Friday Update 1-16-15

Greetings faithful readers. I woke up this morning with the David Bowie song "Heroes" playing in my head. I have been in several meetings this week where the prominent theme was one of angst and worry about the direction of public conversation (or lack thereof) around the topic of children's mental health in America. Gotta buck up, Network faithful – No time for hand-wringing in 2015! There is a repeating refrain in the Bowie song that goes "We can be heroes, just for one day." With a hat tip to the recovery movement, we can be heroes, just for one day... at a time. So in this new year of opportunity, make a pledge to be a hero for children's mental health, even if it is just for one day. And then, take a break if you need to, be a hero again for children's mental health, just for one day. Get your groove on with the brilliant David Bowie, enjoy his live performance of Heroes, and then get to readin' Friday Update, cuz we go work to do!

Most important reads for this week 

28th Annual Research & Policy Conference on Child, Adolescent and Young Adult Behavioral Health - The draft agenda is now online! 
Oh man, the draft agenda for the Tampa conference is now online, and it is a beauty! Check it out Network faithful, pack you bags and gas up the RV for the trip to Florida. Okay, what are you waiting for? Get yourself registered for the conference!  

New website is shining an example of peer-to-peer support in action! 
I don't usually gush about a resource, but dang; I am seriously gushing about the folks at TurningPoint.org. This great web-based resource was produced by and for young adults in recovery from mental health and substance use issues. How sweet is that? Take some time to peruse the website. The website has great content, engaging visual appeal, and is full of well-crafted first person stories. Now this is indeed a worthy read and a brilliant example of the power of peer to peer support among young adults in recovery. Shout it from the rooftops, Network faithful!

What We Didn't Say: A struggle — parenting children with mental illness — is finally shared
Robin Herman seemingly had it all. Graduate of a prestigious university, stellar work career, and former assistant dean for research communications in the Harvard School of Public Health. Secretly included in Robin's stellar resume was her role as mom to two children with serious mental illness. When she finally broke her silence at a college reunion, she opened the door for other alumni classmates in similar circumstances, highlighting the stark reality of commonality in any group when it comes to the chilling National Institute of Health statistic that approximately 
one in four young adults between the ages of 18 and 24 have a diagnosable mental illness. Her riveting story is a must read. After reading Robin's story, be sure to welcome her to the collective voice that is the Children's Mental Health Network!

We're Military "Brats," not heroes, champs, little soldiers, or fledglings 
"Can you imagine the outrage if the USO bought thousands of copies of a non-vet's book about how it feels to be a vet, then paid him to traipse around the world singing songs about a war he never fought, while unilaterally renaming vets "Hero Volunteers" and treating vets with PTSD as if they were defective and just not "resilient" enough? That's what's happening to 15 million Americans who have grown up in military families." Hang on to your hats folks, that snippet of quoted text from this Zen post is one of the milder refrains. In her hard-hitting Zen post, Donna Musil, Executive Director of Brats Without Borders, and Writer-Director of BRATS: Our Journey Home, the first documentary about "growing up military, takes on the growing movement to rename "BRATS" to "CHAMPS". If you care about the culture of military families, you will want to read this post. 

Coming together on "the who" and "the what" so "the how" is actually what we need 
Newly appointed CMHNetwork Advisory Council member Jody Levison-Johnson sure isn't wasting any time getting into the fray around the ongoing dialogue on HR 3717. Dang Jody, tell us what you really think! Read her Zen post and share your thoughts with our approach to advancing the conversation about meaningful mental health reform.

SAMHSA Is Accepting Public Comment on Fiscal Year (FY) 2016-2017 Draft Block Grant Application and Plan 
Comments are due 60 days from January 8, 2015 for draft Block Grant documents: FY 2016-17 DRAFT Block Grant Application: Community Mental Health Services Plan and Report & Substance Abuse Prevention & Treatment Plan and Report; FY 2016-17 Block Grant Reporting Section Mental Health Block Grant. We are working on our comments; you should be too!

Parity or Disparity: The State of Mental Health in America 
Following the first enrollment period of the ACA, administrative data collected included the number of individuals who chose a qualified health plan and how many individuals enrolled in Medicaid, but information on disability status was not collected. The lack of data on disability status during ACA enrollment means that for the mental health community, there is no way to know exactly how many people with mental illness gained access to insurance. This lack of data, coupled with the complexity of the mental health system as a whole, results in more questions than answers. If you haven't seen it yet, be sure to check out Mental Health America's investigation about the impact of the ACA on individuals with mental health problems.  

Bullying and Suicidal Ideation and Behaviors: A Meta-Analysis 
Over the last decade, there has been increased attention to the association between bullying involvement (as a victim, perpetrator, or bully-victim) and suicidal ideation/behaviors. Findings from this study demonstrated that involvement in bullying in any capacity is associated with suicidal ideation and behavior. The report offers recommendations for future research. 

Four strategies to future proof your child and family serving organization 
Are you feeling a constant sense of uncertainty related to on-going disruptive change and wondering how your organization is going to successfully navigate the turbulence? Do you wish you were further ahead or feel like you aren't tapping and leveraging true potential? If you answered yes to either of these questions, you are not alone. Network faithful Laurie Ellington is out with another Zen post to help you think through how to maximize your leadership potential. Read her Zen post and take a look at the upcoming leadership masterclass which begins on January 26th. All Network faithful qualify for a 50% discount. Just be sure to put in the discount code - CMHN-Holiday. Time to sign up!

Is Friday Update workin' for ya? 
We love feedback so let us know how we can improve the website to better meet your needs. Contact us here. We rely on your donations to ensure that the Network remains viable. So do what you do best, Network faithful, make a tax-deductible donation at the level that works for you - $25.00 / $50.00 / $75.00 / $100.00$250.00 or more. Unable to make a contribution at this time? No worries, Friday Update will always be free, but give if you can. Thanks again to so many of you who are spreading the word. We are indeed a collective voice, and your support is greatly appreciated

Scott Bryant-Comstock
President & CEO 

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