Friday Update 2-6-15

Greetings faithful readers. The nation was inspired this past week with a memorable example of strength through adversity, overcoming the odds and rising above in a 'true grit' fashion that Network faithful near and far could only hope to aspire. Yes, I am speaking of the Superbowl phenom known only as "Left Shark." Making a brief statement after one of the most memorable and highly choreographed half-time shows in Super Bowl history, Left Shark said, "It's not who I am underneath, but how I dance that defines me." Truer words were never spoken. Let your inner Left Shark seize the day, Network faithful, and then get to readin' Friday Update, cuz we got work to do!

Most important reads for this week 

GAO report out on mental health HHS leadership, and it ain't pretty 
Well, so much for a restful weekend. The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, chaired by Rep. Tim Murphy (R-PA), released a stunning new report yesterday from the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office entitled, "Mental Health: HHS Leadership Needed to Coordinate Federal Efforts Related to Serious Mental Illness." In a press release yesterday, Congressman Murphy said, "This GAO report is a much-needed wake-up call. The federal government's approach to addressing mental illness is a convoluted and disjointed mess. Shame on us if we don't take action and work on fixing the system-wide failures identified in this report so that we can focus resources on helping those in desperate need of medical services for treatment of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and chronic depression." The Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations will hold a hearing on Wednesday, February 11 at 10:00 a.m. in room 2123 of the Rayburn House Office Building to review the report. Looks like I'm gonna be gassin' up the truck for yet another trip to DC...  

You don't need a pot of gold to make a difference 
Hey, system of care fans – Interested in learning about how a community can embrace the system of care concept without federal funding? Then look no further than Racine, Wisconsin. Ashley Staeck of the Johnson Foundation takes us through the process one city has used to gain community-wide support for strengthening services for youth with mental health challenges and their families. Love it!  

28th Annual Research & Policy Conference just around the corner! 
Pre-conference intensives, a full agenda, and almost full hotel! The time is drawing near, and we are very excited not only by the quality of the presentations for our concurrent sessions, but also our amazing lineup of plenary sessions and two impressive pre-conference intensive workshops. Folks, the hotel is close to being sold out. Please make your hotel reservations today! The bus station is a fine place to hang out, but we don't want any conference participants sleeping there! 

Nina Sichel set to speak at Families in Global Transition (FIGT) conference 
Over the past five years, we have featured some amazing authors in the Morning Zen section of the Children's Mental Health Network website. One of the most popular is Nina Sichel, who writes on the topic of third culture kids (TCK's). Nina will be presenting her work at the FIGT conference in early March. If you are in the Tyson's Corner part of Virginia, March 6-8, be sure to stop in and say hello!

Upcoming KSOC-TV episode focuses on behavioral health and adoption 
Hey, Network faithful, here is your chance to watch Gary Blau channel his inner Matt Lauer with another timely episode of KSOC-TV. This upcoming show features a distinguished panel of experts taking an in-depth look at adopted children and youth. With high rates of trauma and neglect among adopted children, adoptive families are three times more likely than birth parents to seek out clinical services for behavioral health. If you work with adoptive families, you will find this interactive webisode valuable. 

Primer Hands On - Training for leaders on building effective systems of care 
The National Technical Assistance Center for Children's Mental Health at Georgetown University has a wonderful opportunity for you and other key leaders that you identify as strategic to implementing your system of care initiatives. Take advantage of this great opportunity to participate in a "Primer Hands On" training on June 3 and 4, 2015 in Washington, DC. Time to get your system of care knowledge on! 

Affordable Care Act broadens insurance coverage for behavioral health care for young adults 
The Affordable Care Act has extended health care coverage to many young adults (ages 19 to 26) and, as a result, has expanded their access to behavioral healthcare services according to a new study by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The study shows that since the Affordable Care Act allowed for young people in this age bracket to be covered as dependents under their parents' health insurance policies, coverage rates for this age group have risen from of 70.2 percent in 2010 to 76.6 percent in 2012. People in this age group who were insured were nearly twice as likely to receive mental health treatment as those without health insurance (13.5 percent versus 6.7 percent). This document is a good read, Network faithful! 

HHS congressional budget justifications available 
Many thanks to Emily Holubowich of the Coalition for Health Funding for pulling this together and putting it all in one place! We love it that we align ourselves with über smart people. 


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Scott Bryant-Comstock
President & CEO 

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