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Friday update 3-22-13

Greetings faithful readers - Happy Friday to you from beautiful San Antonio, Texas where we are celebrating our son's participation in the NCAA Championships for fencing. It's all about perspective folks, so in the spirit of focusing on family, how can we not start off this issue of Friday Update with "We are Family" by Sister Sledge. Watch the video and then get to readin'. As usual, lots of juicy tidbits for you to nibble on... more important... to take action on. Enjoy our morsel-filled offering of great information posted to the Children's Mental Health Network website this week.

Parts of the Republican E & C Medicaid critique are spot on
Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce committee have released a sharp critique of Medicaid in a recently released report. While we don't agree with everything in the report, there are some points that are spot on, which is important as the tendency is to turn the Medicaid expansion discussion into a "for or against; Republican vs. Democrat debate" which is obviously getting us no where, and is increasingly looking like the junior high school game of dodge ball where the last person standing wins. That ain't gonna cut it folks. In the spirit of compromise and suggestions for moving forward we offer what we agree with and what should be done next. Details in our recent Morning Zen piece can be found here.

ASTART provides education on signs of abuse in residential treatment
Abuse in residential care and wilderness programs is an unfortunate and devastating occurrence that happens far too often. Don't miss this Morning Zen post by a group of dedicated psychiatrists, psychologists and research academicians who share an open letter "offering important information to mental health and medical professionals providing services to youth who have lived in a residential treatment facility or boarding school for "troubled teens.” Read the letter here and get involved!

Support 302 (b) allocation - Need organizations to sign the letter
Each year, the Committee on Education Funding, the Coalition for Health Funding (of which the CMHNetwork is a proud member), and the Campaign to Invest in America's Workforce partner to circulate a letter throughout our respective communities in support of strong 302(b) allocations for the House and Senate Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations Subcommittees. The bigger the allocations, the better our chances of securing funding for these agencies and programs, or in the current environment preventing further cuts. At this stage in the appropriations process, discretionary health programs are competing for funding with all of the other nondefense discretionary programs within the spending caps established by the budget resolutions. If you care about federal funding for any discretionary health program, you should sign this letter. Without a strong 302(b) allocation for Labor-HHS-Education, there is very little chance of increasing funding for your priorities. And there is an even greater likelihood that your priorities will be cut. Learn more here and take action.

Crisis Intervention Without Limits
Don't miss the Kristin Brooks Hope Center's third annual training conference in Austin, Texas which runs from Friday, April 26 to Sunday, April 28. The Kristin Brooks Hope Center is dedicated to suicide prevention by early intervention and healing and promotion of easy-to-remember points of entry to networked community-based crisis services. World-class experts in suicide prevention and mental health care will be speaking at the conference including, internationally renowned humanitarian Patch Adams, MD and COL-Ret George Patrin, MD, healthcare advocate and Advisory Council member with the Children's Mental Health Network. Dr. Patrin will discuss both flaws and progress in identifying suicide risk and promoting prevention within our communities, especially for veterans and their families. Details here.

An in-depth look at Sesame Street's efforts to take on divorce
If you were at the recent Children's Mental Health Research and Policy conference in Tampa, Florida you know how quickly the "Little Children, Big Challenges: Divorce" kits generously provided by Sesame Workshop flew off of the Children's Mental Health Network table. As interest remains high we are sharing this more in-depth review of how the product came together. Details here.

HIV/AIDS in the Two-Spirit Community: A Hidden Crisis
Network faithful should check out this wonderful post from the AIDS.gov blog about the hidden crisis of HIV/AIDS in Native American populations. March 20th was National Native HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, a day to raise awareness of the terrible toll that HIV/AIDS continues to take on Native American populations. HIV/AIDS is a crisis that affects many American Indians and Alaska Natives, but particularly Two-Spirit individuals who often experience stigma and discrimination in both Native and mainstream society. Read more here.

Hillary Clinton endorses marriage equality
Add Hillary Clinton to the growing list of Americans who support the legalization of marriage between gays and lesbians (now at an all-time high of 58 percent, according to a new poll from ABC News/The Washington Post). Clinton has joined a growing list of politicians from both sides of the aisle who have come out in favor of gay marriage, according to a recent Politico article. "I support marriage for lesbian and gay couples," Clinton said in a video recorded for the Human Rights Campaign. "I support it personally and as a matter of policy and law." The relevance to the Children's Mental Health Network is on point, families are families. And when families are torn apart due to stress of marriage (or lack thereof), financial issues raised by benefit rules pertaining to same-sex, partners, etc. Yes, Network faithful this is an issue we need to care about and focus on. Read more here.

SAMHSA Financing Focus is out. What's up with the cuts?
The latest SAMHSA Financing Report is out and of particular interest to us is the following news item on the effect of sequestration. We reported on this last week but we still don't know where SAMHSA will make the cuts that inevitably will need to be made. For those of you who have been flooding us with questions about this, hang in there. Maybe someone from SAMHSA will post an answer at the bottom of this post. Learn more here.

CHIP can be an ally for policy makers in meeting child specific exchange requirements
There are compelling reasons to consider how the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) can be used as a resource to meet the child-specific exchange requirements of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Check out this brief from the National Academy for State Health Policy to learn about options for using CHIP as a tool to inform exchange design. Details here.

Test your ACA knowledge
We love it when the Kaiser Family Foundation comes out with yet another quiz. This time in celebration of the approaching three-year anniversary of the Affordable Care Act the Kaiser Family Foundation has updated its interactive quiz that allows users to test their knowledge about what's in – and what's not in – the health reform law. Quiz takers can compare their health reform knowledge to that of their friends by sharing their quiz results on Facebook and Twitter. The quiz also includes links to more information about specific provisions of the law. Dang, this is better than playin' Jeopardy at your next political mashup… Take the quiz and have fun! (Is it true Alex Trebec is leavin'? Perish the thought…)

State Estimates of the Low-income Uninsured Not Eligible for the ACA Medicaid Expansion
Yes Medicaid expansion will insure millions of our nation's poorest, but what about undocumented and recently legal immigrants? A new report from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation shares some shocking news that there will still be huge gaps in coverage that need to be filled. New research suggests immigrants could be an X factor in how Medicaid expansion touches the states. When the Medicaid program expands under the health law, states with high concentrations of ineligible immigrants could still see long emergency room lines and a stretched safety net. This is an important read, Network faithful, as the people who will fall through the cracks are often those with the greatest need for support - mental health or otherwise. Read more here.

Health Worker Shortages and Global Justice
The World Health Organization estimates that there is a shortage of about four million health workers needed to deliver essential health services and has called for immediate action to resolve the accelerating crisis in the global health workforce. This report grew out of a concern that much more needs to be done by wealthy countries to respond to this challenge. The clarion call by authors Paula O'Brien and Lawrence O. Gostin in this report is that every country and all stakeholders must be deeply engaged to solve the global human resource shortage. Sobering details here.

Oh, c'mon. Blow off that meeting with your boss so you can finish this week's update. Think of how wicked smaht you gonna be! (How's that for mixin' dialects?) Keep reading!

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A big THANK YOU for reading and participating in Friday Update each and every week. Our promise to you is that we will work hard to improve and expand our coverage of pertinent issues for children's mental health advocates, families, policy makers and just plain folk who care about making our communities stronger. So in the spirit of innovation and change what would you do to improve Friday Update for 2013? Send us your ideas. We are grateful for any and all feedback especially for ideas of how we can improve upon what we offer you. 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. 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?

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

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