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Friday morning update – 12-14-12

Greetings faithful readers. As we send this update to you our hearts are saddened by the senseless violence that took place at a Connecticut elementary school today. The news of this tragedy is unfolding and we will certainly be weighing in as more details emerge. We debated whether or not to send our typically upbeat Friday Update out today but ultimately decided that, yes, the spirit, hope and hard work of the Network must go on, even on days when tragedy is all around us. So enjoy this issue of Friday Update and keep the families of those lost today, the teachers and children who witnessed the horror, and the first responders close to your heart.

More Fiscal Cliff video inspiration
In our continuing quest to get Democrats and Republicans talking to each other we are offering yet another inspirational video – Oh my goodness, did President Barack Obama and Speaker of the House John Boehner really reach a deal to avoid the fiscal cliff that doesn't involve raising taxes? No one can show the absurdity of the situation better than Saturday Night Live. We know that something has got to get them talkin' so we will keep tryin. Watch our fiscal cliff video of the week and let us know what you think. Better than last week's entry? We're gonna keep this up till they figure this darned thing out… Okay, lock the door to the break room, enjoy the video and then revel in a whole bunch of goodies that we have posted to the website this week.

Call President Obama and Speaker Boehner in the next 48 hours
Humorous videos aside, as you undoubtedly have heard in the barrage of media, the President and congressional leaders still do NOT have a deal to avoid going over the fiscal cliff. This means if a revised deficit reduction deal is not achieved before the holidays, a number of tax breaks will expire and extreme across-the-board spending cuts (i.e. sequestration) will be implemented on January 2, 2013. Okay Network faithful, time to take a quick pause from reading Friday Update and click here to take action. Ya gotta call President Obama and Speaker Boehner now. Don't worry, we've got a script for you and Friday Update will be waiting for you when you finish.

Seems like an appropriate place to include a most righteous version of the theme from Jeopardy for you to play while making your calls (killer guitar solo in the middle). This will seriously put you in the mood to take action.

Presidents and Speakers can figure it out
Don't miss this wonderful Huffington Post opinion piece by Darrell M. West of the Brookings Institution where he goes back in history to look the relationships between Speakers and Presidents during difficult negotiations, citing three critical reasons past political leaders were able to come to agreement. It wasn't easy, but they got it done. Food for thought for our current leadership.

Are you lovin' Friday Update every single week?
Forward a copy of this Update to a colleague and be a part of spreading the love about children's mental health far and wide. Just be sure to give us a wee bit of credit, okay? Not signed up yet to receive Friday Update every week? Sign up now and get the latest information you need to help you improve services for children and families here.

And now, the December fundraising pitch...
Dear Network faithful: Big time thanks to those who have parted with their hard earned dollars to help support the Network, but this is week two of four of shameless groveling on our part, so here goes - We are the small non-profit that has what we think is the largest readership in the children's mental health universe. We reach close to 150,000 readers per week and, thanks to you, continue to grow. We have costs like any other top site: servers, power, rent, and staff. The Children's Mental Health Network is pretty darned special. It is a collective voice of an incredibly diverse audience of providers, policy makers, families, youth and just plain folk who care about kids and families. It is the place you go when you want to find out what's going on in children's mental health but also other areas related to children's mental health that end up surprising you and causing you to say "hmmm... I hadn't thought of that connection." Every time we get an email from someone making a statement like that we know we are on the right track. We cherish our independence and ability to speak with a clear voice. For that reason, we do not take federal funds. We run on donations that average from $25.00 to $50.00. If everyone reading this took a moment to give just $25.00 our fundraiser would end today. If you find Friday Update useful and the resources we alert you to on our website useful, take one minute to keep us going for another year with your tax deductible donation. We hate fundraising, but it is a necessary activity, and we only have two more weeks in our December fundraising drive. We sure would like to make this fundraising drive as short as possible so please help us out. Thanks again to so many of you who are spreading the word. We are indeed a collective voice and your support is greatly appreciated. Only two more porridge-laden appeals for money... woo hoo! (Oh c'mon, click on the porridge link. You know you want to...)

Tampa conference - The news just keeps getting better! 
Oh man, we are seriously excited. Presentation proposals have been picked and the winners are letting us know they are coming as you read this. The agenda will be available at the end of the month and it rocks. More plenary sessions are being added this week and next. Registration is in full swing for the Tampa conference so register already! Check out the conference website here.

Webinar alert: Asking Families: How Data from Families can Inform Policy and Practice
Still time to sign up for this important Community Solutions webinar coming up on December 19, 2012. Join Lisa Lambert, Executive Director of PPAL and Network Advisory Council member and learn about strategies to increase parent response and participation, collect essential parent data and use the principles of family driven research.  Data will drive policy decisions in this new age of health reform. This webinar will help you better prepare families to be at the center of that decision-making process. Details here.

Don't miss Patrick Corrigan at the Stigma conference
The Family and Youth Roundtable is hosting their 4th annual Stigma, Discrimination, and Disparities in Children's Services Conference February 13 - 15, 2013. This conference's purpose is to share learning experiences on what public systems, community based organizations, schools, researchers, families and youth are doing to ensure equity in children's services. The Children's Mental Health Network will be there in full force documenting the new learning's that will come out of this conference so be sure to come by and say hello. This week we are featuring Dr. Patrick Corrigan who is currently Distinguished Professor and Associate Dean for Research in the Institute of Psychology at the Illinois Institute of Technology.  Dr. Corrigan has paired with Dr. Jon Larson in this Center and will be conducting a study investigating the role of Consumer Operated Services in Adherence and Empowerment. Details here

Filling in Gaps in Consumer Assistance: How Exchanges Can Use Assisters
Network faithful take note. In the new age of health reform the role of Navigators will have primary importance. The health care law requires that exchanges establish navigator programs to help consumers learn about and enroll in new coverage options. It also makes funding available for exchanges to provide additional in-person assistance during their first open enrollment period and year of operation. Learn more here and take advantage of a great webinar.

EHB categories don't measure up with Medicaid and CHIP
Interesting report by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) that compared coverage and costs for each of the 10 EHB categories currently offered by the three largest federal employee health plans, one of the largest state employee plans and one of the largest small group plans in five states. For these states—Alabama, Colorado, Maryland, Texas and Washington—the report also compared coverage under the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and Medicaid. Most significantly, none of these plans approached the breadth of coverage and cost-sharing protection available under Medicaid or the states' separate CHIP plans. Whoa! If the EHB is the benchmark for what gets covered we could be in a world of hurt. Network faithful who have been following this topic on our website know that we are very concerned about the potential for essential benefits coverage being limited to the point of eroding quality of service - which paradoxically leads to higher costs. This report appears to confirm our fears. Gotta pay attention folks. Decisions are being made now that will have long lasting impact on children and families. Get involved with your state health exchange! Get the details here.

GW study shows good business sense + commitment = school mental health program sustainability
The Center for Health and Health Care in Schools at George Washington University recently released a study that explores sustainable funding mechanisms that can help mental health providers and education leaders ensure that all children have access to school mental health programs. Read more here. Great information!

Children's Institute focusing on children of military families
Congratulations to the Children's Institute for developing a new program to treat children of military families living in Los Angeles, particularly those with family members returning from deployment in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Read more about it here.

Jobs, jobs and more jobs!

Goodness! If that wasn't enough to make you want to skip lunch at TGI Friday's and make a tax deductible donation to the Network, then I don't know what will. Oh wait a minute…. Maybe these additional gems will do the trick. Keep reading!

Let us know what you need from the Network!  
We love feedback so let us know how we can improve the website to better meet your needs. Contact us here.

As always, thank you for your continued support of the Children's Mental Health Network,

Scott Bryant-Comstock
President & CEO
http://cmhnetwork.org

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