August News & Updates

August 16, 2017
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NHCW National Health Center Week

This week is National Health Center Week. One in every fifteen Americans receives care at a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC). FQHCs allow communities to thrive, enhance economies, and care for individuals regardless of their ability to pay. Learn more about health centers or share your FQHC's successes by clicking here.

BartoThanks to Senator Barto!

In July, we were proud to recognize State Senator Nancy Barto (LD15) at Mental Health America's Regional Policy Council in Denver, Colorado. Senator Barto has been a champion for behavioral health system reform and was eager to learn more about MHA of AZ and what we do to advocate and educate the community. We are grateful for Senator Barto's advocacy and look forward to many more years of productive collaboration. 


SSISSDISurveySSI/SSDI Community Survey

MHA of Arizona is looking to develop a training for individuals in need of assistance in appealing their SSI and/or SSDI denials. But we need your help.  We would greatly appreciate your time in completing a brief survey. You may fill out the survey on behalf of yourself or your family member.

Please Note: We want to assure you that your responses are completely anonymous. Responses to anonymous surveys cannot be traced back to the respondent. No personally identifiable information is captured unless you voluntarily offer personal or contact information in any of the comment fields. Additionally, your responses are combined with those of many others and summarized in a report to further protect your anonymity and confidentiality.  

Thank you for your participation!
opioidsurveyIs your organization working to address the 
opioid epidemic in Maricopa County? 

If so, please take this brief stakeholder survey to assess the resources available countywide. Feel free to share with your colleagues! 


Last month the Senate failed to pass a modified (or "skinny") version of ACA repeal. This iteration of healthcare reform would have resulted in sweeping cuts to Medicaid, but was thwarted by Senators Collins (ME), Murkowski (AR), and McCain (AZ). 

The future of healthcare is unclear at this point. A bipartisan alliance, known as the "problem solvers caucus," has formed to seek solutions that will stabilize the insurance industry in the short term until a lasting agreement can be found. 

Arizona Receives Federal Grant to Expand Prescription Drug Overdose Prevention Efforts overdosegrant

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) granted the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) $505,104 to expand opioid overdose prevention efforts throughout the state. This sum is in addition to a $3.6 million dollar award provided to the state in 2015. 

The funding will be used to raise public awareness of prescription drug safety, promote safe prescribing of opioids, improve the statewide Controlled Substances Prescription Monitoring Program, and to implement local prevention efforts in six counties. 

More information about the Arizona Prescription Drug Misuse and Abuse Initiative can be found at 

College Counselors Go Where the Students Are - Dorms and Starbucks

This great article from the Wall Street Journal explores the changing face of mental health outreach on college campuses. Gone are the days of stigmatizing campus health centers. Instead, mental health workers are finding those that need help in places where they live, study, and hang out. 

Apply Today for the 2017 Eric Gilbertson Advocacy Institute for Behavioral Health!

Are you interested in learning more about our state's public behavioral health system? The Eric Gilbertson Advocacy Institute for Behavioral Health is a great place to start.

This Institute, hosted by Arizona Behavioral Health Corporation, provides an overview of the behavioral health services available in Arizona. Participants will learn about individual, provider, and state-level issues, meet leaders in the field, and prepare to advocate for great care.
The 6-session program will take place on six Saturdays from September through December:
  • September 9th and 23rd
  • October 7th and 21st
  • November 4th December 2nd
Interested parties should submit the attached application, two letters of reference, and a $10 application fee to Arizona Behavioral Health Corporation no later than Friday, August 25th . If you are accepted, you will be notified by Friday, September 1st


Casa Grande Mental Health First Aid for Older Adults Training
August 29
8:30 am - 4:30 pm
1876 E. Sabin Dr., Casa Grande, AZ 85122

Eric Gilbertson Advocacy Institute for Behavioral Health
Six Saturdays beginning September 9th and ending December 2nd  (dates above)
9:30 am - 4 pm
Recovery Empowerment Network (REN), 212 E. Osborn Rd., Phoenix, AZ 85012

MIKID Fundraiser and
Beautifully Bipolar Event
September 16th
1pm - 4 pm
Flagstaff Medical Center, 1200 N. Humphreys, Flagstaff, AZ 86001

Fourth Annual
Arizona Health Equity Conference
October 12
8 am - 4:30 pm
Glendale Civic Center, 5750 W. Glenn Ave., Glendale, AZ 85301

Second Annual
Speak Up - Stand Up - Save a Life Youth Conference
January 16, 2018 
3300 W. Camelback Rd., Phoenix, AZ 85017

Check out more events in the Phoenix Area!

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

In November 2017, AHCCCS will issue a Request for Proposal (RFP) to integrate physical and behavioral healthcare services and streamline services for members. Beginning October 2018, members will choose one healthcare  plan for  medical care (physical) as well as any needed behavioral health services (with exceptions for SMI and CMPD populations and crisis services). Before the RFP opens, we would like to hear from current AHCCCS members so we can best address questions during the process.
If you are a provider or advocacy group, please share this webpage with AHCCCS members and encourage them to take our member survey.
Please see the attachment for the current information for FREE mental health Peer Support Groups.  The groups are located throughout Maricopa County and in Yarnell.  They are open to people 18+ diagnosed with a mental illness.

The free support groups are sponsored by the 
Mental Health Guild.

Michael Shafer, Ph.D. Chair  
Joshua Mozell, J.D., Vice Chair  
Jason Bernstein, C.P.A., Treasurer
Karen Pitico, M.P.H., Secretary

Kathy Bashor, M.C.
Sheri George
Charles Goldstein, M.D
Laurie Goldstein
Emily Jenkins, J.D. 
Marcus Johnson, M.P.H.
Charles Montgomery
Mohamed Ramadan, M.D. 
Clarke Romans, Ph.D.
Charlene Smith
Myra Richman
Mental Health America of Arizona 
Website: www.mhaarizona. org