Friday Update 5-15-15

Greetings faithful readers. Each week we strive to provide you a moment, no matter how brief, where you can step back, get out of your head, and experience collaboration in ways that may be foreign to you, but resonate, none the less. Enjoy the beauty of legendary dance choreographer Bill T. Jones and TED Fellows Joshua Roman and Somi who performed a most beautiful impromptu creative collaboration on the TED stage. Enjoy the performance, and then get to readin' Friday Update, cuz we got work to do!

Most important reads for this week

What is the magic ingredient in the "T" of AOT? Reflections on a site visit to the "best" AOT in America
Heads up to our growing legion of congressional staffers in the House and Senate – if you are going to participate in the development of any of the mental health bills currently under consideration, you need to understand our ongoing dialogue about AOT and its relationship to comprehensive mental health reform. Since my Morning Zen post on our visit to see AOT in action a few weeks ago, many have been chagrined that the Network is not coming out for or against. Guess what? We ain't changin' our minds. If we are to help Congress write legislation that truly focuses on mental health reform, we need to move our discussion to a whole different level. We can no longer allow the discussion of meaningful mental health reform be hijacked by back-alley brawls over "for" or "against". Read this Morning Zen post by Dennis Embry on the science, practice and fiscal realities around the AOT debate. Warning: This is not a read for those who are looking for easy answers or sexy soundbites.

Palau celebrates "Leaders as Clowns" for Children's Mental Health Awareness Day
Oh man, the collective voice of the Children's Mental Health Network continues to expand to include an ever-growing legion of dedicated professionals and families focused on promoting positive mental health. Case in point? Network faithful Jasmine Vergara, MD, practicing psychiatrist, and Acting Chief for Behavioral Health, Bureau of Public Health, Ministry of Health, Palau. Inspired by a recent Morning Zen post by Dr. George Patrin on leaders and the power of the clown nose, Jasmine, and her team organized an overwhelmingly successful Awareness Day event. Enjoy the pictures, feel the positive vibe from Palau, and embrace the red nose!

Don't call me an adult ally, I'm a parent. Always was, always will be
Hey, don't look now, but there is a movement afoot to sanitize the description of parents who have children with emotional challenges who have turned 18 from "parent" to "adults as allies". Say what? Oh my, has political correctness finally gone too far? Lisa Lambert weighs in on this growing controversial topic. I think I'm gonna call my three kids and tell them that I am no longer "Pop" but have transitioned to their adult ally. Dang, I wonder if this means I am no longer responsible for tuition, a spare room when they need it, or use of the washer and dryer? I don't know about you, but there is not a chance in heck that I would allow anyone to change my identity from "parent" to "adult ally." But that's me. What do you think? Read Lisa's post and weigh in. Goodness, I gotta go take a bromo...

White Rabbit
This week we are delighted to share another essay from Lee Gutkind's powerful book, Writing Away the Stigma. Matthew Newton writes about young adolescent emerging love with a girl residing in a psychiatric hospital, questions about self- identity, parental worry, and just plain trying to make sense of it all. I hope Network faithful are enjoying the series of essays as much as I am. Such raw sharing of heart and emotion. Excellent!


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Scott Bryant-Comstock
President & CEO

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