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Friday update 4-26-13

Greetings faithful readers - Happy Friday (stretching into Saturday) to you. Dang, just after paying for my ticket for the last train to Clarksville, wouldn't ya know that Congress figured how to "un-sequester" a few bucks to keep the air traffic controllers working at full speed to avoid delays at airports across the country. Guess they couldn't get train tickets to go back home for their recess... At any rate, enjoy the Monkees and then get to readin'.

Most important reads for this week

The Incredible Shrinking Prevention Fund
Sarah Kliff of the Washington Post has written a great article in which she makes a dream she had become a reality - create an easy-to-read graph that shows where the Prevention Fund dollars are going. Or as was the case in her dream, and unfortunately in reality, the incredible shrinking Prevention Fund... Review the chart she created and then read her post. It will bring you up to speed on the challenge we discussed last week in our Morning Zen post "Robbing Peter to pay Paul."

Avalere Health comes out with updated Expansion map - ouch!
Interesting article in the Washington Post that breaks down Medicaid expansion state by state highlighting the work of Avalere Health who have produced a nifty, though somewhat bleak, map showing who's in, who's maybe, who's not sure and who's a solid no. The map is worth looking at so you know the work ahead of you in your state.

Maryland launches Connector Program
After more than a year of "talking" to Network faithful about the Navigator concept we are now beginning to see examples of how states are putting the concept into practice. The Maryland Health Benefit Exchange has just launched the Connector Program in Maryland to provide target populations with in-person education, eligibility and enrollment assistance. In the description of the Navigator role they specifically say, "Navigators and in-person assisters will provide referrals to appropriate agencies… for applicants and enrollees with grievances, complaints, questions or the need for other social services...” This is why it is so important for family advocates to either assume the role of Navigator or get to know the Navigators who will be tasked with helping people with insurance decisions. The more they know about what works in children's mental health and what is and should be available the better!

Medicaid Directors push for coverage for long-term treatment of mentally ill
On April 18, 2013, the National Association of Medicaid Directors sent a letter to Congress outlining several recommendations regarding mental health legislation. Two key recommendations in the letter focused on doing away with a policy that generally prohibits state Medicaid programs from covering long-term treatment for the mentally ill ages 21 to 64, and ensuring continuity of care for individuals with mental illness who transition between Medicaid and Qualified Health Plans (QHPs) offered through Exchanges. (Now, if we can only get them to write a similar letter focused on children and youth!)

USF offers online CE learning modules
The University of South Florida has done it again by being innovative and offering a wonderful array of CE learning modules online through their Applied Behavior Analysis Masters Program, making them accessible to anyone with an internet connection. Über cool!

House Briefing on effective services and supports for youth and young adults
Hey Network faithful, if you are in Washington DC on May 7th you have an open invitation to attend a congressional briefing as part of 2013 National Children's Mental Health Awareness Day. The briefing will focus on effective services and supports for youth and young adults and the value and importance of Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services (SAMHSA) funded grant programs.

The 2013-2014 Youth Justice Board - Model worth replicating!
Okay Network faithful, if you live in New York City, get on this one. If not, why not model it in your community? Founded in 2004, the Youth Justice Board is an after-school program that brings together young people to study and propose solutions to the public safety challenges that most affect them. Board members serve as a credible voice for youth in the public debate about juvenile justice policy in New York City, providing decision-makers with substantive input from this historically underrepresented group.

Zero tolerance in schools? Suspension matters!
Now here is a campaign we can get behind. The Juvenile Justice Project of Louisiana started a campaign to shed light on the problem of suspensions in New Orleans schools. Especially interesting to the Network is the recognition that more often than not the youth who get suspended are those with behavioral issues - and that leads to disciplinary actions, which leads to suspension and likely involvement in the justice system. As Network members with children who have behavioral challenges know all too well, many schools employ a "zero tolerance" policy when dealing with misbehavior. More and more, suspensions are often given as a consequence for minor offenses. So once out of the classroom, any support and structure the class offered is gone, leaving a gaping hole in some critical elements (structure and stability) so important to the lives of youth with emotional and behavioral challenges.

Don't bully me!
The Children's Mental Health Network would like to tip our hat to the good folks at Kidscape in the United Kingdom for producing a very cool booklet on bullying specifically designed for primary age children. Kidscape is the first charity in the UK established specifically to prevent bullying and child sexual abuse.

It wouldn't be Friday Update if we didn't serve up some hot and spicy links (vegan of course) so don't stop now. Work your way through these great postings to the website and then feast on a cornucopia of freshly posted resources... (It must be gettin' close to lunchtime...) Keep reading!

Hot links

New resource postings to the CMHNetwork website this week

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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 hard 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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