Friday Update

Friday morning update – 3-8-13

March 11, 2013


Friday morning update – 3-8-13

Greetings faithful readers – First the Mayan calendar predicted the end of the world (well, actually, it didn’t), and then our elected leaders threatened themselves (and us) with sequestration, and, well, they did it. So, that can only mean one thing for Network faithful – Time to tighten up with sequestration, so we can’t think of anything more appropriate than starting the day with Archie Bell and the Drells. Let’s do the Tighten Up… and then get busy readin’ Friday Update and enjoy our offerings from this week.

White House sequester guidance – forget the bonuses
The White House gave guidance to federal offices on Wednesday that provides some clarity about what lies ahead with sequestration. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) now estimates a 9 percent cut to affected domestic agency budgets and a 13 percent cut to defense. Key to CMHNetwork advocacy efforts moving forward is that the White House is clearly giving agencies flexibility in implementing cuts. In the memo from OMB Controller Danny Werfel, he said, Agencies’ planning efforts must be guided by the principle of protecting the agency’s mission to serve the public to the greatest extent practicable. Planning efforts should be done with sufficient detail and clarity to determine the specific actions that will be taken to operate under the lower level of budgetary resources required by sequestration.’ This means agencies are encouraged to look at options such as restricting hiring, reducing employee bonuses and travel to meet the new budget goals. As a reminder, SAMHSA is taking a 168 million dollar hit. We will keep you posted as we learn more about where they are planning to make their cuts. Be ready for action folks. Read more here.

More mental health insurance options for families – but who will provide quality care?
Network faithful are encouraged to take note of a recent article in Politico that underscores our concern about access to quality mental health services for children and families. The article strikes a familiar refrain for us: After the tragedy in Newtown the country is abuzz with talk of improving mental health services, the excitement about parity and the potential increase in reach to those who need mental health services through the Affordable Care Act. Only one small problem – with reimbursement rates so low, even with insurance made available under the new health care law, it’s no guarantee that there will be enough providers who accept the lower rates, leaving families faced with the prospect of higher out-of-pocket expense for quality care. Read more here.

“To This Day” … for the bullied and beautiful
A few weeks ago we posted To This Day, poet Shane Koyczan’s spoken-word poem about bullying and survival. Don’t miss his inspirational TED Talk about bullying. Watch it here.

Fundamental flaws” in the DoD and VA’s response to suicide rate?
Be sure to read Dr. George Patrin’s Morning Zen post where he discusses “fundamental flaws” in the Department of Defense and Veterans Administration response to the suicide rate and Veteran need for holistic primary and mental health care before it’s too late for yet more families. Check it out here.

26th Annual Children’s Mental Health Research & Policy Conference was a great success!
Thanks to all who stopped by our booth at the 26th Annual Children’s Mental Health Research & Policy Conference. The conference was amazing as usual and the enthusiasm expressed by so many for the laser focus of the CMHNetwork gives us an extra dose of energy to keep callin’ it the way we see it. We continue to be humbled and energized by the collective voice that is the Children’s Mental Health Network. By the way, all of the conference presentations that we received permission for will be posted on the conference website in two weeks.

Sesame Workshop new initiative: Little Children, Big Challenges: Divorce 
The CMHNetwork was thrilled to showcase Sesame Workshop’s latest initiative – Little Children, Big Challenges: Divorce, at the 26th Annual Children’s Mental Health Research & Policy Conference (participants gobbled the kits like wolves!). A big note of thanks to Sesame Workshop for providing us with enough kits to be able to make available to all 500+ participants at the conference. Little Children, Big Challenges: Divorce, provides much-needed resources for families with young children (ages 2 to 8) as they encounter the tough transitions that come with divorce. The other kit that we were able to showcase was When Families Grieve, available in both English and Spanish. A big ole half eaten cookie hug to the folks at Sesame Workshop for their generosity and support. We are over the moon about our growing partnership. Be on the lookout for great things to come. Details here.

The Kids Oneida Return Home Early Project, Keeping Families Together
Speaking of the 26th Annual Children’s Mental Health Research & Policy conference, we are pleased to feature one of the many amazing groups who presented lat week – The Kids Oneida program. For over a decade, child welfare and mental health systems have realized that long term residential treatment was both ineffective and costly. Kids Oneida is one organization dealing with this issue head on with their Return Home Early project. Check out the results of their impressive efforts here.

The Jonas Fund – Advocacy at its best
Many members of the Children’s Mental Health Network have had the honor and privilege of knowing Art and Marlene Penn, who started the Jonas Fund in loving memory of their son. Their advocacy for young people with emotional challenges and their families has been an example all of us would be privileged to emulate. With permission of the Penn family, we are sharing the letter the Board of the Jonas Fund sent out to friends far and wide detailing the accomplishments of this amazing organization. A worthy read!

More parents coming forward with abuse complaints
Ever since we wrote about Bill Lichtenstein and his story of the horror his daughter experienced with seclusion and restraint, we have received a steady stream of examples of abuse in similar situations all across the country. Here is another one, this time from the state of Hawaii. So far, parents of six former students have come forward with charges that a teacher and an educational aide victimized their children. Two lawsuits have been filed and a third is expected soon. Momentum is building, folks. Read more here.

Through Our Eyes: Children, Violence and Trauma
Powerful video on trauma posted by the Office of Justice Programs, US Department of Justice entitled Through Our Eyes: Children, Violence and Trauma. This video discusses how violence and trauma affect children, including the serious and long-lasting consequences for their physical and mental health; signs that a child may be exposed to violence or trauma; and the staggering cost of child maltreatment to families, communities, and the Nation. Check it out here.

Alicia Keys wants to change the way women think about HIV
Fourteen-time Grammy Award-winning artist and HIV advocate Alicia Keys has teamed up with Greater Than AIDS to launch EMPOWERED, a new public information campaign to reach women in the U.S. about HIV/AIDS. Details here.

Peer-run organization/recovery community organization awards
Great opportunity from SAMHSA for peer-run/recovery community organizations. Check out this opportunity to apply for a subcontract award under SAMHSA’s Bringing Recovery Supports to Scale Technical Assistance Center Strategy (BRSS TACS) initiative. Details here.

The 9th International Conference on Evaluation for Practice
Mark May 20 & 21 down on your calendar, load up the Ford Pinto, and head on up to Chautauqua, New York for the 9th International Conference on Evaluation for Practice. The Conference is organized by Chautauqua Tapestry System of Care, supported by School of Social Work, University at Buffalo (The State University of New York) and sponsored by University at Albany, Rutgers University, New York University, and Finland’s National Institute for Health and Welfare. Details here.

Rural Behavioral Health Webinar: Prepared Communities Can Be Successful in Violence Prevention
Network faithful are encouraged to check out this free three-part webinar series discussing behavioral health issues for children and families in rural areas. The first webinar in the series is March 27th. Details here.

State Medicaid Fact Sheets
This simple tool allows you to customize your Medicaid fact sheet by comparing your state to the United States or to any other state. You can create Medicaid fact sheets for all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The topics displayed on the fact sheet are automatically updated when new data become available. The tool allows you to click on any topic within the fact sheet to jump directly to 50-state comparisons on Pretty darned cool and thanks to Lori Reynolds for encouraging us to find such a tool. Ask and ye shall receive oh Network faithful… Once again, the Kaiser Foundation comes through in a big way. Check it out here.

HCUP’s Outstanding Article of the Year award
Yo researchers, if you have used the HCUP database in a published peer-reviewed journal in 2012, check this out. Nominations are now being accepted for HCUP’s Outstanding Article of the Year Awards, which will recognize researchers published in peer-reviewed journals in 2012 that used the HCUP databases to explore and address health care research topics and issues. Work honored will demonstrate how HCUP has contributed to the health care services field. Nominations close April 12 so get on it! Details here.

Speaking of research…
Given the importance of any rule change to the conduct of science related to children, the Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD) convened the SRCD Task Force on Proposed Changes to the Common Rule. The purpose of this report is to alert policymakers, scientists, and participant groups to proposed changes most relevant to research involving children and to provide recommendations for ensuring the responsible conduct of child and adolescent research in the final regulatory changes. Download the article here.

Get yourself a little respect and then get back to work!
Okay, that’s it for today. Not too bad, right? So you missed a few meetings. Nothing is more important than being up to speed on the issues of the day that impact children with emotional and behavioral challenges and their families. So since we started this issue “tightenin’ up” with Archie Bell and the Drells and being inspired by the poetry of Shane Koyczan, let’s get you ready to re-enter the world of work with a little Respect, by the Fearless Lions, a group of amazing rap artists from the Frank Porter Graham school in Chapel Hill, NC. Heck, it’s the least we could offer you, cuz for the work you do each and every day to improve children’s mental health you need to face the day with a little respect, right? Enjoy the video folks and then get back to work. We got a sequester to figure out…

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?

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Scott Bryant-Comstock
President & CEO

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