Friday Update 4-4-14
Friday Update 4-4-14
Greetings faithful readers. What a week! Meetings with both Senate and House staff and a fabulous 3-day meeting for NIMH Partners. No wonder Friday Update is just a tad late... We sometimes hear from readers that Friday Update is too long, filled with too much information and analysis. Network faithful know that we don't do well with sound bites, so apologies in advance for the length of this issue. Wait a minute - what the heck are we apologizin' for? Network faithful are the most knowledgeable and informed children's mental health advocates around and we plan on keepin' it that way. So put the "Do not Disturb" sign on the door, watch a little Aerosmith and RUN DMC to inspire you to "Walk This Way" and then get to readin' Friday Update!
Most important reads for this week
We ain't gonna stop with our education efforts in Congress
The distance from my home to the Senate and House in Washington, DC is 554 miles roundtrip. I must tell you that every mile driven down good old I-95 is worth it if we can continue the quest to broaden the education opportunities of those who are making decisions about the type of services and supports that are funded by the federal government for young people with mental health challenges and their families. Network faithful know we refuse any federal funding so that our voices may remain clear to be supportive with both praise and constructive criticism when necessary. Tempting as it might be to take a grant here or there to keep things goin', it's not gonna happen... (Here comes the pitch) If ya wanna throw a few bucks into the gas fund for the old truck, we ain't gonna stop ya!
Wall Street Journal editorial on SAMHSA "shameful, deceptive, and untruthful"
Earlier this week the Wall Street Journal published an unsigned editorial in their review and outlook section that eviscerates SAMHSA for how (as they state) "undermines treatment of the mentally ill." Needless to say, there has been both outrage and support, pitting mental health advocates against each other. The timing of this editorial coincides with the current discussions in Congress around the HR 3717 - Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act. Read the Morning Zen post from guest contributor Jonathan Delman, who, speaking from personal experience, characterizes the editorial as shameful, and even worse deceptive and untruthful.
CMHNetwork Children's Mental Health Awareness Week
In partnership with Characters Unite and Creating Community Solutions the Children's Mental Health Network is offering two great activities that you can use as stand-alone activities during Children's Mental Health Week or can incorporate into your existing plans to enhance what we are sure is already a great program. Our focus this year is Battling Stigma and Disparities in Children's Mental Health. Creating Community Solutions is making all of their resources available so that you can hold meaningful dialogues in your community about the importance of battling stigma and disparities in children's mental health. Characters Unite has given us the idea of both joining their "I won't stand for" campaign and creating one of our own for you to participate in. Check it out Network faithful and get ready for a great Children's Mental Health Awareness week!
The hustle: Economics of the underground sex economy
The Urban Institute is out with a new research-based interactive feature that sheds new light on the scope of America's underground commercial sex economy. This is disturbing information but important for Network faithful to be aware of.
Sessions announced for the Georgetown Training Institutes
The winning proposals have been posted for the Georgetown Training Institutes and man, do they look great! Check out the institutes, workshops and poster sessions and then get to signin' up for what promises to be a great conference!
Children of color face significant barriers to success
African-American, Latino, Native American, and some subgroups of Asian-American children face significant barriers to achieving success in school and life, a new report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation finds. Based on a new Race for Results index, the report, Race for Results: Building a Path to Opportunity for All Children, compared data derived from twelve indicators of a child's success in each stage of life and found that most children of color are less likely to grow up in economically successful families, live in supportive communities, and meet developmental, health, and educational milestones.
Day of Silence (April 11, 2014)
Silence can create change! That's why every year hundreds of thousands of students across the world take a vow of silence on a Friday in April. This quiet but powerful, student-led action raises awareness about the silencing effect of anti-LGBT bullying, harassment and discrimination. Anyone can organize a Day of Silence activity or event, and it can be a powerful way to band together and take a stand. Learn more about how to register, organize, what your rights are, and what to do if those rights aren't being respected. Strength in numbers. Solidarity in silence.
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Data Archive
Did you know you have free access to substance abuse and mental health data from major data collection systems through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Data Archive? What are you waiting for researchers? Get on it!
New toolkit helps healthcare providers integrate sexual health into patient-centered care
Sexual health is an essential part of every individual's overall health and well-being, and primary health care professionals should ask about a patient's sexual history as part of their comprehensive health history during primary care visits. But in busy healthcare practices, it is not uncommon for providers to skip the sexual history unless a patient shows signs or symptoms of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Providers may also avoid taking sexual histories because they do not feel comfortable asking sensitive and potentially embarrassing questions, or they do not feel prepared to ask those questions in a culturally competent manner when their patients are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT). Fortunately, a new resource is available to help them do so.
Take Action! Please take time to familiarize yourselves with these bills and share your thoughts with your elected officials.
- Keeping All Student's Safe Act!
Senator Tom Harkin has introduced the Keeping All Students Safe Act (KASA), vowing to push forward with this bill "either as a stand-alone piece of legislation or by incorporating it into a bigger bill." The bill puts the contentious issue back on the front burner in Congress after the House passed a similar bill in 2010 and a previous Senate bill stalled. Make no mistake; getting the KASA bill through will be an uphill battle so your continued advocacy on this issue is important. While we think the introduction and passage of this proposed bill should be a no-brainer, much more public support is needed. And that means you! We have made it super easy for you to do so take 5 minutes and let your voice be heard.
- Prohibiting Detention of Youth Status Offenders Act of 2014
H.R. 4123, the Prohibiting Detention of Youth Status Offenders Act of 2014 would eliminate locked confinement of status offenders. Under the Juvenile Justice Delinquency and Prevention Act (JJDPA), youth who have committed a status offense such as running away from home or skipping school, cannot be placed in locked confinement unless their behavior violates a valid court order. Rep. Cardenas' bill, gets rid of this exception. The bill requires all states, within one year of the legislation's passage, to stop using the valid court order (VCO) exception. States can be granted an additional 12 months to eliminate their use of VCOs if they are able to show hardship. Status offenders do not belong behind bars as overwhelming evidence indicates that once in the prison system the likelihood of repeat incarcerations increases. Efforts need to be addressed to alternative treatment strategies that do not involve incarceration.
- Protecting Youth From Solitary Confinement Act
H.R. 4124, the Protecting Youth From Solitary Confinement Act prohibits solitary confinement of individuals who are being held in juvenile facilities, and are under federal custody. The bill further requires that the Director of the Board of Prisons compile and present annual data on the number of juveniles who are placed in solitary confinement at their facilities. The report will include demographic information, and data on why and how long the youth was placed in solitary. H.R. 4124, was sent to the Judiciary Committee for their review.
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