Friday Update 5-1-15 
Greetings faithful readers. This issue of Friday Update marks 150 consecutive weeks of bringing you news and analysis on what's happening in the world of children's mental health. Milestones always remind me of how grateful I am to be part of this amazing and ever-growing collective voice. Let's celebrate this small milestone together with the genius that is Curtis Mayfield. Take a moment to embrace the inspiration of the words of his song, Keep On Keeping On.

We who are young, should now take a stand
Don't run from the burdens of women and men
Continue to give, continue to live
For what you know is right

Keep on keeping on and then get to readin' Friday Update, cuz we got work to do!

Most important reads for this week   

Feds pay for drug fraud: 92 percent of foster care, poor kids prescribed antipsychotics get them for unaccepted uses
Be sure to read Art Levine's stinging review of the rampant inappropriate use of antipsychotic medications with children in foster care.
The release in late March of an alarming new report by federal investigators has confirmed in shocking new detail what has been known for years: Poor and foster care kids covered by Medicaid are being prescribed too many dangerous antipsychotic drugs at young ages for far too long -- mostly without any medical justification at all. The report by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Inspector General examined in depth nearly 700 claims filed in 2011 in five of the biggest prescribing states -- California, Florida, Illinois, Texas and New York -- and discovered that two-thirds of all the prescribing with these popular and costly "second generation antipsychotics" (SGAs) raised high-risk "quality of care" concerns.

The infant mental health workforce: Key to promoting the healthy social and emotional development of children
Listen up, Network faithful - there is a reason we are such big fans of the Child Health and Development Institute of Connecticut (CHDI). Let's face it - we are serious Judith Meyers groupies. She lives and breathes the fundamentals of the system of care approach that has guided the professional development of so many in the field of children's mental health. CHDI has come out with a new publication that describes critical components of a competent infant and toddler mental health workforce in Connecticut and makes specific recommendations for strengthening capacity statewide. We are sharing this publication as a wonderful example that we think is worthy of replication. If you are part of a group in your state that is tasked with developing recommendations for strengthening the infant and early childhood mental health workforce, read this publication first. It honors the spirit of systems of care, is guaranteed to promote a collaborative mindset, and will give your team some great ideas that will move you one step closer to success.

Representative Murphy and Matsui introduce bipartisan resolution recognizing May as Mental Health Awareness Month
Reps Tim Murphy (PA-18) and Doris Matsui (CA-6) have introduced a bipartisan congressional resolution declaring "May as Mental Health Month." H. Res. 244, seeks to "remove the stigma associated with mental illness and place emphasis on scientific findings regarding mental health recovery." And, "promote public awareness of mental health and providing critical information and support to the people and families affected by mental illness."

Becoming evidence-based: A step-by-step approach webinar
Do you believe your program is effective? What does it take to get on an "effective program list"? Check out this webinar where you will learn the process of becoming evidence-based, with a focus on child and youth-serving organizations. Experts from Child Trends will explain the process, and illustrate with real-life examples.

Assisted Outpatient Treatment recognized as evidence-based intervention
Speaking of effective program lists, SAMHSA last week added Assisted Outpatient (AOT) to the National Registry of Evidence-Based Programs and Practices (NREPP). AOT has been at the center of CMHNetwork dialogues over the past year. Okay Network faithful, here is your opportunity to get involved in identifying the "T" in AOT.

Advanced training in child protection offered by Kempe Center
The Kempe Center is launching a Summer Institute on Child Protection from July 6-24, 2015 in Denver, CO. The Institute is for individuals interested in advancing their knowledge and skills in research, clinical practice, leadership and policy related to child abuse and neglect and family violence. This looks like an excellent opportunity, Network faithful!

National Wraparound Initiative looking for examples of excellence
The National Wraparound Initiative is looking for videos of actual Wraparound practice for a new study on Wraparound facilitator skill. Let's help them out, Network faithful!

Sesame Street in Communities
It's the Month of the Young Child, and the Sesame Street pals are celebrating with videos designed to help little ones grow smarter, stronger, and kinder. C'mon Network faithful, you know you wanna get your Big Bird on!

Writing Away the Stigma
Lee Gutkind is the author or editor of numerous books about the medical and mental health communities, including Stuck in Time: The Tragedy of Childhood Mental Illness, and Writing Away the Stigma: Ten Courageous Writers Tell True Stories About Depression, Bipolar Disorder, ADHD, OCD.  His essays about mental illness and related issues have appeared in the New York Times and on National Public Radio. We are proud to have him as one of our amazing Advisory Council members. Lee is sharing his passion for sparking creative writing with Network faithful by sharing on line the ten essays in his book, Writing Away the Stigma. The authors of each essay have graciously given their consent for their words to be shared on the Children's Mental Health Network website. We will share their writings over the next few months. Enjoy!

The Runaway Bunny
Here is the first essay from Writing Away the Stigma.

Harvard Center on Developing Child releases 3-part video series on resilience
The science of resilience can help us understand why some children do well despite serious adversity. Resilience is a combination of protective factors that enable people to adapt in the face of serious hardship, and is essential to ensuring that children who experience adversity can still become healthy, productive citizens. Enjoy this well-done video series focusing on the fundamentals of resilience.

Senior Program Officer, USP, Policy and Advocacy, Gates Foundation - Washington, DC
This position will focus on Early Learning and other areas of education policy. The Senior Program Officer will develop and lead grant making initiatives to engage a wide variety of stakeholders, develop strong champions, foster coalitions, and create the right policy environment to ensure that all students have the opportunity to succeed in college, careers, and life. Looks like a sweet position, Network faithful!

Expenditures for Mental Health among Adults, Ages 18-64, 2009-2011: Estimates for the U.S. Civilian Noninstitutionalized Population
Mental health care costs for individuals ages 18 to 64 averaged more than $48 billion annually from 2009 to 2011, with 45 percent of the cost (about $22 billion) spent on prescription medicines. On average during that period, 28 million adults per year had health care expenses related to mental health diagnoses. 

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Scott Bryant-Comstock
President & CEO 

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