After a community faces a violent tragedy—like Sandy Hook, Conn., or Aurora, Colo., or Tucson, Ariz.—members of the community and policymakers alike are thirsty for solutions. One program many communities are looking to is Mental Health First Aid.

CSG members registered for the June Medicaid Policy Academy to learn more about Medicaid and how states can improve health outcomes for enrollees and, at the same time, run a more cost efficient program. Besides hearing from the chief federal administrator of Medicaid, Cindy Mann, Director of the Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services at DHHS, attendees listened to a panel of state policymakers explain reforms to their programs in Kansas, Oklahoma, Iowa and Georgia. Other speakers identified opportunities for reform in behavioral health, long-term care and managed care.

It turned out that they couldn’t have asked for a more exciting time to come to the nation’s capital. The meeting date coincided with the Supreme Court’s decision on the Affordable Care Act. The meeting was tuned to television and Internet coverage. Lisa Soronen, executive director of the State and Local Legal Center, dissected the decision and what it means for states in the coming years.

See all the presentations from the Policy Academy below.

Mental health caucuses were discussed as an effective strategy to increase legislators' knowledge and commitment to mental health services during the CSG Midwest annual meeting in Toronto, Ontario in August.

Senator Kevin Coughlin from Ohio and Laura Moskow Sigal, the executive director of Mental Health American Franklin County (OH) presented their experience with the caucus and lessons learned. Click here.