Friday Update 6-5-15

Greetings faithful readers. Thanks to Network faithful Rihanna for sharing this weeks' video inspiration. Playing For Change (PFC) is a movement created to inspire and connect the world through music. The idea for this project came from a common belief that music has the power to break down boundaries and overcome distances between people. We are gonna need a whole lot of that as we enter the "season of proposed mental health reform." Enjoy this video of the PFC Band performing Miriam Makeba's classic hit, "Pata Pata" and then get to readin' Friday Update, cuz we got work to do!

Most important reads for this week

Representatives Murphy and Johnson reintroduce Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act
House Energy& Commerce Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Chairman Tim Murphy (R-PA) and Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) have reintroduced the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act (H.R. 2646). I am most excited to read through the bill and provide thoughtful analysis. After a quick cursory review, I have already used up my favorite yellow highlighter and three of my trusty red pens... Let's not forget, Network faithful, that it is up to us to shape the conversation about what ultimately ends up in the bill. Words can be a powerful ally. Let's make sure Congress has the right words.

Inside the weekly staff meeting of the braintrust behind the NIMH Outreach Partnership Program
Oh my, do we ever have an exclusive for you! Faithful readers know that I am a big fan of Tom Insel, Director of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). Dr. Insel defines what leadership is all about. I don't always agree with Tom, but I have much respect for him and the amazing team of individuals he has assembled to coordinate the NIMH Partners program, of which we are a proud member. Each month the team from NIMH provides us with great content on mental health, that we in turn share with you. I am excited to tell you that crackerjack investigators from the CMHNetwork were able to obtain rare footage of one of Tom's staff meetings with his Outreach Partnership team. Finally, the secret to his ability to motivate those who report to him to exceed expectations on a consistent basis is revealed. Who knew that inside of Dr. Insel was a fully inner-developed Jackie Wilson? Enjoy the video, marvel at Dr. Insel's Jackie Wilson flair (especially at the 1:35 mark), and see if you can pick out the NIMH staff members (at the 2:20 mark). I gotta tell you, Shindig ain't got nuthin' on them.

The Course of the River
A daughter shares the loving yet painful journey with her mother's decline into depression, psychiatric hospitalization, ECT, and ultimately, her mother's permission for her to let go. 

Have we forgotten what Trayvon means to Black boys? Black lives do matter
Morning Zen guest author Anita Thomas shares an interaction with a young man in a training she was conducting that caused her to pause and give thanks. In the session, the young man shares his thoughts on the viral post from earlier this year that showed a dress, which some people saw as one color, and others saw as another. Anita writes,
"The picture of the dress [is it grey or blue?] was a major news story on February 26. The anniversary of the death of Trayvon Martin. For him, it was a sign of the lack of attention to the important. To the notion that Black lives matter. To the fact that he is a potential victim, only to be forgotten over the trivial. Thank you, son, for that reminder. Your life does matter. Trayvon's life matters. The lives of all young Black boys do matter."

Help NIH formulate a science vision for health disparities research
The National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) is embarking on a scientific planning process in collaboration with other NIH Institutes and Centers to define a vision that will guide the development of the science of health disparities research for the next decade. The NIMHD serves as the focal point at the NIH for the conduct of research, research training, capacity-building, and outreach dissemination of minority health and health disparities. Let NIH know what you think!

Webinar traffic jam
Goodness, enough upcoming webinars to fill as much time as the Breaking Bad marathon you survived over the weekend. No worries, we won't tell.

What works for transition age youth with EBD
Thanks to Network faithful, JoAnne Malloy, for sharing the exciting announcement of a newly funded study that will shed light on what works for transition-age youth with diagnosed emotional and behavioral disorders. The RENEW model (the focus of this study) continues to gain traction.

The incarceration of children & youth in New Jersey's adult prison system
The New Jersey Parents' Caucus takes a hard look at the state's current policies regarding the trying, sentencing and incarceration of children and youth between the ages of 14 and 17 in the adult system. It's not a pretty picture, folks.

Recommended LGBTQ children, youth, and families cultural competence tools, curricula, and resources
Another great contribution from Network Faithful Jeff Poirier. This synthesis recommends publicly available resources that can support workforce development in child-, youth-, and family-serving systems. Resources are intended to support more competent practice and affirming, inclusive services and supports for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) children, youth, and families. Thanks Jeff!

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is hiring
The Gates Foundation is looking for a Senior Program Officer to help to support Pre-K quality improvement efforts and scale existing pre-K systems to improve the quality and availability of Pre-K for three- and four-year-old children, with special emphasis on low-income students. 'Nuff said. Check it out!

Monitoring the Future national survey results
The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) has created a new section on its website featuring the most recent Monitoring the Future national survey results on drug use among students enrolled full-time in college as well as young people of the same age group not attending college. It also includes links of interest to parents, educators, dorm supervisors, counselors, clinicians, and researchers who work with this age group.

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Scott Bryant-Comstock
President & CEO 

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