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Friday Update 1-12-18

Greetings faithful readers. There is no getting around the hateful and racist comments made by President Trump in a meeting discussing DACA a few days ago. Plenty of opportunities for you to "talk amongst yourselves" about the best way for us as a nation to address racism, but for the moment, let's take a break and enjoy the beautiful voice of Alan Cavé, one of Haiti's finest, singing his hit song Sé pa pou dat. Let Cavé's message of love wash over you. Believe me, we need it. Enjoy the respite, and then get to readin' Friday Update, cuz we got work to do!

Most important reads for this week  

SAMHSA National Policy Lab Rethinking NREPP- Advocates Pay Attention!
Towards the end of last week, program developers seeking inclusion in the National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices (NREPP) received an email from the contractor responsible for maintaining the NREPP website stating that the "NREPP contract is being terminated for the convenience of the government." As you might imagine, the CMHNetwork phones and email lit up with questions and grave concerns about the future of NREPP and how SAMHSA would continue the efforts of this 20-year program to identify and promote evidence-based practice. This Zen post will give you an update on where things stand currently (it's moving quickly) and ideas for what you can do to help promote a conversation with SAMHSA about evidence-based practice that honors the importance of a culturally responsive approach to identifying, promoting and cultivating evidence-based practices that are available to all.

Assistant Secretary McCance-Katz Responds to Questions About NREPP - and Her Message Could Not be More Clear 
A few days after I wrote the ZEN post on NREPP, a statement from Assistant Secretary Elinore McCance-Katz, detailing her views on NREPP, was released by SAMHSA. With the flood of articles, posts, emails, and calls that SAMHSA received, it was clear that she would have to respond, and boy did she ever! The Assistant Secretary's response brimmed with frustration and maybe even a touch of anger. I am working on a Morning Zen post that will dissect her comments to hopefully give us a better sense of how to approach the end of NREPP as we know it and what comes next. For now, read her comments and hold on to your hats. We have definitely got work to do!

Celebrating the Life of Sybil Goldman
Sybil Goldman, a true champion of the children's mental health movement in America, passed away over the holidays after a long battle with cancer. If you have ever worked in children's mental health in the public sector, you would be hard-pressed not to know the name, Sybil Goldman. The way she lived her life and the example she set is something to which I aspire every day. What a gift to humanity she was. Man, I am going to miss her.

A Member of Our Network Family Could Use a Warm Hug
It is with much sadness that I share the news with you that Pat Hunt, one of the fiercest family advocates I have had the pleasure ever to know, lost her oldest son, Sean, who died suddenly over the Christmas holidays.

Mississippi Policymakers Are Beginning to Address the Problem of Overreliance on Institutional Care in the Mental Health System
Two weeks ago, we featured a story in Friday Update chronicling the state of mental health care in Mississippi, and it did not paint a pretty picture. Immediately after posting Friday Update, I got a call from Joy Hogge, Executive Director of the Mississippi Federation of Families. She told me that there was much more to the story than had been shared in the article and that in fact, there were some glimmers of hope. I asked her to write a Morning Zen post on the topic, and within a few days, she delivered this post. An excellent read, and further proof of the power of the collective voice of the Children's Mental Health Network. 

Check Out the Agenda for the 31st Annual Research and Policy Conference on Children, Youth, and Young Adult Behavioral Health!
Oh man, have we got a great agenda chock full of amazing presenters lined up for for the 31st annual "Tampa Conference", March 4 - 7. Did I mention that the conference was in warm and sunny Tampa, Florida? And the most difficult decision, if you are attending, is whether to pack the blue flip-flops or the red flip flops to match your Bermuda's, flower print shirt and zinc oxide. Aw heck, pack both pairs of flip-flops. Why not? Looking forward to seeing you in Tampa!

The Children’s Mental Health Network is Supporting Sandy Hook Promise’s Start With Hello Week this February 5 – 9
Start With Hello Week is an initiative of Sandy Hook Promise, a nonprofit organization led by several family members who lost loved ones at the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting on December 14, 2012. During the week of February 5 – 9, schools and youth organizations from across the country are encouraged to participate in Start With Hello Week, which is focused on raising awareness and educating students and the community through Start With Hello trainings, advertising, activities, public proclamations, media events, contests, and awards. Hundreds of schools across the country will participate and take part in activities throughout the week that aim to build connectedness and combat social isolation. Sign up your school today!

Status of Federal Funding for CHIP and Implications for States and Families
On December 21, 2017, Congress provided a short-term extension of federal funding for the program as part of its continuing resolution to keep the federal government operational through January 19, 2018. However, without longer-term federal funding, states continue to face uncertainty and may need to reduce coverage, while families may experience confusion about the status of coverage and face concerns and worries about losing their children’s coverage.


Trump's firing sets back AIDS prevention efforts
President Donald Trump’s decision to fire his HIV/AIDS advisory panel and refusal to fill other key policy positions puts the U.S. at risk of slipping backward on prevention just as the opioid epidemic threatens to spread the virus among intravenous drug users.

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scottScott Bryant-Comstock
President & CEO

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