Archive for the ‘Public Policy’ Category

A Real and Present Danger in the Fight Against Stigma

By many measures we have achieved considerable progress in combatting stigma and its insidious effects. Persons who experience behavioral health challenges are now more inclined to pursue treatment without incurring the reputational risks they might have borne in prior years. We regularly encourage...

An Interview with the New York State OASAS, OMH, and OPWDD Commissioners to Address Critical Healthcare Issues

In a rare opportunity, Mental Health News Education, publisher of Behavioral Health News and Autism Spectrum News, has brought together the Commissioners of the NYS Office of Mental Health (OMH), The NYS Office of Addiction Services and Supports (OASAS), and The NYS Office for People with...

The NYSPA Report: New York’s Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Parity Reporting Bill

If signed into law by Governor Cuomo, New York’s parity reporting bill (A.3694-C/S.1156-C) will be among the most comprehensive laws of its kind in the country. The bill was passed by both the New York State Senate and New York State Assembly in the final week of the 2017/2018 Legislative...

We Need to Do More Than Just Talk About Mental Illness

Reprinted from The Hill There was a time when no one talked about mental illness. But, today, every tragic shooting is accompanied by calls for greater access to mental health treatment. The wheels of legislation turn slowly, but mental illness is a public health crisis that requires immediate...

Legalization of Drugs: The Ultimate Harm Reduction Measure

Illegal drugs are dangerous, but many of their dangers are caused by their illegality rather than the drugs themselves. Yes, the use of illegal (and some legal) drugs results in addiction. But if we really want to reduce the dangers of drug abuse, we must address its illegality as well as the...

A Good Place to Live Is Critical for Older Adults with Psychiatric Disabilities: Needed Public Policy Changes

Not so many years ago a diagnosis of schizophrenia was a life sentence, shortened only by the low life expectancy of people with serious and persistent mental illness. Thanks to the recovery movement, we now understand that a diagnosis of schizophrenia or other serious psychotic disorder does not...

Policy and Practice: A Discouraging Disconnect

As soon as I learned the summer edition of Behavioral Health News would address our efforts to meet the needs of vulnerable populations, I experienced a rather sudden and dispiriting thought. In so many ways we have failed to satisfactorily address the needs of our most vulnerable citizens despite...

The NYSPA Report: Repeal and Replace Should Not Harm Our Most Vulnerable

I am honored to serve as editor of the NYSPA Report and I want to begin by thanking my friend and colleague, Dr. Barry Pearlman. Barry has served as editor of this column since its inception and has provided useful and interesting information since day one.I’m proud to have the opportunity to...

Congressional Mental Health Policy Reform: Hope or Hype?

Since the tragic killings in Newtown, CT in 2013, most politicians have mistakenly maintained that mass murder is largely a consequence of a “broken” mental health system. In Washington, and elsewhere, elected officials have been promising to “fix” the system, and to their credit they have...

The NYSPA Report: Momentum Building for Comprehensive Mental Health Reform in Congress

More than three years after the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School sparked a national conversation on issues related to mental illness and the prevention of violence to self and others, Congress is currently closer than any point in recent history to act on bipartisan, bicameral...