Friday Update 1-30-15

January 30, 2015


Friday Update 1-30-15

Greetings faithful readers. The old pickup truck made it without incident in yet another trip up I-95 to Washington, DC affording the opportunity to spread Network love within the confines of the Beltway for an entire week – just the kind of elixir needed as we embark on meaningful conversation about mental health reform with good folk from across then nation doing what needs to be done. Let’s start this edition of Friday Update off with a classic reminder of the power of the collective voice. Enjoy the expansive beauty of Eric Whitaker’s virtual choir singing Lux Aurumque and then get to readin’ Friday Update, cuz we got work to do!

Most important reads for this week 

Let’s get more members of Congress involved in the dialogue on meaningful mental health reform 
Representative Paul Tonko (D-NY) wrote an opinion letter on the topic of mental health reform for The Hill website earlier this week. Members of Congress, just like the American public they represent, have widely divergent views on how to approach meaningful mental health reform. We need more congressional representatives to share their views and engage with each other in constructive dialogue about how to address what most would agree is a broken mental health service delivery system.

Network readers are well-versed in our reporting of the efforts of Representative Tim Murphy (R-PA) in his campaign for mental health reform through the Helping all Families in Mental Health Crisis Act. His tireless efforts spurred us on to engage in respectful dialogue with advocates who have widely divergent views on how to approach meaningful mental health reform. The Children’s Mental Health Network will continue to press for mental health advocates to come together in dialogue. We are hopeful that members of Congress who have differing perspectives on how to approach mental health reform will do the same. 

I encourage you to read Representative Tonko’s post and then ask your Representative to write an opinion article of their own, sharing their thoughts on the challenge of meaningful mental health reform. We need more members of Congress actively engaged in the dialogue. 

28th Annual Research & Policy Conference on Child, Adolescent and Young Adult Behavioral Health – Book your hotel room! 
The conference will be here before we know it so time to book your hotel room. We have added additional rooms to handle the recent rush, but they won’t last long. Get on it, Network faithful. We are saving a spot for you! Okay, what are you waiting for? Get yourself registered for the conference!

Beyond Diagnosis: A Message of Hope” with Lizabeth Schuch 
Another great webinar from our colleagues at the International Bipolar Foundation. Reserve your seat today as these webinars fill up quickly! Lizabeth D. Schuch, Author of More Than Bipolar: A Memoir of Acceptance and Hope will speak candidly about her journey with bipolar disorder and how she has been able to live well with an illness that can be so devastating at times.

Parenting with the brain in mind: Why brain science matters to parents 
Hey, Network faithful, check out this upcoming webinar from our friends at ZeroPoint Leadership. Time to “get your brain on.” Parents who understand how their child’s brain works are better able to keep cool during challenging interactions and stay engaged with their child to help them develop higher levels of resilience. This webinar offers insights into how parents can use research in brain science to stay connected and engaged during conflict, communicate more effectively with their child, and improve the quality of day-to-day parent-child interactions.

Healthy People 2020 Progress Review: Social Determinants of Health and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Health 
To be more effective, public health, health care, and prevention practitioners must understand the cultural context of their unique community and possess the skills and desire to work in those contexts. Cultural competence, the ability of an individual or organization to interact effectively with people of different cultures and backgrounds to produce positive change, is a key component to achieving the Healthy People 2020 goal of reducing health disparities and achieving health equity. This Progress Review webinar will highlight the importance of social determinants of health and cultural competence in working with LGBT and diverse populations to eliminate health disparities and achieve health equity. 

Compassion, Safety, Rights 
Patrick Hendry, Senior Director, Consumer Advocacy, Mental Health America, provides a thoughtful essay on the intersection of compassion, safety, and rights in mental health. Hendry brings experience as a person with a major psychiatric diagnosis, a leader of two peer-run organizations, and a staunch national mental health advocate. 

Talk Health Insurance to Me partners with Comedy Central  
The campaign also aired two new videos on Comedy Central’s television channel and website. These short, sharable videos take a humorous look at the cost of not having health insurance by showing how coverage can help consumers save money by paying for the costs of unexpected accidents.

The danger of hiding who you are 
Morgana Bailey has been hiding her true self for 16 years. In a brave talk, she utters four words that might not seem like a big deal to some, but to her have been paralyzing. Why speak up? Because she’s realized that her silence has personal, professional and societal consequences. In front of an audience of her co-workers, she reflects on what it means to fear the judgment of others, and how it makes us judge ourselves.

New Webinar Series – Suicide Prevention: An Action Plan to Save Lives 
In February 2014, the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention’s Research Prioritization Task Force (RPTF) released A Prioritized Research Agenda for Suicide Prevention: An Action Plan to Save Lives, which outlines the research areas that show the most promise in helping to reduce the rates of suicide attempts and deaths in the next 5-10 years. This webinar series runs through June. Check it out!

Tackling opioid abuse and addiction in the Medicaid program 
Opioid abuse and addiction are on the rise, seriously impacting families and communities across the country. The National Association of Medicaid Directors (NAMD) is teaming up with the National Council for Behavioral Health to host a discussion of this problem, and the potential solutions state Medicaid programs may employ to prevent and reduce opioid abuse and overdose. 

Grandparents as Parents: Investigating the Health and Well-Being of Trauma-Exposed Families 
The practice of extended family members participating in the care and raising of children is an American tradition that dates back to the 18th century. However, the reasons for the current trend towards grandparent-headed households are a reflection of more contemporary problems. 

Behavioral Health Barometer, United States 2014 
The “National Behavioral Health Barometer” (Barometer) provides data about key aspects of behavioral health care issues affecting American communities. Those issues include rates of serious mental illness, suicidal thoughts, substance use, underage drinking, and the percentages of those who seek treatment for these disorders.

Is Friday Update workin’ for ya? 
We love feedback so let us know how we can improve the website to better meet your needs. Contact us here. We rely on your donations to ensure that the Network remains viable. So do what you do best, Network faithful, make a tax-deductible donation at the level that works for you - $25.00 / $50.00 / $75.00 / $100.00$250.00 or more. Unable to make a contribution at this time? No worries, Friday Update will always be free, but give if you can. 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
Children’s Mental Health Network  


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