September 2022

In This Issue:
  • REPORT RELEASED: The State of Behavioral Healthcare in RI
  • Governor McKee Appoints MHARI Executive Director
  • INTERVEIW - Yoga is Good for your Mental Health
  • Welcome Eunice David
  • Copper Toxicity
  • MHARI in Action
  • Fundraiser Survey
  • Ten Percent Happier Podcast - Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art
  • September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month - learn the facts
Feeling Anxious? You might be breathing wrong! Find out more in this enlightening episode of the Ten Percent Happier podcast.
"The State of Behavioral Healthcare in RI"
The Mental Health Association of Rhode Island (MHARI) in partnership with the Brown Initiative for Policy, a non-partisan think tank run by undergraduates at Brown University, recently released this report.

The report compiles available data from a number of sources, outlining indicators related to mental health outcomes, utilization of services, and other critical information.

"We were excited to collaborate with MHARI for this first of its kind report here in Rhode Island that, with updates over time, will help measure improvements or declines in behavioral health outcomes, access, and prevalence to identify where state investments and reforms have had an impact."
Evan Mizerak, Brown '22,
President of the Brown Initiative for Policy

An Interview with a Community Resource:
The Benefits of Yoga - Bristol Maryott
Bristol Maryott
Owner of Jala Yoga Studio
Laurie-Marie Pisciotta
MHARI Executive Director
Copper Toxicity mimics many illnesses, including depression.

by MHARI Executive Director
Laurie-Marie Pisciotta

Earlier this summer, I felt sad, negative, and uninterested in socializing. I was not sleeping well and reasoned that stress and overwork must have brought on a relapse in depression. I was fearful that my antidepressant – the only antidepressant that has ever helped me – had stopped working. Gradually, over several weeks I developed a troubling array of physical symptoms I have never experienced before: extreme physical exhaustion, muscle weakness, and mental fog. I was too tired and weak to do daily tasks like cooking, washing my hair, or sitting at a desk...continue reading.
from the desk of
Project Manager,
RI Mental Health
Parity Initiative
MHARI received so many requests last month that we ordered more! If you missed this offer last month - here it is again.

Share RIParity information with patients, clients,
and customers!
Please help distribute RIParity information cards (4” x 9”) alerting the public to a patient’s right to insurance coverage for mental health care. 

The cards are FREE, printed back-to-back English/Spanish, and also include information on how to access Rhode Island’s FREE health coverage helpline

If you own a business, are a practitioner, or work in an organization that can make the cards available to clients and patients, click here to fill out an order form and we’ll mail the cards directly to you -- at no cost.
MHARI Welcomes
Eunice David
to Lead its DEI Program
Please join us in welcoming the newest member of MHARI’s team, Eunice David. Eunice will manage MHARI’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion program, which aims to reduce disparities and increase access to treatment in underserved communities. To learn more or join MHARI’s community-based DEI Advisory Council, contact Eunice at  

MHARI in Action
The mental health community achieved many victories in the 2022 legislative session.

  1. We passed legislation to establish Certified Community Behavioral Health Centers.
  2. We collaborated to obtain state funding for a Medicaid rate review. 
  3. MHARI led efforts to modernize licensing requirements for mental health counselors, social workers and marriage and family therapists.
All of these were important achievements, but there is so much more to do. Rhode Islanders are on waitlists for every level of care. Patients are being prematurely discharged from hospitals. And people in crisis are being sent home from emergency departments rather than admitted to a psychiatric unit or hospital.

MHARI is gearing up for 2023. We have recently begun convening advocacy strategy meetings with stakeholders. Increasing patients’ access to treatment requires building out a full continuum of care, especially at the outpatient level. Rhode Island lacks enough providers to meet the demands of our population. A major contributing factor to network insufficiency is the poor Medicaid and commercial insurance reimbursement rates for outpatient treatment and services. Providers can’t afford to accept insurance when the rates are too low to cover their expenses, so many opt out of insurance networks. That means patients have to pay out of pocket for out-of-network providers or skip treatment if they can’t afford to pay cash for services. Advocating for increased rates will be one of MHARI’s top priorities in 2023. 
On October 1st, 2022, MHARI is partnering with USTA RI again to host our 3rd Annual Fall Tennis Tournament. It will take place at the Slater Park's Tennis Courts 401 Newport Ave. Pawtucket RI 02860 at noon. Tournament format: round robin doubles.
Did someone forward you this newsletter? Sign up to receive your copy.
Like any non-profit organization, MHARI must raise funds to continue to advocate for a better behavioral healthcare system. What fundraisers do you like? Click here and let us know. We appreciate your input. 
The Mission of the
Mental Health Association of RI (MHARI) is to promote and nourish mental health through advocacy, education, and policy development.

Our website is filled with resources to help those living with mental health challenges. Please feel free to visit the site as often as you need. Your shares of relevant pages on your social media could offer just the help that someone needs. Thank You!
The MHARI Team
Laurie-Marie Pisciotta
Executive Director
Karen Malcolm
Project Manager, RI Mental Health Parity Initiative
Eunice David
Bridging the Divide: Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Mental Healthcare
Program Coordinator

Karen Weavill, CFRE
Development Officer
Michele Berard, MBA, CFRE
Development Officer
The Mental Health Association of RI (MHARI) is a private, 501(c)3 non-profit organization and is 100% funded by grants and donations.
Won't you consider supporting MHARI today?