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The Art of Recovery Gallery: Video

namini : November 14, 2018 1:19 pm : Breaking News

Take a look at the gallery (officially made digital!) hosted by Stepping Stones of Rockford.

Each artist displayed is on their own mental health journey.


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NAMI Excited With New Opportunities To Improve Medicaid Mental Health Ca

namini : November 13, 2018 1:20 pm : Breaking News


Secretary Alex Azar, U.S. Health & Human Services, announced that the Administration will allow states to apply for Medicaid waivers to pay for mental health treatment in inpatient settings known as IMDs, or institutions of mental disease.  Historically, Medicaid has not paid for treatment in these settings for most adults. While this policy was intended to reduce inhumane institutionalization, it also resulted in unequal coverage of mental health and, tragically, a lack of appropriate options for people with severe mental health conditions.  If we treated other chronic conditions this way, far more people would die from diabetes, epilepsy, hypertension and heart disease.

On September 12th, NAMI and 11 of our colleagues on the Interdepartmental Serious Mental Illness Coordinating Committee (ISMICC) sent a letter to Administrator Seema Verma of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, calling for Medicaid to cover care provided in inpatient settings, or IMDs and strengthen quality and continuity of care to community services. The ISMICC letter also asked for greater flexibility to pay for evidence-based outpatient services to reduce reliance on hospitalization, such as Coordinated Specialty Care in early psychosis programs and Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) teams. We are so pleased that our recommendations were well received and are being implemented. These changes will make a positive impact on people living with severe mental illness.

“This is a landmark day for people living with severe mental illness and their families,” according to Mary Giliberti, NAMI’s CEO. “ISMICC played a key role in changing the paradigm from neglect to one of care and compassion for the millions of children, youth and adults of all ages who live with severe mental illness in America. We’re grateful that the Administration listened and provided the flexibility and direction for states to improve access to continuity of care for millions of Americans and their families.”

NAMI applauds CMS for issuing a detailed letter to State Medicaid Directors that not only allows greater flexibility for inpatient treatment in IMDs, it also takes heartening steps to encourage states to improve outpatient services, including crisis stabilization programs. Today’s guidance could provide a shot in the arm to mental health care. NAMI strongly urges states to step up to the plate and use this flexibility from CMS to improve care for people with mental health conditions.

– NAMI National

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Make a plan to #Vote4MentalHealth

namini : October 23, 2018 9:42 am : Breaking News

Life can get busy and November 6th (Election Day) is going to be here before you know it. That means that now is the time to start developing your voting plan so you don’t miss your opportunity to #Vote4MentalHealth in this important election.

There is no right or wrong way to cast your ballot. The most important thing is to find the way to vote that makes the most sense for you.

To help build your plan, ask yourself these questions:

  1. Are you registered to vote? [Insert your state’s voter deadline and indicate if your state allows same-day registration on Election Day. You can check here.]
  2. Will you be able to get to your polling location on November 6? If not, should you vote early? [Insert correct information related to early, absentee, by mail or early in-person voting in your state. You can check the options in your state here.]
  3. When are you going to the polls? Will you go before school/work, at lunch, or after school/work?
  4. How will you get to the polls? Can you walk or do you need to arrange for transportation? Can you help your friends, neighbors or family get to the polls?
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Your Local Coffee Shops are Celebrating Mental Illness Awareness Week!

namini : October 5, 2018 7:07 am : Breaking News



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NAMI And Others File Lawsuit Against The Short-Term, Limited Duration Plan Final Rule

namini : September 19, 2018 12:47 pm : Breaking News


In partnership with the Association for Community Affiliated Plans and other organizations, NAMI filed suit today to invalidate the federal short-term, limited duration (STLD) insurance plan rule issued last month by three federal agencies. The legal challenge seeks a temporary injunction against the recently issued STLD rule, which would expand the availability of plans that do not have to provide coverage for mental heatlh and substance use services or comply with mental health parity.

These short-term, limited duration plans are permitted to:

  • Deny coverage for any pre-existing condition, including mental illness;
  • Charge higher premiums for people with a history of mental health conditions;
  • Not cover mental health and substance use disorder treatment; and
  • Deny coverage of services resulting from self-inflicted injury.

Short-term limited duration plans are likely to attract younger and healthier individuals, many of whom will be left without the coverage they need in a mental health crisis or if they develop a mental health condition.

By luring healthy people away from comprehensive health insurance plans, the rule will also result in higher premiums for quality plans that provide parity mental health coverage and that do not exclude people with pre-existing conditions.

Recent analysis found that 98% of health care groups either raised concerns with the rule or expressed outright opposition to it. At a time when 81% of people in the U.S. say that insurance companies should not have the legal right to deny coverage for people who have pre-existing conditions, the administration has decided to move forward with a change that will do just that. Health care groups uniformly agree that the rule could gravely hurt sick patients.

NAMI provided comments opposing the rule for its harmful impact on people with mental illness, citing our recent research report on the many problems with insurance plans prior to the Affordable Care Act’s patient protections and parity mental health and substance use coverage requirement.

For the past 20 years, NAMI has fought for parity—the fundamental tenant that mental health care is just as important as physical health care. We have steadily made progress on this issue in both the hearts and minds of the country and its policies. We have joined this suit because we oppose rolling back of the clock to a time when life-saving mental health treatment was limited or unavailable. The health of our nation includes its mental health and it is imperative to retain mental health parity and access to essential mental health benefits for all Americans.

Organizations that joined Association for Community Affiliated Plans and NAMI in filing the lawsuit include Mental Health America, American Psychiatric Association (APA), AIDS United, National Partnership for Women & Families, and Little Lobbyists.

– NAMI National

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We’re In!

namini : September 19, 2018 9:00 am : Breaking News

The Mayor’s Office of Domestic Violence and Human Trafficking Prevention and the 17th Judicial Circuit Domestic Violence Coordinated Court are proposing the creation of a Family Justice Center, a centralized and trauma informed facility, where specialized organizations will work together so survivors and their children may safely and more easily access the services they need.

The Family Justice Center model has been identified as a best practice in the field of domestic violence intervention and prevention services by the United States Department of Justice. Family Justice Centers are multi-agency, multidisciplinary co-located service centers that provide services to victims of interpersonal violence including, intimate partner violence, sexual assault, child abuse, elder or dependent adult abuse, and human trafficking. Both public and private partner agencies assign staff on a full-time or part-time basis to provide services from one location. Centers focus on reducing the number of times victims tell their story, the number of places victims must go for help, and look to increase access to services and support for victims and their children.

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Illinois Enacts Nation’s Strongest Parity Law!

namini : August 23, 2018 7:52 am : Breaking News

This morning, Governor Bruce Rauner signed Senate Bill 1707, which passed the General Assembly by overwhelming bipartisan margins in May. This new law will save lives by increasing access to treatment for individuals struggling with mental health and addiction challenges. While there remains much work left to do to end coverage discrimination, this new law represents a national milestone in strengthening parity enforcement.

The landmark law, which takes effect on January 1, 2019, will do the following for the residents of Illinois:

  • Tackles the Opioid Crisis by expanding access to life-saving addiction treatment.
    • Prohibits prior authorization and step-therapy requirements for FDA-approved medications to treat substance use disorders;
    • Requires generic FDA-approved medications for substance use disorders to be on lowest-tier of prescription formularies, with branded medications on the lowest tier for branded medications;
    • Prohibits exclusions of prescription coverage and related support services for substance use disorder because they are court ordered; and
    • Requires state regulators to actively ensure plan compliance with parity law.
  • Increases transparency by requiring health plans to submit parity compliance analyses that align with The Kennedy Forum’s six-step process, which shows compliance with federal parity rules.
  • Improves parity enforcement by requiring the departments of Insurance and Healthcare and Family Services to conduct market conduct examinations/parity compliance audits and report on their enforcement activities annually to the General Assembly.
  • Requires the Illinois Auditor General to review implementation state parity law and report to the General Assembly.
  • Closes a loophole in state law that allowed school district health plans to discriminate against mental health and addiction coverage.

The Kennedy Forum Illinois thanks Rep. Lou Lang for his tireless efforts on mental health parity, as well as Reps. Feigenholtz, Conroy, and Andersson, and Senators Bush, Morrison, and Raoul. Many thanks also to the Illinois Association for Behavioral Health for its partnership, the Chicago Community Trust for supporting this work, and to numerous other partners* for their steadfast support.

*Thank You Supporters and Coalition Members!
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention | American Nurses Association-Illinois | American Psychiatric Association | Chicago Urban League | Community Behavioral Healthcare Association | Depression & Bipolar Support Alliance | Family Guidance Centers | Gateway Foundation | Health & Medicine Policy Research Group, IARF | Illinois Association for Behavioral Health | Illinois Collaboration on Youth | Illinois State Medical Society | Illinois Society for Advanced Practice Nursing | Illinois Psychiatric Society | Live4Lali | NAMI Barrington Area | NAMI Chicago | NAMI Illinois | Rosecrance | Safer Foundation | Smart Policy Works | Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law | TASC | Thresholds

-The Kennedy Forum, 8/22/2018

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Medicaid Bill SB2951

namini : August 22, 2018 10:01 am : Breaking News

The Governor signed SB2951, our Medicaid bill on early treatment, this morning!  What an amazing accomplishment we made this year, thanks to everyone’s efforts.

Upon federal approval of the two pilots in the bill, Illinois will be the first state in the country to cover through Medicaid a team-based treatment model tailored specifically for adolescents and young adults in the early stages of a serious mental health condition; and substance use clinical treatment provided in-home or in-community rather than a clinic setting to help with everyday life triggers that may cause re-use.

It’s time to celebrate!


You can read the full text here: BILL SB2951

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A Guide to Mental Health Care

namini : July 31, 2018 10:09 am : Breaking News



The full resource guide will be added soon.

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The GeneSight Psychotropic Test

namini : July 25, 2018 9:12 am : Breaking News

If you’re suffering from mental health challenges, the last thing anyone wants to go through is a lengthy trial and error process with multiple medications. The process can be frustrating and leave people feeling worse, not better.  Fortunately, through GeneSight’s genetic testing, doctors can get answers that quickly lead to relief.  Pharmacogenomic testing can help empower your doctor with the exact information needed to prescribe you the best medication for you. By examining how your DNA responds to specific medications, this simple, painless test lets doctors know which medications may not work for you, so you can get back to feeling like yourself again.  That’s the power and simplicity of the GeneSight test.

Stop wondering which medication is right for you and start on your road to recovery. Treating mental health disorders can often be a long, frustrating process as you and your doctor spend months trying multiple medications for depression and other conditions at different doses to find the medication that works for you. During this time you could end up missing work, paying for multiple doctor visits, or losing hope that you’ll ever find a medication that can help you. There’s a better way.

The GeneSight® test analyzes your DNA and helps your doctor get a better understanding of what medication might work best based on your genetic makeup. Using the GeneSight test report, your doctor can personalize your treatment plan, finding the right medication faster and avoiding medicines that may cause side effects.

The GeneSight Psychotropic Test analyzes how your genes affect your response to psychotropic medications commonly prescribed to treat depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), obsessive compulsive disorder, schizophrenia and other behavioral health conditions. There are dozens of medications used to treat depression and other mental illnesses and selecting the right antidepressant medication or other medication can be a challenging and frustrating process. GeneSight Psychotropic’s genetic testing enables your clinician to identify and avoid depression, anxiety and/or other medications that are unlikely to work or may cause side effects.

Learn more here:

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