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Gov. Malloy Announces More Resources for Families in Accessing Mental Health Services

Press Release

Location: Hartford, CT

Governor Dannel P. Malloy today announced that enhanced state resources to help Connecticut families access mental health treatment include a claims "tool kit" to streamline insurance reimbursement and additional funds for prevention and early identification programs.

The behavioral health claims "tool kit," a new free resource developed by the Connecticut Insurance Department (CID), the UConn Health Center and health insurance companies, is a step-by-step plain-language template that families and providers can use to submit to insurance companies for preauthorization of medically necessary behavioral health services.

The Governor also announced that the state Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS) is also receiving two grants totaling $9 million from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to better address the mental health needs of youth in the community and in schools.

"Protecting the well-being of our children and improving the quality of life for their families have been the overarching goals of my administration and the need for these services has become even more evident after the Newtown tragedy. These resources are a clear example of the compassionate collaboration required to achieve these goals," Governor Malloy said. "With the arrival of the Affordable Care Act, more of our citizens will have health insurance and tool kit is another resource they can use in accessing the treatment. The addition of these grants will enable Connecticut to more effectively reach out to young adults who need mental health support and bolster safe school environments."

Insurance Department Deputy Commissioner Anne Melissa Dowling, who oversees the Department's health insurance initiatives, said the "tool kit" is a downloadable document available on the department's web site and through health insurance carriers. It includes easy-to-follow instructions, a glossary and a checklist for organizing information.

"We developed the "tool kit' to help families make sound choices and get the right care," Deputy Commissioner Dowling said. "The department sincerely appreciates the assistance and expertise from the UConn Health Center and the thoughtful input from the carriers. The "tool kit' is the product of a six-month collaboration aimed at providing clarity and an easier path toward accessing mental health treatment."

The state will use the three-year, $966,660 Early Diversion grant to promote training, consultation and early identification of mental health problems in children and young adults. DMHAS will collaborate with the National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI) and law enforcement Crisis Intervention Teams (CITs) to implement the grant. CITs are partnerships between local law enforcement and community behavioral health providers. The CIT's work to link individuals with mental health problems to community services instead of arresting these individuals. NAMI will train CITs across the state, increasing their ability to engage young adults in treatment when needed.

"Young adults atherre often more difficult to engage and need specialized supports. This grant will enable us to build upon the excellent work of the CIT Teams" DMHAS Commissioner Pat Rehmer said. "Consultation will be made available to CITs 24-hours per day. These funds will enhance our efforts to better serve Connecticut's youth and young adults."

The Safe Schools/Healthy Students award is a four-year, $8 million grant to be administered by DMHAS in partnership with the State Department of Education (SDE), the State of Connecticut Judicial Branch Court Support Services Division (CSSD), and the Local Education Agencies (LEAs) of Bridgeport, Middletown, and New Britain. Its goal is to create safe and supportive schools and communities for children and adolescents through grade 12. The grant will allow implementation of activities, services and strategies that decrease youth violence and promote healthy development of children and youth.

"It has become increasingly clear over the past few years that our schools are a vital partner in creating resilient children and decreasing violence," the Governor said. "State and local partnerships can be a valuable tool in creating and maintaining environments that support a positive school climate that is violence and drug free."

For more information on the claims "tool kit" visit the CID web site
For more information on DMHAS programs visit the DMHAS web site

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