Friday Update 10-23-15

Greetings faithful readers. Several of you have asked us to speak out on Halloween costumes that perpetuate negative stereotypes and we could not agree more. As you prepare for Halloween next week, give this Buzz Feed video a view. It captures pretty darned well our thoughts on the subject. Enjoy the video, think about it, and then get to readin' Friday Update, cuz we got work to do!

Most important reads for this week

Celebrating the life of Chris Marshall
It is with sadness that I share the news of the passing of Chris Marshall. Long-time Federation of Families for Children's Mental Health members will remember how year after year, Pam Marshall and her son Chris would faithfully make the trek from Little Rock to the annual conference in Washington, DC. Chris had a million mega-watt smile that will be missed. Share your remembrances here.

A tale of two letters: Members of Congress weigh in on the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act of 2015
Members of Congress sent two important letters regarding the Helping All Families in Mental Health Crisis Act of 2015 (H.R. 2646) to House Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton and Ranking Member Frank Pallone this week - one on Thursday and one on Friday. One of the letters encourages moving forward with markup. The other letter, written by a different set of congressional representatives, cites serious concerns with the bill as it is currently written. In this Morning Zen post, I analyze both letters and tease out the messaging behind each. You may be surprised by what the letters say. Read more here.

29th Annual Research & Policy Conference – Just a few days left to get your proposals in. Keynote speakers announced next week!
Since 1988, this annual conference has been a leader in promoting the development of the research base essential to improved service systems for children and youth with mental health challenges and their families. In the context of a rapidly diversifying population, this conference continues to expand to include topics related to substance abuse service systems and research, as well as pressing behavioral health topics associated with mental health reform legislation being discussed in Congress. The call for proposals closes October 30th, so get those pencils sharpened and get to writin'!

Contact Congress to join Dear Colleague in support of NDD
Hey Network faithful, listen up. If you believe, as I do, that sequestration relief to nondefense discretionary programs is essential to our nation's public health, please consider letting your congressional representatives know today! Let's not let politics hijack what we know is necessary to promote a mentally and physically healthy approach to meeting the needs of children and families across America. This is not a "Democrat" vs. "Republican" issue for us. Rather it is a "Health" vs. No Health" issue. Should be a no-brainer. Action steps here.

Urge United Nations to approve measurable indicators for global mental health development
Big props to our colleague Kathryn Goetzke, Executive Director of the International Foundation for Research and Education on Depression, for leading the way on this important development. History was made when the United Nations included Mental Health in the 2015 Sustainable Development Goals for the next 15 years. But our work is not done. Kathryn is asking us to join her and a growing list of international mental health organizations in requesting the United Nations pass the indicators needed to measure global progress toward the Sustainable Development Goals for Mental Health. Click here for details and get on it!

Advancing Trauma-Informed Systems for Children
The Child Health and Development Institute of Connecticut (CHDI) is out with yet another quality report. Gotta figure out a way to clone these folks and sprinkle their magic juju dust across the nation – their work is that good! This IMPACT report is intended to help child serving systems advance trauma-informed care in order to provide more effective and cost-efficient services that result in better outcomes for all children. You can download the report on our website, but I would encourage you to visit CHDI to learn more about their trauma-Informed initiatives.

9 ways parents knew it was time to get their child mental health help
Recognizing the early signs of mental illness isn't always easy. There's no blood test results and (usually) no tumors to magically explain seemingly strange behavior. Because of this, it typically takes ten years from the time symptoms first appear until someone gets a correct diagnosis and proper treatment, according to Mental Health America. For children experiencing mental health issues, one of the most important early intervention tools can be parents. To learn more about how parents identify early signs of mental health issues, we teamed up with Mental Health America and asked parents when they knew it was time to get their child mental health care. Of course, every person is different, and mental illnesses manifest in many different ways. But the stakes are too high to turn the other way. Continue reading this article by Sarah Schuster on The Mighty.

ORTHO seeking nominations for the Vera S. Paster Award
The Vera S. Paster Award was established in 1990 by the American Orthopsychiatric Association (ORTHO) in honor of its 64th President. The Award is presented to a graduate student or post-graduate resident or fellow in a behavioral health or social justice program whose work has significantly contributed to the social, educational, physical or psychological well-being of persons of color, thereby promoting their empowerment and ameliorating their disadvantages from oppression and its effects. Learn more about the Vera S. Paster Award here and submit your nomination.

NASTAD Launches Health Systems Integration Program to Assist Health Departments with Developing Sustainable HIV, Hepatitis and Drug User Health Programs
The National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors (NASTAD) announced the formation of its Health Systems Integration (HSI) team. As the nation continues to tackle a massive renovation of its health care and public health systems, NASTAD's HSI team is working to ensure that state HIV and viral hepatitis programs are maximizing new partnerships and remain well-positioned to deliver the best possible services. For more information on NASTAD's Health Systems Integration program for state and territorial HIV, hepatitis and drug user health programs, view the program summary and webpage.

Team-based treatment is better for first episode psychosis
New research shows that treating people with first episode psychosis with a team-based, coordinated specialty care approach produces better clinical and functional outcomes than typical community care. Investigators also found that treatment is most effective for people who receive care soon after psychotic symptoms begin.

TA Network features webinar that will help you understand ADHD
For the month of October, the TA Network will be releasing "Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: Understanding, Assessing, and Intervening" by Lisa Jacobson, Ph.D., a Neuropsychologist at Kennedy Krieger Institute. In this presentation, Dr. Jacobson describes the definitions, diagnosis, prevalence, comorbidities and complications, costs, assessment, and treatment of ADHD as part of the TA Network Clinical Distance Learning Series.

Study may RAISE standard for treating First Psychotic Episode
Each year, about 100,000 American adolescents and young adults, their lives and dreams ahead of them, experience their first episode of psychosis, a symptom of schizophrenia and other mental illnesses characterized by dramatic changes in perception, personality, and ability to function. This often-terrifying experience, which can last for months, will prompt some to seek help from mental health professionals, whose services can in many situations help them get back on track and reduce the risk of relapse. Still, for far too many young people and their families, the search for help is riddled with long delays, contradictory information, and inadequate treatment in a mental health system whose resources have been stretched thin. Continue reading on the NIH Director's blog

Youth M.O.V.E. National joins Text Talk Act campaign
Youth M.O.V.E. National has partnered with Text Talk Act to host a fourth dialogue on mental health this fall.  Join a network of youth advocates on November 20 in a mental health discussion guided by text message.

HHS awards up to $22.9 million in Planning Grants for Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics
Hey Network faithful, this is one that should spark your attention. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), in conjunction with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Assistant Secretary of Planning and Evaluation (ASPE), today awarded a total of $22.9 million to support states throughout the nation in their efforts to improve behavioral health of their citizens by providing community-based mental and substance use disorder treatment.


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Scott Bryant-Comstock
President & CEO 

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