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Rural Mental Health – News

News stories from the past 60 days.

Aug 7, 2022 - Describes challenges to meet the mental and behavioral health needs of Maine, noting that hospital emergency rooms are met with increasing suicide rates and mental health emergencies. Discusses efforts by state leadership and health education training programs to support the mental health workforce in the state, particularly in rural areas.
Source: The Maine Monitor
Aug 2, 2022 - Notice from the U.S. Department of Education proposing priorities, requirements, and definitions under the Mental Health Service Professional Demonstration Grant Program. These proposed priorities, requirements, and definitions are designed to provide competitive grants to support and demonstrate innovative partnerships to train school-based mental health services providers in local educational agencies (LEAs) with demonstrated need. The goal of the program is to increase the number of high-quality, trained providers to address the shortages of mental health services professionals in schools served by high-need LEAs. Comments are due by September 1, 2022.
Source: Federal Register
Aug 2, 2022 - Notice from the U.S. Department of Education proposing priorities, requirements, and definitions under the School-Based Mental Health Services Grant (SBMH) Program. These proposed priorities, requirements, and definitions are designed to direct funds to increase the number of qualified school-based mental health service providers in local educational agencies (LEAs) with demonstrated need. Comments are due by September 1, 2022.
Source: Federal Register
Aug 1, 2022 - Describes a panel of representatives from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and U.S. Department of Agriculture that explored farmer mental health in Hays, Kansas. Notes that the suicide rate in Kansas is higher than the national average and that the rates in rural and frontier counties were 58% higher than the state average. Discusses financial stress, social isolation, and economic burdens facing farmers and the need for increased access to mental healthcare through telehealth and additional rural services.
Source: Hays Post
Jul 29, 2022 - Notice of final rule from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) updating the FY 2023 prospective payment rates, outlier threshold, and wage index for Medicare inpatient hospital services provided by inpatient psychiatric facilities (IPF), including psychiatric hospitals and excluded psychiatric units of an acute care hospital or Critical Access Hospital. This rule establishes a permanent mitigation policy to smooth the impact of year-to-year changes in IPF payments related to decreases in the IPF wage index. In addition, this rule includes responses to public comments on the results of the data analysis of the IPF Prospective Payment System adjustments and a request for information on Measuring Equity and Healthcare Quality Disparities Across CMS Quality Programs. The changes will be effective for IPF discharges beginning October 1, 2022 - September 30, 2023. This rule is effective October 1, 2022.
Source: Federal Register
Jul 28, 2022 - Describes the challenges facing largely rural states and rural counties as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline rolls out the 988 phone number, which will take calls for behavioral health crises and connect callers to services, if needed. Notes that many rural counties rely on law enforcement to respond to crisis calls and that many rural callers may be required to travel to access mental health services.
Source: Kaiser Health News
Jul 25, 2022 - Describes challenges in addressing the needs of rural and agricultural communities in accessing local mental health and suicide prevention services through the 9-8-8 crisis line system.
Source: Washington Policy Center
Jul 18, 2022 - Announces a new, more user-friendly option for contacting the Veterans Crisis Line, making it easier for veterans and those who care about them to reach lifesaving support without having to be enrolled in VA benefits or healthcare.
Source: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
Jul 14, 2022 - The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA) will hold a virtual public meeting of the Interdepartmental Serious Mental Illness Coordinating Committee (ISMICC) on October 28, 2022, from 10:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Eastern. The meeting will include information on federal efforts related to serious mental illness (SMI) and serious emotional disturbance (SED). The agenda and information on how to join the meeting will be posted on the SAMHSA website before the meeting.
Source: Federal Register
Jul 11, 2022 - Perspective piece on strategies to serve the mental health needs of rural community college students, including providing a range of services, confidential tools, and student-campus connections. Notes examples of initiatives to increase support in each of these areas.
Source: Community College Daily

Last Updated: 8/8/2022