SPAN The Bridge Newsletter pictorial graphic.  Your weekly access to SPAN news, resources and events.

January 25, 2022 | Issue 14 (View newsletter as webpage)

Important News

Decorative Black Suicide Study Graphic

Ring the Alarm: The Crisis of Black Youth Suicide in America - A Report to Congress

The National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) published a report with the Congressional Black Caucus called "Ring the Alarm" that highlights the mental health crisis among Black youth. Data indicate an alarming increase in the suicide rates for Black children and teenagers over the past generation. The suicide death rate among Black youth has been found to be increasing faster than any other racial/ethnic group. This increasing trend challenges the public perception that Black youth simply do not commit suicide.

Read the full report at this link to learn more about the data, task force recommendations, and resources for families and professionals.

Family Ties, sleep, and activity aided youth mental health during pandemic

Supportive relationships with family and friends, and healthy physical activity and sleep prevented adolescents and teens from developing mental health problems during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, a study published Monday by the Journal of Adolescent Health found. For adolescents and teens ages 11 to 14 years, positive relationships with parents, participation in family activities and exercise, and improved sleep protected against stress, anxiety, and depression.

Read the full article at this link


Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services logo

Ending Surprise Medical Bills

As of January 1, 2022, consumers have new billing protections when getting:

  • emergency care
  • non-emergency care from out-of-network providers at in-network facilities, and
  • air ambulance services from out-of-network providers.

In the past, if consumers had health coverage and got care from an out-of-network provider, their health plan usually wouldn't cover the entire out-of-network cost. In many cases, the out-of-network provider could bill consumers for the difference between the charges the provider billed, and the amount paid by the consumer’s health plan. This is known as balance billing. An unexpected balance bill is called a "surprise bill."

Get more information at this link

The website includes a section for consumers with information about filing a claim and dispute resolution at this link.

New Jersey has a law on surprise billing and advocates are asking for guidance on how state/federal law dovetail to protect NJ patients.

Federal Government to Provide Free At-Home COVID-19 Test Kits

The White House official logo

Residential households in the U.S. are able to order one set of 4 free at-home rapid antigen COVID-19 tests. There is a limit of one order per residential address and shipping is free. Eligible households are encouraged to obtain COVID-19 tests so they are available if needed.

Order tests at this link

  Click here for other Family Friendly COVID-19 Resources 

Upcoming Events

See what's happening this month

SPAN offers a variety of learning opportunities for families and the professionals who work with them. Check out our Event Calendar (link) for details and registration links.

Upcoming Events include (links):

And more (link)!

Decorative images of parents with children

Family voices logo.png

Family Voices

Telehealth Resources

for Families and Youth

Check out family-centered resources about telehealth, such as infographics, videos, and checklists. There are also social stories and videos for youth and young adults.

Webinars are available on these topics:

  1. Are you connected?
  2. Do you have a device?
  3. Can you "see" your provider?
  4. Your family's first telehealth appointment

Go to this link to view all resources.

Todos los recursos están disponibles en español en este enlace

SPAN is New Jersey's Family to Family Health Information Center and the Family Voices State Affiliate Organization for National Family Voices. Family Voices-NJ works to “keep families at the center of children’s healthcare.” 

Learn more about these

SPAN programs at this link.

Share your SPAN testimonial story! CLICK HERE

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