Friday morning update – 12-28-12

March 03, 2013


Friday morning update – 12-28-12

Greetings faithful readers. As 2012 comes to a close it is indeed a time for celebration mixed with sadness and grief; but also reflection and renewed commitment to make things better in 2013. As our elected leaders continue to lock horns over the fiscal cliff, I can think of no better anthem to start of this edition of Friday Update than Bruce Springsteen’s “The Rising.” This anthem is an invitation to share everything, to accept everything, to move through everything individually and together. I hope you will take a moment to listen to the song, to the words, and give yourself the gift of reflection. Oh yeah, you too, POTUS and Congress!

Youth M.O.V.E. NC responds to Connecticut tragedy
Props to Youth M.O.V.E. North Carolina for not only writing a great letter to the President and to the North Carolina Governor elect, but (and this is breaking news) also scoring an interview with CNN! Details here.

Pediatricians call for gun safety education and increased funding for treatment
Excellent article in the New England Journal of Medicine where pediatricians Judith and Sean Palfrey call for more education for pediatricians around gun safety and more state and local funding to effective treatment of young people who are identified as being at high risk for committing interpersonal violent acts. Kudos to the increasing number of pediatricians who are not only saying “enough is enough” but are also recognizing that funding for the effective treatment of young people is a critical component in the complex issue of gun violence such as the tragic incident at Sandy Hook Elementary. Read more here.

Who really loses if we go over the fiscal cliff
The poor, that’s who… According to a report by the Tax Policy Center, a joint venture of the Brookings Institution and the Urban Institute, households earning $10,000 to $20,000 would see a large increase in their overall federal tax burdens if we go over the fiscal cliff, from an average of $68 to $605, meaning that low- and moderate-income taxpayers will face the biggest burden. The blow would be especially harsh for married couples and households with children. Ouch!

Tampa conference – Announcement of the full agenda is close!  
Okay, we have heard back from the winning proposals and we are putting together a most amazing program for the 26th Annual Children’s Mental Health Research & Policy Conference. An amazing lineup of plenary presentations is now available for your review. The full agenda is coming soon so register already!

Don’t miss Scott Silverman at the Stigma conference in San Diego
The Family and Youth Roundtable is hosting their 4th annual Stigma, Discrimination, and Disparities in Children’s Services Conference February 13 – 15, 2013. This week we are featuring plenary speaker Scott Silverman, who is a charismatic speaker and coach with a passion for helping people achieve their passions in life. He has received numerous awards and honors including being named “CNN Hero of the Week” and the City of San Diego honored him by selecting February 19 as “Scott Silverman Day” for his contributions to the community. Learn more about the conference here.

“Protect Our Kids” Commission needs family involvement
The Friday before the holiday break was an important day as Senator Max Baucus (D-Mont.) introduced a bipartisan bill that would establish a commission to develop a national strategy for reducing child abuse fatalities. Called the “Protect Our Kids Act”, the bill would create a special commission dedicated to reducing child abuse and neglect in America. The plan is for the commission created under S. 3705 to be made up of child welfare administrators, researchers, law enforcement and other experts with the expressed goal of studying and evaluating federal, state and private child welfare systems and develop a comprehensive national strategy to prevent and reduce the deaths of children being abused. Seriously missing in the reporting of this announcement is any mention of representation of parents on this commission. Get involved folks!

What does it take to heal from mental illness? The story of Can Truong
Can Truong, a war refugee who was among the millions of boat people who fled Vietnam in the 1970’s, was a model student, aspiring to become a doctor, when he was diagnosed with depression and bipolar disorder. Because the subject of mental illness is so taboo in Asian cultures, the stories about the experience of mental illness are often left untold. Watch the film trailer and learn how you can champion Can’s story and other stories about mental health recovery. Details here.

Senate rejects international disabilities treaty. Huh?
In a year where Congress has not exactly been the impressive body we all hoped for, it is puzzling to say the least that the Senate rejected an international treaty promoting the rights of people with disabilities. A treaty, by the way, that the administration of former President George W. Bush helped negotiate, which made the landmark 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act a model for nations across the globe. Details here.

Updated Paper on educational needs of system-involved youth
Network faithful will be pleased to know that the second edition of Addressing the Unmet Educational Needs of Children and Youth in the Juvenile Justice and Child Welfare Systems is now available. According to Shay Bilchik, Director, Center for Juvenile Justice Reform, Georgetown University, the first edition was so popular they decided to re-release the publication with updated material. Read more here.

National Council Awards of Excellence – still time to nominate!
We know that many of our readers are also affiliated with the National Council so we want to make you aware of a great opportunity to recognize someone you work with who may be a superstar in their work with children and families. There are some very cool prizes associated with the National Council for Behavioral Health’s 2013 Awards of Excellence! Details here.

Loosen your belt from all of that holiday cheer and be sure to check out these additional resources and news items posted this week…

And now for a fun look at some of our favorite News & Morning Zen stories for each month of 2012 (you can see the whole Kit & Kaboodle of news stories for the year in our news archive section)

January (You rocked the Essential Benefits discussion!)
February (SAMHSA budget proposal not too good for kids. No worries, see June…)
March (Go Brittany Holt! Hey, we’re partial to the Tar Heel state…)
April (Oh, we really thought our Haiku would get Colbert to the National Council’s Hill Day event.)
May (I know, I know, we keep harping – but really, PCORI wants children’s mental health involvement!)
June (Network faithful rocked our Call to Action.)
July (How quaint – one of our first full posts on this thing called sequestration. Surely it could never happen…)
August (Kaitlin Bell Barnett takes on the issue of medication and kids in foster care)
September (Block Grant recommendations – let’s keep it simple!)
October (Seclusion and restraint – the dirty little secret that needs some airing out.)
November (Hey, let’s not overlook quality when designing essential benefits, okay?)
December (The complicated challenge for parents regarding the Sandy Hook tragedy)

So how did we do this year?
A big THANK YOU for reading and participating in Friday Update through our first full year for the Network. Our promise to you is that we will work hard to improve and expand our coverage of pertinent issues for children’s mental health advocates, families, policy makers and just plain folk who care about making our communities stronger. So, in the spirit of innovation and change, what would you do to improve Friday Update for 2013? Send us your ideas. We are grateful for any and all feedback, especially for ideas of how we can improve upon what we offer you. Forward a copy of this Update to a colleague and be a part of spreading the love about children’s mental health far and wide. Just be sure to give us a wee bit of credit, okay? Not signed up yet to receive Friday Update every week? Sign up now and get the latest information you need to help you improve services for children and families.

And now, the final December fundraising pitch… 
Dear Network faithful: Big time thanks to those who have parted with their hard earned dollars to help support the Network, but there is still time for those of you who are wrestling with your year-end tax-deductible contribution decisions (click here to make your donation). The Children’s Mental Health Network is pretty darned special. It is a collective voice of an incredibly diverse audience of providers, policy makers, families, youth and just plain folk who care about kids and families. It is the place you go when you want to find out what’s going on in children’s mental health but also other areas related to children’s mental health that end up surprising you and causing you to say “hmmm… I hadn’t thought of that connection.” We cherish our independence and ability to speak with a clear voice. For that reason, we do not take federal funds. We run this operation on your donations. If you find Friday Update useful and the resources we alert you to on our website useful, take one minute to keep us going for another year with your tax-deductible donation. Thanks again to so many of you who are spreading the word. We are indeed a collective voice and your support is greatly appreciated.

Let us know what you need from the Network!  
We love feedback so let us know how we can improve the website to better meet your needs. Contact us here.

As always, thank you for your continued support of the Children’s Mental Health Network,

Scott Bryant-Comstock
President & CEO

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