Friday Update 1-2-15
Happy New Year!
A look back at some of our favorites from 2014
Oh, Network faithful, there is so much to choose from to pick as remembrances from 2014! Rescuing the Healthy Transitions Initiative, keeping a constant focus on the inappropriate use of seclusion and restraint, raising questions about how the First Episode Psychosis programs will roll out via the 5% set-aside, and so much more. We will content ourselves with a look back at just a few of the diverse posts on a topic that dominated the Network this past year - Assisted Outpatient Treatment, as proposed in HR 3717.
I think what warms my heart the most about the Children's Mental Health Network is our commitment to sharing all sides of controversial issues so that you, faithful reader, can make informed decisions. Enjoy! Oh, and to break things up, we have sprinkled in a few of our favorite video posts from 2014.
President & CEO
- Eight advocates defy critics and come together for honest dialogue about Assisted Outpatient Treatment
There have been plenty of naysayers who have made their feelings known about our plan to hold a dialogue with advocates across the spectrum of opinion on the question of Assisted Outpatient Treatment. Assisted Outpatient Treatment is one of the lightning rod issues in HR 3717 Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act that has drawn heated debate among members of Congress and the mental health advocacy community. Not only are we holding a dialogue, we are sending invitations to members of the U.S. House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee and their staff to observe our dialogue. Some of the more delightful comments that have been generated our way include, "You're consorting with the enemy," "How could you give them more ammunition to make their case?" "What a waste of time." "This will go nowhere." "This is not the way we do things." "How dare you!" My answer to the last question, which sums up the answer to all the others, is, "How dare we not?"
- Spice Girls - Spice up your life live in Istanbul
Without further adieu, let's start with a timeless classic selected just for the team from Sesame Workshop!
- The power of words: What the Wall Street Journal didn't tell you
A recent editorial in the Wall Street Journal eviscerated the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Agency (SAMHSA) while at the same time calling for support of HR 3717 – The Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act. Since then the introduction of the proposed bill we have read with great interest articles in the press, personal communication, and written testimony from past Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health hearings on HR 3717. Much of what has been written is passionate and unfortunately sometimes vitriolic. There are three particular sound bites that keep coming up (two of which found their way into the WSJ editorial) that taken at face value may create an impression that might be more than just a bit misleading.
- The Language of Love
Major props to one of our new Network faithful, Dan Richards of Sydney, Australia, for producing a short film that we think is a "must watch." Dan is the producer of THE LANGUAGE OF LOVE, written and performed by Kim Ho, under the mentorship of leading Australian playwright Tommy Murphy, and directed by Laura Scrivano.
- Oh SAMHSA, Where Art Thou?
What did Newtown mean if we can't get help for children and families in mental health crisis? Liza Long, aka the Anarchist Soccer Mom, speaks out about her disappointment in SAMHSA and her support of HR 3717.
- HAPPY World Down Syndrome Day
This video produced to celebrate the day to the music of Pharrell Williams "Happy" is a perfect tonic for what ails ya. Remind yourself why you put in the tireless hours you do on behalf of children and families.
- First they ignore you: Impressions from the recent hearing on H.R. 3717
Leah Harris offers her reflections on the April 3, 2014 House Committee on Energy and Commerce, Subcommittee on Health hearing on the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act (H.R. 3717). Leah is Director of the National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery and a vocal critic of HR 3717. What may surprise you is that she also is clear that individuals and family members on both sides of the issue need to find common ground.
- Celebrate the genius of Robin Williams in this classic performance as the Genie in Aladdin
We will miss his genius. Enjoy this fond look at the magic that was Robin Williams.
- Morning Zen guest author hopes HR 3717 will lead to treatment before tragedy
Dottie Pacharis shares the anguish of her son's mental illness and argues for increased family involvement in decision-making about mentally ill loved ones. "Serious psychiatric disorders, such as bipolar, schizophrenia and severe depression, require medical intervention. They are treatable. They do not have to result in suicide or mass shootings. Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis is the most comprehensive mental-health-reform legislation to be introduced in 51 years. It will lead to treatment before tragedy."
- 20 things we should say more often - Kid President
Enjoy this video in which Kid President reminds us of 20 things we should say more often. Good information for the soul, reaching across the aisle and letting different perspectives breathe.
- AOT debate – Don't forget about this mom and this son
Jammie Farish puts the debate about Assisted Outpatient Treatment in stark relief with a real-time recounting of 24 hours of agony, pain, and hope. She ends her Zen post with a poignant message for politicians and advocates alike. Must read, Network faithful.
- Kid President - Pep Talk about Teamwork and Leadership
In the words of the immortal Kid President, "What if Michael Jordan had quit? We would have no Space Jam!" Enjoy this pep talk on teamwork and leadership from the Prez'.
- Mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders are preventable - Letter to the Wall Street Journal signed by 23 leading prevention scientists
This Morning Zen post, written by Dr. Dennis Embry, was originally sent to the Wall Street Journal as a response to an editorial that focused on HR 3717 – The Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act. The letter was signed by 23 leading scientists whose work has shown in gold-standard, randomized longitudinal control studies to prevent, avert, or reduce one or more than one mental illness, including members of the IOM Committee issuing the finding that mental illnesses are preventable.