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Friday Update 1-3-14

Greetings faithful readers. A hearty happy new year to all. As we sweep away the cobwebs of holiday merriment and prepare to hunker down for a wildly exciting and likely surprising year for children's mental health we can think of no better spokesperson for our collective new years resolution than Kid President, a Network favorite. 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. Watch the video, get your head straight, and then get to readin' Friday Update!

Most important reads for this week

Celebrating the strength and diversity of young adults with mental health challenges
In our continuing focus on the joy, brilliance, strength and fortitude of young adults who have had experience with receiving mental health services, I want to share with you one shining example of a youth-driven, stigma-smashing, positive approach to creating a safe space for young adults to express who they are. Youth M.O.V.E. Oregon is rockin' the nation with the work they are doing. We have so much to do to turn the tide of misguided opinion about who youth with mental health challenges are. Youth M.O.V.E. Oregon is doing their part. What are you doing? Send us your examples of youth-driven efforts for young people with emotional challenges and we will profile them so the collective voice of the Network can learn, share, educate and advocate for our next generation of leaders.

White House issues executive actions strengthening gun background checks
On Friday, the Obama administration announced two proposals to strengthen the federal gun background check system so that relevant mental health information is shared with the states. The first proposal comes from the Justice Department and focuses on specific regulations clarifying who is not allowed to posses a firearm under federal law for reasons related to mental health. A key clarification in this proposal is that "committed to a mental institution" includes involuntary inpatient as well as outpatient commitments. The second proposal comes from HHS and would modify the HIPAA Privacy Rule to permit certain HIPAA-covered entities to disclose to the NICS the identities of persons prohibited by federal law from possessing or receiving a firearm for reasons related to mental health. We are sharing the press release from the White House on our website. As of this morning (Saturday) we have not yet been able to locate the text of the HHS proposal on their website. We will post it and make comment as soon as we obtain it. It is equally important for Network faithful to review the document and make comment.

New Statewide Family Network grants announced
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Mental Health Services is accepting applications for fiscal year (FY) 2014 Statewide Family Network Program grants. The purpose of this program is to enhance state capacity and infrastructure to better respond to the needs of children and adolescents with serious emotional disturbances and their families by providing information, referrals, and support to families who have a child with a mental health challenge, and to create a mechanism for families to participate in state and local mental health services planning and policy development. Significant to Network faithful is that the amount of funding for these grants has been increased to $98,000 per year. There are up to five awards available so sharpen those pencils and get to writin'. Please remember that funding estimates for this announcement are based on an annualized Continuing Resolution and do not reflect the final FY 2014 appropriation. Applicants should be aware that funding amounts are subject to the availability of funds. But that shouldn't stop you from applying!

Register today for the 27th Annual Children's Mental Health Research & Policy Conference   
We are oh so close to announcing the agenda for the conference. The proposals selected to present are absolutely excellent. You are gonna love it! Looking forward to seeing you at the 27th Annual Children's Mental Health Research & Policy Conference in Tampa, Florida March 2 - 5, 2014. 

Georgetown Training Institutes - are you ready?
Speaking of conferences, don't make vacation plans for July, unless of course, those vacation plans include attending the Georgetown Training Institutes July 16 - 20, 2014 in lovely Washington DC. Get all the details and register already!

From mental illness to mental wellness: A story of hope and recovery
The International Bipolar Foundation is out with another great webinar. Dr. Jennifer Bahr shares her story of personal transformation from early struggles leading to a diagnosis of bipolar disorder to living mentally well. Dr. Bahr provides a unique perspective that is rarely found in this field as both a patient and a provider with experience in both the conventional and natural fields of medicine. Through sharing of her lived experience she provides hope to those recently diagnosed or struggling for recovery that you can live very well with bipolar disorder. The focus will be on her story, but will include some information on general natural therapies that can be employed to get better results from any treatment method used. Check it out Network faithful!

State approaches to Medicaid expansion
The National Academy for State Health Policy has a great webinar coming up on January 27th. This webinar will provide a closer look at the various ways states are expanding Medicaid to those who are newly eligible for the program. Network faithful interested in how states are addressing the issue of Medicaid expansion are encouraged to attend.

Upcoming conference on supporting children affected by parental co-occurring disorders
Network faithful may be interested in an upcoming training conference that will focus on ways to support children affected by parental co-occurring disorders. Attend this national symposium to help formulate an informed response to address the needs of children whose parents have co-occurring disorders. Plenty of time to plan for this one - the dates are June 30 - July 2, 2014.

Resources

Is Friday Update workin' for ya?

A big THANK YOU for reading and participating in Friday Update each and every week. Our promise to you is that we will work 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 2014? 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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We love feedback so let us know how we can improve the website to better meet your needs. Contact us here. We run this operation on your donations. 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. Thanks again to so many of you who are spreading the word. We are indeed a collective voice and your support is greatly appreciated.

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

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