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Friday update – 7-20-12

Greetings faithful readers. What a week it has been. We have added so much this week it's gonna take both hands to carry this email...Special thanks to Breugger's Bagels for supporting the creative Zen while the internet Gods have been toying with the Networks' home base. As always, wipe the foam off of your upper lip, sit back, let the latté do its magic and enjoy the offerings posted to the website this week.

Hey wait a minute… I thought Friday Update came out on Friday?
Okay, serious mea culpa here. But this video explains it all… honest!

Children's Mental Health Network joins 3,000 organizations to urge Congress to avoid sequestration
On July 12, the Children's Mental Health Network joined nearly 3,000 organizations in delivering a letter to Congress urging leaders to avert sequestration by adopting a "balanced approach to deficit reduction that does not include further cuts to non-defense discretionary (NDD) programs.” Read more here.

It's time to hold block grant administrators accountable in a time of funding cuts
The request for comments regarding the proposed federal fiscal year (FY) 2014-2015 Uniform Application for the Mental Health Block Grant and Substance Abuse Block Grant was published in the July 13, 2012 edition of the Federal Register with a 60-day turnaround time. In addition, SAMHSA just released the FY13 budget estimates. Although these have not been enacted and SAMHSA continues to instruct states to use the FY12 figure in their planning for FY13, these estimates indicate that most states will take reductions. The Children's Mental Health Network is recommending that the members of the Children, Youth and Families Division of the National Association of State Mental Health Directors and the Commissioners they work for come together in agreement on a number of areas as they design their block grants for (FY) 2014-2015. It is time that children's mental health funding receives it's fair share in not just a few states, but in all states. Children's mental health is in danger of being squeezed – your voice is needed. Details here.

Bazelon guide to Medicaid under ACA only part of what is needed
The Bazelon Center just released a new guide to help advocates, providers and state leaders improve health coverage and mental health services in the states. We spent the day reading it and are impressed with the thoroughness and wisdom of approach and dismayed at that same time at how difficult their recommendations are to follow. How long have we been saying we need to help state leaders understand the benefits of expanding Medicaid eligibility to ensure people with mental illness have access to the services they need? It is all well and good for Washington groups to lay out master plans but the huge challenge is implementing those plans. And in this current climate of fiscal uncertainty and dodge ball posturing, a pronouncement about "what to do" even from a most respected advocacy organization as the Bazelon Center is just not enough. Read more here.

House proposing to terminate AHRQ
Over the past six months we have highlighted many excellent opportunities from the Agency for Health Care Research (AHRQ) and the Patient Centered Outcomes Institute (PCORI). And now, the House is recommending doing away with them. Details here.

Mental Health Parity for African-Americans? Not even close...
"Historically, what has happened is African Americans are given more institutionalization and drugs as the treatment of choice as opposed to therapy,” said Thomas A. Parham, a past president of the National Association of Black Psychologists. "You tend to have misdiagnosis because clinicians are not culturally competent. It diminishes confidence in the mental health system. It's not all a function of the mental health system being unavailable; people also make deliberate decisions not to access it because they don't trust them.” Read more here.

Don't miss the Network table at the Georgetown Training Institutes
In addition to superb social media production for the Institutes, Network staff and Advisory members will be available at our exhibit table all week to answer your questions about how to get more involved with Network efforts to redefine systems of care. Now if that doesn't get your attention, nothing will! Also, we are raffling off a brand new Retina Display IPAD so be sure to stop by the table and buy a $5.00 ticket and receive a very cool "I support systems of care" button. Heck, buy a hundred $5.00 tickets! Give early and give often!

Kid's Share report just released
Last week the Urban Institute released the sixth annual Kids' Share report. The report is designed to highlight how the government spends money on children to inform a national conversation about our spending priorities. The report reveals that federal spending on children fell by $2 billion in 2011, the first such decline in nearly 30 years. Spending is expected to further decline in 2012, causing states and localities to fill that breach.  We encourage you to read this report carefully and pay attention to the projections for spending on children over the next decade. Read more here.

House recommends 9% reduction to SAMHSA
The Children's Mental Health Network is quite concerned about the recommended severe cuts to the HHS 2013 Budget proposed by the House. The bill funds the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) at $3.15 billion, which is $324 million less than in 2012 (a 9% reduction). Read more here.

Appropriations Committee releases the fiscal year 2012 Labor, Health and Human Services funding bill
For a summary of the subcommittee draft text of the fiscal year 2013 Labor/Health and Human Services/Education Appropriations bill, read more here. Click here for the draft bill.

Youths cautiously sharing mental health histories
Great story in the Boston Globe last week featuring Chandra Watts of Youth MOVE Massachusetts, who speaks openly and candidly about the political and personal dilemma inherent in being an active voice for youth with mental health challenges but also needing to protect her identity as she enters the adult world. Read more here.

Hey, it's Sunday so there is no excuse not to read the rest. Really good stuff below!

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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