Many Californians face huge challenges in accessing substance use treatment services. Social and environmental factors including low socioeconomic status, low literacy, unemployment, discrimination, and other factors negatively impact our ability to lead healthy lives. Many people of color and Limited English Proficient populations additionally face a lack of culturally competent and linguistically appropriate services. Further, stigma and discrimination linked with accessing services also remain barriers to accessing treatment for many, especially those with previous criminal justice involvement.
California’s Medi-Cal 2020 1115(a) Waiver Demonstration Project provides new opportunities to expand substance use services to include a fuller continuum of care that includes withdrawal management, medication-assisted treatment, short-term residential, case management and care coordination with physical and mental health, and recovery support services. Drug Medi-Cal eligibility also expands to include single adults without children, which mean more people are able to receive substance use treatment services than ever before.
To address these barriers and disparities, communities of color – those most in need of services – need to be involved in the development and design of treatment options, and policymakers must consider the root causes of substance use disorders in vulnerable and underserved communities. That’s why CPEHN is engaging our communities to get involved so that the needs of underserved communities are included and addressed in the implementation of these new services. With stakeholder input from underserved populations, county departments of behavioral health can better meet the needs of the most vulnerable communities.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), Los Angeles County Council and Urban Los Angeles Affiliate, are coordinating their second annual diversity conference on Saturday, April 9, 2016. Cultural anthropologist and sought after professor of African Studies and Human Development, Dr. Erylene Piper-Mandy will be the keynote speaker. Dr. Piper-Mandy will address the paradigm shifts necessary to move toward institutionalizing culturally‐relevant practice. Other presenters include renowned experts like internationally recognized psychologist Dr. Steven Lopez of USC, whose cultural competency model is currently being funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH); Dr. Cheryl Tawede Grills, clinical psychologist who has studied internationally to identify African‐centered models for treatment engagement for African Americans; Dr. Terry Gock, expert in Asian and Pacific Islander mental health, who has championed recognition of community defined practice as evidence based practice, nationally among organizations like SAMHSA and the American Psychological Association; and addiction psychiatrist, Dr. Dan Dickerson of UCLA, principal investigator of an NIH funded research grant for Drum-Assisted Recovery Therapy for Native Americans (DARTNA).
The Community Health Advocate School at Augustus F. Hawkins High School in Los Angeles is hosting this year’s conference, entitled Bridging the Cultural Divide - Beyond Evidence-Based Practice in Diverse Communities. The 2016 NAMI Diversity Conference is made possible by contributions from transformative sponsors, the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health and LA Care Health Plan, and through the generous support of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated.
Prevention Institute (PI) and The College for Behavioral Health Leadership are co-hosting Summit 2016 - Population Health: Leadership for Building Healthier Communities this April 6-8, 2016 in San Diego. Conference participants will seek to identify and address opportunities for improvement, promote emerging consensus, contribute to the evolution of behavioral health and wellness, and positively impact the health of communities.
This past week was National Mental Illness Awareness Week, and on October 10, health advocates around the globe observed World Mental Health Day. These events draw attention to the prevalence of behavioral health conditions and seek to combat the stigma that surrounds them. Communities of color in the United States face significant mental health disparities and greater barriers in getting the treatment they need. Fortunately, one way the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is improving the health care system is by requiring most health plans to offer free depression screenings as a preventive health service.
Each Mind Matters is California’s Mental Health Movement. We are millions of individuals and thousands of organizations working to advance mental health. The mental health movement certainly didn’t start with us, but Each Mind Matters was created to unite all of us who share a vision of improved mental health and equality.
Even though most of the things we need to be mentally healthy are universal — like safe housing, supportive relationships, and good health care – a one-size-fits-all approach to mental health care just isn’t enough. We know that people from ethnic and cultural communities are, in general, less likely to receive necessary mental health services, and those who are in treatment often receive poorer-quality care. Other groups like veterans, LGBTQ communities, or people who live in rural areas may be at elevated risk, have less access to resources, or feel isolated. But there is reason for hope as well: new approaches to healing and supporting people in times of distress, as well as changing conversations about mental health, have been developed by California’s many ethnic and cultural communities. In addition, leaders from five of these groups outlined by the California Reducing Disparities Project have created resources to help change attitudes and improve mental health outcomes in a way that is meaningful to each community.
The California MHSA Multicultural Coalition (CMMC) is proud to announce an upcoming opportunity for those interested in learning about the CMMC’s State of the State reports. The State of the State reports were created to highlight the mental health needs of some of the diverse under- and unserved populations in California. Join us on September 30th in Carlsbad for Culture and Mental Health:Exploring Challenges and Resiliency for Diverse Communities, a free presentation on the findings of these reports.
To develop the State of the State reports, the CMMC conducted interviews with individuals from the respective communities and consulted subject matter experts in order to get a first-hand perspective of the challenges these communities face. We also wanted to learn about the strength and resiliency within each community.
The reports were created to give a brief overview of the unique difficulties that are inherent in certain populations including:
California's Office of Health Equity has released the solicitations for Phase II of the California Reducing Disparities Project (CRDP) funded by the Mental Health Services Act. Community organizations are particularly encouraged to respond to the solicitations for the Capacity Building and Implementation Pilot Projects, which will fund community-based promising practices to improve mental health in communities of color and the LGBTQ population.
You can also access solicitations for Statewide Evaluator and Technical Assistance Providers.
Bidders’ conferences will be held in Sacramento for all solicitations, and will be available via web conferencing for those unable to attend in person. You can find out more of about these events here. The bidder’s conference for the Capacity Building and Implementation Pilot Projects will be held:
Wednesday, September 9 1:00-4:00 p.m. Ziggurat Building Auditorium 707 3rd Street in West Sacramento