To keep you better informed about some of the biggest news and developments concerning behavioral and mental health, below are 10 of the most significant reports published in June. Highlights include stories on a World Health Organization report, gun reform, insurance coverage, children's visits to the emergency department, and news coming out of Illinois, California, and other states.
1. WHO Highlights Urgent Need to Transform Mental Health and Mental Healthcare
The World Health Organization (WHO) released its largest review of world mental health since the turn of the century. Note: The report is downloadable here (pdf).
2. President Biden Signs Bipartisan Gun Reform Bill Into Law
President Joe Biden signed the nation's most significant gun reform bill in decades into law. The Bipartisan Safer Communities Act includes funding for school safety and mental health programs.
3. Equal Mental Health Insurance Coverage Elusive Despite Legal Guarantee
Unequal insurance coverage for mental and physical health is widely considered one of the major causes of the U.S. mental health crisis and contributes to the current severe shortage of behavioral health services.
4. Children's Mental Health Visits to Emergency Departments Increased During COVID-19 Pandemic
In the Chicago area, pediatric mental health emergency department visits increased 27% at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, followed by a 4% percent increase monthly through February 2021, according to a study.
5. New Law Aims to Boost Illinois Mental and Behavioral Health Workforce
A growing number of Illinoisans needing mental and behavioral health help will now have more options thanks to the passage of a new law. The law acknowledges a hard truth in many Illinois communities: the need for mental and behavioral healthcare far exceeds the resources to meet it.
6. California: Half a Billion Dollars for Housing and Services for People Experiencing Severe Mental Illness and Substance Abuse
California announced more than $518 million in grants to help provide services and housing options to those with severe mental illness or substance abuse problems, including for those living on the streets.
7. Maine Investing $230M in Behavioral Health After Gun Deaths
Maine will invest $230 million in statewide suicide prevention and mental health services after a report found that more than 85% of gun deaths in 2020 were suicides.
8. Massachusetts House OKs Bill to Expand Mental Health Access
The Massachusetts House approved a bill intended to expand access to mental health services. Democratic House leaders said the proposal addresses a variety of pressing needs, including acute psychiatric care, the behavioral health of young people, strengthening community-based mental health services, and investing in the behavioral health workforce.
9. Removing Barriers to Opioid Use Disorder Treatment Shows Success During Pandemic
Pandemic-era changes to prescribing guidelines for the lifesaving drug buprenorphine led to improved treatment outcomes for patients with opioid use disorder.
10. FAQs on Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Coverage in Medicare
Kaiser Family Foundation published FAQs that review mental health and substance use disorder coverage and out-of-pocket costs in Medicare and discuss policy proposals related to coverage of mental health and substance use disorder treatments.
BONUS: nView Launches Intelligent Behavioral Health Workflow Engine to Help Providers Achieve Better Patient Outcomes
nView announced the launch of its new, evidence-based behavioral health solution. It uses interconnected, gold-standard measurements and proprietary algorithms to simplify the complex process of delivering mental healthcare.