Friday Update 9-12-14  
Greetings faithful readers. We are two weeks away from our next dialogue on Assisted Outpatient Treatment, and we could not be more excited. Slow and steady folks, we are determined to conquer the divide around comprehensive mental health reform, and for darned sure, we ain't gonna quit. In the words of the immortal Kid President, "What if Michael Jordan had quit? We would have no Space Jam!" Enjoy this pep talk on teamwork and leadership from the Prez' and then get to readin' Friday Update!

Most important reads for this week 

Assisted Outpatient Treatment dialogue #2 set for September 29th! 
Plans are just about set for the second dialogue on Assisted Outpatient Treatment (AOT). We stand committed to moving beyond the rhetoric of "for" or "against" AOT. We are clear that we need a rational dialogue that focuses on the specifics of the AOT process, trigger points for advocates on both sides of the issue, and the larger impact a decision by Congress either for or against would have on emerging adults and their families. In this second dialogue, we will begin to explore what no one seems to be talking about - exactly how the process of AOT works in the real world beyond an emotionally charged theoretical construct. Our task is to identify the benefits and challenges associated with AOT, and maybe most important, clarify what services and supports need to be in place for this process to be an effective strategy that respects individual choice along with family and community responsibility. I want to stress that the goal for this second dialogue is to continue the process of identifying and clarifying assumptions on both sides of the debate, not to come to a conclusion. We will use the same fishbowl process that we used in the first dialogue. We need to model a rational approach to problem-solving - something that has been woefully lacking in the year-long debate about mental health reform that has centered around HR 3717. 

Send some Network love to Representative Barber and Representative Murphy!
Props to Representative Ron Barber's office for securing space in the Cannon House Office Building for our next dialogue on Assisted Outpatient Treatment (AOT). Between the offices of Representative Barber and Representative Murphy, we have felt much love and support for the dialogue process we have implemented. Network faithful - be sure to call these two Congressmen to thank them for encouraging the thoughtful and constructive series of dialogues being conducted by the Children's Mental Health Network.

We will be sending out the invitations for the second dialogue to congressional staff next week. Please note that if you are in the Washington, DC area on September 29th you are welcome to come and observe the dialogue. We will be holding our dialogue in room 411 of the Cannon House Office Building from 9 am - noon. As always, we leave time for informal conversation between dialogue participants and observers. We will be conducting these dialogues on a monthly basis so if you can't make this one you will have plenty of future opportunities to attend. 

Need to get up to speed on the dialogue process? Click here and get your read on. The message we are giving Congress with our actions is that we are not going away, we will not stay silent, and we will bring civility and compromise back to the national dialogue to improve mental health services in America. 

"Tampa Conference" Call for proposals is now open! 
The 28th Annual Research & Policy Conference on Child, Adolescent, and Young Adult Behavioral Health invites you to submit proposals for research benefiting children, youth and their families. The deadline for submissions is October 24, 2014. Known widely as "The Tampa Conference," this annual gathering of more than 500 researchers, evaluators, policy-makers, administrators, parents, and advocates is sponsored by the Department of Child and Family Studies at the University of South Florida, in partnership with the Children's Mental Health Network, the National Wraparound Initiative, Institute for Translational Research in Adolescent Behavioral Health, and the Institute for Innovation and Implementation at the University of Maryland School of Social Work. 

Join the "Karaoke Challenge" for children's mental health! 
Major props to Network faithful Linette Murphy for spearheading the "Karaoke Challenge" to raise awareness and funds for the Children's Mental Health Network. Get your inner air guitar out and take that Freddy Mercury solo out of the shower and on YouTube and get involved! 

Congressman Murphy is raising the right issues but proposing the wrong solutions 
Another thoughtful post from Network faithful Leah Harris. Mental health advocates and experts agree that our mental health systems are the shame of the nation. Our community mental health systems are fragmented, ineffective, difficult to access and fail to engage people who need the most help. Instead of providing needed social services for those who are homeless and experiencing serious mental health challenges or addictions, we criminalize their suffering. Rather than pouring even more taxpayer dollars into promoting controversial coercive approaches, we should be expanding proven and promising practices. Rep. Tim Murphy, R-Upper St. Clair, is to be lauded for shining a powerful spotlight on these issues. However, despite his good intentions and clear commitment, Rep. Murphy has it wrong when it comes to one of his most prominent prescriptions for fixing our broken mental health care systems.  

The neuroscience of complex problem solving in systems of care: Three strategies for tapping the power of your non-conscious 
The biggest problems facing system of care leaders and child and family serving organizations are complex (insight) problems that have multiple ways they can be solved. Be sure to check out the latest installment on the neuroscience of complex problem-solving in systems of care from Network faithful Laurie Ellington, CEO, Zero Point Leadership.

Speaking of neuroscience and the good folks at Zero Point Leadership, I  have agreed to take their upcoming 15-week leadership course and will be keeping a weekly diary, detailing my experience and what I am learning about my leadership journey (Lord help us all). Follow my progress each week in Friday Update. I figure if we are going to promote a leadership course we should experience it first hand. Looking forward to this journey that begins on October 6th. Wanna join me?

Text, Talk, Act is back!  
Text, Talk, Act is back by popular demand to focus on a NEW topic that is of utmost interest to youth: how to help a friend in need. On Monday, October 6th, the conversation will go nationwide. Anyone, anywhere in the country (and Canada!), at any time can join this important event. It's still super easy. Plus, you could win one of ten $500 prizes (or one of  three $1,000 prizes for your high school, college or community organization)! 

You too can learn how to love groups! 
The National Council for Behavioral Health wants you to learn how to love groups. This exciting initiative provides organization an opportunity to strengthen group delivered services by improving the knowledge and skills of group facilitators and their supervisors. Looks like a great opportunity for your organization.  

Integrating behavioral and physical health care: State strategies 
States across the country are embracing integrated care delivery models as part of their efforts to deliver high-quality, cost-effective care to Medicaid beneficiaries with both physical and behavioral health needs. Drawing on a review of the literature and interviews with consumers, providers, payers, and policymakers, Deborah Bachrach and colleagues from Manatt, Phelps & Phillips explore strategies states are deploying to promote integrated care for this medically complex and high-cost Medicaid population in a new Commonwealth Fund report.

Dr. Thomas Jensen speaks on childhood bipolar disorder 
The International Bipolar Foundation is offering another great webinar - this one focusing on children with Bipolar disorder.


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Scott Bryant-Comstock
President & CEO 

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