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Friday Update 12-12-14 

Greetings faithful readers. Oh man, an amazing week in Washington, DC, filled with a cornucopia of new ideas, the tugs and pulls of perspectives on mental health bills from both sides, and a renewed perspective on the important work of the Children's Mental Health Network. And in the midst of it all... still not done with the AOT dialogue summary. Say what? Patience, Network faithful. For insight into the inner workings of my brain (now that is a scary image), I have the perfect video for you that just about sums up the process I go through each week writing Friday Update. Okay, Network faithful, be kind, enjoy the video and then get to readin' Friday Update!

Most important reads for this week

I ask members of Congress to look those Newtown families in the eye 
Agree or disagree, this CNN article gives more insight to congressman Murphy and his quest for mental health reform. For Network faithful who love the congressman, you will like this piece. For Network faithful who are exasperated with the congressman, you should read this piece to understand better what drives him. Look for my armchair quarterback analysis of the congressman this coming Friday as part of the (ahem) long overdue summary of our last dialogue on Assisted Outpatient Treatment. 

Maryland pushing for new outpatient civil commitment law 
Network faithful take note – Maryland is in the midst of wrestling with the issue of assisted outpatient treatment. The state Department of Health and Mental Hygiene has outlined legislation that proposes an outpatient civil commitment law that would allow judges to order individuals with dangerous mental illness to undergo treatment while remaining in the community.

CMHNetwork #GivingTuesday! 
Thanks to everyone who contributed to the Network on #Giving Tuesday. And for the rest of Network nation, remember that we are a 501 c-3 corporation so anything you donate is tax deductible! Okay, let those fingers fly on your keyboard and help us in our quest to produce meaningful mental health reform for youth with emotional challenges, their families and the communities in which they live. 

28th Annual Research & Policy Conference on Child, Adolescent, and Young Adult Behavioral Health 
If you submitted a proposal and have not received notification of the decision from the conference committee, contact me at scott@cmhnetwork.org. We are finalizing the agenda this week and it is looking fantastic! C'mon now, get registered, buy some extra SPF 15, and ask for a pair of Bermuda shorts for Christmas. You want to be stylin' for sunny Tampa, Florida in March! 

NAMI report cites failure of Congress to enact comprehensive mental health legislation for declining funding 
If you ever wondered why we continue to implore politicians to expand beyond soundbites, read the latest NAMI report on the mental health system in America. You might want to take a bromo before reading, cuz it ain't pretty. Momentum for reform of the nation's mental health care system slowed in 2014 as a result of failure by Congress to enact comprehensive mental health care legislation and a decrease in the number of states strengthening investment in mental health services, according to a report released by the National Alliance on Mental Illness. The reportState Mental Health Legislation 2014 stands in contrast to one issued in 2013 which described a dramatic response by many states following the tragedy at Sandy Hook  Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. on Dec. 14, 2012. This report is an important read full of useful data. A sobering reminder of how much work lies ahead to achieve meaningful mental health reform. 

National Data Collection project needs to hear from families 
Over the past 25 years, the number of family-run organizations has steadily increased across the country. Throughout this time, very little data has been collected nationally about the types of services, numbers of families and the impact and outcomes achieved by family-run organizations. FREDLA is trying to change that by conducting a survey of family organizations. Let's help them out, Network faithful! 

Early Childhood Mental Health Partnership releases integration toolkit
The Early Childhood Mental Health Partnership is pleased to release a new toolkit for programs and providers interested in integrating child mental health into pediatric primary care. The toolkit offers a comprehensive collection of tools and tips for incorporating early childhood mental health personnel and practices into the pediatric primary care setting. 

Igniting the Creative Fire: The Neurobiology of Creativity in Bipolar Disorder 
The International Bipolar Foundation is out with another timely webinar. Don't miss this fascinating conversation about the neurobiology of creativity in bipolar disorder. 

Show Me the Evidence: The value of evidence-based initiatives 
Show Me the Evidence tells the story of how the Obama administration planned and enacted several initiatives to fund social programs based on rigorous evidence of success and thereby created a fundamental change in the role of evidence in federal policymaking. Interesting read. The future is now! 

Mentally Healthy School Crisis Prevention & Intervention Training 
The National Association of School Psychologists is out with a new training curriculum that focuses on crisis prevention, intervention, response, and recovery. The curriculum called PREPaRE, is designed to provide school-employed mental health professionals and other educators with training on how to best fill the roles and responsibilities generated by their membership on school safety and crisis response teams. Check it out Network faithful! 

Performance Partnership Pilot: New program focuses on improving the lives of disconnected youth 
Over five million 14-to-24-year-olds in the United States (U.S.) are out of school and not working. In many cases, they face the additional challenges of being low-income, homeless, in foster care, or involved in the justice system. This blog post describes a new initiative, Performance Partnership Pilot (P3), among five federal agencies to help communities overcome the obstacles they face in achieving better outcomes for these "disconnected youth." 

Nearly one in five adult Americans experienced mental illness in 2013 
A new report finds that 43.8 million adults (age 18 or older) experienced a diagnosable mental illness in 2013. The report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) also finds that 10 million adults experienced a serious mental illness and 15.7 million adults experienced a major depressive episode in 2013. 

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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 rely on your donations to ensure that the Network remains viable. So do what you do best, Network faithful, make a tax deductible donation at the level that works for you - $25.00 / $50.00 / $75.00 /$100.00 or more. Unable to make a contribution at this time? No worries, Friday Update will always be free, but give if you can. 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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