Friday Update

Friday Update 1-10-14

January 12, 2014


Friday Update 1-10-14

Greetings faithful readers. What an exciting first full week of January. We have several grant opportunities, a number of great conferences, some cutting-edge research and congratulatory announcements in this issue of Friday Update. How about honoring a request from Network faithful in England and get us goin’ with some James Hunter. You are gonna love him. Watch his rendition of “Baby don’t do it” and then get to readin’ Friday Update!

Most important reads for this week

We are thrilled to announce two recent additions to the Children’s Mental Health Network Advisory Council
Network faithful are encouraged to give a hearty welcome to our two newest members of the CMHNetwork Advisory Council – Martin Rafferty, founder and Executive Director of Youth M.O.V.E. Oregon and Muffy Walker, founder and President of the International Bipolar Foundation. We are so fortunate to have these two incredible advocates involved with the Children’s Mental Health Network. I encourage you to read their bios on our Leadership page. Welcome Martin and Muffy. The CMHNetwork is an infinitely stronger voice with you in our midst.

Home & community-based services (HCBS) waivers a step in the right direction for youth and families
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), HHS, just published a final rule on Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS). For those states that choose to pursue an HCBS waiver this final rule means great things for youth with emotional challenges and their families regarding the flexibility and opportunity to provide services and supports that are more closely aligned with what youth and families need, not necessarily what a particular provider has to offer. Got your attention yet? The Final Rule is 371 pages long but don’t let that deter you. I encourage you to read it. I read it over the weekend and I gotta tell you it was a page-turner, full of comments from advocates, citizens, providers and rationale from CMS about why they incorporated some comments and did not incorporate others into the Final Rule. Okay, so maybe not on par with a John Grisham novel, but just about as good. I especially encourage care coordinators, case managers and peer partners to read it. Why? Because if you approach it not as a “rule” with acronyms, codifications, extremely long section headings that appear to have been written by a cryptologist… If you encourage yourself to not get caught up in the technicalities of the document but to let it breathe, hear its heartbeat if you will, then you will see why this Final Rule opens up exciting opportunities for youth and families.

If you are an advocate and want some muscle in your array of tools when discussing service and support options funded through Medicaid in your state this is one document you want to have. And if you are really serious your copy will be full of highlights, sticky notes and bookmarks – it’s that rich in what it says. But as we all know, the important challenge is moving from what is said in this Final Rule to actual implementation. This document can help you get there.

Register today for the 27th Annual Children’s Mental Health Research & Policy Conference   
Tired of enduring the frigid effects of the Polar Vortex? Make plans to attend the 27th Annual Children’s Mental Health Research & Policy Conference in sunny Tampa, FL where the average temperature in March is around 75°F. All first presenters of accepted presentations have been notified and most sessions are now confirmed, so if you still aren’t sure whether or not you are presenting, be sure to contact the conference organizers ASAP! Also, be sure to make your hotel reservations as soon a possible as the room block is expected to fill up early this year; and be sure to complete and pay your conference registration before the cut-off date to receive the early bird discount. Looking forward to seeing you at the 27th Annual Children’s Mental Health Research & Policy Conference in Tampa, Florida March 2 – 5, 2014. 

Georgetown Training Institutes – are you ready?  
Speaking of conferences, don’t make vacation plans for July, unless of course, those vacation plans include attending the Georgetown Training Institutes July 16 – 20, 2014 in lovely Washington DC. Get all the details and register already!

Tower Foundation rocks the Network
Special thanks to the Tower Foundation for locating and sharing the DOJ and HHS notices of proposed rulemaking regarding proposals to strengthen federal gun background check system. Last week we shared two proposed rules that President Obama unveiled at a White House briefing on Friday. At the time we went to press we had yet to be able to find the actual documents to share with you. Within an hour of posting Network faithful from the Tower Foundation tweeted us with links to each document. That is what we love about this collective voice known as the Children’s Mental Health Network – everyone pitchin’ in and helpin’ out. Be sure to check out the Tower Foundation and the wonderful work they do in New York.

National Council for Behavioral Health is bringin’ their “A” game!
Have you seen the National Council’s website makeover? Stacy and Clinton would be proud (mad props to “What Not to Wear“). Not only do they have an über cool website (just makes you feel warm and gushy all over), adding to the magic, they have just announced that Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will be the keynote speaker for their annual conference, May 5-7, 2014 in Washington DC. Details on Clinton’s participation will be posted on their website in the next few weeks, but for now, check out all that the conference has to offer.

RWJF Commission to Build a Healthier America releasing new recommendations on Monday
Building on its original work from 2009—which helped advance a national movement to address non-medical factors that affect our health—the RWJF Commission to Build a Healthier America will release new recommendations on Monday, January 13, 2014, at 2:30 p.m. ET, during a live online event. This is your opportunity to hear the challenge to health professionals and health care institutions to expand their focus from treating illness to helping people live healthy lives. This one is worth attending Network faithful!

Kaiser releases fifty state reports on the impact of the ACA on coverage in every state
New reports for each of the fifty states from the Kaiser Family Foundation show how the Affordable Care Act (ACA) changes insurance coverage in each state. The state-level reports serve as a guide to the potential impact of the ACA in each state and the District of Columbia as legislatures begin to convene and governors prepare their budget proposals and state-of-the-state addresses. Typical magnificence coming from the Kaiser Foundation, this is a must read for anyone following insurance rollout in all 50 states. Especially revealing is the figures detailing how many uninsured people with incomes below the poverty level fall into the “coverage gap” and will be ineligible for financial assistance in the Marketplace or for Medicaid in their state.

Girls Night In!
Alicia Keys is urging women and their loved ones to come together on Sunday January 19th between 8-9 pm ET (5-6 pm PT) and log on to to watch “We Are Empowered,” an intimate and inspiring half-hour conversation that she had about friendship, love and strength with five women living with HIV in the U.S.  Ms. Keys will be live tweeting throughout the hour at #WeAreEmpowered. The event is presented as part of Empowered, a national public information campaign Ms. Keys launched with Greater Than AIDS last year to reach women in the U.S. about HIV/AIDS.   Through targeted media messages, community outreach and special promotions, the campaign promotes specific ways women are empowered in the face of HIV/AIDS.

Ben & Jerry’s Foundation grants available
Time for some chunky monkey, Network faithful! The Ben and Jerry’s Foundation is getting ready to award one-year grants of up to $20,000 to nonprofit, grassroots community-organizing groups in the United States to further social and environmental justice and support sustainable and just-food systems. Grants can be used to support either programming or operations costs. Think outside the box on this one Network faithful. You may be asking, “What does sustainable and just-food systems have to do with the mental health of children and youth?” Well, just about everything, so get creative and apply. The foundation will only consider proposals from grassroots, constituent-led organizations that have annual budgets under $500,000 and are using direct action, grassroots, and community-organizing strategies to accomplish their goals. Okay folks, you know who you are – sharpen the pencils and get busy on this one.

Pediatric Bipolar Disorder: The Controversy and the Reality
The International Bipolar Foundation is out with another timely webinar coming up on Thursday, January 23rd, at 9:00 am PST with Dr. Rosalie Greenberg. Dr. Greenberg was the 2012 recipient of the National Alliance of Mental Illness Exemplary Psychiatrist Award. Check it out Network faithful!

Share your story about getting coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace has posted a section on their website encouraging people benefiting from the Affordable Care Act to share their coverage stories, including those newly covered through the Health Insurance Marketplace. Yes, the Affordable Care Act has been controversial and the subject of much conjecture and speculation, but the bottom line is that people are indeed signing up. Along with the criticism of the ACA it is also important to hear examples of success. To that end we are encouraging Network faithful to share personal stories about signing up for health care coverage and the positive impact access to coverage will have for them and their families.

Grant opportunities


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A big THANK YOU for reading and participating in Friday Update each and every week. Our promise to you is that we will work 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 2014? 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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