Friday Update

CMHNetwork Friday Update 12-12-20

December 12, 2020

Greetings, faithful readers. I’m not exactly sure what it is, but I got that sunshine in my pocket and some good soul in my feet. As we get closer to January and a new day, well dang, I feel like dancing! Enjoy Justin Timberlake with his infectious song – I Can’t Stop the Feelin! C’mon, I know you want to start dancing. Just do it. Your soul will thank you for it. Get your dance on, and then get to readin’ Friday Update, cuz we got work to do!

Most Important Reads of the Week

Celebrating the Life of Iris Renee Allen
Hey Network faithful, please pause for a moment and honor the life of 14-year old Iris Renee Allen. Iris’s family and friends have made a generous donation to the Children’s Mental Health Network and made one simple but powerful request – keep shining a light on the need for mental health services for children, adolescents, and their families. It was difficult for Iris’s family to get her the help she needed, especially during the Pandemic. Her parents plan to spend their efforts moving forward on fighting the fight against mental illness, especially with teenagers. The Children’s Mental Health Network is honored to join them in this fight. Iris is survived by her family Stephanie (Mother), Lucas (Father), Ava (Sister), and Braden (Brother). Much love to the Allen family and much gratitude for sharing Iris’s spirit with the Network. And to all Network faithful reading this – Take a moment before continuing to read this newsletter to send positive energy and love to the Allen family. Thank you!

Trauma-Sensitive Tools For Back-to-School
Much gratitude to Network faithful, Amy Torchia, for sharing this excellent resource!
The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on our schools and education system as a whole amount to collective trauma on a global scale. In a span of moments, students across the world went from brick-and-mortar classrooms to at-home learning in virtual spaces. And troublingly, many of us don’t know when or even if we will go back to the way our classrooms thrived pre-pandemic. This Trauma-Sensitive Toolkit is designed as a resource for families and teachers to help. Learn more about the authors of this publication, YOGAed, here.

The Optimistic Advocate – Expectations (Podcast)
In this 9- minute episode, the topic is expectations. As someone who has been in the helping business my entire adult life, the expectations I set for myself are huge and often get in the way of me being productive and doing the right thing. In this episode, I explore expectations, share a poem on expectations that will hopefully get you thinking, and as always, give you a homework assignment. Enjoy the episode!

The Optimistic Advocate – Communicating in Stereo (Podcast)
In this 19-minute episode of the Optimistic Advocate podcast, spend some time with me as I share how my Kundalini awakening has transformed my communication skills. Say what?

The Optimistic Advocate – Ah, The Wonder of it All (Podcast)
In this 8-minute episode of the Optimistic Advocate podcast, the discussion of my Kundalini Awakening continues, with a focus on “Wonder” and the importance of incorporating more wonder into our lives. Wonder is a pure expression of the universe. Just think if we made “wonder” a part of our daily routine? Now that would be wonderful!

High Fidelity Wraparound Participation Significantly Reduces Residential Treatment Facility Spending
High Fidelity Wraparound (HFW) is a care coordination practice model designed for youth with complex mental health needs and their families. In part, HFW aims to provide effective services in children’s homes and communities. Participation in HFW should thus reduce the need for intensive behavioral health services and out-of-home or institutional placements, which would result in decreased Medicaid claims and spending for residential treatment facility 1 stays. This Research Brief uses data from the New York State pilot implementation of HFW to examine differences in Medicaid utilization before versus after HFW enrollment, in comparison to a group of clients only enrolled in Health Homes Serving Children, allowing for determination of outcomes specific to HFW participation.

Statewide Family Network Grant Applications Due January 4, 2021!
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS) is accepting applications for fiscal year (FY) 2021 Statewide Family Network grant program (Short Title: SFN). The purpose of this program is to more effectively respond to the needs of children, youth, and young adults with serious emotional disturbances (SED) and their families by providing information, referrals, and support; and to create a mechanism for families to participate in state and local mental health services planning and policy development. Application Due Date:  January 4, 2021

A Missing Ingredient in COVID Oversight: Equity
The record-level spending and borrowing taking place to combat COVID-19 may already constitute a wealth reallocation of historic proportions. Joseph Foti and Norman Eisen argue that with the tremendous amount of aid being sent out to states, businesses, and individuals, transparency and oversight are essential to ensuring a fair recovery that meets the needs of those struggling the most.

Helpful Resiliency Related Tip Sheets for Young Adults
Okay, how in the heck are we supposed to keep up with the Transitions ACR? I mean, do these guys ever sleep? Here are yet more great resources that this wildly talented band of young adult advocates have just made available.

Seven Tips to Get Ready for the Holidays
It’s been a challenging year, and it’s taken a toll on the mental health of many families and children. And now, the holidays won’t be the same for many of us this year. Check out anew resource from our friends at Children’s Mental Health Ontario on putting your family’s mental wellness first.

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About the Author

Scott Bryant-Comstock

Hello, I’m Scott Bryant-Comstock, CEO and founder of the Children’s Mental Health Network. For the past 40 years, my journey as a mental health advocate has traveled from volunteering at a suicide and crisis center, professional roles as a therapist in an outpatient clinic, in-home family therapist, state mental health official, Board Chair for a county mental health program, and national reviewer of children’s mental health systems reform efforts. As the founder of the Children’s Mental Health Network (2009), I lead the Network’s efforts to grow a national online forum to exchange ideas on how to improve children’s mental health research, policy, and practice.

In 2019, I had a full-blown Kundalini awakening. That experience has clarified many of the questions about purpose, focus, and mission that I have had my entire life. And heck, I want to share those learnings with you!

I encourage you to listen to the Optimistic Advocate podcast, with new episodes every Monday through Friday. Episodes always give you something to chew on as you move through the day. Insights from me, always a bit of poetry, and inspiring homework for you, as we move together on this beautiful journey of creating harmony with the universe. As a bonus, periodically, we post a long-form interview with inspiring advocates who help individuals and families make positive changes in their lives in communities across the globe. Remember to stay optimistic and listen to the universe (It’s speaking through you, I promise.).

Choose the podcast player of your choice and subscribe!

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