NAMI Conducting National Survey to Assess Access to Care

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~ A message from our friends at NAMI ~

Affordable mental health and substance use care is crucial to recovery and self-sufficiency. Yet for many, accessing care is like navigating an obstacle course.  NAMI is conducting an online survey to explore what people experience when they attempt to access mental health and substance use care compared to other types of medical care.  By collecting responses from across the country, NAMI hopes to gain a sense of how coverage affects access to care and what difficulties still exist. 

Can you or a loved one get the mental health or substance use care you need? Do you have insurance that covers the costs of your care?  Take the Coverage4Care survey and tell us about your experiences.

The survey takes about 20 minutes. Your answers will help us advocate for coverage for yourself and your family. It doesn’t matter what type of insurance you have (employer-sponsored, individual private plan, Medicaid, Medicare, TRICARE, etc.) or whether you have insurance at all. We want to hear from you.

Spread the word. Share this survey with your family and friends in English or Spanish.

  • The survey closes on Saturday December 31, 2016 at Midnight EST.
  • Questions? Contact Sita Diehl at
  • Learn more about health coverage here.

Post links to your Facebook and Twitter (see below)

NAMI Coverage4Care Survey – Facebook Invitation

Are you able to get the mental health care you need? NAMI would like to hear about your experiences.

We invite you to take the Coverage4Care Survey. It doesn’t matter what type of insurance you have or if you don’t have coverage at all. Your response will help us better advocate for you and your access to quality care. Take the survey today in English or Spanish.

For more information on health coverage see Thank you for your help.

NAMI Coverage4Care Survey – Twitter

  • Are you getting the #mentalhealth #substanceuse care you need? Help NAMI advocate for #parity by completing this survey.
  • Does your family have the health coverage it needs? Help NAMI advocate for quality, affordable #mentalhealth. Take this survey!
  • Do you have the #mentalhealth #substanceuse coverage you need? Take this surveytoday so NAMI can advocate for you.
  • Quality, affordable #mentalhealth care is key to recovery. Help NAMI understand your needs by taking this survey.
  • Is your health care working for you? Tell us about it. Help us advocate for better #mentalhealth care. Take this survey.
  • Can’t find a #mentalhealth provider with your insurance? Tell NAMI about it. Take this survey.
  • Problems finding the care you need? Let us know! Take the survey and help NAMI advocate for quality #mentalhelathcare.
  • Frustrated by the high cost of your #mentalhealth care? Tell us about it. Take this survey.

It's #Giving Tuesday!

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On this #GivingTuesday, make a donation to the Children's Mental Health Network and help keep Friday Update coming to you each and every week - Over 200 weeks and counting, dating back to early 2012! That is over four and one-half years of content-rich information and commentary on the most important policy, research and practice issues in children's mental health delivered to your in-box every week. 

What it costs to produce
Friday Update costs $1,000.00 per week in time and expense to produce. I think it is worth it, and from what I hear from readers across the nation, and increasingly in other countries across the globe, so do you. As a reminder, the CMHNetwork does not take federal funds, and I do not take a salary. All donations go towards supporting the work of the Network.

I hope you'll join others by making a donation to the Children's Mental Health Network today. Your dedication to improving services and supports for children and youth with emotional challenges and their families will be truly appreciated. And I feel confident saying this because every week I hear wonderful stories of affirmation from families, providers and community leaders from across the nation. The CMHNetwork depends on your contributions to keep the wheels in motion, so give what you can.

I encourage you to take a trip down memory lane and explore our back issues of Friday Update. Many a gem within those pages.


Click on the button below and be an important part of supporting the Children's Mental Health Network.


Scott Bryant-Comstock
President & CEO
Children's Mental Health Network

One Mind Campaign Designed to Improve Police Response to Persons Affected by Mental Illness.

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From our colleagues at the International Association of Chiefs of Police

Pledge your support for the One Mind Campaign, designed to improve police response to persons affected by mental illness.

The IACP has been working to address police response to persons affected by mental illness for the past several years. In 2010, IACP issued a report that focused on a broad range of goals for legislators, mental health experts, and law enforcement officers addressing legislation and policy, first responders, youth, cross-system collaboration, and offender re-entry into the community. To follow up, in 2014 IACP issued a revised Model Policy on Responding to Persons Affected by Mental Illness or in Crisis. This Model Policy highlights the unique challenges that law enforcement agencies face in responding to persons affected by mental illness and provides guidance, techniques, and resources so that the situation can be resolved in a constructive manner. More recently in 2015, the IACP issued Improving Officer Response to Persons with Mental Illness and Other Disabilities, an expansion of the 2010 report that provides a broad overview of how law enforcement leaders can improve officer response to persons affected by mental illness. Now we are excited to announce the launch of the One Mind Campaign.

The One Mind Campaign seeks to ensure successful interactions between police officers and persons affected by mental illness. To join the campaign, law enforcement agencies must commit to implementing the four promising practices over a 12-36 month timeframe. Agencies and organizations demonstrating a serious commitment to implementing all four required strategies will become publicly recognized members of the One Mind Campaign.

The strategies are:

  • Establish a clearly defined and sustainable partnership with one or more community mental health organization(s)
  • Develop and implement a model policy addressing police response to persons affected by mental illness
  • Train and certify 100 percent of your agency’s sworn officers (and selected non-sworn staff, such as dispatchers) in Mental Health First Aid
  • Provide Crisis Intervention Team training to a minimum of 20 percent of your agency’s sworn officers (and selected non-sworn staff, such as dispatchers)

The campaign provides a unique opportunity for law enforcement to make the transition from reacting and responding to these situations toward becoming a proactive leader, with improved response to situations involving this diverse population. Upon launching the campaign at IACP’s Annual Conference in October 2016, the IACP was joined by partners from the National Council for Behavioral Health, CIT International, SAMHSA, the Attorney General’s office and the Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Affairs. These representatives stood alongside IACP to announce the launch and expand awareness. The goal of the One Mind Campaign is to create sustainable relationships between police and the mental health community.

For more information visit the One Mind Campaign’s website or contact

Take the pledge today!

Be a Part of a Research Study Pilot Testing the Agency–level Assessment of Youth and Young Adult Voice

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 ~ From our colleagues at Pathways RTC and Youth M.O.V.E. National ~

Do you work for or with an agency that wants to include youth and young adult voice in agency decision–making?

You are invited to take part in a research study that is pilot testing the Agency–level Assessment of Youth and Young Adult Voice, a new survey to measure organizational support for the meaningful participation of young people in agency–level advising and decision making.

This study is being conducted by researchers at Portland State University in collaboration with Youth M.O.V.E. National. The purpose of this study is to determine whether this survey is an accurate assessment tool for agencies to use if they wish to measure their support for the inclusion of youth and young adult voice.

To do this, we are widely recruiting people in the field to complete an online survey that takes 20–30 minutes. We are looking for potential participants who are knowledgeable about the presence of policies and procedures to include youth and young adult voice within a particular organization.

If you are interested in participating, please review this information carefully:

  • The first step will be to use an online form to register people from your organization to participate. You will be asked to provide a name, email address, and role for each person you register, so please discuss this with the people you want to sign up.
  • You must register at least two people from your organization, and we suggest that at least one should be a young person (age 15 or older) who has received services from your organization (or one that serves a similar population).
  • It is important that people who take the survey have knowledge about your organization’s efforts to promote youth/young adult participation in organizational advising and decision making.
  • If you register more than 15 people from your organization who complete the survey, you can request a report on your scores when the data analysis is complete next spring.

We plan to allow about a month for people to register. At that point, we will email all the people who are registered and provide a link to the survey. Anyone who completes the survey can opt to enter a drawing to win an Amazon gift card — we will randomly select one of every 50 entries to win a $100 gift card.

When you are ready with the information you need, use the link below to access the online registration form:

Register for the study

Taking the survey is completely voluntary and we ask that you please review the Information for Survey Participants to understand the risks and benefits associated with the study, as well as your rights as a research participant. If you experience technical difficulties or if you have any questions about the study, please contact Jennifer Blakeslee at 503-725-8389 or

Thank you—and please forward this invitation to your colleagues!

Janet Walker and Jennifer Blakeslee
Portland State University

Brie Masselli and Kristen Thorp
Youth M.O.V.E. National

“Mission accomplished on teen pregnancy”? Not yet. More school-based health centers could help.

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The dramatic decline in teen pregnancy in recent years is a cause for celebration. The fall is largely thanks to the improved use of contraceptives, especially the increased use of the most effective methods. But it is too early to declare mission accomplished. Among sexually active women, those aged 15 to 19 still have the highest rates of unintended pregnancy. Rates are particularly high among minority and low-income women, many of whom still lack adequate access to family planning services.


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Bayeté Ross Smith and the team from Race/Related at the New York Times, have put together a beautiful visual portrayal of who we are as Americans. In a recent post, Ross Smith wrote:

While elections often reveal important truths about our country’s strengths and challenges, they also tend to produce oversimplified examinations of actual people. Seeking clarity, we turn to categories: the African-American vote, the Latino vote, and this year in particular, the vote of the white working class.

At the moment, no other group is drawing as much attention and scrutiny as the so-called WWC. However, oversimplified narratives about identity are an ongoing challenge for all Americans, especially communities of color, historically.

Several months ago, the Race/Related team at the New York TImes launched a project titled #HereIsMyAmerica, to collect images from across the country that would help create a more nuanced portrait of the increasingly diverse American experience. This is a post worth reading!

Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act to be Voted on as Part of 21st Century Cures Package

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The 21st Century Cures bill was released late Friday. The Rules Committee announced that it would take up the 996-page bipartisan bill on Tuesday and a floor vote will follow. According to an article in Politico, the package may not be final. "'Conversations are ongoing at the leadership level,' a senior Democratic aide told POLITICO, but declined to provide details."

If you want to express your thoughts to your representatives in Congress on the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act, which has been attached to the Cures bill, your window of opportunity is short, as the Senate will take up whatever passes the House without amendment.

  • Contact your representatives in Congress here.

We have shared many posts about the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act, both for and against. Type ' Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act ' into the search bar on our website and you can catch yourself up to speed on the issues surrounding the bill.

And finally, here for your reading pleasure, are copies of the full bill going before the Rules Committee and a section by section breakdown of the bill.

IACP and Howard University Team Up On Policing Inside-Out Program

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~ From the IACP Blog ~

The IACP’s Institute for Community Police Relations (ICPR) has formed a partnership with Howard University to offer an innovative 15-week course entitled, Policing Inside-Out: Building Trust Through Transformative Education, that will engage students, law enforcement officers, community leaders, and criminal justice experts.

This unique course mixes “outside” participants (university students, community members) with “inside” participants (police officers) in a classroom environment. Students are challenged to reexamine what they have come to know about law enforcement and social justice issues while gaining a deeper understanding of community-police relations in the 21st century. Participants engage intense dialogue on criminal justice issues using real world examples, while participating in ride-alongs, field trips, and group projects. Principle texts for the course are the IACP’s National Summit Report on Community-Police Relations and the President’s Task Force Report.

The Policing Inside-Out course is co-led by Dr. Bahiyyah M. Muhammad, Assistant Professor of Criminology in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Howard University, and IACP Visiting Fellow, Lt. Tarrick McGuire from the Arlington, Texas, Police Department. This course is modeled after other Inside-Out experiences that are taught by Dr. Muhammad, including Prisons Inside-Out (dealing with incarceration) and Juvenile Inside-Out (dealing with juvenile detention centers).

The fall 2016 Policing Inside-Out class, underway now at Howard University, comprises 10 Howard students from a variety of backgrounds and academic disciplines and 10 Baltimore City police officers from diverse units across the department and with years of experience ranging from three years to more than 30 years. The course syllabus includes discussion of community-police relations, citizen complaints and internal affairs investigations, community policing, use of force, and other contemporary topics. The ICPR will chronicle and report out on the progress of this course through the IACP blog.

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