Friday Update

Friday morning update – 2-01-13

March 03, 2013


Friday morning update – 2-01-13

Greetings faithful readers – Thank goodness the power went out in the 3rd quarter of the Superbowl. Gave us time to finish Friday Update. In honor of the power outage, how about some Nelly Furtado, singing “Turn Off the Light.” So much to cover this week we best get on it!

Let’s put an end to inappropriate seclusion and restraint – Sign the White House petition! Let’s keep it up folks. We have a ways to go to reach 25,000 signatures so get busy! Read our post from last week and take action.

Pairing guns and violence with mental health is not the answer
In the wake of the horror that was the Sandy Hook tragedy; much has been written and discussed about guns, violence and mental health. Americans say they’re worried about what kind of discrimination mentally ill people face, but just 29 percent said they’d be willing to work closely with someone who has a serious mental illness, according to a new survey published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Yep, there is a new stigma in town – guns + mental illness = violence, and it should break the hearts of advocates nationwide. As Americans are prone to do, we love the sound bite. We know from the NEJ article that people are afraid, but afraid of what? Of someone working through a difficult issue? Of someone in therapy? Of someone with a diagnosis? Therein lies the rub. The popular press is doing a wonderful job of lumping it all together so that suddenly anyone with a mental health challenge is a suspect for violence. Over the next few months we will be working on appropriate education vehicles to educate and inform about mental health services that work – both for those with the most serious issues all the way down to those who are just beginning this amazing journey known as life. And finally, recognize that we as mental health professionals need to take some responsibility for the holes in the mental health safety net. This is a challenge that we all must assume responsibility for and address. No bystanders on this one. If you would like to be a part of the discussion and action, join us. Read our Morning Zen piece on this complicated issue where Network members chime in and share their concerns, and where we call for action. Details here.

Replacing CPT codes for psychiatrists leads to unintended consequences for consumers
Who would have expected that the changes in billing from CPT codes (specifically 90862) for psychiatrists to Evaluation and Management (E/M) codes would be problematic? Not for the psychiatrist, as it offers the opportunity to bill a bit more for complex issues. Ah, but all is not green in the Emerald City… We now have a situation where the psychiatrist can potentially get paid more with the new code but may need to schedule a slightly longer session in order to collect all of the required information to be able to bill. Unfortunately, the patient may actually get less time talking about key issues because of all of the required new information that needs to be collected. Sounds like a Joseph Heller novel to me… Read on.

Nearly $6.3 Million in Statewide Family Network Grants
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is accepting applications for Statewide Family Network grants totaling up to nearly $6.3 million over the course of a three-year period. Go get ’em.

Broad representation from HHS at the 26th Annual “Tampa Conference.” Draft agenda now available online!
It was exciting to see that Gary Blau, PhD, Chief, Child, Adolescent and Family Brand for the Center for Mental Health Services encouraged system of care grantees to participate in the Tampa Conference. It is an approved training activity for all grantees funded as part of the Comprehensive Community Mental Health Services for Children and their Families Program. Plan to be in beautiful, sunny Tampa March 3 – 6, 2013. (It’s in the 70’s today – so leave the mittens at home!) Early-Bird Conference Registration Fee ends February 15, 2013. There will be broad HHS representation for the 2013 conference, including: David Mineta, Deputy Director of Demand Reduction for the Office of National Drug Control Policy at the White House – presenting as part of a panel on the “Quality Chasm in the Behavioral Health Treatment for America’s youth, and Families”; Larke Huang, Director, Office of Behavioral Health Equity, SAMHSA, – presenting on the topic of “Effective Approaches to Serving Children with Mental Health Challenges and Their Families”; and Suzanne Fields, Senior Advisory to the SAMHSA Administrator on Health Care Financing, – presenting on “Health Reform: Opportunities to Sustain and Promote Mental Health and Substance Use Services and Supports to Children and Their Families.” Plus, the draft agenda is now online for a sneak peek. So register already! 

PCORI looking for outside help
Okay, Network faithful; here is a great opportunity for you. The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute announced it’s looking to fill its first four advisory panels to help develop a research agenda. The group is looking to establish panels on disparities, improving health care systems, patient engagement and assessment of prevention, diagnosis and treatment options. Details here.

Implementing Best Start LA shows signs of promise
Looking for a good blueprint to follow when designing a community-based initiative? Then look no further than Best Start LA – A place-based investment designed to improve the well-being, development and care experienced by children ages five and under. The initiative has gained momentum, now in its third year, and could eventually serve as a model for all of LA County. Community investment is the wave of the future folks, so the more you can learn about how others are doing it the better. And the birth to five crowd will love this one! Details here.

4th Annual Conference on Stigma, Discrimination and Disparities in Children’s Services!
So much going on in California, including the 4th Annual Children’s Services Stigma & Disparities Conference February 13-15, 2015 in sunny San Diego! Click here to register today! Don’t miss an opportunity to hear HELICE “SPARKY” BRIDGES. Sparky is the Author of “Who I Am Makes A Difference” ™. She has received recognition along with former First Lady Barbara Bush, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Oliver Stone and the late Norman Cousins for her work in raising the self-esteem of children and adults. Sparky has spoken alongside former Vice President Al Gore, the Dali Lama and other global leaders. She is the recipient of the prestigious 2005 Gandhi Nonviolence Award. Be a part of the dialogue about solutions and actions to combat stigma in children’s services so that children will no longer say it’s dangerous to be different. Details here.

Sen. Franken introduces bill to expand access to mental health care in schools
U.S. Sen. Al Franken has introduced the Mental Health in Schools Act to ensure that schools provide access to critical mental health treatment for kids who need and deserve these services. Sen. Franken’s bill would authorize funding for grants to schools and community mental health centers to work with community-based organizations to expand access to mental health services for students. It will soon be introduced in the House of Representatives by Rep. Grace Napolitano (D-Calif.). More details here.

Solome Tibebu – Surviving Anxiety
Solome Tibebu founded Anxiety In Teens, a mental health help site for youth, as an anxious 16-year-old in 2006. Since then, Tibebu has grown the organization to reach isolated youth with anxiety, inform and educate affected teens and their friends and families, as well as inspire recovery and awareness. Watch her TED Talk here.

AHRQ Director Carolyn Clancy is moving on
Faithful Network readers know how much we love the AHRQ and how important it is to the future of health care in America (just Google it on our site). We were saddened to learn that Dr. Carolyn Clancy has resigned her position as director of the AHRQ after a most-amazing 10-year stint. Network faithful researchers should take a moment to quietly thank Dr. Clancy for her tireless work in the areas of quality, evidence-based practice, health care disparities and much more. Whoever takes her place will have some mighty big shoes to fill. Check out our rock and roll tribute to her.

“Glitch” in ACA will impact families
Thanks to Bruce Lesley for alerting us to a significant “glitch” in the Affordable Care Act that will have significant impact on many families. The “family penalty” means no premium subsidies for spouses and children of workers who can afford individual insurance through their employers, whether or not those individuals can afford to cover the rest of their families. The Government Accountability Office estimated that about 7 percent of uninsured children in 2009 — about 460,000 — would remain uninsured because parents would not be able to afford coverage for the whole family. Read on.

Debt limit 101
Center Forward has produced an easy-to-read (and understand) brief on the debt limit; what the debt ceiling is; the difference between a default and a shutdown; why this is such a political issue; and some great links that you can geek out on! I’ve got mine in my back pocket – You should too, so get yours here.

New initiative to optimize behavioral health business operations
Okay, we’ve gotta give props to SAMHSA for this new initiative. The goal is to create a repository of resources and a structured curriculum on essential business operations that behavioral health providers can access as they adapt to meet today’s changing healthcare environment. Dang, the Network could use that! Read on.

North Carolina wants teachers to start packin
Under a bill introduced in the North Carolina state Senate, NC school boards could authorize school employees and school volunteers who complete a training course to carry firearms on campus. The questions for us about this dubious plan are endless. Training? Qualifications? Profiling? The list goes on and on… Read more here.

2011 national survey of substance abuse treatment services released
The 2011 National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment Services (N-SSATS) data and documentation files are now available for download and online analysis. Get your geek on for this one.

Improving health at home: The promise of telehealth
Remote patient monitoring―better known as telehealth―can be a highly effective approach to facilitate communication between patient and caregiver and to engage patients in managing their own care. A new set of case studies by Andrew Broderick and colleagues at the Public Health Institute’s Center for Innovation and Technology in Public Health highlights three successful approaches to taking home telehealth programs to scale. Details here.

Request for Proposals: 18th Annual Conference on Advancing School Mental Health
Proposals are now being accepted for the 18th Annual Conference on Advancing School Mental Health to be held October 3-5, 2013. The deadline for submissions is February 4, 2013 So get on it. Looks like a great opportunity.

Jobs, jobs and more jobs
Three open positions at NICWA! Check it out on our jobs page.

Goodness gracious, so much more to share! Take a break and come back for the items below. Some good stuff down under…

The Network bids a fond adieu to Brittany Smith
We knew it was just a matter of time before our very own Brittany Smith would start a successful business – and she has. It is with pride that we celebrate the next step in her journey as what we consider to be the best social media consultant there is. We will miss her at the Network but she won’t be far away (we have a way of soliciting volunteers). But for the rest of ya’s…. if you need a social media consultant then there really is only one choice – Brittany Smith. Her new company, Build Social, LLC, works to provide you, your small business, non-profit, or company with the best social media consulting services available. They don’t sell social media marketing, they sell training and technical assistance that helps you feel empowered to build and engage with your social network using new technology. Check out her website here and send her a note of well wishes to

Is Friday Update workin’ for ya?
A big THANK YOU for reading and participating in Friday Update each and every week. 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. 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. 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?

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. 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.

Scott Bryant-Comstock
President & CEO

Explore More Posts

What Do You Think?

Join the conversation to be the first to respond to Friday morning update – 2-01-13

Click here to join the conversation