Friday Update 5-8-15

Greetings faithful readers. This issue of Friday(ish) Update has been basking in the North Carolina sun for a few days now. The CMHNetwork compound is in the midst of a move to a deeper part of the bunker (no shale oil here!), and during the hustle and bustle we thought it would be good to leave this particular tome on the surface, soaking in some much-needed vitamin D. After a most wonderful visit last week to the Michigan Association for Children's Mental Health, we thought it appropriate to start off with a personal request from Michigan Network faithful who are loyal readers of Friday Update. Enjoy the brilliance that is Leonard Cohen, throw in a few hallelujah's that this issue is finally done, and then get to readin' Friday Update, cuz we got work to do!

Most important reads for this week (Okay, okay - last week...)

The happiest days of our lives 
This week we are delighted to share another essay from Lee Gutkind's powerful book, Writing Away the Stigma. Rebecca College writes about what living with a parent suffering PTSD looks like through the eyes of a child. We at the Network are so grateful to courageous authors like Rebecca, who unselfishly share of themselves to widen the window of humanity that must surround mental illness.

Family & Youth Roundtable shifts from "Awareness" to "Celebration"
Leave it to Donna Marto and the crew at the San Diego Family & Youth Roundtable to capture the importance of thinking beyond awareness when focusing on children's mental health. Family & Youth Roundtable's suggestion is to shift from an awareness day to a celebration. "The term "awareness" often connotes a deficit, creating further prejudice," said Marto. "We believe the word "celebration" allows us to not only bring attention to children and youth with mental health concerns, but also allows us to focus on and acknowledge positive mental health and well-being." In honor of Mental Health Month and Children's Mental Health Week, the San Diego County Children's System of Care worked collaboratively with young leaders to develop a video that shares how they and their organizations support the integration of children's mental health and well-being. Hot tip! Network Advisory Council member Alfredo Aguirre, is rockin' a truly cool green tie in the video. Way to represent, Alfredo!

The many people with substance abuse problems may find few to treat them
Wonderful article by Christine Vestal on the exciting work of Jeff Zornitsky of the health care consulting firm Advocates for Human Potential (AHP). Zornitsky has developed the first measurement of how many behavioral health professionals are available to treat millions of adults with a substance use disorder, or SUD, in all 50 states. The number of people with insurance coverage for alcohol and drug abuse disorders is about to explode at a time there's already a severe shortage of trained behavioral health professionals in many states.

Social Media Campaign: When the Prescription Becomes the Problem
CDC has launched a social media campaign to share stories of the many people whose lives have been affected by prescription painkiller addiction. Check out the campaign and get involved!

New Prescription Drug Overdose Website
CDC is on a roll. The agency just announced a new website that highlights resources for health care providers, states, and the public to curb America's prescription drug overdose epidemic.

New Study Examines Missed and Misdiagnosed FASD
This SAMHSA Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) Center for Excellence research review summarizes a study looking at missed and misdiagnosed cases of FASD. The study found that 86 percent of cases with FASD diagnoses were either unrecognized (80 percent) or misdiagnosed (6 percent) at referral in this sample of foster- and adoptive-care populations. When replicated in other study sets, these findings would have significant implications regarding the need for increased FASD training and diagnostic capacity nationwide.

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Scott Bryant-Comstock
President & CEO 

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