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Emerging Clinical Practice Briefs
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Thriving in a New Era of Neuroscience: Understanding How Brain Science Can Inform Clinical Practice

In recent years the concept of neuroscience - the study of the brain and nervous system - has quickly made its way into Clinical Mental Health Counseling vernacular. In the Journal of Mental Health Counseling, references to neuroscience have increased nearly threefold since 2009 as compared to the five years prior. Assisting clinical mental health counselors in developing a deeper understanding of neuroscience can enhance both clinical effectiveness and long-term outcomes. This clinical practice brief provides an introduction and initial discussion regarding the significance and application of neuroscience to clinical mental health counseling. Download the issue brief.

Quality and Performance Measures: The Role of Clinical Mental Health Counselors (CMHCs) in Improving Mental Health Services

Under the changing health care landscape, clinical mental health counselors (CMHCs) and other mental health providers now have the opportunity to integrate behavioral health metrics into measurement systems across payers. This is especially true as purchasers and payers are implementing integrated care delivery systems and payment reform strategies, especially efforts emanating from the Affordable Care Act such as accountable care organizations (ACOs). The concept of performance measurement is well established in the medical sector where most purchasers, clinicians and policymakers, and increasingly some consumers now take for granted and indeed expect that performance measures for medical conditions will be calculated, published, and scrutinized. Download the issue brief.

The Need for Early Mental Health Screening and Intervention Across the Lifespan 
An estimated four million young people will develop a severe mental disorder, such as schizophrenia or bipolar affective disorder. In addition to its enormous economic costs, serious mental illness has devastating effects on young people and their families. Over 75 percent of people with schizophrenia go on to develop a disability and fewer than 25 percent are gainfully employed. Nearly 25 percent of U.S. hospital admissions and disability payments are for people with severe mental health disorders. Download the issue brief.
The Changing Behavioral Health Care Workforce Under Health Care Reform: New Opportunities and Roles for Clinical Mental Health Counselors

There has been a widely recognized workforce shortage in the field of behavioral health for many years. It involves both specialty-level providers in mental health and addiction services as well as primary care providers who frequently are needed to respond to the physical health needs of persons with behavioral health conditions. According to the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), in 2013, 77 million Americans live in areas that are not adequately served by substance abuse or mental health professionals, the majority of which are rural and remote. Download the issue brief.


How to Become a Medicaid Mental Health Provider

Medicaid services are provided by a range of public and private health care professionals and organizations, the list of which varies from state to state. States have latitude in defining the types and qualifications of providers that may receive Medicaid reimbursement for delivering services. The federal government is deferential to state professional practice acts, which are state statutes and regulations that contain specific licensing requirements, professional standards, scope of practice and prohibited acts, etc. for health care providers. Download the issue brief.