JANUARY NEWSLETTER
MHARI RELEASES FREE BEHAVIORAL HEALTH RESOURCE GUIDE

The Mental Health Association of Rhode Island is pleased to announce the release of our free Behavioral Health Resource Guide. It includes 24/7 hotlines, local support groups and free and sliding scale mental health services for those who are uninsured. The Guide is available in E-Book and printable formats in English and Spanish. Click on the link below to watch a special message from Executive Director, Laurie-Marie Pisciotta, discussing the Guide and the importance of taking care of your mental health.
Please share the Guide with anyone you think may benefit from the resources!




MHARI COLLABORATES WITH THUNDERMIST HEALTH CENTER TO OFFER FREE MENTAL HEALTH FIRST AID TRAINING
The COVID-19 pandemic is a mental health crisis as much as it is a medical emergency and economic disaster. Many people are struggling with mental health challenges, and as the pandemic subsides and public life opens up again, many will seek help. In order to help increase access to mental health information and resources, MHARI is excited to collaborate with Thundermist Health Center to offer a free virtual Mental Health First Aid training on February 11, 2021 at 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. The training is part of our Bridging the Divide to Emotional Wellness series and will be facilitated by Jennifer Gaviria, LCSW at Thundermist. This is the first of more training sessions to come, including training in Spanish.

Mental Health First Aid teaches you how to identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illness and substance use disorders. It also reduces stigma and provides behavioral health resources to people who have never before considered treatment. This training gives participants the skills needed to reach out and provide initial support to someone who may be experiencing a mental health challenge, including a substance use disorder and help connect them to the appropriate care.

First Aiders will complete a 2-hour, self-paced online class, and then participate in a 5.5-hour, instructor-led videoconference.
MHARI FORMS A DIVERSITY, EQUITY AND INCLUSION ADVISORY COUNCIL
The Mental Health Association of Rhode Island (MHARI) is forming a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Advisory Council because we know that racial and ethnic minorities and immigrants are underrepresented in the mental health and consumer and provider communities.


MHARI+OHIC = IMPROVED INSURANCE COVERAGE FOR MENTAL HEALTH TREATMENT
In January, MHARI and several members of our RI Parity Stakeholders coalition met with Health Insurance Commissioner, Patrick Tigue, to share our priorities for 2021 and to learn about OHIC's top priorities. READ MORE


FIGHTING TO PASS HEALTH INSURANCE REFORM LEGISLATION IN RHODE ISLAND
MHARI's Executive Director was among a group of community advocates who testified in the Senate Health and Human Services Committee in favor of several health insurance reform bills.


MAY IS MENTAL HEALTH MONTH
MHARI kicked off the planning of our virtual May is Mental Health Month. The planning committee made up of representatives from our community health partners got together to discuss activities that will take place during this important month of awareness. We will kickoff the month on April 30, 2021. Organizations who are hosting virtual events will be able to submit them for posting on MHARI's webpage and sponsorship opportunities will be available. Save the date and stay tuned as planning is underway.












ARE YOU FAMILIAR WITH MENTAL HEALTH PARITY? DO YOU KNOW YOUR RIGHTS?

Insurance plans must comply with state and federal mental health parity laws if the plan covers mental health treatment and services. This means that insurers must provide coverage levels for mental health related services and treatment equal to those offered for physical health services and treatment. For example, mental health consumers are entitled to coverage for an equal number of days spent in psychiatric hospitals and
medical hospitals, and we should not have to go on long waitlists to see a psychiatrist.
YOU CAN HELP PROMOTE MENTAL HEALTH TO ALL RHODE ISLANDERS
It only takes minutes and a few simple steps to set up a campaign to start raising money and awareness for the Mental Health Association of RI. After you pick your campaign name, you can start spreading the word to your friends and family and watch your impact grow.

With 1 in 5 Rhode Islanders struggling with mental health and delaying treatment, your contributions to help advocate and educate are needed now more than ever. Thank you for your support!