Monday, as I was reviewing MHA’s news headlines email, I noticed that three of the four stories were related to behavioral health. Two of the four articles were about suicide in Missouri. The other was about opioids and gun violence.
This week’s headlines weren’t an effort to raise awareness of mental health in Missouri, they were demonstrative of “the new normal.” Substance abuse, violence, suicide and other manifestations of Missouri’s behavioral health challenges are pervasive in the news, and sadly, in our lives.
As a state and nation, it’s important that we have an open conversation about mental health issues. The factors that influence mental wellness often are upstream of the health care delivery system — substance abuse, adverse childhood experiences, and socioeconomic and demographic conditions, among others. They are part of what is now being recognized as a public health crisis. However, they can manifest in poorer general health, interaction with the criminal justice system, and sometimes death for those who do not or cannot access the help they need within the health care system.
Next week is Mental Illness Awareness Week. Although Missouri is making progress in improving access to behavioral health services, the needs are great. It’s important that hospitals talk about behavioral health — to help increase the public’s understanding of these issues and remove the stigma that historically has been attached to mental health diagnosis and treatment.
A recent national report on suicide from Ohio State University found that “counties with higher suicide rates tend to have more gun shops, more veterans and fewer people with health insurance. Their populations also tend to be poorer, more socially isolated and have less access to health care.” This isn’t a rural or an urban problem, it’s both. Moreover, the research finds hot-spots in the state that correlate with MHA research on a variety of behavioral health antecedents.
Missouri has one of the highest suicide rates in the Midwest. Access to behavioral health services, while improving, remains a challenge. Too few behavioral health beds are available statewide, while significant parts of the state have limited or no behavioral health services locally. Evidence suggests that some young Missourians are falling through the Medicaid system’s cracks for behavioral health care. When care is available, continuity of care — from hospital- to community-based care — may not be.
Missouri needs both awareness and action. Gov. Parson has included behavioral health as a major component of his agenda. This includes significant investment in addressing the opioid crisis, engagement on suicide and other issues through the Department of Mental Health, and working to increase behavioral health provider capacity by adding psychiatrists to the state’s health professional student loan repayment program.
Addressing the crisis in our behavioral health system, and the drivers of demand for behavioral health services, will require stakeholders from the community, government and health care. The cost to Missouri from drug overdoses and suicides is high — it tears at the fabric of our families and communities, and erodes our economic and social systems.
Awareness matters. MHA will have a social media campaign underway, and hospitals are encouraged to share our content or create their own.
Send me a note to let me know what you’re thinking.
Herb B. Kuhn
MHA President and CEO
In This Issue
Trump Signs Executive Order Encouraging Participation In MA Plans
MLN Connects Provider eNews Available
CMS Updates CART For Inpatient And Outpatient Reporting
MLN Connects Provider eNews Available
Staff Contact: Andrew Wheeler
Updates to MLN Connects Provider eNews were issued by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. eNews includes information about national provider calls, meetings, events, announcements and other MLN educational product updates. The latest issue provides updates and summaries of the following.
Back To Top
- Quality Payment Program: 2019 Alternative Payment Model Incentive Payment Fact Sheet
- Long-Term Care Hospital, Inpatient Rehabilitation Facility and Hospice Preview Reports: Review your data by Friday, Oct. 11
- Home Health Preview Reports for January 2020 refresh
- LTCH and IRF Compare refresh
- New Medicare card: Do you refer patients?
September 30, 2019
MHA Distributes Analysis To Final Rule For FFY 2020 IPF PPS
Trajectories: Strategies To Reduce Workplace Violence To Achieve The Quadruple Aim
CDC Updates Vaping Numbers
October 2, 2019
MHD Implements 2020 ICD-10 Updates
MHA Distributes Analysis Of Final Medicare Inpatient PPS For FFY 2020
HIDI Releases Third Quarter FFY 2019 Inpatient, Outpatient, Missouri Databases
CDC Hosts Guidance Call Regarding Vaping
CMS Updates QRDA Category I Guide
CMS Hospital Quality Reporting System Accepting CY 2019 eCQM Data
Consider This ...
Next week is Mental Illness Awareness Week. Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S., and 90% of people who die by suicide had shown symptoms of a mental health condition, according to interviews with family, friends and medical professionals.
Source: National Alliance on Mental Illness