Eighteenth Annual Rosalynn Carter Georgia Mental Health Forum

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This week Morning Zen features a review of the eighteenth annual Rosalynn Carter Georgia Mental Health Forum by CMHNetwork Advisory Council member Brigitte Manteuffel. To say that the forum had some wow power would be an understatement. The release of the CDC report on children's mental health and the surprise visit by Patrick Kennedy were only two of the many quality-laden occurrences at the meeting. Here is Brigitte's synopsis of events:

Building Quality Behavioral Health Community Services and Supports for All Georgians
The Eighteenth Annual Rosalynn Carter Georgia Mental Health Forum celebrated the public release of CDC’s report, Children’s Mental Health MMWR Mental Health Surveillance Among Children — United States, 2005–2011.  The report, which for the first time brings together national children’s mental statistics from multiple national surveys conducted across four agencies (CDC, HRSA, SAMHSA, NIMH), provides a concise picture of child mental health data in a single document.

Key meeting themes addressed

Good mental health is essential to overall health 
CDC Director Dr. Thomas Frieden’s keynote and dialogue with Carter Center Mental Health Program Director, Thomas Borneman, provided context for the report and future directions. Dr. Frieden emphasized the critical need for early identification, intervention, treatment and prevention to reduce disease burden; integration of behavioral health and physical health; increased awareness and dialogue on mental health; and the importance of data.

3 key areas for prevention were identified:

True to the focus on Georgia in this annual forum, a panel of experts led by CDC’s Ruth Perou, who facilitated the preparation of the report, provided comparison of the national statistics to Georgia’s and shared use of data at CDC and in Georgia to improve children’s mental health services in the community, to improve school climate (Check out the Georgia Student Health Survey II and report), and to address cultural and linguistic competence (CETPA).  Congratulations, Ruth and colleagues for providing us with a useful resource to better understand child and adolescent mental health and to work to improve services. .  The report provides a rich resource for asking questions about children’s mental health statistics. Questions such as, “Why is ADHD the most common diagnosis?”  and “What are more mental health problems observed among boys?”  and “What do these data tell us about the mental health service needs of diverse populations?”  and “What else do we need to know to understand these statistics?”

Former Representative Patrick Kennedy made a “mystery guest” appearance at lunchtime. Demonstrating his commitment to stigma elimination, Kennedy introduced himself as in recovery from substance abuse and mental illness. A staunch supporter of health care reform, Kennedy urged meeting attendees to assure that providers not take the place of consumers in the debates surrounding implementation of the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act with the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). ACA provides the opportunity to rewrite the rules of health care and patients need to be number one as States implement. 

Implementation of the Georgia Department of Justice Settlement Agreement is underway. Kudos to Georgia’s Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities Commissioner, Frank Berry, for recognizing the broader opportunity for systems change provided by the settlement agreement.

The Carter Center’s Mental Health Program is looking toward future programming in child and adolescent mental health services.

Noteworthy reports for Network faithful to check out

Note: The 29th Rosalyn Carter Symposium on Mental Health Policy on November 7 & 8, 2013 will focus on the Affordable Care Act. More details on this as they emerge.

brigitteBrigitte Manteuffel, PhD, brings to the Children's Mental Health Network's Advisory Board extensive expertise in children's mental health services research. As the former principal investigator for the national evaluation of the Children's Mental Health Initiative (CMHI) at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), over the past 14 years she examined the implementation and outcomes of systems of care in over 150 communities at the State, county, city, and tribal levels. Before her work with the CMHI national evaluation, Dr. Manteuffel conducted studies at Emory University's Rollins School of Public Health and Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing on HIV prevention among youth and young adults, fatigue and cancer stressors in children, epilepsy self management, and the alleviation of nausea in pregnancy. She has contributed to studies of youth suicide and violence prevention, child traumatic stress treatment, motivational interviewing to reduce risk of fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, and HIV prevention and treatment costs and outcomes. Her projects in the US and Africa have been funded by NIMH, CDC, ASPE, the World Bank, and the UK Department for International Development. Dr. Manteuffel received her doctorate from Emory University's Graduate Institute of the Liberal Arts where she focused her studies on depth psychology, anthropology and semiotics to examine the role of hypnotic states in healing. In addition to over 50 publications and over 100 presentations, she has contributed to over 150 briefs and reports, including annual reports to Congress and Children's Mental Health Awareness Day Brief Reports. In 2012, Dr. Manteuffel was one of two recipients of the Outstanding Community Partner Award given by the Department of Child and Family Studies at the University of South Florida. Dr. Manteuffel is committed to improving the access, quality, evidence base, and cost efficiency of health services, especially mental health and substance use services for children, youth and young adults.


  1. lisa lambert's avatar
    lisa lambert
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    Great recap, Brigette! So glad you were there. Very glad the CDC and the Carter Center are focused on children's mental health.
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