July 2022 E-News


In This Issue:

  • 2022 Legislative Scorecard
  • Benefits of Boundary Setting
  • BIPOC Mental Health Month
  • Mental Health Parity 101
  • Push for RI Olmstead Plan
  • Resources
  • Sunshine RX
YES! Sunshine can improve your wellbeing and here is the reason why.
The Olmstead Push is On
Click on the screenshot below to view MHARI Executive Director, Laurie Marie Pisciotta's interview with WJAR's Barbara Morse.
"We deserve leaders who take mental health seriously. One day, it could be their son, daughter, father or mother who needs help."
Laurie-Marie Pisciotta
7/17/2022 Providence Sunday Journal,
Rafe's Battle Ends - Failed for years by a broken system, Rafe Sweeney succumbed to suicide. Will his story prompt needed change?
July is BIPOC Mental Health Awareness Month
Formally recognized in 2008, BIPOC Mental Health Awareness Month was created to bring awareness to the unique struggles that underrepresented groups face in regard to mental illness in the U.S.

2022 Legislative Scorecard

from the desk of
MHARI Executive Director
Laurie-Marie Pisciotta

One thing I continually work on in therapy is setting boundaries. It’s so hard! I want to say yes to everyone’s requests, but that would deplete my energy and harm my mental health. This podcast episode provides tips on gracefully saying no and what to do when someone guilt-trips you.
"Do you ever feel put out by too many social events?
Fed up with all the work requests you feel pressure to say yes to? Bothered by small asks that make you feel big mad? It might be time to take a look at your boundaries."
About MHARI's Executive Director
Laurie comes to the Mental Health Association with 17 years of nonprofit experience and a passion for helping, inspiring and leading. She is driven by the core belief that we are meant to take care of each other, especially our most vulnerable. 
The breadth of Laurie’s experience spans advocacy and human service roles. She has served as a lobbyist and policy analyst for the ACLU; a case manager at AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts; a Court Appointed Special Advocate for children in the child welfare system; Treatment Access Program Manager at Project HEAL; and the Director of Strategic Partnerships at NeedyMeds. 

from the desk of
Project Manager,
RI Mental Health
Parity Initiative
What exactly is Mental Health Parity?

Mea Culpa! All of us here at MHARI and the RI Parity Initiative work intimately and passionately to achieve mental health parity. So much so, that we forget "mental health parity" is a concept not fully understood by many. Here is a simple explanation:

Mental health parity is the law. Both Federal and State laws require that, in most cases, your health plan must cover mental health services, including addiction treatment services, the same way it covers physical health services. In other words, insurers cannot discriminate. If your health plan denied services unfairly, you’ve got rights.
More Mental Health Parity Information...
  • Watch the RIParity Initiative’s series of short videos that feature need to know information, quick tips, and tools to help you get the coverage you need from your health insurer for mental health, including substance use disorder services and treatment.

  • Free access to downloadable print materials you can use to share with others, to help us make sure every Rhode Islander knows that their insurance coverage cannot discriminate when it comes to coverage for mental health. 

Building a Pipeline of Diverse Mental Health Providers

Seeking mental healthcare is a courageous decision. Research shows that consumers of mental health services report positive experiences when they share language and culture with their provider. We also know that people from diverse backgrounds are under-represented in Rhode Island’s behavioral health provider pool, and we want to change that. MHARI is delighted to award scholarship and internship stipends for social work and mental health counseling graduate students from diverse backgrounds at Rhode Island College. Supporting today’s students will diversify tomorrow's mental health professionals, thus increasing access to treatment and services for under-represented groups.
We particularly encourage people from the following groups to apply:
     People who come from minority racial or ethnic groups
     Speakers of English as a Second Language
     LGBQT Individuals
     Persons with a disability
This is a pilot program, and we are excited to launch it. Please help us spread the word. Applications are due August 1, 2022. Click here to learn more and apply.
This is an initiative of MHARI’s newest program, Bridging the Divide: Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Mental Healthcare. We are grateful to the United Way of Rhode Island and the Rhode Island Dept. of Behavioral Health, Developmental Disabilities and Hospitals for helping to fund these awards.
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The mission of the
Mental Health Association of Rhode Island (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
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?