Beacon Health Options offers questions to ask and answer during Mental Health Awareness Month

In any given year, an astonishing 1 in 5 Americans will face mental illness. Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., with more than 40 million lives affected. Additionally, about 16 million have major depression. But despite the prevalence of mental health conditions, only about a third of Americans seek treatment. Just as other illnesses – such as high blood pressure or diabetes – are treatable and manageable, so too are mental health issues. That’s why May has been designated as Mental Health Awareness Month, an observance developed to raise awareness of mental health issues and the stigma attached to them. At Beacon Health Options, our entire focus is on mental and behavioral health, because that’s…

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Autism: Wide-ranging study reconfirms the need for care coordination

A study released on autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in the January issue of JAMA Psychiatry sheds new light on old knowledge – that individuals with ASD have a higher rate of co-occurring disorders than the general population.

However, the study raises the bar in two ways: 1) it draws on an unmatched amount of data – nearly 6 million people; and 2) provides greater insight into the association between pairs of conditions over time.

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Improve behavioral health: Together, we can

The 2019 National Council for Behavioral Health Conference that occurred in Nashville last week provides reason to pause. Its theme, “Celebrating 50 Years of WE”, gets to the very heart of what will bring about change – for behavioral health and beyond. Together, we can make a difference.

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Cutting-edge rating system for addiction treatment heralds new era of transparency

The United States is in the midst of an unprecedented opioid epidemic, but the unfortunate reality is that only one out of 10 Americans with a substance use disorder (SUD) receives treatment.

That statistic alone is shocking, but even worse, widespread adoption of evidence-based practices has been limited.

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Retail therapy: The best health care is local

With one in five Americans suffering from a mental illness at any point in their lives, the demand for behavioral health services is loud and clear, but the reality is that many people do not have access to quality care.

Indeed, only 26 percent of the need for mental health services is met in this country, according to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.

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Culturally sensitive trauma-informed care: Healing the mind through the heart

Unfortunately, trauma exists across all cultures and communities, but there are some cultures that inherit the pain of their forebears.

This is particularly true for Alaska Natives/American Indians whose hearts are intertwined across generations and losses of loved ones. That experience, coupled with a vanished way of life, perpetuates a sense of grief and trauma into present day.

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Two Beacon programs help to shape American healthcare landscape

For approximately 35 years, Beacon Health Options has worked to deliver on a fundamental yet singularly important goal: helping people live their lives to their fullest potential by driving and supporting evidence-based, integrated care.

Today, Beacon serves more than 40 million members, but the company’s efforts extend to all Americans as it strives to improve the US healthcare delivery system at large.

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One of the toughest endeavors: Changing health behavior

Beacon Health Options’ mission is to help people live their lives to the fullest potential. It’s a simple, yet extraordinarily complicated, goal because it requires changing behavior at all levels – system, provider and individual.

Beacon has myriad programs to help improve individuals’ mental health, and ultimately, wellbeing. Programs range from pharmacy management to home-based therapy to opioid use disorder (OUD) treatment to intensive case management.

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I feel your pain: Suicide’s impact on the mental health professional

As a mental health professional, two experiences with suicide have stayed with me over time.

The first occurred while working on an inpatient unit. A young woman jumped five stories from a parking garage and survived.

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Treating substance use disorders with web-based technologies

Which is more effective for treating substance use disorders – online or in-person interventions?

A recently released study of addiction treatments by Yale University compared the effectiveness of online to in-person methods and drew a conclusion that might offend readers with Luddite leanings: web-based treatment is not only as effective as in-person treatment but possibly more so.

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