and are beginning to show signs or symptoms like a persistent cough, high blood pressure, or high blood sugar, we try immediately to reverse these symptoms. We don't ignore them. In fact, we develop a plan of action to reverse and sometimes stop the progression of the disease. So why don't we do the same for individuals who are dealing with potentially serious mental illness?
MHA-AZ wants you to join our "network" of friends and supporters now. Your financial support at a level that is comfortable for you assures our ongoing efforts to address the complex problems of mental illness in our community. Join us in making certain our public policy reflects your values and priorities.  It is simple to become a member of our network start by clicking here. Your donation is tax deductible and is the start of making our joint voice heard. 

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 | | |