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The National Suicide Hotline Designation Act was signed into law in 2020, which created 9-8-8 as the three digit, go-to number for people experiencing a mental or behavioral health crisis. As implementation of the 988-hotline will kicked off on July 16, this discussion dove into the challenges service providers have faced as they raced to ramp up operations in advance of the launch and where an infusion of federal funding is most needed. This event is co-presented by Tradeoffs Podcast.
- Emily Blomme, Chief Executive Officer, Foundation 2 Crisis Services
- Kerri Brown, J.D., LLM, Chief Executive Officer, Community Counseling Centers of Chicago
- Andrea Harrison, Helpline Specialist, First Choice Services
- Dan Gorenstein, Executive Producer and Host, Tradeoffs Podcast (moderator)
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Ranking Member Mike Crapo (R-ID) provided a Congressional POV for the next steps in aiding the mental health challenges in the United States. Bipartisan interest in making progress on mental health has garnered support in Congress, with numerous legislative packages being introduced in both the Senate and the House. As potential action on mental health is on the horizon, these pre-recorded keynotes provided additional color and context to where Congress may act on these pressing issues.
- Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR), United States Senate Committee on Finance
- Ranking Member Mike Crapo (R-ID), United States Senate Committee on Finance
- Christopher Holt, Vice President of Policy, Alliance for Health Policy (opening remarks)
Progress cannot be made towards an ideal mental health system without focusing on the state of the workforce. The short supply of clinicians and peer support workers, uneven distribution of practitioners, and lack of diversity contributes to an inefficient mental health system that is slow to respond to patient needs. This session reviewed key strategies that health care leaders are using to recruit, train, and retain a culturally knowledgeable, engaged health care workforce, and the impact of telehealth on access to mental health providers and services.
- Andrew Bertagnolli, Ph.D., National Director Virtual Behavioral Health Services, One Medical
- Marley Doyle, M.D., Director, Behavioral Health Education Center of Nebraska, Associate Professor, University of Nebraska Medical Center
- Keris Jän Myrick, MBA, M.S., Ph.D.c, Board Member and Policy Liaison, The National Association of Peer Supporters
- Russ Petrella, Ph.D., Senior Advisor, McKinsey & Company
- Jennifer Bright, MPA, President, Momentum Health Strategies (moderator)
As mental health needs constantly evolve, so should the health system along with it. Senior leaders from Alliance Signature Series Sponsors, representing organizations across the health care industry, discussed the opportunities and challenges of developing an evidence-based and innovative mental health care system. Panelists explored how their organizations are propelling change to accommodate person-centered needs and what the future holds for transformative mental health care.
- Tony Barrueta, Senior Vice President of Government Relations, Kaiser Permanente
- Neil Leibowitz M.D., J.D., Chief Medical Officer, Beacon Health Options
- Adam L. Myers, M.D., MHCM, FACHE, Chief Clinical Transformation Officer Blue Cross Blue Shield Association
- Tarek Rabah, President & CEO, Otsuka Pharmaceuticals
- Solome Tibebu, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Going Digital: Behavioral Health Tech (moderator)
The recently released Ken Burns documentary, Hiding in Plain Sight: Youth Mental Illness, highlights the ongoing mental health crisis facing America’s young people. The PBS documentary features first-person accounts from more than 20 young people, ranging in age from 11 to 27, who live with mental health conditions, as well as parents, teachers, friends, healthcare providers in their lives, and independent mental health experts. Makalynn Powell, a featured participant in the documentary, will speak about her lived experience navigating the mental health system, the challenges she’s faced in accessing care, and how her experience has motivated her to become a mental health advocate.
- Makalynn Powel, Mental Health Advocate
High-quality mental health systems must produce sustainable, equitable, and patient-centered care. To achieve this, partnerships between likely and unlikely stakeholders can prevail above separate silos and lead to better outcomes. This panel overviewed innovative ways in which stakeholders across multiple sectors are partnering and coordinating to improve the mental health and substance use disorder ecosystem. Panelists informed the audience of model approaches that integrate areas such as health care, housing, justice, and youth-centered organizations to address whole-person mental health care.
- Jennifer Bronson, Ph.D., Senior Director of Consulting and Research, NRI
- Marc Dones, Chief Executive Officer, King County Regional Homelessness Authority
- Melissa Rowan, MSW, MBA, Chief Operating Officer, Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute
- Reginald D. Williams, II, Vice President, International Health Policy and Practice Innovations, Commonwealth Fund
- Rebecca Boss, M.A., Senior Consultant, Technical Assistance Collaborative (moderator)
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra provided a keynote address on HHS’ top priorities in mental health, promising advancements to date, and insights on future objectives.
- Xavier Becerra, J.D., Secretary, Department of Health and Human Services
- Sarah J. Dash, MPH, President and CEO, Alliance for Health Policy (moderator)
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