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Since 1999, Behavioral Health News has been your trusted source of education, information, advocacy, and quality resources on mental health and substance use disorder treatment and services.

Biden-Harris Administration Announces $46.8 Million in Behavioral Health Funding Opportunities to Advance President Biden’s Unity Agenda as Part of May Mental Health Awareness Month

On Wednesday, May 8, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), announced $46.8 million in notices of funding opportunities to promote youth mental health, grow the behavioral health workforce, improve...

More Than 321,000 US Children Lost a Parent to Drug Overdose From 2011 to 2021

An estimated 321,566 children in the United States lost a parent to drug overdose from 2011 to 2021, according to a study published in JAMA Psychiatry. The rate of children who experienced this loss more than doubled during this period, from approximately 27 to 63 children per 100,000. The...

2024 Funding Available! New York State’s Mental Illness Anti-Stigma Fund Tax Check-off Program – Deadline May 31, 2024

The New York State Office of Mental Health is making funds available for projects that promote mental health stigma reduction across the state. These funds are from revenues received through the voluntary tax check-off program. This program, approved by the legislature in 2016, continues to allow...

Beyond the Pain: Insights From Individuals Living With Chronic Pain

Chronic pain is a significant contributor to disability among Americans, with an estimated 51.6 million people experiencing chronic pain that lasts longer than three months. (Rikard, Strahan, Schit, & Guy, 2023). Regardless of its source ­– whether medical or unexplained origin – chronic...

Improving Staff and Patient Satisfaction with Compliance Technology

In Healthcare, behavioral health experiences significant challenges, including physical and psychological components of patient well-being. Successfully addressing these challenges involves integrating data-driven technology into quality of care. This article delves into the correlation between...

Can Medical Cannabis Treat Chronic Pain?

An estimated 20% of adults in the United States experience chronic pain (Zelaya, 2020). For many years, opioid analgesics were the primary medications prescribed for chronic pain, but the significant increase in opioid prescriptions at high doses and for long durations has been associated with...

New York Health Equity Reform: A Transformative Shift in New York’s Medicaid Landscape

On January 9, 2024, New York’s Department of Health received its long-awaited amendment to our Medicaid 1115 demonstration, newly rebranded NYHER (NY Health Equity Reform). It’s not as flashy nor as generously funded as the special purpose DSRIP (Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment)...

A “Prescription” for Integrated Care for Chronic Pain and Associated Conditions

A rising incidence of physical pain, and chronic physical pain in particular, necessitates a comprehensive examination of its underpinnings and relationship with other dimensions of health and wellbeing. This poses unique challenges for behavioral healthcare providers who operate amid a deeply...

Aging, Pain, and Behavioral Health Challenges – Untangling the Threads

Armand is a 78-year-old gay man who has lived with chronic pain for over ten years. A retired actor who enjoyed a successful career on stage and as a mentor for young actors, he now has multiple health conditions including arthritis, a history of cancer, and complications from spinal surgery. He is...

Seeing Through Crisis: A Behavioral Health Approach to Chronic Pain

Pain is a subjective experience, which means it is influenced by an individual’s perceptions, emotions, beliefs, and cultural factors. When assessing pain, healthcare providers rely heavily on the individual’s self-report to understand the nature, intensity, and impact of their pain experience....

NYSPA Report – Chronic Pain and Behavioral Health: Underlying Data and Regulatory Responses

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines chronic pain as pain lasting more than three months that can result from an underlying medical disease or condition, injury, medical treatment, inflammation, or unknown cause.1 Studies find a strong correlation between pain and mental...

Coping With Chronic Pain: Good Advice Is Easy to Give but Hard to Take

Like many people, I live with pain every day. I’m lucky that, for the most part, my pain is tolerable and doesn’t interfere too much with my life. I walk slowly—but I walk. I sleep badly, but I sleep. It’s tough to sit in a car going long distances. Fortunately, my wife now does the...

Revolutionizing Healthcare: The Future of Integrated Care for All

In a landmark move, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through CMS, announced on January 19, 2024 the Innovation in Behavioral Health (IBH) Model. This initiative is a game-changer in healthcare, especially for underserved and marginalized communities where health disparities...

Recovery: An Ongoing Process, Not a Destination

At its core, the idea of “Recovery” expresses an amalgam of aspiration and hope. From practice, I learned that each patient has highly individual ideas of recovery. Examples: A man was pleased when a change from a traditional antipsychotic to clozapine, a more potent medication, meant a...

Chronic Pain, Quality of Life, and Suicidal Behavior

In the mid-1970s, Quality of Life (QOL) was identified as a key medical concept (Berlim and Fleck, 2003). Readily adopted in oncology, the concept spread through different fields of medicine and eventually to psychiatry. Many tools were developed to take QOL from a subjective concept to a...

Chronic Pain and Its Impacts: An Overview & Possible Management Options

When a person goes through depression, the impact of that weight can manifest in the form of physical pain and other bodily discomfort. On the other hand, chronic pain has a significant effect on behavioral health. Recurring physical pain can lead to mood swings, lack of appetite, lack of...

Insights from Personal and Professional Frontlines

Living with chronic pain is a physically exhausting experience that extends far beyond physical discomfort. I know this both from my own lived experience with peripheral neuropathy and major nerve damage and as the CEO of People USA, a peer-led non-profit that serves individuals with behavioral...

75 Years: AHRC New York City to Celebrate Milestone Anniversary on May 13th, 2024

It is with pride in an unsurpassed history and great hope for the future that AHRC New York City kicks off its 75th year with a Gala on May 13th. The organization began in 1948 with a $3 ad in the New York Post placed by Ann Greenberg, a Bronx housewife whose young son with developmental...

Fifty Years Forward: NYPCC’s Journey of Hope and Healing

Reflecting on the 50th anniversary of the New York Psychotherapy and Counseling Center (NYPCC) evokes a profound sense of pride and gratitude in me. Having been an integral part of this organization for 40 of those years, with two decades as CEO, I have been privileged to witness and contribute to...

Understanding and Addressing Childhood Trauma

Everyone experiences scary or difficult events in their lives. For some children, these events can be so frightening or dangerous that they can have a lasting impact on their well-being. Trauma refers to the physical, cognitive, and emotional responses to an event (or events) that is physically or...

Adolescent Gambling: A Growing Concern

Adolescent gambling has turned into a difficult issue that can have huge negative ramifications for the individual, family, and communities. A representative sample of 2,274 US residents aged 14–21 participated in a random telephone survey. Findings revealed that 68% had engaged in gambling in...

Disparities in Pain Management: Examining Cultural Inequities and the Critical Role of Behavioral Health Providers

For decades, pain management and the treatment of chronic pain (CP) have proven to be a complex, costly, and challenging area within the healthcare industry. While advancements in best practices for treating CP have evolved to include multimethod and multidisciplinary team approaches that...

Your Options for Responding to Mental Illness Stigma (Protectively, Collaboratively, or Assertively)

I have been open about my bipolar disorder for almost twenty years. Immediately after I spoke at my first mental health awareness event, I was met with feedback and gratitude. People thought it was a brave thing for me to speak up about my mental illness to fight stigma. But the truth is, I felt I...

Anxiety and Psychosomatic Symptoms in Schools

Psychosomatic symptoms are the physical and physiological experiences caused by mental or emotional conflict or distress, such as anxiety. Often, they are dismissed as being imagined or exaggerated, likely because they are part of someone’s internal experience. It is important to note...

Breaking Down Barriers: The STAR Program’s “Stop Mental Health Stigma” Campaign

In an era where mental health discussions are often shrouded in misunderstandings and misconceptions, the “Stop Mental Health Stigma” campaign emerges as a beacon of hope and enlightenment. Spearheaded by the STAR Program at SUNY Downstate Health and Sciences University and generously funded by...

Breaking Mental Health Stigma in the NYC Hispanic/Latino Community

At NAMI-NYC, we often say 1 in 5 of us is affected by mental illness, and the other 4 are family, friends, neighbors, and colleagues. We are ALL impacted by mental illness. Most interventions are for the individual, but it's critically important to remember the first ring around the person –...

Mental Health: Everyone Has It. Every Day. Breaking the Stigma with ICAN’s Innovative Campaign

Integrated Community Alternatives Network (ICAN) is an innovative human service non-profit providing individualized traditional and non-traditional service and care to the highest-risk individuals and families with social, emotional, mental health, and behavioral challenges. ICAN’s team of over...

Combating Mental Health Stigma in a Rural Community

Like all communities, stigma plays a role in an individual’s willingness to access mental health treatment and support. To combat this, Yates INSYGHT, in partnership with the Yates County Community Services Department, chose to promote a countywide initiative focused on promoting comfort in...

WeSpeakNYC: A Toolkit for Overcoming Mental Health Stigma in BIPOC Communities

Research has consistently demonstrated that BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) communities experience disproportionately low access and utilization of mental health services in the United States. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) recently found only...

Empowering Communities through Inclusion and Mental Health Anti-Stigma Efforts

Thank you so much for including me in this project. Thank you to the NYS Office of Mental Health for their support. We are thrilled to present the work we accomplished as part of the Stigma Reduction Project. My name is Melissa Clark, VP of Community Impact at United Way of the...

Stories of Stigma in the Healthcare System

For Hands Across Long Island, Inc. (HALI), stigma in healthcare is personal. As a peer-run organization, our mental health recovery “lived expertise” informs our services, which all address structural stigma or population-level disparities experienced by people having psychiatric diagnoses...

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