Friday Update 2-28-14

Greetings faithful readers. This edition of Friday Update is coming to you from warm and sunny Tampa, Florida. As we prepare for the 27th annual Children's Mental Health Research and Policy conference we are reminded of what a blessing it is to be part of a movement of individuals dedicated to strengthening research to help shape policy that will ultimately lead to better services for children, youth and families. Doesn't get much better than that. We also want to give a special shout out to the wonderful folks at Sesame Workshop who consistently help us when we need it most. As a small non-profit that relies on the maxim that everything we do should be free to you the end-user, we rely on partners like Sesame Workshop to provide great resources for us to distribute. Plus, how cool is it to have Sesame Workshop as a partner? If you are coming to the conference this week please stop by our table and get some great resource materials to take back to your family support teams. Sorry, we will have eaten all of the cookies by the time you get here. Without further adieu, let's start with a timeless classic selected just for the team from Sesame Workshop. Our expectation is that your entire staff will turn up the speakers and shake the roof at 1 Lincoln Plaza, New York, NY. Get your groove on to the Spice Girls, get inspired and then get to readin' Friday Update! 

Most important reads for this week

Sneak Peek - Children's Mental Health Awareness Week
Oh man, we are so excited about plans for Children's Mental Health Awareness Week but we need to wait one more week to get our ducks in a row. Check back on Friday for our announcement of some amazing partnerships and fun and on-point activities you can do in May or any time of the year! Heck, we hope you start after the announcement next week... 

Do your part to support a strong 302(b) allocation 
Network faithful take note - we are running this article again and again and again cuz it is danged important! Please consider having your organization sign on to the Coalition for Health Funding letter encouraging support of strong 302(b) allocations for the House and Senate Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations Subcommittees. The bigger the allocations, the better our chances of securing funding for these agencies and programs; or in the current environment, preventing further cuts. Bottom line? If we don't get a strong 302(b) allocation, all of your efforts on behalf of your favorite individual discretionary program... well... ya might as well just cast some old bait wrapped around a rusty hook into your neighbor's overfished pond... We are up to over 730 organizations that have signed on. Thank you FREDLA for being a recent signer! 

The Language of Love
Major props to one of our new Network faithful, Dan Richards of Sydney, Australia, for producing a short film that we think is a "must watch." Dan is the producer of THE LANGUAGE OF LOVE, written and performed by Kim Ho, under the mentorship of leading Australian playwright Tommy Murphy, and directed by Laura Scrivano. In the middle of a French exam, 17-year-old Charlie struggles to find the words to be true to his best friend…and himself. A wry, delicate take on first love and awakening sexuality from a young man's perspective. Note for those sensitive to such things that there is some strong language in the film. From our perspective this is one of the most beautiful and sensitive portrayals of a young person sorting through personal identity that we have seen. We love our Network faithful from Australia. Good on ya mates! (Hope I said that right…) 

Network partners with Enroll America 
Let's see, about a month to go for signing up for healthcare coverage for 2014. Now we know that all Network faithful know people who need health insurance but haven't signed up. Time to reach out folks. An insured America is a healthy America. Last week we announced our partnership with Enroll America to help make it easier for you and those you work with to sign up for health insurance. It is as simple as typing in your zip code and voila! –An instant listing of navigator resources near you. You can get free help with your health insurance application — either in-person or over the phone. Experts will answer your questions and guide you through the process. This is probably the most important link you should click on this week.

Don't forget the zinc oxide when packing for the 27th Annual Children's Mental Health Research & Policy Conference!  
Okay, pop quiz - What do the following numbers mean? 80 - 80 - 75 - 72. Winning lottery picks? Nope. Combination to the CMHNetwork safe? Nope. How about the weather forecast for Tampa, Florida beginning on Sunday. We are in the house now and the zinc oxide is slathered liberally. Looking forward to seeing the masses of Network faithful at the conference! 

Georgetown University Training Institutes featuring Father Gregory Boyle - so register already! 
Speaking of conferences, keep the learning going by registering for the Georgetown University Training Institutes taking place in Washington, DC July 16 – 20 in Washington, DC. The opening session will feature the incredible Father Gregory Boyle who is the founder and Executive Director of Homeboy Industries, the largest gang intervention, rehabilitation, and re-entry program in the United States. Homeboy Industries trains and employs former gang members and provides wraparound services include mental health treatment and supports. You won't want to miss the moving presentation of Father Greg and homeboys/homegirls who will share their experiences. See you in July! 

My Brother's Keeper initiative announced 
Ten foundations have announced that they will invest at least $200 million over five years as part of My Brother's Keeper, a White House initiative to expand opportunity for boys and young men of color. Good stuff!

House Labor-HHS deadline for 2015 Appropriations submissions coming soon
Network faithful take note that the House of Representatives deadline for Members' to submit programmatic and language submissions for consideration in the 2015 Appropriations bill will be here before we know it. The deadline for submissions to the Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies is April 4th. If ever there was a time to give your Representative a call to share your thoughts about what should be in the 2015 budget... I would say it is now. 

A free training series on a "Practical Guide to Healthcare Reform" offered by Manatt Health Solutions 
Listen up Network faithful - we have a wonderful opportunity to participate in a training series on "A Practical Guide to Healthcare Reform: The ABCs of Eligibility under the ACA."  This series is being offered to the KidsWell network and their partners on a pro bono basis by Manatt Health Solutions. This is a great opportunity for those of you who find yourself answering questions from clients, colleagues and friends about health insurance options available through the ACA. 

How the lack of state participation in the Medicaid Expansion will punish Americans with mental illness 
A new, groundbreaking study by the American Mental Health Counselors Association shows that nearly 4 million people with mental illnesses who are uninsured reside in the 25 states that have refused to participate in the Medicaid Expansion program under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Many of these individuals have severe mental health conditions and currently have no health insurance coverage through any public or private plan, but will be denied the opportunity to obtain coverage for treatment since those states have refused to participate. States declining Medicaid Expansion represent 55 percent of all uninsured people with major mental health disorders who are eligible for coverage in the new health insurance access initiative. 

Implementing Evidence-based Teen Pregnancy Prevention Programs: Legislation to Practice 
Network faithful take note: One of our favorite followers is the Office of Adolescent Health (OAH). They consistently do great work that we feature often in Friday Update and doggone if they haven't gone and done it again! We were pleased to see that the Journal of Adolescent Health just released a special issue supplement featuring implementation findings and lessons learned from OAH's Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program. 

PCORI announces $15.5 million for Engagement Awards program 
The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) recently launched the Eugene Washington PCORI Engagement Awards program, a $15.5 million initiative to forge opportunities for patients and other stakeholder communities to become more involved in patient-centered outcomes research (PCOR). Okay Network faithful, what the heck are you waiting for? Get to writin' some smokin' proposals!


Is Friday Update workin' for ya?

A big THANK YOU for reading and participating in Friday Update each and every week. Our promise to you is that we will work to improve and expand our coverage of pertinent issues for children's mental health advocates, families, policy makers and just plain folk who care about making our communities stronger. So in the spirit of innovation and change what would you do to improve Friday Update for 2014? Send us your ideas. We are grateful for any and all feedback especially for ideas of how we can improve upon what we offer you. Not signed up yet to receive Friday Update every week? Sign up now and get the latest information you need to help you improve services for children and families. Forward a copy of this Update to a colleague and be a part of spreading the love about children's mental health far and wide. Just be sure to give us a wee bit of credit, okay? 

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Let us know what you need from the Network!   

We love feedback so let us know how we can improve the website to better meet your needs. Contact us here. We run this operation on your donations. If you find Friday Update useful and the resources we alert you to on our website useful, take one minute to keep us going for another year with your tax-deductible donation. Thanks again to so many of you who are spreading the word. We are indeed a collective voice and your support is greatly appreciated.

Scott Bryant-Comstock
President & CEO 

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