Friday Update 1-9-15

Greetings faithful readers. It is going to be a fantastic year for the Children's Mental Health Network. The advent of a new year brings with it the opportunity to make resolutions, so how about a resolution to get Friday Update out... on a Friday? Hmm... let's not get ahead of ourselves. For now, bask in the joy of reading this issue of Friday Update on a Friday. Let's begin with a video request from one of our legion of Network faithful (yes, you can make requests!). After sharing my personal experience with seeing the great Joe Cocker live, several of you wrote in with bands and artists who moved you the way Joe moved me. Enjoy the Tedeschi Trucks Band, performing Midnight in Harlem, with the soulful Susan Tedeschi on vocals and the incomparable Derek Trucks on slide guitar. Oh man, what a way to get your groove on. Give yourself the gift of 6 1/2 minutes to let this song take you to places that can only be described as good. Feel the love and then get to readin' Friday Update!

Most important reads for this week 

Next steps for CMHNetwork focus on the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act: It's gonna be a busy year!  
At the end of November, the Children's Mental Health Network convened a group of mental health advocates in the conference room of Minority Whip Steny Hoyer for the third of three dialogues on Assisted Outpatient Treatment (AOT). The AOT issue is one component of the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act and has been a lightning rod for controversy. Championed by Representative Tim Murphy (R, PA-18), the proposed bill has dominated the conversation in mental health circles over the past year, leading to divisive splits among advocates about what should be included in a comprehensive mental health reform bill. The bill (HR 3717) didn't go anywhere in the last Congress, but support is growing with members of Congress.

Congressman Murphy announced this week that he would be reintroducing the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act, in the new Congress. If his energy level is the same as last year, and we are gonna guess it is (we've seen his Fitbit wristband), then you are gonna want to hold on to your hats - mental health reform will be an active topic in Congress and behavioral health advocacy circles. For stimulating the conversation about mental health reform, we are  most grateful to the Congressman, but with that gratefulness comes a heavy responsibility for us as mental health advocates to double and triple our efforts at dialogue with each other to ensure that Congressman Murphy and members of Congress get all of the information they need to write a comprehensive bill that will help fix the broken mental health service delivery system in America.

Can we prevent psychosis? It's more hopeful than NIMH Director Insel thinks 
Dennis Embry provides encouragement to NIMH Director Thomas Insel about advances in research on mental illness prevention strategies and raises a clarion call on behalf of the Children's Mental Health Network to help foster a true, national public-health approach to prevent mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders. "We've got pretty damn fine science to do it. So ask your elected representatives—from a federal to a local level if they will step up and support the equivalent of the 1950s campaign that ended polio." Read his clarion call and then stay tuned for updates about our rollout of this campaign.

SAMHSA accepting applications for Suicide Prevention Resource Grant 
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Mental Health Services is accepting applications for a fiscal year (FY) 2015 Suicide Prevention Resource Center grant. The purpose of this program is to build national capacity for preventing suicide by providing technical assistance, training, and resources to assist states, tribes, organizations, SAMHSA Garrett Lee Smith and other SAMHSA grantees, and individuals to develop suicide prevention strategies. 

28th Annual Research & Policy Conference on Child, Adolescent and Young Adult Behavioral Health - Dennis Embry to provide plenary presentation! 
Network faithful, the Tampa conference keeps getting better and better. We are thrilled to have Dr. Dennis Embry as one of our plenary speakers at the conference. Dr. Embry is one of the preeminent prevention scientists in the United States and Canada. According to Dr. Embry, the United States leads the way in scientific strategies that can prevent or protect against lifetime mental, emotional and behavioral strategies. That science is better than the early studies of the Salk vaccine against polio. This talk details how that science could be practically implemented prenatally through late adolescence/young adulthood. You won't want to miss his insightful and always entertaining presentation. Okay, Network faithful, get yourself registered for the conference!  

New Orleans needs more hospital beds for mentally ill residents 
Good article from Janet Hays calling for a "middle path" in the debate over assisted outpatient treatment. Writing from the perspective of an advocate for the Orleans Parish Prison Reform Coalition, Janet lays out the realities faced by individuals with mental illness post-Katrina. Janet writes in support of the Murphy bill but pushes the discussion beyond a "for or against AOT" to a discussion that searches for a middle path. That's the spirit, Janet!

The imminent demise of parent voice, sort of 
Don't miss this thoughtful Morning Zen post from Lisa Lambert. In the post, Lisa reviews the history of the parent movement, touches on the involvement with consumer voice and youth voice, and shares her concern with the "adults as allies" movement. Bottom line? "Parent voice has changed. Sometimes it is institutionalized. Sometimes it is muted. Sometimes it is seen as relevant to individual care but not needed for program design, evaluation, policy work or systems reform. Wherever we find it, we should listen. Parents continue to experience the behavioral health system in ways no one else does."

The power of believing that you can improve 
What if teachers, instead of giving a failing grade to a student, gave the grade "Not Yet"? Carol Dweck researches "growth mindset" — the idea that we can grow our brain's capacity to learn and to solve problems. In this talk, she describes two ways to think about a problem that's slightly too hard for you to solve. Are you not smart enough to solve it … or have you just not solved it yet? A great introduction to this influential field and a completely different way to think about how children deal with challenges.

Opportunities for enrolling justice-involved individuals in Medicaid 
State Refor(u)m has added a new blog post about how the ACA offers new opportunities for enrolling justice-involved populations in Medicaid. Since the majority of individuals released from prisons or jails lack health insurance and many have complex physical and behavioral health conditions, coverage can help justice-involved individuals access appropriate treatment services after their release from incarceration.

National Council launching Early Onset Schizophrenia Community of Practice 
We love the idea of an Early Onset Schizophrenia Community of Practice and leave it to the mavericks at the National Council to make it happen. The National Council is launching an eight-month Early Onset Community of Practice for organizations interested in developing a strategic plan to provide early identification and ongoing treatment for youth at risk or showing symptoms of first episode psychosis.

Can fish oils prevent or delay the development of psychosis? 
Fish oil? Yep, fish oil. Check out this video interview with Dr. Barbara Cornblatt, professor of psychiatry and molecular medicine at the Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine. Dr. Cornblatt directs the Recognition and Prevention (RAP) program, which she founded in 1998, at Zucker Hillside Hospital. RAP is dedicated to treating early warning signs of mental illness in adolescents and young adults and is one of the longest running centers of its kind in North America. More than 500 young people have participated in both the research and treatment components of this program. Early treatment in the RAP Clinic has been consistently associated with a high rate of clinical improvement. This one is worth a view, Network faithful!


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Scott Bryant-Comstock
President & CEO 

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