The Carter Center is Looking For a New Director

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Thom Bornemann will retire from the Carter Center on September 1. Below is the announcement for his position. 

Dir, Programs (TCC / NGO), Mental Health Program, The Carter Center

981090:The Carter Center

Job Description
A not-for-profit, nongovernmental organization, The Carter Center has helped to improve life for people in more than 80 countries by resolving conflicts; advancing democracy, human rights, and economic opportunity; preventing diseases; and improving mental health services. The Carter Center was founded in 1982 by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and former First Lady Rosalynn Carter, in partnership with Emory University, to advance peace and health worldwide. The Mental Health Program (MHP) mission is to reduce the stigma and discrimination surrounding mental health and substance use disorders and advance policies that improve access to high-quality mental health and substance use services. The program works internationally and domestically. Current programmatic activities include but are not limited to stigma reduction, including a fellowship program for journalists, child and adolescent behavioral health services in the state of Georgia, and scaling up mental health services in post-conflict Liberia. MHP reflects the lifetime body of work of former First Lady Rosalynn Carter.

Minimum: Master’s degree in public health, social sciences, public administration or a related field and ten years of professional program-related experience in mental health or public health which includes five years at a management level; or equivalent combination of education, experience and training.

Preferred Qualifications
The Director manages all aspects of the Mental Health Program to demonstrate quantifiable reductions in stigma and discrimination regarding mental health services and substance abuse, and improvements for access to mental health services; serves as an advisor to the Vice President, Health Programs and Carter Center senior leadership on mental health issues; and works with Mrs. Carter and her staff to support her involvement in the Mental Health Program including providing monthly briefings, talking points and speeches; represents Mrs. Carter at private and public events.

Preferred: Doctoral degree in a health field and a degree in social work or public health; or the equivalent combination of education and experience (e.g., psychology or social work with extensive field experience); two years of experience with international programs. Effective communication and personnel and resource management skills are a must. Frequent travel to program countries to help supervise and manage field operations will be required, as well as significant domestic travel in support of programmatic activities.

A Bipartisan Approach to Poverty

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By Anthony Biglan, Ph.D., Neil Wollman, Ph.D., and Diana F. Fishbein, Ph.D.

There remains a great divide between the two parties on how to address the problem of poverty. The stark contrasts were highlighted in conflicting views expressed about the recently released poverty recommendations from Speaker Paul Ryan's poverty task force. It might seem there is little hope in bridging this divide, but we would argue differently. We are convinced that our nation can make significant progress in addressing the problem of poverty if the trend toward using behavioral science to guide policymaking reaches its full potential.

  • Read the full article here.

Senators Press for Mental Health Parity

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Props to the eighteen Senators who wrote a letter to the White House pressing for more to be done to ensure mental health parity laws are being followed and that people with mental health challenges are getting equal access to treatment. 

In the letter to White House Domestic Policy Council Director Cecilia Muñoz, the Senators laid out specific recommendations for the Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Parity Taskforce to consider when developing its recommendations. The recommendations include random audits and public disclosure of investigations into health plans' parity violations; collection of information on rates and reasons for claims denials; and requirements on health plans to provide information to providers and consumers about treatment limitations for behavioral health services. The task force will be presenting a report to the President no later than October 31st.

  • Read the letter here.
  • Learn more about the Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Parity Taskforce here.

Child Mind Institute Explores Issues That Affect Girls More Often Than Boys

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When it comes to the emotional well-being of children, we tend to think of girls and boys as more alike than they are different — they need the same kind of nurturing. But girls develop differently from boys, especially after they reach puberty, and they experience different pressures. That makes them vulnerable to some different emotional and behavioral challenges.

This week on we explore issues that affect girls more often than boys, signs that they are struggling and ways it's important to support their healthy development.
Caroline Miller, Editorial Director

Mood Disorders and Teenage Girls 
Why they are twice as vulnerable as boys are to depression and anxiety, and what signs and symptoms you should look for.

13 Ways to Boost Your Daughter's Self-Esteem 
How to help girls build confidence based on what they can do, not what they look like.

How Girls With ADHD Are Different 
Many of them hide their difficulties, and the emotional costs of being overlooked can be great.

Why Girls Apologize Too Much 
How to help them stop saying 'sorry' and express themselves with self-confidence.

Eating Disorders and College 
Why the first years away from home are a perfect storm for anorexia and bulimia, especially for young women.

What Drives Self-Injury and How to Treat It 
As many as a quarter of all teenage girls cut themselves, often in secret.

Social Media and Self-Doubt 
Social feeds are setting unreal standards and making young women feel 'like everyone has it together but you.'

  • Learn more about the Child Mind Institute here.

Make America Safe: 5 Ways to Transform Policing

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In the wake of Baton Rouge, Dallas, and St. Paul, our nation is once again in heated debate over what we do and do not want from law enforcement. The Republican National Convention opened with a parade of speakers vowing to "Make America Safe Again,” while President Obama has caucused with both law-enforcement and racial-justice advocates calling for reform. But if we are to truly make America safe, our discussion about different forms of policing must be informed by the same communities in which policing has become such a flashpoint. Rather than discredit those who feel marginalized, we need to provide platforms that empower communities to have meaningful input into how they are policed.

In this commentary in The Nation, Joint Center President Spencer Overton and Senior Fellow Kami Chavis detail five ways to make America safer by transforming policing. The five proposals are based on community insights gathered during a Joint Center/ Joyce Foundation/ Urban Institute research project focused on racial disparities, policing, and gun violence.

National Wraparound Initiative Seeking Volunteers to Take Video-Booster Training

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~ From our friends at the National Wraparound Initiative ~

nwiTo the Wraparound community,

The NWI needs your help!

There is an expressed need in the field for guidance on how to recognize skillful practice by Wraparound facilitators. We have been developing a series of online, video-based booster trainings on a variety of Wraparound topics. With this new video booster training process, we hope to provide guidance to the field by demonstrating best practices with footage of actual Wraparound sessions.

In order to learn about how effective these booster trainings may be, we are conducting a study and asking for your help. Specifically, we are asking if you would be interested in taking the training and providing feedback about it. Participation is completely voluntary and you can choose to stop participating at any time. However, incentives are available in the form of e-gift cards to major retailers as a thank-you for your time.

(NOTE: We estimate the training will take about 75 minutes and your responses are needed within 2 weeks of starting the training.) Eligible participants should have some experience in Wraparound facilitation and be over 18 years of age.

Please email Emily Taylor at if you would like more information about participating in this research.

  • Learn more about the National Wraparound Initiative here.

Frustrated You Can’t Find A Therapist? They’re Frustrated, Too

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There are a lot of people suffering from a mental health condition who need therapy. And there are a lot of therapists who want to help them. But both sides believe the insurance companies that are supposed to bring them together are actually keeping them apart.

Insurance companies, for their part, say there’s a shortage of therapists.

But it’s not that simple. Especially in urban areas, there are lots of therapists. They just don’t want to work with the insurance companies.

Take Michael Klein, a psychologist practicing in San Francisco for more than 20 years. He considers it his spiritual calling to help people calm their social anxiety and to help couples stop fighting and build trust.

“With the right kind of support, they blossom,” he said.

Klein doesn’t accept insurance. In fact, nearly half of therapists in California don’t take insurance, according to a recent survey from the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists. The same is true of psychiatrists. There are two reasons why, Klein says.

“One, because the reimbursement rates don’t provide a living wage,” Klein said. “You can’t own a home and drive a car and survive on what in-network providers pay you.”

Most insurance companies pay therapists in their networks between $60 and $80 per session. In the San Francisco area and Los Angeles, therapists say the market rate for therapy is more like $150 to $200 a session.

“The second thing is the paperwork. For an hour of psychotherapy you spend a half-hour on paperwork,” Klein said. “I got into this field because I don’t like paperwork,” he said, laughing.

On that first point — money — insurance companies acknowledge that they may have to raise their rates to attract more therapists, particularly in rural areas. But they also say it’s on therapists to compromise.

“I think it’s unrealistic to expect either the state of California taxpayers or for health plans to just pay providers whatever they ask to be paid,” said Charles Bacchi, CEO of the California Association of Health Plans, a trade group for the insurance industry.

“That’s not sustainable,” he continued. “So you’re either in the system, and you want to be part of our health care system. Or you want to do concierge service outside of it and just pretend our health care system doesn’t exist. That’s your choice as a provider. Our job is to find providers that are willing to be part of the solution and willing to provide coverage to those of low and moderate income.”

That’s exactly how San Francisco psychologist Jonathan Horowitz feels. He wants to take insurance, but he has hit roadblock after roadblock. He sent out 10 applications to insurance companies and got nowhere.

“I might knock on Cigna’s door and say, ‘Hey, are you guys accepting any new therapists in 94105?’ ” he said, referring to his ZIP code. “And they might say, ‘No, we’re not doing that. We’re totally full.’ ” 

Six different companies told Horowitz their networks were full.

So even though a patient might call seven therapists in her insurance network and not be able to get an appointment, insurance companies are telling new and willing therapists that there’s no demand for them.

“I definitely think it’s to control costs,” Horowitz said. “That’s very clear.”

He says he tried for a year, and one company finally said yes. Sort of. Horowitz never got a formal notice saying his clinic was admitted to the network.

“It was just like, ‘Oh wait, it looks like we’re suddenly getting a couple referrals from them. I wonder if we’re in their directory,’ ” he explained.

They were. Sort of. The clinic was listed in the directory. But the therapists who work at the clinic weren’t approved yet, meaning there was no one who was allowed to see the clients calling the clinic.

So Horowitz tried to call the insurance company to clear things up. He tried many, many times. I sat with him during a recent attempt to navigate the automated phone system:

Insurance company automated attendant: First I’ll need your provider identification number. If you need a moment, say, hold on.

Horowitz: Hold on.

Sound familiar? Turns out therapists get the automated run around as much as patients do. Horowitz persevered.

Insurance company: OK, please say or enter your PIN.

Horowitz: My PIN? Is this my PIN?

He enters a few numbers.

Insurance company: I’m sorry I couldn’t find an account using the info you gave me. Do you already belong to the network?

Horowitz: I think so?

Insurance company: Sorry, yes or no.

Horowitz: Um, I don’t know … yes?

Insurance company: All right. And have you already requested a credentialing application?

Horowitz: Yes.

Insurance company: Sorry, could you repeat that?

These experiences didn’t bode well. “Honestly, I got a really bad feeling about it,” he said.

Horowitz figured, if this is what it’s like just finding out if he’s in the network, how’s it going to be when he has a problem with a claim?

“I could just see that getting out of hand really quickly,” he said. “So at that point we just said, do we really even want to do this?”

Furthermore, he says, the reimbursement rate was even lower than he expected, and the billing was so complicated that he was going to have to hire someone to do it. He says he couldn’t afford that.

“We made the decision that we’re just going to cancel the contract and continue to go with cash,” he said.

Easier said than done. Horowitz hasn’t been able to get through to anyone on the phone to cancel the contract. In the meantime, prospective patients are finding his name on the directory and are calling for appointments. Horowitz says he just has to say no.

This story is part of a partnership that includes KQED, NPR and Kaiser Health News.

Call for Abstracts: Integrating Evidence-Based Practice and Implementation Science in Academic and Field Curricula

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~ From our colleagues at the Child & Family Evidence Based Practice Consortium ~ 

The Child and Family Evidence Based Practice Consortium encourages you to submit an abstract for a special issue of the Journal of Social Work Education that focuses upon a key conceptual next step in professional workforce development: How to integrate evidence based practice and implementation science in academic and field curricula.

Impetus for this special issue emerged from the Consortium’s study of evidence-based practice in North American MSW curricula (Bertram, Charnin, Kerns, & Long, 2015) and subsequent Janus series of webinars for MSW faculty ( ).

  • Please review the call for abstracts. Note the July 31, 2016 submission deadline. If selected, the final manuscript will be due by December 31, 2016.

Call for Abstracts: Integrating Evidence-Based Practice and Implementation Science in Academic and Field Curricula
Co-Editors: Rosalyn M. Bertram, PhD (University of Missouri-Kansas City); Suzanne E. U. Kerns, PhD (University of Denver); and Patricia L. Kohl, PhD (Washington University in St. Louis)

For this special issue of the Journal of Social Work Education, we invite proposals for manuscripts that will focus on how to integrate evidence-based practice and implementation science into academic and field curricula. This special issue will advance our discourse beyond previous debate about the nature and appropriateness of evidence-based practice.

Proposal abstracts of no more than 500 words should be submitted by July 31, 2016. Editors of the special issue will select the most relevant abstracts and send invitations to submit complete manuscripts in September 2016. Invited manuscripts of accepted proposals must then be submitted for peer review by December 31, 2016. We expect this important special issue to be published in early 2018.

The context for social work education is rapidly changing. We must develop social workers who consistently use evidence to inform their practice, who are capable of delivering empirically supported interventions, and who understand and can apply implementation science and frameworks to support effective service delivery.

Referencing a recent Institute of Medicine report, then NIMH Director, Thomas Insel, challenged service professions tofully embrace and integrate evidence-based practice. Increasingly, major funding sources require delivery of practice models with proven effectiveness for specific populations and behaviors of concern. Furthermore, despite political rancor, bipartisan legislation is emerging that requires delivery of evidence-based practice, including the following:

  • The Evidence-Based Policymaking Commission Act, sponsored by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), has been approved by the Senate and the House of Representatives.
  • The Every Student Succeeds Act includes more than 80 mentions of evidence and evidence-based practice and distributes power to states and districts to implement those provisions.
  • Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) is developing bipartisan congressional support for the Families First Act, which will require programs supported by Title IV-E funds to deliver well-defined promising practices beginning in 2017, then evidence-informed practices, and by 2023, evidence-based practices.

We seek conceptual and research-based manuscripts that present the following:

  • Examples of how the process of evidence-based practice, the delivery of evidence-based practice models, and the application of implementation science can be successfully integrated into academic and field curricula.
  • Demonstrations of how a focus on implementation science and frameworks in academic and field curricula manifests social work values and ethics and addresses accreditation standards.
  • Demonstrations of how teaching a process of evidence-based practice, as well as specific evidence-based treatment models, manifests social work values and ethics and addresses accreditation standards.
  • Strategies to successfully overcome faculty barriers to integrating the process of evidence-based practice, specific evidence supported treatment models, as well as implementation science and frameworks in academic and field curricula.

Timeline for Proposal Abstracts and Manuscript Submissions

  • A proposal abstract of no more than 500 words outlining the basis and scope of a complete manuscript should be sent by July 31, 2016, to Rosalyn M. Bertram PhD (
  • Editors of the special issue will select the most relevant abstracts and send an invitation to submit a complete manuscript by September 2016.

President Obama: "We are better than this."

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Such senseless tragedy this week. Included below are President Obama's remarks after the mass killing in Dallas last night. Below that are President Obama's remarks after the senseless killing of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile. If you haven't yet, you should take some time to watch the President's full remarks, or read them below.

Good evening, everybody. I know we've been on a long flight, but given the extraordinary interest in the shootings that took place in Louisiana and Minnesota, I thought it would be important for me to address all of you directly.

And I want to begin by expressing my condolences for the families of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile.

As I said in the statement that I posted on Facebook, we have seen tragedies like this too many times. The Justice Department, I know, has opened a civil rights investigation in Baton Rouge. The governor of Minnesota, I understand, is calling for an investigation there, as well. As is my practice, given my institutional role, I can't comment on the specific facts of these cases, and I have full confidence in the Justice Department’s ability to conduct a thorough and fair inquiry.

But what I can say is that all of us as Americans should be troubled by these shootings, because these are not isolated incidents. They’re symptomatic of a broader set of racial disparities that exist in our criminal justice system. And I just want to give people a few statistics to try to put in context why emotions are so raw around these issues.

According to various studies -- not just one, but a wide range of studies that have been carried out over a number of years -- African Americans are 30 percent more likely than whites to be pulled over. After being pulled over, African Americans and Hispanics are three times more likely to be searched. Last year, African Americans were shot by police at more than twice the rate of whites. African Americans are arrested at twice the rate of whites. African American defendants are 75 percent more likely to be charged with offenses carrying mandatory minimums. They receive sentences that are almost 10 percent longer than comparable whites arrested for the same crime.

So that if you add it all up, the African American and Hispanic population, who make up only 30 percent of the general population, make up more than half of the incarcerated population.

Now, these are facts. And when incidents like this occur, there’s a big chunk of our fellow citizenry that feels as if because of the color of their skin, they are not being treated the same. And that hurts. And that should trouble all of us. This is not just a black issue. It's not just a Hispanic issue. This is an American issue that we should all care about. All fair-minded people should be concerned.

Now, let me just say we have extraordinary appreciation and respect for the vast majority of police officers who put their lives on the line to protect us every single day. They’ve got a dangerous job. It is a tough job. And as I've said before, they have a right to go home to their families, just like anybody else on the job. And there are going to be circumstances in which they’ve got to make split-second decisions. We understand that.

But when we see data that indicates disparities in how African Americans and Latinos may be treated in various jurisdictions around the country, then it's incumbent on all of us to say, we can do better than this; we are better than this -- and to not have it degenerate into the usual political scrum. We should be able to step back, reflect, and ask ourselves, what can we do better so that everybody feels as if they’re equal under the law?

Now, the good news is, is that there are practices we can institute that will make a difference. Last year, we put together a task force that was comprised of civil rights activists and community leaders, but also law enforcement officials -- police captains, sheriffs. And they sat around a table and they looked at the data and they looked at best practices, and they came up with specific recommendations and steps that could ensure that the trust between communities and police departments were rebuilt and incidents like this would be less likely to occur.

And there are some jurisdictions out there that have adopted these recommendations. But there are a whole bunch that have not. And if anything good comes out of these tragedies, my hope is, is that communities around the country take a look and say, how can we implement these recommendations, and that the overwhelming majority of police officers who are doing a great job every single day, and are doing their job without regard to race, that they encourage their leadership and organizations that represent them to get behind these recommendations.

Because, ultimately, if you can rebuild trust between communities and the police departments that serve them, that helps us solve crime problems. That will make life easier for police officers. They will have more cooperation. They will be safer. They will be more likely to come home. So it would be good for crime-fighting and it will avert tragedy.

And I'm encouraged by the fact that the majority of leadership in police departments around the country recognize this. But change has been too slow and we have to have a greater sense of urgency about this.

I'm also encouraged, by the way, that we have bipartisan support for criminal justice reform working its way through Congress. It has stalled and lost some momentum over the last couple of months, in part because Congress is having difficulty, generally, moving legislation forward, and we're in a political season. But there are people of goodwill on the Republican side and the Democratic side who I've seen want to try to get something done here. That, too, would help provide greater assurance across the country that those in power, those in authority are taking these issues seriously. So this should be a spur to action to get that done, to get that across the finish line. Because I know there are a lot of people who want to get it done.

Let me just make a couple of final comments. I mentioned in my Facebook statement that I hope we don't fall into the typical patterns that occur after these kinds of incidents occur, where right away there’s a lot of political rhetoric and it starts dividing people instead of bringing folks together. To be concerned about these issues is not to be against law enforcement. There are times when these incidents occur, and you see protests and you see vigils. And I get letters -- well-meaning letters sometimes -- from law enforcement saying, how come we’re under attack? How come not as much emphasis is made when police officers are shot?

And so, to all of law enforcement, I want to be very clear: We know you have a tough job. We mourn those in uniform who are protecting us who lose their lives. On a regular basis, I have joined with families in front of Capitol Hill to commemorate the incredible heroism that they’ve displayed. I’ve hugged family members who’ve lost loved ones doing the right thing. I know how much it hurts. On a regular basis, we bring in those who’ve done heroic work in law enforcement, and have survived. Sometimes they’ve been injured. Sometimes they’ve risked their lives in remarkable ways. And we applaud them and appreciate them, because they’re doing a really tough job really well.

There is no contradiction between us supporting law enforcement -- making sure they’ve got the equipment they need, making sure that their collective bargaining rights are recognized, making sure that they’re adequately staffed, making sure that they are respected, making sure their families are supported -- and also saying that there are problems across our criminal justice system, there are biases -- some conscious and unconscious -- that have to be rooted out. That’s not an attack on law enforcement. That is reflective of the values that the vast majority of law enforcement bring to the job.

But I repeat: If communities are mistrustful of the police, that makes those law enforcement officers who are doing a great job and are doing the right thing, it makes their lives harder. So when people say “Black Lives Matter,” that doesn’t mean blue lives don’t matter; it just means all lives matter, but right now the big concern is the fact that the data shows black folks are more vulnerable to these kinds of incidents.

This isn’t a matter of us comparing the value of lives. This is recognizing that there is a particular burden that is being placed on a group of our fellow citizens. And we should care about that. We can’t dismiss it. We can’t dismiss it.

So let me just end by saying I actually, genuinely, truly believe that the vast majority of American people see this as a problem that we should all care about. And I would just ask those who question the sincerity or the legitimacy of protests and vigils and expressions of outrage, who somehow label those expressions of outrage as “political correctness,” I’d just ask folks to step back and think, what if this happened to somebody in your family? How would you feel?

To be concerned about these issues is not political correctness. It’s just being an American, and wanting to live up to our best and highest ideals. And it’s to recognize the reality that we’ve got some tough history and we haven’t gotten through all of that history yet. And we don’t expect that in my lifetime, maybe not in my children’s lifetime, that all the vestiges of that past will have been cured, will have been solved, but we can do better. People of goodwill can do better.

And doing better involves not just addressing potential bias in the criminal justice system. It’s recognizing that too often we’re asking police to man the barricades in communities that have been forgotten by all of us for way too long, in terms of substandard schools, and inadequate jobs, and a lack of opportunity.

We’ve got to tackle those things. We can do better. And I believe we will do better.

Thanks very much, everybody.

Watch the President's full remarks here.

Share Your Mental Health Experience With the Parity Task Force

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The Mental Health Substance Use Disorder Parity Task Force wants to hear from patients, families, consumer advocates, healthcare providers, insurers, and other stakeholders on their experience with mental health and substance use disorder parity requirements. Comments are sought on a range of topics, including how to improve understanding of parity among key stakeholders; examples of the types of information commonly seen in health plans and when insurance issuers share deny coverage for a mental health or substance use disorder benefit; best practices used by state insurance commissioners to ensure the health plans and policies issued in their states are in compliance with parity; and how health plans and issuers ensure that their policies are in compliance with parity, particularly the requirements regarding non-quantitative treatment limits.

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