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CARF Connection Blog

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The CARF Connection blog, previously distributed in the form of a newsletter, provides timely tips, resources, and updates about CARF accreditation, business practices, and related matters. Learn about current trends in the fields that CARF accredits, improving services, and the latest CARF news.

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What the loss of Tyler Hilinski teaches us about the vital, ongoing conversation around suicide

On Tuesday, January 16, Tyler Hilinski, the starting quarterback for the Washington State Cougars football team, lost his life to suicide. His death leaves family, teammates, classmates, and many other members of the community in a state of deep pain. Tyler was not someone most would have imagined was dealing with a behavioral health issue. He was young, intelligent, and a star Division-1 athlete. These facts underscore a major misconception about suicide.



Message from CARF CEO regarding Hurricanes Harvey and Irma

We at CARF are deeply concerned about the many lives affected by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, natural disasters of significant scope and scale.



Where CARF surveyors come from

We spoke with three former CARF surveyors who are now CARF staff members. They shared some interesting context on themselves and why they first got into surveying



Dolphin Assisted Psychotherapy: An adjunct to evidence-based treatment for substance abuse disorders

Hawaii Island Recovery utilizes a resident pod of wild, free-swimming Spinner dolphins to create meaningful experiences for their clients receiving treatment for addiction. Program Director and Experiential Therapist, Eliza Wille, shares how she combined her master’s degree in psychology and years-long interest and research in cetaceans to develop this unique program.



Rescuing victims of human trafficking—education, awareness, and training

Health Management Systems of America (HMSA) is a leader in the State of Michigan in providing training on human trafficking. Two years ago, HMSA embarked on a mission to develop education, awareness, and training programming for this topic following a meeting with the Ambassador from Australia, who is also a member of the Global Freedom Network. Human trafficking trainings are now being presented in the community, and HMSA is in the process of putting together community groups to focus on the health of victims, housing, and education. Videos, booklets, and other actionable pieces of information are available online.



Quality Practice Notice on Suicide Prevention

Responsible, quality-based practitioners in the health and human services industry should educate and train themselves to act in a responsible and timely manner when presented with a person at risk for suicide. We know through research that applying evidence-based practice and delivering comprehensive and integrated prevention programs can reduce the rate of suicide. In regard to Suicide Prevention Month, please access CARF’s Quality Practice Notice on Suicide Prevention for first step resources to saving a life.



Technology continues to ingrain itself into health and human service fields

Telecommunications and data management technology has unavoidably made its way into healthcare industries because it can increase consumer access to services and providers’ ability to provide them. Many providers are successfully incorporating technological solutions, which is why CARF has made an effort to highlight practices related to this topic in the Promising Practices newsletter series. This blog post features some articles that highlight successful uses of technology to improve business practices or service delivery.



Increasing formation of healthcare networks calls attention to quality guidelines

A major story so far in 2016 has been the change in service delivery models toward larger systems and networks through affiliations, mergers, and various other types of integrations. Providers are forming relationships across multiple sectors to expand their reach and provide services more efficiently to a broader population. The changing environment poses challenges for providers as they find themselves operating within a new service infrastructure or environment. This trend is of particular interest to CARF because it poses quality questions for providers across a spectrum of industries.



The ins and outs of choosing and displaying the CARF seal of accreditation

After your programs or services have earned CARF accreditation, you will want to market and advertise your achievement to your community and stakeholders. CARF provides resources that can help you promote your accreditation, including guidelines for citing your accreditation, example news release and letter text, and several CARF seal options. This blog post explains how to properly use and display the CARF seals of accreditation in your online and printed materials.



TRICARE proposed revisions are great move forward toward equal access and parity for behavioral healthcare

TRICARE, the healthcare program offered by the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), is in the process of modernizing its behavioral health benefits. Earlier this month, the DoD published a Proposed Rule entitled TRICARE: Mental Health and Substance Abuse Disorder Treatment. Providers, persons served, and the public can submit their comments on this rule change until April 1, 2016.



Parity and the modern boom time for mental healthcare in the United States

What we are seeing today, for the first time in my career, is a mainstream attitude in the United States that mental health treatment should be on par and equal with that of other illnesses. However, growth in service offerings has been slow. We must utilize this historic opportunity to move forward with greater capacity and efforts toward integrating mental and behavioral healthcare with primary healthcare. As part of CARF’s 50th year anniversary, we will be sharing snapshots of the industries in which we offer accreditation services. This is part 2 of that series: Behavioral Health.



Improving substance abuse awareness and residential treatment in Canada

Dawn Pickering of CARF Canada collaborated with the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse and Canadian Executive Council on Addictions to create a resource document for residential treatment facilities. 


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