Last week, SAMHSA lost an incredible friend and colleague, Dr. Kevin Hennessy. Kevin was an extraordinary, dedicated public servant who made an enormous contribution to SAMHSA’s work in advancing the nation’s behavioral health. We will miss him greatly.Kevin was the Deputy Director of SAMHSA’s Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality. In this role, he was key to SAMHSA's efforts to help Americans understand the scope of behavioral health issues. In his many other capacities at SAMHSA, he ceaselessly worked to make sure that people had a deeper appreciation of the importance of behavioral health and the promise of recovery.
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From Coverage to Care: SAMHSA and CMS partner to help you make the most of your healthcare insurance
The Affordable Care Act has allowed millions of Americans to receive private health insurance coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace during 2014’s open enrollment period. Additionally, 6.7 million more individuals enrolled in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) due to Medicaid expansion in many states. As a result of the Affordable Care Act, over 62 million people will receive new or expanded coverage for behavioral health.
This week, SAMHSA released its strategic plan for the next four years, Leading Change 2.0: Advancing the Behavioral Health of the Nation 2015 – 2018 (Leading Change 2.0).
From September 21-27, we celebrate Bisexuality Awareness Week. In honor of this upcoming event, I’d like to talk about the “B” in the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) community. Did you know that, of all those who identify as gay, lesbian, or bisexual, half identify as bisexual? That means the “B” the largest segment of the LGBT community.
Heroin use and deaths related to prescription opioid use are on the rise in the U.S. As a result, overdose treatments like naloxone, which can help revive people in the throes of an opioid overdose, are attracting increased interest. A number of community-based harm reduction organizations are working to prevent overdose deaths through public education and naloxone distribution programs. SAMHSA has also released an overdose prevention toolkit, which includes prevention strategies and rescue steps to take when an overdose occurs.
Labor Day is approaching. In just a few days, many of us will be having one last cookout or barbeque of the summer season and many of the 155.6 million American workers will enjoy a well-earned day off on Monday, September 1.At SAMHSA, we firmly believe that behavioral health is essential to health and without good health, having a productive and fruitful workday is next to impossible.