July News & Updates


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MHA Response to Border Atrocities
Screening Time and Children
Opioid Package
Removing Barriers to Care Medicaid
AZ Conditions for Kids
Eric Gilbertson Advocacy Institute

Upcoming Events and Community Calendar
Support Groups in Maricopa County
2018 MHA of AZ Board of Directors
Contact Us

MHA Joins Leading Nonprofits to Condemn Border Atrocities

By: Paul Gionfriddo, president and CEO

"Today, I joined nonprofit colleagues from around the nation in condemning the horrifying actions being taken by our government to separate young children from their parents at our southern border. As a mental health advocate, I recognize that these children and families were already subjected to major trauma when they arrived at our border...


Is Screen Time Bad for Children's Mental Health?

Many parents are concerned about how much time their children spend on cellphones, Xboxes and other digital media. Some experts say they should be: There is a growing body of research showing an association between unhappiness and the time adolescents spend on digital media.

House Passes Final Opioid Package

After months of work on the topic, the House of Representatives last Friday passed a wide-ranging package of legislation aimed at addressing various facets of the opioid crisis. The bipartisan Substance Use-Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment for Patients and Communities (SUPPORT) Act (H.R. 6) combines 58 individual previously-passed bills that focus on topics ranging from expanding access to opioid addiction treatment to encouraging the adoption of alternative forms of pain management and more. 

House Passes Walters Bill to Remove Barrier to Care in Medicaid

Kentucky was the first state to have a work requirement waiver approved by Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) (it was set to take effect July 1). But on June 29th, a federal District Court judge ruled that Kentucky's section 1115 waiver failed to address the purpose of the Medicaid program - to furnish medical assistance. The judge's order vacates the CMS approval of the waiver and remands it to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). This is the beginning of a likely long legal battle, but puts the future of Medicaid work requirements in question. 
KidsCare enrollment is currently at 29,733. Our latest KidsCare fact sheet is attached. Please take a look at the fact sheet as it lays out our top reasons for removing the trigger and appropriating state funds to keep KidsCare around for working Arizona families.

New Report: Arizona Ranks 45th in Conditions for Kids

Conditions for Arizona children remain much as they have over the last three years, with drops in the state's rankings in fourth-grade reading success and eighth-grade math proficiency, according to the 2018 KIDS COUNT® Data Book, released this week by the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

Each year, the KIDS COUNT analysis evaluates 16 indicators of data in four main areas: education, health, poverty and family and community factors. States are ranked from 1 to 50, with one being the best conditions for kids and 50 being the worst.  Arizona ranks 45th overall.

Despite the economic recovery and low unemployment rates, a large number of Arizona children are not reaping the benefits of economic opportunity. Twenty-four percent of children live in poverty and 23 percent live in neighborhoods with concentrated poverty, ranking Arizona in the bottom 10 on both measures. The extreme stress, instability, and deprivation associated with childhood poverty can have lifelong consequences for low educational attainment, health problems, and depressed income. 

As we celebrate the birth of our democracy this month, candidates running for the 90 seats in our state legislature are asking for our vote. Every election year, Children's Action Alliance (CAA) sends a questionnaire to legislative candidates asking them where they stand on conditions for Arizona. You can check out their positions on issues critical to children and families.

Eric Gilbertson Advocacy Institute for Behavioral Health

The AZ Behavioral Health Corporation is again sponsoring the Eric Gilbertson Advocacy Institute for 2018. 
I'm asking that you review and consider applying or pass this along to friends and colleagues who would benefit from the training.  The application is attached with a completed application, 2 letters of references and a $10 application fee due on Wednesday, August 15th.
The training dates for this year are in Phoenix on:  Saturday, September 15th & 29th, October 13th & 27th, November 17th, and December 1st
We need to continue to foster and grow those interested in and willing to be advocates for individuals in the public behavioral health system.  There'll be significant changes upon us this year and we'll need well-informed folks to make certain the system works for everybody.


National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month
The U.S. House of Representatives proclaimed July as Bebe Moore Campbell National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month in 2008, aiming to improve access to mental health treatment and services for multicultural communities through increased public awareness. Since then, individuals and organizations around the country have joined the National Alliance on Mental Illness in celebrating the Month and increasing awareness. 

To learn more, visit  www.nami.org.

28th Anniversary of the Americans with Disability Act Celebration
July 26, 10am-1pm
ABILITY360 Center, 5025 E. Washington, Phoenix, AZ 85034, conference hall
Learn how the ADA affects your everyday life. Free. 
For more information or to register, visit  www.eventbrite.com or call David Carey, 602.443.0723

Connections Conference 2018
A two-day conference from Mercy Care for members and providers that will educate and inspire
Focused on community resources, integration and peer and family support services, and other topics related to members, families, peers and providers.

Day 1: 2 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, August 9
Topics/discussions will focus on members and their families

Day 2: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday, August 10
Topics/discussions will focus on provider staff, but anyone from the community is welcome to attend. You'll have the chance to talk with support services providers. You can also enjoy a networking dinner/lunch. 

Seating is limited. To be held at the Black Canyon Conference Center, 9440 N. 25th Ave., Phoenix 85021.  Click HERE to register now. For help registering, contact the Office of Individual and Family Affairs, 602.453.8416 or  

Mental Health Criminal Justice Summit
August 23-24, 2018
Embassy Suites, Tempe

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