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Friday Update 10-18-13

Greetings faithful readers. Talk about a week of rancor and grandstanding. The fact that we were on the brink of financial peril suggests the need for all parties concerned to take a deep breath. How about a little Smash Mouth singing War's hit song "Why can't we be friends" to help us all take a moment before diving into the weeks offerings. Enjoy the video and then get to readin' Friday Update. We got work to do!

Most important reads for this week

Healthy Transitions Initiative funding... meeting set with Senate Appropriations staff
We are just a few weeks away from our meeting with Senate Appropriations staff to discuss the Healthy Transitions Initiative. Now is the time to send in your letters of support to help build our case for focusing attention on healthy approaches to meeting the needs of transition-age youth with mental health challenges. At this point in time our only enemy is silence. So speak up!

How are federal budget cuts affecting you?
The debt ceiling crisis has been averted. Whew! Now we can breathe easy, right? Wrong. The agreement to raise the debt ceiling was no more than a punt on fourth and long. Let us be mindful that government funding runs dry on January 15 and the new debt ceiling date is predicted for February 7th. What this means for us is that we need to double our efforts to document examples of the impact of federal budget cuts on children's mental health services and supports. Okay Network faithful, time to speak your mind. Send your stories in today!

Hogg Foundation issues RFP for coordination of seclusion and restraint reduction group
The Hogg Foundation is inviting proposals from eligible organizations in Texas to coordinate, support, and sustain an existing seclusion and restraint reduction leadership group. The goals of the group are to identify and address systemic barriers to seclusion and restraint reduction, identify best practices and promote alternatives to seclusion and restraint, and recognize and celebrate successful organizational culture change. One grant of up to $300,000 over the course of three years will be awarded to an eligible 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, governmental entity, or higher education institution. Respondents must be Texas-based or have offices, chapters, or affiliates in Texas. Proposals submitted as a collaborative project between multiple entities are encouraged. Okay Texas Network faithful, you gotta win this one!

27th Annual Children's Mental Health Research & Policy Conference - Call for proposals closes October 31st 
Okay Network faithful, just a few more days to get your proposal in for the 27th Annual Children's Mental Health Research & Policy Conference. We have a great lineup of speakers including the 16th Surgeon General David Satcher, Carter Center Mental Health Director Thom Bornemann, an amazing plenary on youth in transition and a few more that should be announced in the next few weeks. Sharpen those #2 pencils and get to writin'!

Georgetown Training Institutes - Call for Proposals now open! 
Speaking of great conferences, the 2014 Georgetown University Training Institutes on improving services and supports for children, adolescents, and young adults with or at risk for mental health challenges and their families will be here before you know it. Time to be thinking of a winning proposal that you can write so that you can be an integral part of this wonderful conference.

CMS launches new tool to review health & dental plans
CMS has launched a new tool that makes it easy to see the health and dental plans that are available where you live. You can now look to see what is available in your area before you create an account and apply for coverage. Have faith in the ACA rollout Network faithful, improvements are happening daily!

9 things Millenials need to know about Obamacare (but likely don't)
Okay Millenials, listen up. According to a recent story in Kaiser Health News only 10 percent of young Americans say they are very familiar with the Affordable Care Act. Take a minute to read the 9 things you need to know about Obamacare.

Senators identify inconsistency in ACA language impacting Alaska Natives and American Indians
It turns out that there is a glitch in the language of the Affordable Care Act that could potentially prevent many Alaska Natives and American Indians from receiving health benefits they may be eligible for. Senators Mark Begich of Alaska, Max Baucus of Montana, Tom Udall of New Mexico, Brian Schatz of Hawaii and Al Franken of Minnesota have introduced legislation to clarify exactly who qualifies as an "Indian" under the Affordable Care Act. As it currently stands, the law includes several different definitions of Native American, setting the stage for confusion about eligibility for benefits and requirements for coverage.

Preventing child firearm mortality – tips for providers and families
Another great Morning Zen piece by Kevin Dwyer. In this post Kevin offers practical strategies for reducing children's firearm deaths plus offers a sobering reminder of how much needs to be done in this area. Excellent prevention tips included for both mental health professionals and family members!

5.2 million people won't qualify for Medicaid or subsidies for private insurance in the 26 states not expanding Medicaid
Lest you forget the debilitating impact of the decision by some states not to expand Medicaid, the Kaiser Family Foundation is out with a new analysis that shows just how much pain will be inflicted. The analysis provides state-by-state estimates of poor uninsured adults who fall into the "Coverage Gap" under the Affordable Care Act. 5.2 Million people who won't qualify for Medicaid or subsidies for private insurance live in the 26 states not expanding Medicaid under the law.

Healthy Young Americans YouTube Challenge
The National Leadership Council on African-American Behavioral Health is out with an innovative and fun project designed to get young people signed up for healthcare. Read their announcement and start filming!

Perlman Foundation announces Second Annual Bridging The Gap Awards
The Perlman Foundation is inviting applications for its second annual Bridging the Gap Awards, a matching grant program which assists smaller-sized charitable organizations that exemplify the foundation's mission to support lower-income children, families, and nonprofit organizations working to improve communities across the United States. Recipients will be awarded one-time matching grants ranging from $5,000 to $20,000 to further their missions. To be eligible, organizations must have an annual budget between $25,000 and $500,000; operate in Alabama, California, Ohio, North Carolina, South Carolina, or Texas; and be "changemakers" in the areas of education, the arts, mentorship, college preparation, civic engagement, family and parental development, literacy, youth leadership and development, or neighborhood beautification. Sounds like Network faithful to me. Get on it if you live in one of the competing states.

Bringing accountable care to the safety net
A coalition of 10 community health centers in the Minneapolis–St. Paul area recently formed one of the nation's first safety-net accountable care organizations—the Federally Qualified Health Center Urban Health Network, or FUHN, which seeks to provide higher-quality, lower-cost care to some 23,000 Medicaid beneficiaries. Looks like a potential model for others to follow.

Prudential Spirit of Community Awards Program invites entries from young volunteers
The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards program annually honors middle and high school students across the U.S. for helping to improve their communities through volunteer activities. The program's goals are to applaud young people who are making a positive difference in their towns and neighborhoods, and to inspire others to think about how they might contribute to their communities. Sponsored by Prudential Financial, Inc. in partnership with the National Association of Secondary School Principals, the awards honor outstanding community service performed during the previous year by young people in grades 5 through 12 at the local, state, and national levels. Check out the details and get to applying.

The Affordable Care Act's new resources for improving the health of low-income families
The Commonwealth Fund's recently released Scorecard on State Health System Performance for Low-Income Populations finds that people who live in households with below-average incomes are disproportionately at risk for experiencing the shortcomings of the U.S. health care system. With the Affordable Care Act, however, state and local leaders now have significant new resources and tools to begin to close the geographic and income divide in health care. In a new issue brief, Commonwealth Fund researchers show which provisions of the health reform law will most benefit Americans with low or modest incomes, including: affordable health insurance options, initiatives to strengthen primary care and improve care coordination, support for providers serving low-income communities, greater accountability for the quality and cost of care, and investments in public health.

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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 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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