Census 2020 Information
In mid-March, homes across the country will begin receiving invitations to complete the 2020 Census. Once the invitation arrives, you should respond for your home in one of three ways: online, by phone, or by mail.
Responding to the census is important for EVERYONE. Questions about the census can be answered in the below documents.
America is experiencing a mental health crisis. But the crisis is not irreversible. It’s time to meet this challenge with the evidence-based crisis intervention that the 9-8-8 will provide.
FSSA News Release - February 14th 2020
Indiana seeking 10-year extension of Health Indiana Plan
INDIANAPOLIS- The indiana Family and Social Services Adminsistration has submitted its appication for a 10-year extension of the Health Indiana Plan, the state's Medicaid alternative program for low-income, non-disabled adults. This week, the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services notified FSSA that it has completed its preliminary review of the application, which prompts the start of a 20-day federal public comment period.
The Healthy Indiana Plan was first launched to a limited number of Hoosiers in 2008 and expanded to cover any eligible adult in 2015 as an alternative to traditional Medicaid expansion.
Today, HIP provides crucial health insurance coverage and access to quality care and services to more than 400,000 Hoosiers. Typically, the state's waiver to renew HIP is reviewed and approved every three to four year. For the first time, Indiana is pursuing a historic 10-year waiver, allowing key staff to spend more time operating and continually improving HIP so that it meets its goals, such as helping members manage their own health coverage and make choices as consumers of health care.
With this waiver application, Indiana solidifies its commitment to HIP as the model for health coverage reform in Indiana for the foreseeable future. Therefore, FSSA does not have plans to seek a Medicaid block grant at this time. Last month, CMS announced new options for states to seek waivers to innovative adult health coverage programs similar to the way Indiana has done with HIP.
"We are focused on the renewal of our existing waiver, which already contains many of the elements CMS recently encouraged states to pursue," said Jennifer Sullivan, M.D., M.P.H., FSSA secretary. "While we're excited that the recently announced program may help other states discover new avenues for health reform within their Medicaid programs, we feel the model we already have is the right one for Indiana."
The extension request asks CMS to approve HIP through December 2030, locking in the plan that the state has achieved through a decade of data analysis, member and stakeholder feedback, and external reviews. In the current request, Indiana is asking for more flexibility in the contributions and co-payments assessed, subject to capped amounts. The state is also asking to extend newer components o HIP, such as treatment for substance use disorder and serious mental illness, for five years.
FSSA also has an application pending with CMS to establish a new program to complement HIP, the HIP Workforce Bridge is designed to financially support HIP members who are transitioning to employer insurance or other health coverage.
Anyone wishing to provide comments on the HIP waiver application can do so on Medicaid.gov where it is posted for a 30-day federal public comment period.
Governor Holcomb 2020 Next Level Agenda
Included in agenda: "Increase mental health professionals & services" and " Require school relationship with a mental health provider"
2019 Indiana Legislator Statements regarding Mental Illness
*Note* If there is a statement that is missing from a Greater Indianapolis representative in 2019, please email firstname.lastname@example.org for addition.
December 23, 2019
Indiana becomes one of the first states to receive federal approval to expand Medicaid treatment for Hoosiers with serious mental illnesses
CMS Waiver approval will vastly expand treatment capacity statewide for Hoosiers by allowing treatment at large institutions for mental disease.
"INDIANAPOLIS - Today, the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration announced the federal approval of a Medicaid waiver that will offer new hope to thousands of Hoosiers suffering from serious mental illnesses. The waiver, approved by the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services late last week, gives Indiana Medicaid the authority to pay for acute inpatient stays in institutions for mental disease for individuals diagnosed with a serious mental illness, Until now, Medicaid law prevented funding from being used for inpatient SMI treatment at any hospital, nursing facility or other institution with ore than 16 beds.
In 2018, FSSA received CMS permission to reimburse for inpatient treatment in these facilities for many Medicaid members with a primary diagnosis of a substance use disorder. Through this new waiver, Indiana will be able to cover acute inpatient stays in IMDs for individuals whose primary diagnosis is a serious mental illness. Because approximately 25% of individuals with a serious mental illness also have a substance use disorder, this waiver will allow for consistency in their treatment.
'My 202 Next Level agenda is focused on improving the lives of Hoosiers, and a key part centers around increasing the capacity of mental health services throughout the state,' Gov. Eric J. Holcomb said. 'With this waiver in hand, we will begin to accomplish this on day one of the new year.'
The waiver takes effect on January 1, 2020. According to Indiana Medicaid records, in state fiscal year 2019, only about half of Indiana's traditional Medicaid members receiving inpatient psychiatric services accessed those services through an institution for mental disease. Approval of the waiver amendment will mitigate these barriers to access and will shift services form less appropriate settings to facilities like hospitals and larger mental health treatment facilities. Under this new waiver, many patients will be able to receive longer, more appropriate inpatient stays, aiding in achieving stabilization and more successful transitions back into their homes and communities. The change is expected to ultimately drive down the costs associated with overuse of the emergency department for mental health problems and psychiatric crises as well as other costs cause by lack of access to appropriate care settings.
'This waiver allows Indiana to, for the first time, offer the full continuum of treatment for Hoosiers with co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders,' FSSA Secretary Jennifer Sullivan, M.D., M.P.H. said. 'This begins a new era of vastly enhanced access and hope in many communities, aided by allowing some facilities already engaged in this ital work to expand. '
At present Vermont and the District of Columbia are the only other states/districts to receive a serious mental illness waiver.
- Jim Gavin | Indiana Family and Social Services Administration | Jim.Gavin@fssa.IN.gov | 317-234-0197
December 17, 2019
Update on 9-8-8 Crisis Line and FY 2020 Federal Budget
Congress and federal agencies have been busy this month advancing serveral prioty items before the end of the year. Below is an update on the 988 3-digit suicide and mental health crisis hotline and the fiscal year (FY) 2020 Budget.
Senate and FCC Act on 9-8-8
NAMI Continues to advocate for 9-8-8 as the 3-digit dialing code for a national suicide prevention and mental health crisis hotline. This would make it easier for Americans experiencing a mental health crisis to receive immediate and appropriate mental health support and referral in their area. Actions by the Senate and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) last week moved us closer to making this a reality.
NOTE: While NAMI is thrilled about these steps forward, there are may additional steps before 9-8-8 becomes and active number and resource for those in crisis. In the meantime, anyone is crisis should continue to call the existing National Suicide Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or any local mental health crisis line. Please continue to communicate this information to your members and others in need of support. NAMI Continues to advocate for 9-8-8 as the 3-digit dialing code for a national suicide prevention and mental health crisis hotline.
Action in Congress
The House and Senate are both considering The National Suicide Hotline Designation Act of 2019 (H.r> 4194 in the House and S. 2661 in the Senate). These bills would direct the FCC to designate 9-8-8 as the national number for mental health emergencies and create opportunities for state and local governments to establish fees to support the implementation and operation of the number.
On Wednesday, December 11, the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation unanimously passed S. 2661 out of committee. We are hopeful that the bill will be considered by the full Senate next year.
NAMI continues to advocate for the House Committee on Energy and Commerce to hold a hearing on H.R. 4194 early in 2020.
Action by the Federal Communications Commission
On Thursday, December 12, the FCC voted unanimously to release a rule proposing that calls made to 9-8-8 by directed to the existing National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. The FCC has the authority to designate a number and outline a process or implementation, but it does not have the authority to establish a funding source for 9-8-8. Because of this, NAMI will continue to push for The National Suicide Hotline Designation Act to become law, as funding will be critical to nationwide implementation of a 3-digit crisis number.
When will the number be available?
Many news outlets have reported on the action taken by the FCC as if 9-8-8 already exists and is ready to use. However, the 9-8-8 number is not yet active, and implementation may take many months or years.
- Continue to advocate to pass H.R. 4194 and S. 2661. You can contact your legislators below.
Students deserve mental health too 11/12/2019
Mental illness is a condition that starts young. 50% of mental health conditions begin by age 14 and 75% by age 24. We need to give our youth the right services and supports when symptoms emerge so they can succeed in school and live healthy, fulfilling lives.
Unfortunately, we are not fulfilling this promise. Over 1 out of 3 students with a mental health condition age who are served by special education drop out—the highest dropout rate of any disability group.
We cannot forfeit our children’s future to illness.
Ask your members of Congress to co-sponsor and support the Mental Health Services for Students Act, S. 1122 and H.R. 1109.
This bill would provide funding for public schools across the country to partner with local mental health professionals to establish on-site mental health care services for students.
Funding school mental health professionals will help students get the right help at the right time. Tell your member of Congress to support these vital bills.
Statement from acting NAMI Executive Director 8-16-19
“The president should be talking about better care and earlier access to intensive treatment, not revisiting the shameful institutions of our past.
“Words matter, Mr. President. ‘These people’ are our friends, neighbors, children, spouses. They’re not ‘monsters,’ ‘the mentally ill’ or ‘crazy people’ – they’re us. Talking about re-institutionalization only further marginalizes and isolates the one in five people with mental illness. Instead, we need to be talking about the power of early treatment and effective intervention to change lives.”
Today, too often, people languish in emergency rooms and law enforcement officers are responding to avoidable crises because community-based mental health services aren’t there for people who need them.
Instead of focusing on the past, we urge the administration to focus on improving access to mental health care. There are commonsense approaches that we know are effective and that can be implemented now to improve access to mental health services. We must:
· Promote early intervention. Half of all mental illnesses begin by age 14, 75% begin by age 24. Getting help early, such as with Coordinated Specialty Care for first episode psychosis, results in better outcomes and lowered costs.
· Invest in better access to quality care. For example, Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics (CCBHCs) are helping people get care when and where they need it. Congress needs to extend funding for the CCBHC pilot program and expand it nationwide.
· Divert people from the criminal justice system. Jails and prisons shouldn’t be today’s mental health institutions. Instead, we need readily-available crisis response and intensive mental health services for people experiencing severe symptoms.
NAMI welcomes the opportunity to meet with President Trump and work with his administration on steps for improving mental health services in America.
Statement from acting NAMI Executive Director 8-9-19
To our NAMI Family -
As the week draws to a close, I wanted to reach out to all of you to acknowledge how thankful and proud I am of our Alliance for our collective responses to multiple mass shootings. Our hearts are breaking for the families, friends, and communities who recently lost precious lives in Texas, California and Ohio.
At the local, state and national level, NAMI served as a trusted resource in the aftermath of these tragedies. NAMI state organizations and affiliates elevated our voice in countless interviews, social media posts, comments and conversations over the last week. Here in Arlington, our message was widely reported—from the Washington Post to CNN to C-SPAN. Our social media communities also rapidly engaged and helped spread the NAMI message.
Earlier this week, we acknowledged that every time we experience a tragedy like this, people with mental illness are drawn into the conversation. But we refuse to let our community become scapegoats for this type of violence. The truth is that the vast majority of violence is not perpetrated by people with mental illness. Statements to the contrary only serve to perpetuate stigma and distract from the real issues.
The reality is that in the U.S., it is easier to get a gun than it is to get mental health care. We need to flip the script and make sure all people get access to mental health care.
This weekend, I encourage you to take care of yourselves, your loved ones, and your NAMI community. And take a moment to feel proud of the difference we are making, together, in the national conversation.
NAMI Statement of Mass Shootings in Texas and Ohio
NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, is deeply saddened by the tragic events that occurred over the weekend in Texas and Ohio. These mass shootings are far too common and impact every corner of our nation. Every time we experience a tragedy like this, people with mental illness are drawn into the conversation. The truth is that the vast majority of violence is not perpetrated by people with mental illness. Statements to the contrary only serve to perpetuate stigma and distract from the real issues.
NAMI sees gun violence as a national public health crisis that impacts everyone.
“In the U.S., it is easier to get a gun than it is to get mental health care,” states Angela Kimball, acting CEO. “We need to flip the script. It should be easy—not hard—for people to get the mental health care they need.”
Mental health conditions are common around the globe, yet no other country comes close to the number of mass shootings our country experiences. As a nation, we need to address this disturbing fact. We implore and advocate for commonsense approaches to ending gun violence. For example, we support gun violence prevention restraining orders or “Red Flag” laws that don’t target people with mental health conditions, but that allow for the removal of guns from any person who poses a real, evidence-based risk of violence to themselves or others.
At the same time, we cannot forget that mass shootings result in profound trauma that increases the need for mental health care. One in five American adults experience a mental illness, but only 43% of them accessed care in the last year. There is a severe shortage of mental health professionals - more than 60 percent of all counties in the United States do not even have a single psychiatrist. People with mental health needs, including survivors, their friends and families, and first responders, are experiencing long waits for care, if they can get it at all. It’s time for Congress and the Administration to act and make access to mental health care a national priority for everyone.
We all want an end to these horrific acts of violence. To achieve this, we need to find meaningful solutions to protect our communities from senseless violence and lasting trauma. We owe it to future generations to end this cycle for everyone, because the status quo is literally killing us.
NAMI Will Join Appeal Of U.S. District Court Ruling Allowing Short-Term, Limited Duration Plans
NAMI is deeply disappointed in today’s U.S. District court ruling regarding ACAP v. Treasury, in which Judge Richard Leon upheld the Administration’s regulation allowing for the sale of Short-Term, Limited Duration (STLD) plans as a substitute for comprehensive health insurance. This rule will harm patients and their families because STLD plans can deny both coverage and care for people with mental health conditions. The following statement is provided by Angela Kimball, acting CEO of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI):
“NAMI has spent decades fighting for parity—fair and equal coverage of mental health conditions. We have no intention of stopping until we end discriminatory coverage. This ruling is a step in the wrong direction. It lets junk plans compete with comprehensive health insurance, even though they don’t have to provide the same level of mental health coverage—or any mental health coverage at all. This undermines the very intent of mental health parity.”
“We will join an appeal of this decision because the health of our nation includes its mental health. It is imperative that insurance plans provide essential mental health benefits for all Americans, plain and simple.”
Organizations that joined the Association for Community Affiliated Plans (ACAP) and NAMI in filing the original lawsuit included Mental Health America, American Psychiatric Association (APA), AIDS United, National Partnership for Women & Families, and Little Lobbyists.
NAMI Provides Testimony to Senate Judiciary Committee on Extreme Risk Protection Orders
March 26th, 2019
Earlier today, Ron Honberg, Senior Policy Advisor, testified on behalf of NAMI in front of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee on Extreme Risk Protection Orders (ERPOs). The Committee held the hearing to consider guidelines for state action on ERPOs, also known as Gun Violence Restraining Orders.
ERPOs establish procedures to prohibit individuals who pose risks of violence to self or others from possessing firearms for a defined period. Currently, 14 states (California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington) plus the District of Columbia have laws authorizing these orders.
NAMI believes that ERPOs can be lifesaving when they appropriately implemented. However, NAMI urged the committee that the criteria for issuing an ERPO should be based on specific, real-time behaviors and evidence-based risk factors for violence rather than targeting or singling out people with mental illness.
Ron testified, “An individual’s history of mental illness or specific diagnosis is not a good predictor for violence.” He noted that while some symptoms of severe mental illness, such as delusions and paranoia, are a risk factor, overall, only 4% of violent acts in the U.S. are attributable to mental illness.
“It is therefore neither necessary or appropriate to specifically identify mental illness as a risk factor in state or federal ERPO laws.”
NAMI also reminded the Committee that people with mental illness are more often victims of violence than perpetrators. Tragically, the greatest threat of gun violence is suicide—which accounts for 60% of gun deaths in the U.S. each year.
NAMI has six recommendations to maximize the positive impact of ERPOs and to prevent unintended consequences:
- Determinations of risk should be based on an individualized assessment and grounded in evidence.
- Any person subject to an ERPO petition should be afforded due process protections.
- Law enforcement officers responsible for removing firearms from individuals under an ERPO should receive training on crisis de-escalation and crisis intervention.
- Stigmatizing language should not be used in writing or describing these laws.
- Health professionals should also have the ability to initiate petitions for ERPOs.
- Key stakeholders, including law enforcement, families, health professionals and others, should be educated about these laws and how to utilize them.
NAMI Efforts to Improve Veterans’ Mental Health Care
On March 13, NAMI was thrilled by the introduction of S. 785, The Commander John Scott Hannon Veterans Mental Health Care Improvement Act, by Sens. Jon Tester (D-MT) and Jerry Moran (R-KS). NAMI worked with a bipartisan group of legislators on key parts of the bill, including provisions to:
- Provide veterans with a full year of VA health and mental health care after transitioning from the Armed Forces
- Increase access to online Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
- Create a Precision Medicine for Veterans Initiative to identify brain and mental health biomarkers
- Provide $10 million to increase availability of and locations for VA telehealth care
This bill celebrates the legacy of retired Navy SEAL Commander John Scott Hannon, a member of NAMI Montana, who died by suicide last year after fighting a courageous battle with post-traumatic stress, traumatic brain injury and bipolar disorder.