Parity Hearing – June 11

The Mental Health Association in New Jersey is proud to support an Addiction and Mental Health Parity Hearing at Stockton College in the Campus Center Theater on Tuesday, June 11th, at 6:00 p.m. (Click here for directions.)

The hearing will address the importance of implementing the mental health and addiction parity act which was passed in 2008.

“On June 11, we will hear from witnesses who have been denied treatment for mental illness or addiction, despite the federal parity law passed in 2008.  Demanding the care we need, and are entitled to, is our responsibility.   By documenting these stories, and standing together as one voice, we will make access to mental health and addiction care in New Jersey a reality,” stated The Honorable Patrick Kennedy.

Speakers at the hearing will include people in recovery from mental health and addiction, family members, providers, mental health and addiction parity experts and New Jersey elected officials. Carol McDaid of the Parity Implementation Coalition will also speak.  A question and answer session will be held with a resource panel to include Barbara Johnston, Director of Advocacy for the Mental Health Association in New Jersey.     

The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 is a federal law that protects a group health plan’s mental health and/or substance use coverage benefits.  The measure was to ensure that mental health and physical health be treated the same, and although the legislation passed, its implementation has not yet occurred. 

The event is sponsored by NCADD NJ (National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence New Jersey), and Stockton College, The Wellness Center in the West Quad Building and organized in partnership with the Mental Health Association in New Jersey Inc., the NJAMHAA (New Jersey Association of Mental Health and Addiction Agencies, Inc.), and the Parity Implementation Coalition.

“The Mental Health Association in New Jersey is proud to be a partner in this important hearing. Full parity for behavioral health is a critical component of the Affordable Care Act as access to healthcare will be expanded to tens of millions of Americans in the coming months,” said Robert Kley, Vice President and COO of the Mental Health Association in New Jersey. 

We ask that people attend this important event.  If you cannot attend the organizers urge you to submit your story about your feelings or experience with the lack of mental health and addiction parity.  Please email stories to maltberg@mhanj.org.

The Mental Health Association in New Jersey strives for good mental health for children and adults through advocacy, education, training and services. Its statewide headquarters is located in Verona, New Jersey; additional offices are located in Bridgewater, Galloway, Jersey City, Toms River and Union.   

For more information about the Mental Health Association in New Jersey, visit www.mhanj.org or call 973-571-4100.

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