February News & Updates


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2018 SEEDS Conference
Our Advocacy Priorities
1115 Demonstration Waiver
Child Funding Approved
Post Partum Depression and Maternal Health
2018 National MHA Events Calendar

Upcoming Events and Community Calendar
Support Groups in Maricopa County
2017 MHA of AZ Board of Directors
Contact Us


Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Glendale Community College, 6000 W. Olive Ave, Glendale, AZ 85302

Mental Health America of Arizona's upcoming Seeds Conference seeks to highlight cutting edge practices and approaches used to address current and emerging issues in behavioral health. Through critical conversations, we will enhance   Awareness, Advocacy, and Achievement   and focus on innovative strategies and interventions being used within the Education System, Workplace, and Community to address mental health and recovery. The Seeds conference will offer 12 breakout sessions and a "Town Hall Listening Session" that will equip educators, employers, family members and people with a lived experience of mental illness with practical tools to address the mental health needs that impact us all at work, school and home. 

The morning keynote will feature Paul Gionfriddo, President and CEO of Mental Health America, and author of the critically acclaimed book, Losing Tim: How our Health and Education Systems Failed my Son with Schizophrenia. Erin Callinan, author of Beautifully Bipolar: An Inspiring Look Into Mental Illness and her parents, Mike and Pril Callinan will provide the afternoon keynote and share their story of hope and recovery. 

Our Top 4 Advocacy Priorities
  • Monitor state budget and funding allocations for behavioral health.
  • Monitor state and federal legislation that impact individuals living with behavioral health issues.
  • Advocate for parity of behavioral and physical health care.  
  • Advocate for mental health screenings, preventative services and wellness programs within schools, workplaces and the community.   

Our advocacy priorities come from our vision of wanting prevention for all, early identification and intervention for those at risk, integrated care and treatment for those in need and recovery as the goal. 


If you haven't signed up for our action alerts and you would like too, please do so here!

1115 Demonstration Waiver

Mental Health America of Arizona (MHA) is encouraged to see that individuals with a Serious Mental Illness (SMI) be exempted from both the work requirement and lifetime limit, as noted in the 1115 Demonstration Waiver Request. However, we share concerns that this type of waiver may lead to loss in coverage for individuals with behavioral health conditions that are not deemed SMI. 

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, we know that 79% of adult and child Medicaid enrollees in Arizona are in families with at least one worker. Individuals with a behavioral health condition do often seek out competitive work opportunities and educational programs; however, opportunities are limited for individuals with behavioral health conditions, and low-paying jobs do not tend to have adequate benefits leaving these individuals to depend on the Medicaid program to supplement their benefits so that they may work. MHA encourages enforcement of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which required that jobs be made available to all qualified individuals, regardless of their health status.

In addition, MHA shares concerns with establishing a five-year lifetime limit. It is not responsive to the nature of mental illness, which may vary in intensity over time. While those with SMI are exempt, there are individuals struck by mental illness that would still be impacted. Individuals who experience poverty are at significantly greater risk of mental illness and individuals experiencing a mental illness often experience periods of wellness, interrupted by periods of severe illness. Imposing an arbitrary five-year lifetime limit on AHCCCS eligibility contradicts what is known about disability, chronic disease and mental illness, and jeopardizes progress already gained by AHCCCS.    
Click here to view a summary of Arizona's 1115 Waiver submittal, featuring questions for policymakers to consider when implementing Medicaid work requirements and a five-year benefit limit.

CHIP Funding Approved

We have some good news to share. Congress has approved funding for the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), aka KidsCare, for the next six years. Arizona now has guaranteed 100% federal funding for KidsCare through September 2019 and 91% federal funding for 2020. 
Also, the legislature's House approved HB 2127, a measure that prevents an automatic freeze on KidsCare when federal funding dips below 100%. KidsCare provides affordable health coverage for more than 24,000 Arizona families.  HB 2127 will now be considered by the Senate. 

In the Conversation About Pregnancy-Related Deaths, Don't Forget to Talk About Suicide

There is more awareness of how many U.S. women die during or after pregnancy, but it's time to include self-harm in both public and private discussions.  The pregnancy-related death rate in the United States has steadily  increased  in the past three decades. 

survey  of 2003-2007 statistics from the National Violent Death Reporting System found 94 cases of pregnancy-associated suicide, with most deaths occurring in the first year after birth. But even as there is growing awareness of maternal mortality in the United States, there's little discussion about these fatalities.   Read article here

Additional Articles:

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Sue Gilbertson Leadership Award Celebration
March 10th, 2018, 6:00 - 10:00pm
Orange Tree Golf Resort, 10601 N. 56th St, Scottsdale, AZ 85254

15th Annual Indian Health Services Conference
April 3rd - April 5th, 2018
Arizona State University West Campus

9th Annual Ability360 Center Health and Wellness Fair
April 27th, 2018 from 12:00pm - 5:00pm, April 28th from 10:00am - 4:00pm
Ability360 Center, 5025 E. Washington St, Phoenix, AZ 85034 

9th Annual Ability360 Center Health & Wellness Fair
April 27, 2018 (12 p.m. - 5 p.m.) & April 28, 2018 (10 p.m. - 4 p.m.)
Ability360 Center, 5025 E. Washington St, Phoenix, AZ 85034 

Mental Health America of Arizona Seeds Conference
May 16th, 2018
Glendale Community College, 6000 W. Olive Ave, Glendale, AZ 85302
More details and registration to come!

Check out more Community Calendars in the Phoenix Area!

Arizona Trauma Institute  Trainings   
ASU Center for Applied Behavioral Health Policy  Events
Health Choice Integrated Care Community  Events
Mercy Maricopa Integrated Care  Events
NAMI Arizona  Calendar

Mental Health America of Arizona