Exciting work is being done all over our region, but the work is only as effective as it's reach. Much of the promising work in the world of Mental Health is siloed geographically or organizationally and it is part of the mission of Chad's Legacy Project to help create a new network and action-based plan for collaboration and execution to maximize the potential of all work, current and future, being done in our state and beyond. The first formal event on October 5th, 2017 was underwritten by the CLP and hosted by the University of Washington.
The 2017 Summit was a smaller "Washington State Change Agent" event where action plans, goals and benchmarks have been developed. This event was held at the Cambia Grove/Cambia Health Solutions in Downtown Seattle. Each opening workgroup was comprised of 10-12 of Washington State's leading individuals in their field, encompassing private insurance companies, public, education professionals, healthcare providers and county and state legislative representatives and the Washington State Healthcare Authority.
A larger presentation and working event with networking and participation opportunities for the broader Washington State Mental Health community was held at the University of Washington HUB Ballroom May 8th, 2018 where 400 stakeholders attended and enlisted in participation toward action.
The third annual event was held on October 29th, 2019. Prior, a Summit Advisory Council was formed of state-wide Mental Health leadership, the the first convening of the Advisory Council and met for the first time on November 5th, 2018 to finalize a formal Vision/Mission statement, finalize Summit initiative criteria and the initiative selection process. Following November 5th, the Washington State Mental Health Summit Advisory Council was introduced and the path to initiative selection announced. The October 2019 event was attended by 600+ stakeholders from around the state and offering their participation in moving 16 new initiatives forward into a transformative state-wide model.
For a detailed look at the current workgroups, initiatives and future events, go to www.wamhsummit.org
Payer Compensation Reform
The CLP has entered into discussions with the insurance industry beginning with an event/presentation at Cambia Health Solutions in the Cambia Grove on January 17th, 2017 where the CLP panel discussed a greater emphasis on reimbursement for early intervention codes such as therapies and services targeting first episode psychosis. Attendees included executives from Cambia Health and Regence of Washington. The goal in compensation reform is in improving Mental Illness prognosis and saving healthcare cost by reducing compensated "Tier III" critical care such as Emergency Department visits and inpatient hospitalization. The Cambia event panel consisted of Todd and Laura Crooks, Shellie Hart from Hubbard Radio and Producer of the Chad's Legacy documentary that was screened, along with Dr. Jurgen Unutzer the Chair of Psychiatry - University of Washington. A panel presentation in Portland in partnership with Regence Health Insurance was held on October 10th that included the Ex Dir of NAMI-Oregon, The Chair of Psych-OHSU and the Dir of EASE, OR. Continued conversations led to a Cambia/Regence led, media-attended presentation and forum in Portland, OR in 2019.
Broad Mental Health First Aid Implementation in Washington State
The CLP goal is to create awareness and availability of this training to the same level as CPR training, providing easy access to peer and family support individuals and the general public interested in being ready to effectively help an individual in crisis. CLP has partnered with Evergreen Hospital in Kirkland and Seattle Childrens Hospital and is proud to see them become the first Washington State hospitals to offer Mental Health First Aid and Youth Mental Health First Aid to the general public as a free resource to potential peer and family support. The CLP mission for 2019 is to expand this success beyond King County and into all parts of Washington State.
A newly created CLP fund will help provide manuals to instructors in rural areas outside King County where the cost of materials is overly burdensome.
Expansion of the Certified Peer Counselor Workforce
We recognize the critical importance of introducing a member of the provider team into the chain of care early in the process that can effectively develop a relationship of trust with a new patient/client. Certified Peer Counselors with lived experience provide that bridge to trust, continued care and positive outcomes. This workforce can also help reduce the need for limited and more expensive services when a patient/client fully accepts help at onset of symptoms. CLP has created a new fund by which those seeking to become a Certified Peer Counselor can apply for a scholarship grant when affordability of attending the week-long training is of issue.
Fostering Utilization of Psychiatric Advance Directives
In 2003, extensive work was done in Washington State to develop a document and laws providing a vehicle of self-determination for care during mental health crisis moments. Despite the best of intentions, the document and law became underutilized and subsequently forgotten. As part of a renewed effort to provide a tool for trust building between patient/client and provider, new work has begun in late 2020 to address challenges in implementation and provide a path to widespread utilization. The projected benefit is reduced forced hospitalization, increased early care and reduced pressure on the healthcare system, as well as a more positive care path experience. Senator Manka Dhingra of the Washington State Senate leads the workgroup now meeting to develop recommendations for the 2021 legislative session. Chad's Legacy Project has coordinated new communication between leaders in this arena from Washington (Sen. Dhingra workgroup), California (the Saks Institute, USC Gould School of Law) and Texas (Texas RioGrande Legal Aid) to develop a model document vetted by the best minds in the nation.
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