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US Department of Health and Human Services Announces Critical Investments to Implement Upcoming 988 Dialing Code for National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

The United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through its Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), announced a $282 million investment to help transition the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline from its current 10-digit number to a three-digit dialing code – 988.

Once implemented, the 988 code is intended to be a first step toward transforming crisis care in the United States by creating a universal entry point to needed crisis services in line with access to other emergency medical services.

With funds from the Biden-Harris Administration’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 budget and additional funds from the American Rescue Plan, SAMHSA’s $282 million investment will support 988 efforts across the country to shore up, scale up and staff up, including:

  • $177 million to strengthen and expand the existing Lifeline network operations and telephone infrastructure, including centralized chat/text response, backup center capacity, and special services (e.g., a sub-network for Spanish language-speakers).
  • $105 million to build up staffing across states’ local crisis call centers.

Click here to read more about this funding announcement.

The team at iCarol is excited to see the commitment and investment on behalf of the US government towards the 988 initiative. We believe that 988 will improve accessibility and equity for Americans seeking emotional support and assistance. By designating a three-digit number for suicide prevention and mental health crises, our leaders send a clear message that these concerns deserve the same immediate attention and access to assistance as a physical health emergency, while also reducing harmful stigmas that create barriers to treatment. As the leading software provider among the existing National Suicide Prevention Lifeline network of centers, we stand ready to support our customers making the transition to answering 988, and welcome new centers coming on board for the 988 initiative.

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USA Today: Child care providers grapple with a worker shortage

childcare professional seated at a table playing with children

According to a recently published report in USA Today, the child care industry in the United States has been one of the industries hit hardest by worker shortages. The closing of most day care centers early in the pandemic resulted in over 373,000 employees laid off or furloughed. According to the U.S. Labor Department, the industry has only recovered 70% of its pre-pandemic workforce.

The childcare staff shortage has caused childcare centers to be stretched thin, forced to reduce capacity and often increasing costs for parents and caregivers. Childcare workers bear a heavy workload due to the shortage, and parents unable to find affordable and reliable childcare must often leave the workforce themselves.

Click here to read the full report.

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Postpartum Support International seeks Data Manager/Quality Improvement Specialist

Postpartum Support International (PSI) is searching for a qualified candidate to join their team in the role of Data Manager/Quality Improvement Specialist.

PSI is looking for someone to manage the Case Management Software and HelpLine reporting. This is a work-from-home position and is fully remote. You are the sole Data Manager/Quality Improvement Specialist in the organization, providing database and quality improvement management, and communicating with non-technical staff and board in our non-profit organization.

Resourcefulness is a necessary skill in this role. You should be able to diagnose and resolve problems quickly. You should also have the ability to communicate with a variety of interdisciplinary teams and users, and the ability to show patience along with a clear understanding of technical issues while explaining in clear terms to non-technical staff. Candidates must be comfortable in an environment that priorities diversity, equity, and inclusion, and in an organization that works to address systemic inequities.

Your goal will be to ensure that our technology and network infrastructure runs smoothly and efficiently, and to coordinate with a variety of internal stakeholders regarding the specifics of their web pages, database information, and related technical systems.

The Data Manager/Quality Improvement Specialist reports to the Hotline Project Director and works collaboratively with other staff, board members, and Case Management System vendor to implement strategic solutions.

Primary responsibilities include:

  • Manage and optimize Case Management Software application, status, and improvements for HelpLine/Hotline Operation
  • Devise and establish database management and quality improvement systems to support the implementation of organizational strategies
  • Oversee database management and quality improvement, monitor key performance indicators, and evaluate them according to established goals
  • Research and implement technical improvements and solutions to database system and communication integration
  • Monitor performance and maintain systems according to requirements
  • Make recommendations to improve key performance indicators
  • Troubleshoot issues and outages, work with team to respond to surges or natural disasters
  • Develop expertise to assist in staff and volunteer training in case management system
  • Assist in the development of internal documentation of database case management systems
  • Resolve technical issues, detect patterns of occurrences and coordinate with staff regarding handling resolutions to persistent problems
  • Manage data collection, surveys and reports, including monthly and ad-hoc reports, as needed
  • Contributes to the interpretation of data analysis and reports. Presents findings in easy-to-understand terms.
  • Use on demand and ad hoc queries and reports to review, monitor, and report on evaluation outcomes

In order to qualify for the role, the ideal candidate will possess the following experience:

  • Database management: 2 years (Required)
  • Quality management: 2 years (Required)
  • QA/QC: 2 years (Required)
  • English (Required)
  • US work authorization (Required)
  • Bachelor’s (Preferred)
  • Microsoft Excel: 5 years (Preferred)
  • Survey design: 1 year (Preferred)
  • Network monitoring: 1 year (Preferred)
  • One to three years of related experience is required
  • Experience working with data management systems and reports. Experience with iCarol CMS preferred.
  • Experience with data collection, entry, quality assurance, visualization, and reporting
  • Experience with survey and assessment design
  • High level of computer proficiency
  • Degree in social science, statistics, or a related field

This remote work position pays a salary of $70,000 USD per year and benefits include: Health and Vision Insurance and Health Savings Account; Tuition Reimbursement; Employee Discount; Retirement; Paid Leave, and more.

This blog contains highlights and excerpts from the job posting. Click the button below to learn more and apply for this position.

Learn More and Apply

iCarol is posting this career opportunity on behalf of Postpartum Support International. Postpartum Support International is an equal opportunity employer. Postpartum Support International will not discriminate and will take measures to ensure against discrimination in employment, recruitment, advertisements for employment, compensation, termination, upgrading, promotions, and other conditions of employment against any employee or job applicant on the bases of race, color, gender, national origin, age, religion, creed, disability, veteran’s status, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression. www.postpartum.net

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October 3-9 is Mental Illness Awareness Week

Each year during the first full week of October, mental health organizations draw attention to mental health conditions through Mental Illness Awareness Week.

Mental illnesses are medical conditions that effect millions of people, however they are still misunderstood and stigmatized, and those living with these conditions still face prejudice that those with other medical conditions don’t experience.

The aim of Mental Illness Awareness Week is to provide public education highlighting the fact that these illnesses are medical conditions and should be treated as such.

For more information on Mental Illness Awareness Week, and to participate with promoting the efforts around public information on mental illness, visit these resources:

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SAMHSA Awards $825 Million in Grants to Strengthen Community Mental Health Centers

logo for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration in the United States

The following is being shared via a SAMHSA press release.

Following up on its commitment to invest $825 million in Community Mental Health Centers (CMHCs), the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is announcing the distribution of funds to 231 CMHCs across the country.

The funding, which comes from the Consolidated Appropriations Act (CAA) of 2021 and the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplement (CRRS) Act of 2021, reflects the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to supporting and expanding access to mental health and behavioral support as Americans continue to confront the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

CMHCs are community-based facilities or groups of facilities that provide prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation mental health services. This grant program will enable … Read More

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Reuters: Fate of national daycare in the hands of Canadian voters

three children in a childcare setting seated at a table

When the Coronavirus pandemic forced daycares and schools to close, many Canadians, especially women, had to reduce their work hours or leave their jobs entirely. According to Statistics Canada, more than 48% of Canadian parents struggle to find affordable childcare, leading to 27% delaying their return to work and 41% adjusting their work schedules to accommodate caregiving.

An Angus Reid poll found that more than 70% of Canadians favour a national childcare program. The upcoming election will give Canadians their say on which plan they prefer, with the Liberal Party advocating for government subsidization that results in C$10/day childcare costs for families. The Conservatives prefer offering up to C$6,000 per year to parents to help them pay for childcare costs.

Click here to read the full article.

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Mental Health America releases 2021 Back to School Toolkit

high school students wearing masks

Returning to school and beginning a new academic year can cause feelings of anxiety and uncertainty in any circumstances, but the impact of COVID-19 makes the event extra stressful on students, parents, and educators alike.

Each year, Mental Health America releases a back to school toolkit aimed at helping people start the new school year right with healthy habits and an awareness of stress and mental health. MHA focuses on the need to prioritize mental health and emotional well-being so that all students can thrive both in and out of the school setting.

The 2021 Toolkit is titled Facing Fears, Supporting Students and contains hands-on materials such as:

  • Fact sheets for parents and teachers
  • Fact sheets for children and teens
  • Key messages and statistics
  • Sample articles and social media posts
  • Worksheets
  • and more!

The 2021 Mental Health America Back to School Toolkit is available now on the Mental Health America website.

Download the Toolkit

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iCarol virtually exhibiting at National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (n4a) Conference

n4a conference

iCarol is very proud and excited to be an exhibitor at the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (n4a) virtual conference and tradeshow July 19-22.

This will be iCarol’s third year in attendance at n4a, and second year exhibiting virtually. We are excited to once again celebrate the work of Area Agencies on Aging and Aging and Disability Resource Centers (ADRCs) and continue to be amazed at how these organizations have responded and provided continuity of services amidst the Coronavirus pandemic. Older adults and those with health conditions are particularly vulnerable to the effects of COVID-19, but maintaining social connections and other services under social distance has been critical to these individuals. These organizations have stepped up in amazing ways to provide consistency and reassurance.

At our virtual n4a booth we’ll have information to share about how iCarol empowers ADRCs, AAAs, and Senior Information Lines, and other services for older adults, individuals with disabilities, and their caregivers to:

  • Provide social connection and ease loneliness through Telephone Reassurance Programs
  • Collaborate with Community-Based Organizations to address Social Determinants of Health
  • Participate in Health/Community Information Exchanges and No Wrong Door initiatives
  • Provide comprehensive I&R, Closed-Loop referral and collect outcome data
  • Document information included on reimbursement requests
  • Meet people on preferred communication channels
  • Integrate with other software and systems

If you’re attending the conference, be sure to visit the iCarol virtual booth to learn more, download the resources we have available, and contact us with your questions!

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Reuters: Millions receive first child tax credit payments

mom places mask on small child

From Reuters: 39 million U.S. households will be issued monthly federal checks started Thursday as part of a massive expansion of the child tax credit. The Center on Poverty and Social Policy at Columbia University estimates that the expansion can lift 5 million children out of poverty and reduce the U.S. child poverty rate by up to 45%.

The approach is notable both for its wide reach – the checks issued this week will reach nearly 90% of U.S. children, according to Internal Revenue Service estimates – and for distributing half the money monthly instead of in one lump at tax time.

The program, which is not limited to low-income families, is being likened to a universal basic income for children. Single parents earning up to $75,000 and couples making up to $150,000 can receive the full credit.

Under changes made by the American Rescue Plan passed in March, families will receive up to $3,600 for every child under age 6 and $3,000 for those ages 6 to 17, up from $2,000 per child. A minimum income requirement was removed and the credit was made fully refundable, making it more accessible to parents who don’t work and those with low tax bills.

Click here to read the full article.

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SAMHSA awards $62.4 million in grants to combat child trauma

logo for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration in the United States

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is distributing $62.4 million in grant funding to provide and increase access to effective treatment and services systems in communities throughout the nation for children, adolescents, and their families who experience traumatic events. The White House is bolstering these awards with $800,000 in American Rescue Plan (ARP) support.

In 2000, Congress established the National Child Traumatic Stress Initiative (NCTSI) as part of the Children’s Health Act. Through this initiative, a collaborative network of experts was created to further the development and dissemination of evidence-based clinical interventions for systems that serve children, adolescents, and families.

SAMHSA’s NCTSI raises awareness about the impact of . . . Learn More.

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