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News and Notes   |    
News Briefs
Psychiatric Services 2011; doi: 10.1176/appi.ps.62.10.1238
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Copyright © 2011 by the American Psychiatric Association.

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SAMHSA report on behavioral health services for probationers and parolees: A recently released report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) indicates significantly lower rates of substance use disorders in 2009 than in previous years among men on probation or parole from local, state, and federal prisons and jails. At the same time the percentage of parolees who received substance abuse treatment increased. In addition, the proportion of probationers and parolees who reported an unmet need for substance abuse treatment was lower in 2009 than in previous years. The percentage of probationers and parolees with mental disorders who accessed treatment or reported an unmet need for treatment remained unchanged over the study years (2002–2008). “While increased access to substance abuse treatment for people on probation or parole is welcome news, the study shows how much more work there is to do to improve community reentry for offenders with mental and substance use disorders,” said Pamela S. Hyde, SAMHSA administrator. “At the same time, we need to focus on preventing substance abuse and mental illness before it starts and when appropriate offer diversion to treatment and recovery support instead of incarceration.” The study was produced by SAMHSA in collaboration with the National Institute of Justice. It is based on data from SAMHSA's National Survey on Drug Use and Health and the Bureau of Justice Statistics. It is available at oas.samhsa.gov/2k11/nij_data_review/mentaldisorders.htm.

APA forum on integrated care. Members of the American Psychiatric Association (APA) who are interested in learning more about integrated care and how it relates to psychiatry are invited to join a new electronic forum created by APA's Council on Healthcare Systems and Financing. “Integrated care” refers to treatment delivery models in which physicians work together to coordinate their patients' care. Examples of integrated care models are patient-centered medical homes, accountable care organizations, medical neighbors, and health homes. About 180 APA members and staff are currently participating in the electronic forum. A list of resources and a link to join are posted on APA's Web site at www.psych.org/mainmenu/advocacygovernmentrelations/financinghealthcare/integrated-care-resources.aspx.

Kaiser Foundation updates key resource on uninsured: In mid-September the U.S. Census Bureau released new data on rates of poverty and uninsurance among Americans. The Kaiser Family Foundation has updated its fact sheet Five Facts about the Uninsured to reflect the new data (www.kff.org/uninsured/7806.cfm), which provides basic information explaining why 49.9 million people in America lack health coverage, examines the key characteristics of this population, and looks at how being uninsured affects individuals' health and financial security. The five facts discussed in the nine-page fact sheet include the following: most of the nation's uninsured have low or moderate incomes (below 400% of the poverty level); more than three quarters of the uninsured are in a working family; Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program prevent more people, particularly children, from becoming uninsured; about one-quarter of uninsured adults go without needed care because of cost, compared with only 4% of those with private insurance; and medical bills are a burden for the uninsured and frequently leave them with debt.

CSG Justice Center brochure describes DOJ grant program: The Council of State Governments (CSG) has created a brochure describing the 2011 Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program, a grant program administered by the Bureau of Justice Assistance of the U.S Department of Justice (DOJ). The program helps states, units of local government, Indian tribes, and tribal organizations improve responses to people with mental illnesses who become involved with the criminal justice system. The brochure describes the three categories of grants available, as well as technical assistance and online learning resources. The four-page brochure is available on the CSG Web site at consensusproject.org/jc_publications/2011-jmhcp-brochure/2011_jmhcp_brochure.pdf.

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