Friday Update 12-4-15

Greetings faithful readers. During this season of giving, we have a special gift for one of our most faithful readers - "Sue from California". Sue is especially appreciative of the insightful commentary we provide each and every week. The commentary is great, the up-to-date information on research and policy is wonderful, and the tips and tools provided help make all of us better advocates. But when you break it down, nothing provides a better start to the day than the weekly video selection. Let's kick off this edition of Friday Update with one of Sue's favorite videos from the CMHNetwork archives. Get your groove on Gangnam Style, and then get to readin' Friday Update, cuz we got work to do!

Most important reads for this week

Why equating mental illness with violence harms us all
We are honored to feature a Morning Zen Guest Blog post by Congressman Paul Tonko (D-NY). In this post, Congressman Tonko encourages us to avoid further stigmatizing those with mental illness in the face of the increasing incidents of violence in our nation. From Congressman Tonko's Zen post:

We too often forget that those struggling with mental illness are constantly forced to fight a battle on two fronts. Not only do they have to grapple with themselves—with their own thoughts and mind—but they also have to contend with the negative assumptions made about those with mental illness, which are pervasive in our society.

Those stereotypes, though, are hardly a figment of their imagination. Public opinion suggests that people with mental illness and violent tendencies go hand in hand. In fact, at least half of the American public believes that individuals with mental illness are inherently more violent.

These claims are unfounded and they are completely unacceptable. Attitudes like this do nothing but aggravate the stigma that so many have spent decades trying to overcome.

Children's mental illnesses are socially contagious…
News flash, Network faithful – Mental illness is preventable. Contrary to what you are hearing from a few prominent politicians who are taking to the bully pulpit with a false message that we cannot prevent, but only contain, mental illness after the fact, the science of prevention is clear and unrefutable, pure and simple. Prevention works, is more cost effective, and infinitely better for families and communities. It is time for us to challenge the rhetoric that espouses the faulty notion that mental illness is a fait accompli. Read Dennis Embry's Morning Zen Post and get yourself fired up.

A huge "Thank You" for your participation in #GivingTuesday!
Oh man, we are so grateful to those of you who participated in #GivingTuesday last week. Without you, we don't exist. We are resolute in our commitment to not accept federal funds so that our voice may stay clear and unfettered. This simple, yet challenging approach to our existence is difficult at times, but oh, so worth it when it comes to speaking clearly and engaging all perspectives around the complexities of improving services and supports for youth with mental health challenges and their families. For those you who exceeded your Tryptophan and carbohydrate levels last week, and did not participate in #Giving Tuesday, no worries - we have kept the link open just for you! Get on it Network faithful, dig deep into your pockets, separate the lint from the loose change, and drop those coins in the Network bucket!

Decisions made on agenda for the 29th Annual Research & Policy Conference on Child, Adolescent, and Young Adult Behavioral Health
Decision emails will be sent to those who submitted presentation proposals for the 2016 conference this coming Wednesday. We had another highly competitive review process this year. We want to extend heartfelt thanks to those of you who submitted proposals. It is your passion for furthering the knowledge-base in children's mental health that makes the Tampa conference the go-to research and policy conference of the year. Look for a draft agenda showing invited presentations next Friday. We have a great lineup this year and are most excited to have you attend. Details here!

National Federation names new Executive Director
The Board of Directors of the National Federation of Families for Children's Mental Health announced this week the appointment of Dr. Lynda Gargan as the new Executive Director. Best wishes to Lynda from all of us at the Children's Mental Health Network!

Developmental Surveillance and Screening in Early Care and Education: Family and Provider Perspectives
This edition of IMPACT focuses on screening and surveillance in early childhood settings and provides a comprehensive review of the views and experiences of child care providers in Connecticut and the families they serve. The report serves as a follow-up to a 2013 CHDI IMPACT report: "The Earlier the Better: Developmental Screening for Connecticut's Young Children", which summarized research and best practices for developmental screening and reviewed the use of available screening tools across Connecticut.

Parents for Healthy Schools' Website
CDC in collaboration with Federal, professional, and non-profit organizations has developed a set of resources called Parents for Healthy Schools. School groups such as parent-teacher associations and school wellness committees can use the materials to engage parents in creating healthy school environments.

Patient engagement and shared decision-making
This article reviews the state of the literature related to shared decision making and patient engagement as they relate to the treatment of substance use disorders.

Portal de Informacion de Salud de NIH
This new Spanish-language health information website offers free health information on topics ranging from child health to aging. The new site also features a monthly column, designed as an opportunity for readers to learn about Spanish-language resources available from the NIH.

Is Friday Update workin' for ya? 
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Scott Bryant-Comstock
President & CEO 

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