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Be sure to check back regularly to get our latest news updates.

Maura Quinn came to sobriety at 54, when she began a journey to reset her soul. Quinn spent 25 years behind the scenes in television news. Her mother’s death, the loss of four beloved pets, and a layoff sent her in search of natural beauty in Vermont. Working through recovery with her fellow writers unearthed a path to liberation from inebriation.

On this week’s podcast, Maura reads her original poem, “Craving.”

Krystal Tyler, who once faced a potential 27 years in prison for being involved in a drug robbery that resulted in a death, is now well on her way to becoming a civil engineer.

Commentary by Mike Smith

Low-income Vermonters who get state subsidies to pay for heat will see an increase in benefits this winter. The Agency of Human Services and Department for Children and Families announced the increased benefits under the Low-Income Heating Assistance Program, or LIHEAP, on Tuesday. The average benefit to the roughly 20,000 households that use the program will be $879 for winter 2017 to 2018, an increase from $831 in winter 2016 to 2017, according to the Agency of Human Services.

In May 2017, Lamoille County Mental Health Services launched a series of awareness activities for this year’s Mental Health Month, starting with a performance by the Me2 Orchestra on May 4 at the Lamoille Union High School Auditorium. It was a free event for the community.
Here is the full video of the event which included not only a wonderful performance by the Me2 Orchestra, but also shared stories with the audience.

Live Well Lamoille Blog by Rebecca Copans

"As a parent, you want nothing more than for your child to be happy and healthy, to make friends, and to be accepted by their peers. Unfortunately, that doesn’t come easily for all kids. Fortunately, our community has lots of resources available to help families thrive."

In what he called a sign of progress in combating the opioid crisis, Gov. Phil Scott announced Monday that the state has moved to bolster the ranks of substance abuse counselors by paring back the licensing requirements. The move was spurred by legislators’ recommendations to the Office of Professional Regulation after hearing that the state’s arcane rules were hindering qualified counselors from landing jobs here, said Sen. Claire Ayer, D-Addison.

Vermont is one of more than a dozen states suing President Donald Trump over his decision to cut off federal health insurance subsidies designed to help low-income sick people. Trump has announced he will cut off federal funding to a program called cost-sharing reduction, in which low-income people who use Obamacare exchanges such as Vermont Health Connect are able to pay low premiums for plans that also have low out-of-pocket costs. In Vermont, as many as 13,000 people using Vermont Health Connect receive federal cost-sharing reduction subsidies, according to the Department of Vermont Health Access. Their income levels range between $17,000 and $30,000 for individuals and $34,000 and $62,000 for a family of four.

Doctors prescribing free vegetables; Bristol program aims at overall health

Doctors prescribing free vegetables in an aim for overall health. Patients qualify for the program by taking a short survey asking if their income is a barrier to buying healthy food, if they have a health or lifestyle concern related to diet, and if they are interested in the program. As Vermont transitions its health system to focus on preventative solutions, the time is ripe for identifying programs that actually make people healthier.

“If you’ve got something that you want to improve, or something that needs to change, and you’re all coming to the family dining room table, the irascible teenager may run from the room, go upstairs, slam their door,” Brumsted said. “But they’ll be back at the dining room table the next day, and you will be forced to come to a decision.”
That’s the idea, he said, behind the 2011 creation of the UVM Health Network, which has grown to control six hospitals in Vermont and New York, and will soon include a new clinic in Ticonderoga, New York, and is in discussions to control the largest visiting nurses association in the state.
That’s also the idea behind the network’s other initiative, OneCare Vermont. It is a health reform company partly owned by the UVM Medical Center that will soon coordinate insurance money and patient care across a large and diverse group of health care providers in the state.
The model encourages doctors to work together — regardless of what company they work for — to achieve four population health goals: Increase the number of Vermonters with primary care providers, reduce the prevalence and morbidity of chronic diseases, reduce the rate of drug overdoses, and reduce the rate of suicides.

On the heels of a legislative session in which Vermont lawmakers expanded the state’s medical marijuana program and nearly legalized the drug, the Vermont Medical Society may soon reaffirm its opposition to legalization. And some physicians, including two specialists at the University of Vermont Medical Center, have proposed adding warning labels to medical marijuana and aim to restrict its use to conditions for which it has been proven to be safe and effective.

BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) A homeless camp in Burlington will be shut down. Officials say they're closing the encampment on Sears Lane in Burlington's South End because they say it's not safe anymore. People at the camp say they are frustrated and feel they have nowhere to go, but the city's police chief says this decision is to keep them out of danger.

Nine of Vermont’s 14 hospitals have agreed to participate, to varying degrees, in the state’s all-payer experiment, starting next January. But some major health care providers, including the Community Health Centers of Burlington, are opting out — for now.

Source: VT Digger

Officials at organizations providing food assistance to Vermonters say a sluggish state economy might be one of the reasons why demand at many local food shelves has risen in the past few months.
Source: Vermont Public Radio Online

Vermonters who enter the criminal justice system and need inpatient psychiatric treatment may now wait for days in prison for a bed to open.
Source: Burlington Free Press

Jimmy shares his thoughts on Senators Bill Cassidy and Lindsey Graham’s new health “care” bill including why it doesn’t pass Cassidy’s “Jimmy Kimmel Test.”
Source: Jimmy Kimmel Live

The Vermont Human Rights Commission says the state discriminated against a woman in psychiatric crisis when she was placed in the solitary confinement at a correctional facility instead of a psychiatric hospital.
Source: Brattelboro Reformer

The Vermont Department of Mental Health (VDMH) has been awarded a $9.9 million federal grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The grant, which will be disbursed over a five-year period, will fund the Vermont Family Centered Healthcare Home Project (VFCHP) in its facilitation of a comprehensive approach to health – including mental, emotional and physical health – for children and their families.
Source: VT Digger

Sheriff Keith Clark talks with Jane Lindhom about his struggle with depression.
This week is National Suicide Prevention Week, Sep 10-16, 2017
Source: Vermont Public Radio Online

BEDFORD, N.H. (AP) The Girl Scouts in New Hampshire and Vermont are seeking partnership opportunities with businesses and organizations to help provide unique programming for the nearly 10,000 girls in the two states.
The Girl Scout council offers "Programs on Demand," a collaboration designed to connect Girl Scout leaders, volunteers, and families with businesses and organizations that expose girls to unique experiences and learning opportunities and develop new skills.
Businesses offering opportunities for girls to learn about animals and the outdoors; arts and entertainment; food and cooking; history; life skills; and health and science, are encouraged to contact the Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains for more information.
Source: WCAX

Source: Open Minds

Two major Upper Valley mental health agencies hope to significantly reduce their waiting lists not by adding staff, but by changing their approach to scheduling.
Instead of adding names to a waiting list when new patients call seeking care, officials at Lebanon-based West Central Behavioral Health in June began telling patients to come to the agency’s offices in Lebanon or Claremont on certain days at set times, said Suellen Griffin, West Central’s chief executive.

The Mindfulness Group from LCMHS create recordings for self-care.

People have reported reversing more than 1,200 overdoses since December 2013 with free naloxone provided by the state, according to the program’s director.
Source: VT Digger

During the month of May, LCMHS joined Roland Lajoie on a series of informative chats about mental health, and services provided for the Lamoille County community.

Watch a 30-minute documentary created by fellow stigma-busters as part of the Be Vocal project. The film introduces viewers to Jeff, Lauren and Lloyd, three different people who share one common experience—their lives have been transformed by speaking up for mental health. The film provides a glimpse into their lives and their diagnoses—which include bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, depression and anxiety—ultimately weaving together a story about how speaking up is key to living well.

by Patrick Flood, the former commissioner of the Department of Mental Health, the Department of Disabilities, Aging and Independent Living and former deputy secretary of the Agency of Human Services. VT Digger 3/29/2017

by Mary Moulton and Elizabeth Sightler, VT Digger 3/27/2017

Human Trafficking & Clandestine Labs
Important information for all professionals who do home visits with families or work with at-risk youth.
Take advantage of this FREE opportunity to learn more about issues impacting our community.

Advancing Equity and Cultural Competency to Improve Population Health
By Vermont Care Partners

This film is seen as an important event by many across our region and is brought to you by Orleans Southwest Supervisory Union, Lamoille Restorative Center, Laraway Youth and Family Services, Lamoille Family Center, Lamoille County Mental Health, Johnson State College, Community College of Vermont and Healthy Lamoille Valley.  

Department of Mental Health Newsletter
Jan 19, 2017

Article by Dr. David Mooney, LCMHS Medical Director, published on the Blog Live Well Lamoille on Jan 12, 2017
The Live Well Lamoille blog is a collaborative community effort. We hope you find this blog to be a valuable resource and use it to share information and encourage one another to make healthy choices.

Join advocates, peers, family members, mental health professionals, and providers across Vermont to RAISE AWARENESS among our elected officials and share your experience as an advocate, community member or mental health professional with Vermont’s mental health system of care.
For More details, visit our calendar of events!

Source: VT Digger Jan 6, 2017
Commentary by Sandra Steingard, M.D., who is the chief medical officer and a psychiatrist at Howard Center, where she has worked for over 21 years. She lives in Charlotte.

Source: VT Digger Jan. 5, 2017
Commentary by Patrick Flood, the former commissioner of the Department of Mental Health, the Department of Disabilities, Aging and Independent Living and former deputy secretary of the Agency of Human Services. He recently retired from Northern Counties Health Care.

Read or listen to this VPR article by Amy Kolb Noyes on emergency care for mental health crisis

By Dr. Patrick Conway, Acting Principal Deputy Administrator and Chief Medical Officer
Source: CMS Blog

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