September is recognized as Suicide Prevention Awareness Month-- a time meant to raise awareness and open the dialog around suicide, while advocating for better mental health care. As part of this awareness month, September 5th-11th is recognized as National Suicide Prevention Week, and September 10th...

40% of LGBTQ youth have seriously considered suicide in the past year. Over half of transgender and non-binary youth have considered suicide, and 20% have attempted it.   The Trevor Project provides evidence-based support for LGBTQ youth through crisis services, peer support, advocacy and education. The organization...

Part Five in a Series  Within the United States, many mental health and criminal justice experts believe that jails and prisons have become our nation’s largest psychiatric facilities. This may be surprising to someone who does not have frequent contact with the American criminal justice system,...

First in a  Series Since the beginning of 2020, we’ve seen the unemployment rate reach a staggering 14.8%. The resulting economic strain hasn’t just affected unemployment – it’s crept across almost every facet of our lives, including our access to healthcare. Many of the individuals experiencing...

Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) involves using specific medications to help substance use patients better manage their withdrawal symptoms during recovery. This technique is often used to treat substance use disorder--and specifically opioid addiction. According to a 2016 study published in The New England Journal of Medicine,...

The 21st Century Cures Act was enacted in 2016 to help take healthcare IT to the next level of interoperability and data sharing. The resulting proposed rules from CMS and ONC are tied closely with technology frameworks that have been in the works for decades....

The COVID-19 pandemic has created an opportunity to grow behavioral health services in communities across the United States. Now, the behavioral health community must rise to the occasion. It is make or break time, and the world is watching. It's up to behavioral health providers...

Addiction does not happen in a vacuum. Every client you see who is dealing with addiction has people in his or her life who are also being impacted by that addiction. The American Society of Addiction Medicine defines addiction as a ‘treatable, chronic medical disease involving complex interactions...

Part Two in a Series The 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as the ACA, greatly expanded both access and affordability for healthcare. Mental health was also addressed, under a portion of the ACA known as the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity...

PART ONE IN A SERIES The 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as the ACA, expanded healthcare access and affordability. A portion of the ACA, known as the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA), strives to ensure that mental health and...

COVID-19 swept the United States in the spring of 2020. Seemingly overnight, businesses shuttered, schools closed, and everyone not deemed an “essential worker” began to shelter at home. While the economy is now reopening in an uneven state-by-state, and even city-by-city patchwork, the pandemic is...

Families benefit from the support and structure of their community. Sheltering in place during the coronavirus pandemic has thrown social networks into disarray, and anxiety associated with COVID-19 has magnified everyday stressors. Sudden loneliness and stress can increase susceptibility to substance misuse, addiction, and relapse....

Suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the United States, and the numbers have been increasing over the past few decades. Historically, attempts to predict and prevent suicide were based on self-reporting, which can be problematic because people may hide their suicidal thoughts....

Part Two in a Series The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as the ACA, was enacted a decade ago. It has expanded access to healthcare, and made it more affordable for tens of millions of United States citizens. The Mental Health Parity and...

Part One in a Series Enacted in 2010, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) has expanded healthcare access and affordability for tens of millions of people in the United States. Part of the ACA is the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA)....

Widespread shutdowns due to the COVID-19 pandemic have put Americans with substance use disorder (SUD) at high risk for relapse. Alcohol misuse and drug overdose are on the rise. People with SUD are often vulnerable and marginalized, and many rely on in-person behavioral healthcare for...

The global coronavirus pandemic has had world-wide mental health repercussions. Long-term stress has exacerbated existing behavioral health conditions, and social isolation has increased feelings of loneliness, anxiety, and depression. Chronic stress and economic instability has created a breeding ground for psychological distress. When it comes...

Rural, isolated regions have historically lacked resources and infrastructure to adequately address the behavioral healthcare needs of its population. People living in remote areas have limited access to specialty services for mental health and substance use disorders, creating a rural-urban divide. Fortunately, technological innovation and...

All behavior is learned and displayed within the contexts of society. Each individual’s culture is a unique blend of ethnicity, demographics, socioeconomic status, language, and affiliations. If practitioners assess and evaluate behavior through a client’s frame of reference, human behavior becomes more evident in light...

Outpatient behavioral healthcare programs put immeasurable effort into addressing the needs of their clients. Unfortunately, workforce shortages, reimbursement delays, and detailed reporting for accreditation requirements create barriers to providing the best care possible. Innovative strategies that streamline operations can make your program more efficient and...

Treating Substance Use Disorder (SUD) is much like managing any other chronic illness--the goal is to reduce problematic symptoms and improve the overall health and well-being of the patient. SUD is a treatable condition, and recovery is attainable with continuous, comprehensive care. Early intervention for...

For quite some time, insurers and healthcare providers have been moving towards a value-based healthcare model, and away from the traditional fee-for-service payment system. In value-based care, providers are incentivized based on the quality of care they provide and the meaningful treatment outcomes used to...

For patients battling substance use disorder, each day brings new challenges as they manage their addiction and take small steps towards recovery. Coping with sobriety during a pandemic, with social distancing orders in place, adds a whole new set of obstacles individuals must overcome to...

Too often, society treats substance misuse as a criminal or social problem rather than a health condition. Treatment and prevention services are traditionally separated from general healthcare. Such separation leaves limited options for addiction treatment. Failure to adequately address addiction has led to a crisis,...

Our country faces a substance abuse epidemic. Over 20 million Americans have some form of Substance Use Disorder. Wide-spread addiction problems irreparably harm individuals and families. According to the CDC, 130 Americans die each day from an opioid overdose. Moreover, drug and alcohol use disorders...

Our country faces a crisis. Communities across the nation are stricken with substance abuse and mental illness. Data from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Association (SAMHSA) reveal nearly 58 million Americans have mental illnesses or substance use disorders, with 9 million adults having...

With opioid addiction reaching critical levels, finding alternative options for pain management is vital. It's time for medical practitioners to start investigating other forms of treatment for pain and minor mental health issues. According to Medical News Today, more and more studies have shown that...

Gone are the days when keeping patient records and maintaining appointment schedules is done on paper. The advancements in software technology have transformed the way programs maintain their clinical records, scheduling, and billing. Substance abuse clinical management systems offer services that are innovative and widely used....

Can your Electronic Health Record add, subtract, multiply and divide? I can remember standing at the back of the room waiting for Sister Theresa to give me a math problem that I would have to figure it out before I got to the front of the...