Arizona lawmakers, advocates, and non-profit organizations are taking steps to address a variety of behavioral health concerns affecting the state. Here’s a roundup of significant stories to keep behavioral health providers in Arizona in the loop.
Arizona House Committee Adopts Recommendations for Teen Mental Health
The Arizona House Mental Health Ad Hoc Committee in December 2022 adopted recommendations to address concerns around substance abuse, bullying, and suicide among Arizona teens. The committee has considered input from state agencies, nonprofits, law enforcement, students, and other stakeholders.
Some of the adopted recommendations include:
- Establish a Teen Mental Health Grant program to fund mental health and substance use resources for schools and nonprofit organizations, including training, app development, and prevention specialists
- Establish a Community Hub to provide information and resources related to bullying prevention, education, and mental healthcare.
- Consider ways to recruit and retain mental health professionals in schools and communities.
Scam Rehab Centers Target Indigenous People in Arizona
Indigenous communities in Arizona are calling for lawmakers and other leaders to look into deceptive drug rehabilitation centers that take advantage of homeless tribal members and those who struggle with substance abuse or mental illness. The legislative Ad Hoc Committee for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Peoples held a hearing in November 2022 to discuss the issue and hear from indigenous community members.
An increasing number of missing people have been found at substance abuse treatment centers. Center employees allegedly pick up individuals and promise to help them at sober living or rehab centers. Reva Stewart, a member of the Navajo Nation, says that some people have been coerced into going to these rehab centers and not allowed to leave, despite crowded and unsafe conditions.
Authorities have said that these organizations are trying to take advantage of the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS) and its American Indian Health Program, which provides its members with coverage for behavioral health care services. Coleen Chatter, a Navajo Nation member, says that AHCCCS has not been regulating the rehabilitation facilities or non-medical transportation companies.
Arizona Library Launches Mental Health Support Team
Pima County Public Library in Arizona in 2022 launched the Synapse Team, an affinity team that aims to encourage conversations around mental health. The team includes different staff members from multiple library branches who will partner with the Collection Development Department to provide relevant materials to the community needs.
The Synapse Team will provide community resources, recommended book lists, programs, and other information that discusses challenges, barriers, and solutions to individuals. For its first program, the team provided a Holiday Survival Grab-n-Go Kit at library branches. These kits contained activities and recommendations for self-care.
Diocese of Phoenix Launches Mental Health Ministry
The Catholic Diocese of Phoenix has launched Arizona’s first-ever office for Mental Health Ministry to help address increasing mental illness, including suicides. This office serve 1.1 million Catholics who are currently a part of the Diocese of Phoenix. Besides raising awareness, the ministry hopes to provide comfort, advocacy, and education to those who have been affected by suicide and other mental health struggles.
As Arizona lawmakers and nonprofits respond to the state’s behavioral health needs, clinicians have an important role to fill. The right tools, like BestNotes EHR solutions, can help your practice operate more efficiently, so you can focus on helping your clients and community. Contact us to learn more, or schedule a demo to see us in action!