Friday Update 2-20-15

Greetings faithful readers. The 28th Annual Research & Policy Conference on Child, Adolescent and Young Adult Behavioral Health is right around the corner. Did you know that Arabella Perez, trauma informed care guru, Network faithful, and amazing Zumba instructor, will be leading Zumba classes every morning for conference participants? Just another example of the fun in the sun that will be taking place in Tampa in just a few short weeks. In preparation for Zumba (who knows, if I get my steps down I might even participate), I've got just the thing to motivate you to break out the Spandex. Just for you, I am sharing the motivational video I have been using to work on my very own Zumba routine. Now if I could just find a pink jacket... Groove to the genius of Bruno Mars, and then get to readin' Friday Update, cuz we got work to do!

Most important reads for this week 

SAMHSA – Embrace the GAO recommendations for HHS mental health leadership 
The recent House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations hearing on the GAO report calling for HHS leadership in better coordinating program efforts across federal agencies was quite the show. I'm not sure which was more stunning – SAMHSA's rejection of the GAO recommendations or the boorish behavior of a few of the congressional committee members. Bottom line? The widening gulf in public understanding of the interconnectedness between services for individuals with severe mental illness at both ends of the continuum, from most restrictive to least restrictive, is frankly, frightening. Administrator Hyde needs to step up to the plate and aggressively help Congress, and the nation, see how treatment and recovery can have a productive and healthy interrelationship. 

Same law, divergent practice. Why is that? 
In this Morning Zen post, Lisa Lambert tackles the "sleeping giant" in current national conversations about mental health reform. What is the sleeping giant? HIPPA, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996. This law has a major impact on the role of families in the treatment of young adults. Gotta stress here, folks, the importance of families understanding the intricacies of the HIPAA law. Take some time to give a read to this post from a mom and fierce advocate. 

You may be addicted to your smartphone if... 
Please give a rousing welcome to our newest Morning Zen author Amy Williams. Amy is a journalist and former social worker, specializing in teen behavioral health. She believes that, in our digital age, it's time for parents and educators to make sure parents and students alike are educated about technology and social media use. Take note Network faithful, you are going to love Amy, her writing, and the very cool infographics she uses to bring her topics to life. Great information in this Zen post on smartphone addiction that you can use to start a discussion with your youngins'. Oh, and yes, the checklist applies to us immigrant smartphone users as well. Dang, this self-help stuff is killin' me… 

Advocates launch campaign to advance recovery-focused mental health care 
A number of advocacy groups are knee deep in planning and launching a national campaign to advance recovery-focused mental health care. The campaign promotes the hope and promise that people can and do recover from even the most serious mental health conditions when they are provided a full array of both treatment and recovery supports. This campaign offers a timely and welcome addition to the ongoing national conversation about mental health reform in America. Check it out, and if the spirit moves you, get involved!

28th Annual Research & Policy Conference just around the corner! 
The draft "Agenda at a Glance" is now available for download. We are just over a month away from gathering in Tampa, Florida, and we could not be more excited. You can peruse the full agenda online to see what awaits you - it's gonna be special! Hey, pop quiz - 75,73, 73, 74, 75 - winning lottery ticket numbers? No, but almost as good. These are the projected temperatures in sunny Tampa, Florida during the conference. Just sayin'. Somethin' to think about - especially for our New England and Canadian friends!

Learn more about our colleagues at the Thrive Initiative  
In the intro to this edition of Friday Update, we shined a light on Arabella Perez, Executive Director of THRIVE so the least we can do is share the amazing work she and her team are doing in Maine. THRIVE provides trainings, technical assistance, and consultation to state and local organizations as well as to community members with the goal of creating trauma-informed systems. Please visit their website and check out the great work they do for children and families! 

Jobs, jobs and more jobs! 
Hey, Network faithful, some sweet upper-level management opportunities in Monterey, CA and Seattle, WA. Dust off the resume and get on it!

Nadine Burke Harris: How childhood trauma affects health across a lifetime 
Childhood trauma isn't something you just get over as you grow up. Pediatrician Nadine Burke Harris explains that the repeated stress of abuse, neglect, and parents struggling with mental health or substance abuse issues has real, tangible effects on the development of the brain. This unfolds across a lifetime, to the point where those who've experienced high levels of trauma are at triple the risk for heart disease and lung cancer. An impassioned plea for pediatric medicine to confront the prevention and treatment of trauma, head-on. 

Changing our tune: Why we need a choir of advocates to fix mental health 
One our favorite Huffington Post writers and wonderfully devoted Network faithful, Liza Long, writes a thoughtful Morning Zen post about the importance of finding common ground among mental health advocates. Finding common ground is what we are all about, especially now, as we address polarizing differences of opinion on what direction to take to achieve meaningful mental health reform. 

HRH The Duchess of Cambridge supports UK's first Children's Mental Health Week 
Major props to The Duchess of Cambridge for taking a stand for children's mental health as part of Children's Mental Health Week in the UK. Be sure to check out Place2Be, the children's mental-health charity group responsible for launching this campaign. Big props to our UK friends from across the Pond! 


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

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