President Biden Addresses the Mental Health Crisis

mental health

Plus: How to care for young patients, and combating the rise of P2P meth

By Ellie Jensen

New & Next: Policy

The White House Takes On Mental Illness

President Biden recently unveiled his administration’s plans for combating a U.S. mental health crisis that the White House calls “unprecedented.” The initiatives, introduced last week at the State of the Union address, include:

  • Increasing the number of behavioral health providers, particularly in rural communities
  • Expanding access to telehealth plans
  • Providing more training for mental health workers
  • Incorporating mental health care into community centers and organizations
  • Focusing on early-childhood interventions
  • Investing in research

The full plan can be found on the White House website.

A State Grant for CarePlus NJ

CarePlus NJ, a nonprofit that administers substance use disorder (SUD) and behavioral healthcare, recently received a $525,000 grant from the New Jersey Department of Labor Development to expand its Pathways to Recovery program. Pathways to Recovery offers employment assistance to those who have struggled with opioid use. Giesel Girona-Ussery, CarePlus NJ’s associate vice president of work incentive services, says the program will provide “vocational training, career resources and supportive services [that people] need to achieve competitive employment outcomes, as well as wraparound access to addiction recovery services and mental health care to sustain their recovery.”

New & Next: Community

The NAATP Releases Agenda for Leadership Conference

The National Association of Treatment Providers (NAATP) 43rd Annual National Addiction Leadership Conference, to be held in San Diego May 7-9, has released the agenda for the event. In addition to talks from leaders in the addiction treatment field, the NAATP Political Action Committee will host a charity golf tournament on May 7. The full agenda, as well as registration information, can be found here. Special early registration rates are available through March 31.

Upcoming Conference Addresses Care for Young Patients

The virtual Child & Adolescent Psychopharmacology 2022 conference, organized by the Massachusetts General Hospital Psychiatry Academy, will take place March 18-20. The conference will address methods for optimizing diagnoses and treatment of young patients, who might have different diagnostic criteria and substance use trends than adults. Registration is open now.

New & Next: Education

Living Better with Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

The Center for the Application of Substance Use Technologies (CASAT) has a new self-paced online course covering acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT). The course is designed to provide counselors with tools for helping patients work through stress, anxiety, chronic illness, grief and other issues. With a required introduction session and 17 optional sessions, the ACT Live Better Series runs through the end of the year. Students earn two CEUs for completing the introductory session and one CEU for the remaining sessions.

New & Next: Webinars

The Emergence of P2P Meth

The Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation will host a webinar on March 16 addressing the emergence of P2P meth and the growing methamphetamine epidemic in general. The session will examine the unique dangers of the new P2P formulation, including its impact on mental health issues and homelessness. Registration is available now.

Solutions for Treatment Staffing Shortages

On March 17, the NAATP will stage a webinar on how to address current staffing shortages in addiction treatment, including recruitment and employee retention. Among other topics, participants will be introduced to a standardized recruiting and interviewing process and will learn how to draw up 90-day training manuals for new hires. More information can be found here.

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