Policy Brief

Six Policies That Advance Mental Health

Policy BriefMental Health and Well-BeingMechanisms for Advancing Public HealthMechanisms for Advancing Health Equity

June 3, 2024
by Amy Lieberman, April Shaw, Ashleigh Dennis, Darlene Huang Briggs, Emma Kaeser, Jill Krueger, Joanna S. Suder and Susan Fleurant

In recognition of Mental Health Awareness Month, Network attorneys and staff have identified six key policies with the potential to significantly improve mental health outcomes across the United States. This policy brief covers a wide range of areas focused on communities and those who work to support communities. It is designed as a practical resource for public health professionals, leaders, and partners, offering strategies to enhance mental health and well-being while reducing disparities in mental health care.

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­Creating an Equitable Landscape for Lactation Consultant Licensure in Rhode Island

Policy BriefHealth and Health CareWorkforce ExpansionMaternal and Child HealthReproductive Health and Equity 

June 21, 2023
by Dawn Hunter and Sara Rogers

Requiring licensure for lactation consultants (a healthcare professional who specializes in the clinical management of breastfeeding) can lead to increased quality of lactation-based care, but it can also lead to barriers to entry into the lactation consulting profession resulting in a workforce lacking in diversity. The regulatory environment in Rhode Island for lactation consultants provides valuable insights into the challenges and opportunities faced by states interested in ensuring the quality of care provided to parents and infants while also ensuring that competent and trained professionals do not experience unnecessary occupational barriers.

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­Minnesota Community Health Workers – Defining Care Coordination

Policy BriefHealth and Health CareWorkforce Expansion

May 11, 2023
by Phyllis Jeden and Sara Rogers

This policy brief focuses on the definition of care coordination services provided by Community Health Workers (CHWs) in the state of Minnesota and was written in response to a request for research on how other state statutes and regulations define care coordination services. Minnesota is investigating the potential to expand CHW service coverage to ensure the sustainability of CHWs in the state. The state is looking into ways to define care coordination that allows the service to be covered. Definitions for care coordination or for CHW services that address care coordination (or comparable services) may be found in the statutes or regulations of at least nine states.

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Six Policies that Advance Black Health and Wellbeing

Policy BriefMechanisms for Advancing Public HealthCivic Engagement and VotingMechanisms for Advancing Health EquityReproductive Health and Equity 

February 23, 2023
by April Shaw, Betsy Lawton, Dawn Hunter, Jennifer Piatt, Kathleen Hoke, Mosalewa Ani and Sara Rogers

In honor of Black History Month, Network attorneys and staff have highlighted six policies that have the power to reduce health disparities and improve outcomes for Black people and communities of color throughout the United States. This policy brief serves as a practical tool to help public health professionals, leaders, and partners share strategies that can advance, rather than threaten, Black health and wellbeing over the long-term.

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An Assessment of the Executive Order on Combating Race and Sex Stereotyping

Policy BriefMechanisms for Advancing Public HealthRacism as a Public Health Crisis

January 25, 2021
by April Shaw

In September, President Trump issued an Executive Order on Combating Race and Sex Stereotyping (the “Order”), with stated goals  to promote unity and to “combat offensive and Anti-American race and sex stereotyping” within the federal workforce. The intent of the Order is to restrict trainings on gender and race discrimination that have “divisive concepts.” This assessment uses a public health lens to highlight four fundamental shortcomings of the Order.

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Regulation of Cannabis-Infused Edibles

Policy BriefSubstance Use Prevention and Harm ReductionCannabis Legalization and Regulation

August 4, 2020
by Mathew Swinburne

A number of states have passed laws permitting the cultivation, sale, and use of cannabis. Many also allow cannabis-infused edibles to be manufactured, sold, and consumed. Cannabis edibles present a unique set of public health challenges including risk of ingestion by children and risk of acute intoxication due to delayed onset of the effects of cannabis when consumed as an edible. To address the public health challenges of dosing, attractiveness to children, and food safety, this survey examines eight pertinent variables.

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Tax Incentives and Public Health: Injury Prevention on the Road, on the Water, and at Home

Policy BriefMechanisms for Advancing Public HealthInjury Prevention and SafetyHealthy and Affordable Housing

May 23, 2018
by Kathleen Hoke and Kerri McGowan Lowrey

Tax incentives, in the form of tax credits, deductions or exemptions, can be effective legal interventions for advancing the public’s health. This resource examines tax incentives that encourage prevention of child and adult injuries that occur while traveling, during recreation, and at home.

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Employment Tax Incentives and Ex-Offender Health

Policy BriefMechanisms for Advancing Public Health

November 8, 2017
by Mathew Swinburne

One of the key barriers to improving the health status of ex-offenders is the inability to secure employment because of their conviction status. Unemployment is associated with a number of negative health results, including mental health issues like depression, and lack of medical coverage. This Policy Brief examines ways in which states are using tax deductions to encourage employers to hire individuals from chronically unemployed populations, including ex-offenders.

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