Friday Update 9-18-15

Greetings faithful readers. Hope you have been enjoying the debates over the past few weeks. Let's start off this issue of Friday Update with the Indian Debating Union rapping a reminder of the tenets of civil debate. Enjoy the vibe, andthen get to readin' Friday Update, cuz we got work to do!

Most important reads for this week

Tom Insel leaves NIMH for Alphabet
Network faithful know well of our admiration, and yes, sometimes consternation, with outgoing NIMH Director, Tom Insel. While we didn't always agree with him, our respect for his leadership and commitment to better understanding the intricacies of mental illness and the brain have always been at 110%. We will miss his leadership and wish him well in his new venture. Read the announcement from NIH Director, Francis Collins, here.

Runaway Train
On Aug. 18, Rosie O'Donnell took to social media to ask her followers to help her find her 17-year-old daughter Chelsea, who had run away from home the week before. O'Donnell posted an alert on her website and Twitter account stating that Chelsea hadn't been seen since Aug. 11.
O'Donnell also posted that her daughter had stopped taking her medication and "was in need of medical attention." Her spokesperson added that "Chelsea, like millions of people, lives with mental illness. It has been a difficult road for Chelsea and her family, and they just want her back safe." In the O'Donnell case, it seems likely that the family made a decision to discuss Chelsea's mental health issues to help find their child, and one cannot imagine a more compelling reason to "go public" with her condition. But it's also likely that, given the ignorance that is so widespread regarding mental illness, it wasn't an easy decision for them to make. If this incident sheds some light and sparks some intelligent discussions about media sensationalism, the role of social media both for good and ill, and the stigma surrounding mental illness, then that will at least result in some positive outcomes from what has been a sad, personal family story made public. Read the full Morning Zen post by Andrew Malekoff.

29th Annual Research & Policy Conference, March 13 - 16, 2016 – Call for Proposals is in full swing!
Since 1988, this annual conference has been a leader in promoting the development of the research base essential to improved service systems for children and youth with mental health challenges and their families. In the context of a rapidly diversifying population, this conference continues to expand to include topics related to substance abuse service systems and research, as well as pressing behavioral health topics associated with mental health reform legislation being discussed in Congress. The call for proposals is now open so get those pencils sharpened and get to writin'!

Rock Star Awards celebrates champions for youth
It's that time of year again; Youth Motivating Other through Voices of Experience (M.O.V.E.) National Is celebrating the 5th Annual RockStar Awards! This prestigious award honors individuals and organizations who make an outstanding contribution to the improvement of services and systems that support positive growth and development of young people who have lived experience in various child-serving systems including, but not limited to, mental health, juvenile justice, education, and child welfare. Get your nomination groove on here.

We need more mental illness literacy
Susan Inman thinks that "efforts at improving mental illness literacy in [the United States and Canada] have been hampered by a problematic notion that education about biological aspects of mental illnesses will lead to greater stigmatizing of people with these disorders. Family caregivers are in a unique position to understand how the lack of all kinds of necessary education negatively impacts the outcomes for their family member. For instance, lack of adequate public mental illness literacy and lack of appropriate training of various professionals can lead to delays in getting the kinds of medical treatments that may be necessary. And the longer durations of untreated psychosis leads to poorer outcomes. If we want to begin to address the hard truths that Dr. Thomas Insel shows us about the current situation for people with schizophrenia, then we need to recognize the kinds of obstacles that continue to thwart progress. While we wait for breakthroughs in neuroscience to lead to better treatments for schizophrenia, what we can ask for is better education to make the best use of the treatments we now have." Be sure to read Susan's Morning Zen post and weigh in!

Black Mental Health isn't the same as White Mental Health
You can't have a frank discussion about mental health within the African-American community without confronting issues related to social trauma. Uncomfortable (and sometimes dangerous) encounters with a distrusted police force. Drugs and crime infesting a neighborhood. The institutional scars of slavery and segregation. Dr. Michael Lindsey of NYU's Silver School of Social Work sees signs of debilitating trauma throughout black America. He points to two key reasons this is. First, mental illness is unfairly stigmatized in these communities, just as it is throughout American culture. Second, cultural definitions of strength and courage are dictated by efforts to work against institutional ills such as discrimination. How one reacts to these ills, coupled with the community's response to said reaction, adds a lot of tension other Americans don't necessarily have to deal with. Watch the video here.

Mass incarceration visualized
In this animated interview, the sociologist Bruce Western explains the current inevitability of prison for certain demographics of young black men and how it's become a normal life event. "We've chosen the response of the deprivation of liberty for a historically aggrieved group, whose liberty in the United States was never firmly established to begin with," Western says. Watch the video here.

System of Care Institute is looking for a new Director
Hey Network faithful, this looks like a great opportunity for the right person! The Center for Improvement of Child and Family Services (CCF) is looking for a new Director. The Director of System of Care Team provides leadership for the System of Care Institute, an externally funded program of the School of Social Work's suite of research and sponsored projects. Grab yourself a Portland Cup 'O Joe and get to applyin'!

Draft recommendation statement and evidence review: Screening for depression in children and adolescents
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force posted a draft recommendation statement and draft evidence review on screening for depression in children and adolescents. Both are available for review and public comment from September 8, 2015, through October 5, 2015. Read the notice here.

Recovery Webcast: New Technologies for Whole Body Health and Wellness
This Road to Recovery web episode looks at the use of new technologies that help people track their physical, mental, and emotional health. The episode reviews SAMHSA's new mobile applications and interactive tools. Sign up here.


Boys are more likely than girls to receive a prescription for antipsychotic medication regardless of age, researchers have found. Approximately 1.5 percent of boys ages 10-18 received an antipsychotic prescription in 2010, although the percentage falls by nearly half after age 19. Among antipsychotic users with mental disorder diagnoses, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) was the most common among youth ages 1-18, while depression was the most common diagnosis among young adults ages 19-24 receiving antipsychotics. - See more at: http://www.cmhnetwork.org/resources/show?id=909#sthash.DQfNZxVs.dpuf





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