Vermont  Psychological Association

Working to advance mental health care for Vermonters since 1950

VPA continues to hear reports of consumer and provider concerns about insurance policies that provide a steeper slope of access to mental health and substance abuse services, despite federal and state laws requiring mental health parity in insurance coverage.


Do you feel that your insurance is not playing fair with access to mental health services? Here is a list of resources to provide further information on the topic:


Overview on Mental Health Parity

NPR’s All Things Considered

American Psychological Association Resources

Results of a national survey and an educational video, in addition to more resource links.
American Psychiatric Association

If you or your therapist are stymied and think you are being discriminated against by the insurance company, print out and discuss this poster and what action steps you can take.
VT Dept. of Financial Regulation, Insur. Division

Vermont Insurance Complaint Site


Milton J. Marasch, Ph.D.

APA Psychology Benefits Society Blog

Mental Health Disorders


Vermont Health Connect Resources

Vermont Health Connect User’s Guide (Vermont Digger)

Tips on Using Vermont Health Connect (State of Vermont)

Vermont Health Connect Home Page

Vermont Health Connect Frequently Asked Questions

Vermont Health Connect Health Plan Information

(Scroll down to “Plan Designs and Monthly Premiums” or “Silver Plans with Cost Sharing Reductions” for PDFs comparing the various plans

side-by-side.)

Mental Health Parity

Crisis Lines

by county

Obtaining Health Insurance in Vermont

Addison
802-388-7641
Bennington
802-442-5491
Caledonia

802-748-3181

800-649-0118 (toll free)

Chittenden       

802-488-7777 (child & family)
802-488-6732
TTY
drugs and alcohol - same number
802-488-6103 (adults)

No. Essex

802-334-6744

800-696-4979 (toll free)

So. Essex

802-748-3181

800-649-0118 (toll free)

Franklin
802-524-6554
800-834-7793
(toll free)
Grand Isle
802-524-6554
800-834-7793
(toll free)
Lamoille

802-888-5026 (business hours)

802-888-8888 (after hours)

Orange
800-639-6360
Orleans

802-334-6744

800-696-4979 (toll free)

Rutland
802-775-1000
Washington
802-229-0591
Windham
800-622-4235 (toll free)
Windsor
800-622-4235 (toll free)


If you are not covered by Medicare or a business that already offers affordable health care coverage, you may be eligible for coverage under  Vermont Health Connect (VHC), Vermont's health insurance exchange.  For those in a low wage or part-time job, the figures look daunting, but there are three kinds of cost assistance for which you or your family may be eligible.  In other words, your costs may actually be lower than the published rate.


Read More . . . .


APA OFFERS RESOURCES FOR COPING WITH MASS SHOOTINGS, UNDERSTANDING GUN VIOLENCE


Constant news reports about the shooting in Las Vegas can cause stress and anxiety for people, leaving them with questions about the causes of and solutions to gun violence. Resources on the American Psychological Association’s website can help people with both issues.

One APA resource offers tips for managing feelings of distress in the aftermath of a shooting. “You may be struggling to understand how a shooting could occur and why such a terrible thing would happen. There may never be satisfactory answers to these questions,” it says. “Meanwhile, you may wonder how to go on living your daily life. You can strengthen your resilience – the ability to adapt well in the face of adversity – in the days and weeks ahead.”

Talking to children about the shooting isn’t easy but parents or teachers shouldn’t completely shield them from violence or tragedies. APA offers a series of tips to parents and other caregivers on how to guide the conversation in a proactive and supportive way. “The conversation may not seem easy, but taking a proactive stance, discussing difficult events in age-appropriate language can help a child feel safer and more secure,” according to the resource available in the APA Help Center.

Parents should also watch for signs of stress, fear or anxiety.

For those who feel too overwhelmed to use the tips provided, APA suggests consulting a psychologist or other mental health professional.

“Turning to someone for guidance may help you strengthen your resilience and persevere through difficult times,” it says.

There is no single personality profile that can reliably predict who will use a gun in a violent act, according to a report issued by the APA in December 2013 entitled Gun Violence: Prediction, Prevention, and Policy. There is, however, psychological research that has helped develop evidence-based programs that can prevent violence through primary and secondary interventions.
 
Written by a task force composed of psychologists and other researchers, the report synthesized the available science on the complex underpinnings of gun violence, from gender and culture to gun policies and prevention strategies.

“The skills and knowledge of psychologists are needed to develop and evaluate programs and settings in schools, workplaces, prisons, neighborhoods, clinics, and other relevant contexts that aim to change gendered expectations for males that emphasize self-sufficiency, toughness and violence, including gun violence,” according to the report.

Gun violence is estimated to cost hundreds of billions of dollars a year in medical, legal and other expenses, not to mention the psychological toll. That is why the government needs to approach it as a public health problem, according to APA acting Executive Director for Public Interest Clinton Anderson, PhD, writing in a blog post entitled No Silver Bullet: Why We Need Research on Gun Violence Prevention.

“Some have argued that we need to focus on policies that prosecute criminals and prevent those individuals who have been found to be a danger to themselves or others from obtaining a firearm,” wrote Anderson. “While these policies have merit, they are clearly not fully effective, and do not address the roots of violence in our society.”

No one policy will prevent gun violence, writes Anderson. “It will take a multi-faceted approach. Funding research that explores these horrific, impulsive acts can help us all inform and adapt our policy approach.”

In another blog post, clinical psychologist Joel Dvoskin, PhD, warned against unfairly stigmatizing the mentally ill by immediately jumping to the conclusion that most shooters have a mental illness.

“Too often, even the most well-intentioned among us believe that most mass shootings are carried out by those with untreated mental illness,” he wrote. “What the perpetrators seem to have in common is the experience of extreme situational crisis.”

Additional resources:

Talking to Kids When They Need Help

7 Ways to Talk to Children and Youth about the Shootings in Orlando

Helping Children Manage Distress in the Aftermath of a Shooting

How Much News Coverage is OK for Children?

Gun Violence Prevention

APA Initiatives to Prevent Gun Violence

APA Press Release, October 3, 2017

In addition to speaking with your psychologist or mental health provider about your mental health or the mental health of a family member or friend, the following websites provide additional information about mental health disorders:
www.psychcentral.com
www.apa.org/topics

www.nimh.nih.gov/index.shtml
www.mentalhelp.net
www.mhselfhelp.org

For the Public