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Friday Update 8-15-14  
Greetings faithful readers. A sad week for many of us as we grappled with the news of Robin Williams passing. Congressman Tim Murphy stated in a press release after Williams death, "Perhaps Robin Williams' greatest gift to us, if we choose to accept it, is a focused determination to help those with brain illness and finally take real action to stop the loss of one more precious life." Murphy has been at the center of controversy this past year as he has worked to gain support for his proposed bill H.R. 3717, the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act. Regardless of your thoughts on HR 3717 or your perception of the strategies for improving the mental health delivery system being proposed by Congressman Murphy, take a moment to embrace his phrase "focused determination." Now, more than ever, we need focused determination to improve services and supports for youth with emotional challenges and their families.
 Celebrate the genius of Robin Williams in this classic performance as the Genie in Aladdin and then get to readin' Friday Update!

Most important reads for this week 

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?" 

 

Our strategy for conducting a dialogue among advocates on Assisted Outpatient Treatment 
Legislators rely on well-informed information from the citizenry to make decisions. Our observation is that over the past year, the numerous expert panels, research findings, etc. that have been presented on Assisted Outpatient Treatment have only further polarized entrenched positions. We have not seen evidence of true collaboration on the tough issues. That has to change, and we in the advocacy community have to lead that change. Be sure to check out our approach to conducting this dialogue. Should be fun!

 

National panel explores ways communities can support families with LGBTQ youth 
Research shows that family acceptance contributes significantly to improving the health and well-being for LGBTQ youth and reduces the risk of suicide. Check out this engaging panel discussion about how families can support LGBTQ youth.

New Irish movie examines impact of suicide on family and friends 
Special thanks to Network faithful Graham Jones for sharing his latest film with us. The fifth feature from Graham Jones, award-winning Irish film director,'Davin', examines the reaction of an Irishman's friends and family to the news of his suicide. It is being made freely available online in 136 countries in advance of World Suicide Prevention Day 2014. 

New resources available for working with unaccompanied and immigrant minors 
Thanks to the Center on Trauma and Children at the University of Kentucky for sharing this great resource.

SAMHSA opens tribal agency 
The Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration has created an Office of Tribal Affairs and Policy to be the main point of contact with American-Indian governments and communities. 

Building the case for addressing social determinants of health for children in rural communities 
Be sure to check out the 2014 Rural Behavioral Health Webinar Series. First up in the series is a webinar that will discuss the impact of social determinants and provide strategies for addressing the negative impact of certain social determinants on children, youth and families in rural communities with a special focus on infants, toddlers and preschool age children and their families. 

Bridging service gaps: System integration strategies for service providers working with young adults with mental health issues 
What a week for webinar announcements! And here is another webinar that won't disappoint. Learn about innovative collaborative and service integration strategies developed by staff at the Early Assessment and Support Alliance, a statewide initiative in Oregon with the EASA Center for Excellence (technical assistance) located in Portland and Thresholds Youth Programs in Chicago. The webinar will also feature a young adult perspective on youth involvement in services and will conclude with recommendations for bridging service gaps. 

Bumper crop of useful meditation apps for your smartphone 
We have another bumper crop of great apps for your smartphone from Network faithful "British Invasion." Enjoy!

USF Master of Science (MS) Degree in Child & Adolescent Behavioral Health is online and accepting applications 
The University of South Florida continues to lead the way in preparing a knowledgeable workforce in children's mental health services. Be sure to check out their new Master of Science (MS) degree in Child and Adolescent Behavioral Health. The degree prepares professionals to serve in public and non-profit agencies and schools that work with diverse children and adolescents experiencing behavioral health challenges and their families. Educational opportunities include advancement to doctoral programs in public health and the behavioral and social sciences. Let's see… yep, the next step is to apply! This master's degree program looks to be a great educational opportunity for Network faithful. 

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

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