Friday Update 6-12-15
Friday Update 6-12-15
Greetings faithful readers. We are entering a season that will be full of discussion about mental health reform. The focus will be primarily on adults and youth transitioning to adulthood. Let's not forget just how important it is to pay attention to developing resilience in our youngest citizens, the critical importance of prevention, and the cost benefits of nurturing self-determination. Enjoy this inspiring video from Thailand on a mother's strategy for teaching independence and critical thinking to her daughter, and then get to readin' Friday Update, cuz we got work to do!
Most important reads for this week
Good intentions, sense, science, and dollars: Improving the new Murphy Bill
Great read in Morning Zen by Dennis Embry - "The Murphy bill contains honorable and hopeful aspirations, yet evokes a quote from Thomas Edison that merits mindfulness: "A good intention, with a bad approach, often leads to a poor result." So here is the Murphy bill, full of good intentions. When you consider the sense, science, and dollars, the bill will almost certainly lead to a bad result… There are better ways to achieve the good intentions of all the parties, with better sense, science, and dollar value. I wish we could have that adult discussion: millions of lives hang in the balance."
A letter from the heart
Much Network love to Laura Humphries, for sharing so deeply about her journey with mental illness, keeping the demons in check, recognizing boundaries, and not being a victim. Laura is a mental health advocate in Cambridgeshire, UK. We love our United Kingdom Network faithful!
CMHNetwork 'walks the walk' on the Alternatives Conference
The Alternatives Conference, now entering its 29th year, was at the center of controversy last year in the often heated debate around the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act. Comments about the conference were often vitriolic, and the name 'Alternatives' was highlighted as an example of wasteful spending by SAMHSA. Join us as we attend the conference this year to see what all the fuss was about. Who knows, we may even learn something!
Matsui brings rationality and common sense to the HIPAA conversation
Big time props to Representative Doris Matsui for her level-headed approach to addressing the challenge many families face when trying to share information with providers who are treating their adult child who may be living at home. We were thrilled to read Representative Matsui's bill that provides much needed clarifying language around HIPAA regulations. Most important, the bill provides $30 million over seven years to create model training programs for educating health care providers on what health information can be shared and in which scenarios. Thank you, Representative Matsui!
Representative Tonko Statement on H.R. 2646
Representative Paul Tonko (NY) makes salient points in discussing his reactions to the recently released Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act (H.R. 2646). We are appreciative of his recognition of the challenges inherent in carrying out some of the key recommendations in the bill. Here is one example, from his statement:
- "…I am perplexed by the provisions surrounding the Medicaid IMD exclusion and the Medicare mental health 190-day inpatient limit. Language in this bill implies that these policies cannot go into effect unless CMS certifies that they will not result in any net spending. Both of these policies have been evaluated numerous times by budget analysts and would clearly imply billions of dollars in increased federal spending. Because of the 'no-increased spending' clause, it is unclear how these policies would ever be implemented under this legislation."
Solutions to chronic school absenteeism
Once again, Kevin Dwyer calls it the way it is. What we love most about Kevin is that he provides clear strategies for improvement.
"Our best in-school mental health promotion and interventions programs will not work if the students are chronically absent from school. Many experts believe that absence rates of 15 or more school days a year severely handicaps a student's success, and some even say more than 10 can be damaging. Excused or un-excused, it is the accumulation that disrupts the student's instruction and has lasting impact too frequently leading to not graduating on time or dropping out."
GAO report - SAMHSA must do better on grant reporting
The latest GAO report on SAMHSA is now available.
- "GAO recommends that the Administrator of SAMHSA direct CMHS to take steps, such as developing additional program-specific guidance, to ensure that it consistently and completely documents both the application of criteria when awarding grants to grantees, and its ongoing oversight of grantees once grants are awarded."
We were happy to see that HHS concurred with this recommendation!
'Prevention science' can improve Baltimore's future
Read and share this Op-ed piece by Diana Fishbein. We must continue to beat the drum for prevention science.
"Similar to Hurricane Katrina, when the nation's attention turned to the abject poverty in the South, the unrest following the death of Freddie Gray has unveiled the deep-seated and longstanding neglect in Baltimore. Over the past century, Baltimore has become a tinderbox, easily ignited and difficult to extinguish. The young people who looted and set fires after Gray's death were portrayed in the media as hooligans taking advantage of a chaotic situation to misbehave. But closer to the truth, the uprisings are the culmination of decades of public indifference and misguided policies."
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