Friday Update 10-24-14
Friday Update 10-24-14 (coming to you on the 27th!)
Greetings faithful readers. We had a bit of a dust-up with our website late last week and experienced a few broken links. That's what happens when the web gods allow me to get under the hood to do some modifications. I mean, how hard can it be to change the transmission in a Lamborghini Diablo? All I know is that the more I tinkered, the worse it got. At any rate, all is well now, and to continue our winning streak, here is a sampling of "Zen Favorites" to tide you over to this coming Friday. We are blessed to have as part of Network Nation a growing number of passionate advocates who are willing to share their voice. Let's begin this edition of Friday Update with the timeless Chocolate assembly line scene from I Love Lucy, which accurately describes the adventures of the past week at the CMHNetwork Compound. Enjoy the video and then get to readin' Friday Update!
Special Edition – Zen Favorites!
The trouble with third culture kids
Have you ever heard of third culture kids? This is a population that many of us in children's mental health don't know about, and we need to start learning. Third culture kids have significant challenges accessing mental health services, but one amazing individual is doing something about it. Learn more about the work of Nina Sichel, who is co-editor of the collections Writing Out of Limbo: International Childhoods, Global Nomads and Third Culture Kids (2011) and Unrooted Childhoods: Memoirs of Growing Up Global (2004).
We don't tell you, and here's why
"The best way to get help for your child with mental health issues is to talk about what's going on. But most of us don't, especially not at first. Adam Lanza's mother, Nancy, was reportedly quiet about his problems. She was happy to talk about gardening, the Red Sox and her hobbies. But she was quiet (publicly at least) about her son. I have been, too. We learn to be..." Continue reading Lisa Lambert's post in Morning Zen.
The power of words: What the Wall Street Journal didn't tell you
Recently there was an editorial in the Wall Street Journal that eviscerated the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Agency (SAMHSA) while at the same time calling for support of HR 3717 – The Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act. Since then the introduction of the proposed bill we have read with great interest articles in the press, personal communication, and written testimony from past Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health hearings on HR 3717. Much of what has been written is passionate and unfortunately sometimes vitriolic. There are three particular sound bites that keep coming up (two of which found their way into the WSJ editorial) that taken at face value may create an impression that might be more than just a bit misleading. It is interesting to note that these three provocative sound bites appear to have gone unquestioned in the popular press all these months, so in true Network fashion we decided to grab the long shovel and do some digging'. What we found may surprise you.
Oh SAMHSA, Where Art Thou?
What did Newtown mean if we can't get help for children and families in mental health crisis? Over the past year, we have featured several posts related to HR 3717 the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act. In this Zen post, Liza Long, aka the Anarchist Soccer Mom, speaks out about her disappointment in SAMHSA and her support of HR 3717. It is important for Network faithful to explore all sides of this issue.
Celebrating the strength and diversity of young adults with mental health challenges
In our continuing focus on the joy, brilliance, strength and fortitude of young adults who have had experience with receiving mental health services, I want to share with you one shining example of a youth-driven, stigma-smashing, positive approach to creating a safe space for young adults to express who they are. Youth M.O.V.E. Oregon is rockin' the nation with the work they are doing. We have so much to do to turn the tide of misguided opinion about who youth with mental health challenges are. Youth M.O.V.E. Oregon is doing their part.
Feeling our way through this national nightmare to address guns and mental illness
Victoria Costello shares a poignant reminder of how the Sandy Hook tragedy "ripped open a deep wound in the American heart — particularly for parents of kids with mental health challenges." Read her thought-provoking post in Morning Zen.
A Family's Growth Behind Bars: Reflections from the child of a formerly incarcerated parent
Powerful testimony of acceptance, trust & mentorship from Daniel Bowes, JD, who reflects on the experience of growing up the child of a formerly incarcerated parent. Daniel is a board member of Our Children's Place, a phenomenal organization dedicated to addressing the needs of families who have a loved one in prison.
Exercising restraint in schools
In the two years since Bill Lichtenstein wrote his groundbreaking New York Times story, the controversy surrounding the use of physical restraints and seclusion rooms in schools has exploded and resonated across the country from Hawaii to Massachusetts, fueled by a powerful combination of concerned parents and enterprising journalists intent on exposing these practices when and where they occur. Many schools deny the accusations and parents continue to be attacked, but this journalist refuses to back down.
Evidence-supported early psychosis intervention as a community standard of care for all adolescents and young adults
In Oregon, a small group of advocates, their families, and State and Local Government became strange bedfellows and formed what became the first statewide attempt to implement evidence-supported early psychosis intervention as a community standard of care for all adolescents and young adults. Oregon's Early Assessment and Support Alliance (EASA) began as a regional initiative and spread through a series of intentional strategies to the state level. EASA remains true to its origins with a focus on youth voice, young adult engagement, family involvement and empowering the person to have success in their care. The authors of this Morning Zen piece state that "By sharing our successes in these areas, all early psychosis programs in the U.S. can benefit from solutions others have found."
SAMHSA/HRSA integrated care core competencies manual needs stronger focus on primary care providers
CMHNetwork Advisory Council member Col (Ret) George Patrin, MD, does a thorough analysis of the recently published SAMHSA/HRSA integrated core competencies manual and points out that the focus on primary care providers could use some shoring up. In the new age of health care reform let's not underestimate the importance of primary care providers, who are a pivotal hub for the care and support of youth and families. Worthy read Network faithful!
Advocates dialogue for meaningful mental health reform, pure and simple
The advocates dialogue on assisted outpatient treatment held last month was a defining moment for the Children's Mental Health Network. At the heart of the Network is the determination to be a "collective voice" of those dedicated to improving services and supports for children, adolescents, young adults and their families. This dialogue was that and more, and is emblematic of who we are as a movement. Network faithful should be proud. Read each and every one of the reflections of dialogue participants and discover the commonality of those with widely diverse opinion. The message we are giving Congress with our actions is that we are not going away, we will not stay silent, and we will bring civility and compromise back to the national dialogue to improve mental health services in America.
Systemic, preventive alternatives to suspension, expulsion, seclusion and restraint
Kevin Dwyer offers keen insight into the importance of school personnel managing challenging student behavior in safe, positive and appropriate ways.
Congressman Murphy is raising the right issues but proposing the wrong solutions
Another thoughtful post from Network faithful Leah Harris. Mental health advocates and experts agree that our mental health systems are the shame of the nation. Our community mental health systems are fragmented, ineffective, difficult to access and fail to engage people who need the most help. Instead of providing needed social services for those who are homeless and experiencing serious mental health challenges or addictions, we criminalize their suffering. Rather than pouring even more taxpayer dollars into promoting controversial coercive approaches, we should be expanding proven and promising practices. Rep. Tim Murphy, R-Upper St. Clair, is to be lauded for shining a powerful spotlight on these issues. However, despite his good intentions and clear commitment, Rep. Murphy has it wrong when it comes to one of his most prominent prescriptions for fixing our broken mental health care systems.
We owe it to legislators to change the tone of our debate
I have often wished we could dial down the vitriol and discuss issues like AOT with a mutual recognition that we are all good people with the same laudable goal of helping folks with severe mental illness maintain safety and sanity. Right now we are generating heat at the expense of light. We risk squandering the moment of national focus that Rep. Murphy's bill has brought to our issues. The noble experiment that Scott led us through this week was a great first step. Who knows, we might even inspire some brave souls in Congress to defy the forces of gridlock and reflexive partisanship. ~ Brian Stettin, Policy Director, Treatment Advocacy Center ~
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