Friday Update

Friday Update 10-12-18

October 12, 2018

Greetings faithful readers. Let’s start off this edition of Friday Update with some Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young. When I heard that long-time mental health advocate (and federal official to boot) Paolo del Vecchio was moving out of his director position at SAMHSA, the first thing that popped into my head was the CSNY song, Carry On. Enjoy the tune and then get to readin’ Friday Update, cuz we got work to do!

Some People Punch the Clock in Federal Bureaucracies – Not Paolo del Vecchio
On October 10, 2018, Paolo del Vecchio, Director, Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS), Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), announced to the CMHS National Advisory Council that he was moving to another position within SAMHSA effective October 15th. In this Morning Zen post, CMHS Advisory Council member, Dennis Embry, shares a note of appreciation and gratitude to Mr. del Vecchio. 

Personal Note from Scott Bryant-Comstock to Paolo del Vecchio
Hey Paolo, this is Scott. Best to you in your new adventures with SAMHSA. Know that a nation of advocates are grateful to you for your advocacy on behalf of peer support and honoring the dignity of those with mental health challenges. Your efforts are much appreciated. From the lyrics in the CSNY song featured above – “To sing the blues, you’ve got to live the dues, and carry on.” Okay, my brother, carry on and raise a little you-know-what along the way!

Call for Proposal Closes October 26th! 
The 32nd Annual Research & Policy Conference on Child, Adolescent, and Young Adult Behavioral Health Call for Proposals Close October 26th!
The 32nd Annual Research & Policy Conference on Child, Adolescent, and Young Adult Behavioral Health will take place March 3-6, 2019 at the Hilton Tampa Downtown Hotel. You know you want to be a part of the conference program, and we want you to be a part of it as well! The deadline for turning in your proposal is October 26th, so get to writin’!

Keynote Speakers Announced for the 32nd Annual Research & Policy Conference on Child, Adolescent, and Young Adult Behavioral Health
Speaking of the Tampa conference… What does the First Lady of New York City, Chirlane McCray; Youth ERA Founder Martin Rafferty; Virginia Tech Shooting Survivor, Lisa Hamp; Trauma Researcher Sarah Lowe; California Youth Justice Initiative Director, Attorney Frankie Guzman; and Senior Advisor in the Office of Planning and Innovation at SAMHSA, Larke Huang, have in common? (Whew, that was quite the sentence!) They are all keynote speakers at the Tampa Conference. And guess what? We are still adding a few more keynote speakers! Details on additional keynotes will be announced soon, but for now, check out the fantastic lineup and get yourself registered to attend. The Tampa Conference is one conference you do not want to miss!

This Agency Tried to Fix the Race Gap in Juvenile Justice. Then Came Trump 
A new presidential appointee has quietly changed decades-old federal policies meant to improve racial disparities in youth incarceration. For two decades, the number of children behind bars in the U.S. has been on the decline—but the racial disparity has been dramatically worsening, with black youth several times more likely than their white counterparts to be incarcerated. A little-known Justice Department agency is supposed to tackle this problem: the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, which has been mandated by Congress since 1988 to try to shrink the racial gap by providing grants and training to local juvenile courts and law enforcement agencies. In return, states receiving federal dollars must gather data on inequality, explore why it’s happening and pursue solutions. But with an appointee of President Trump at the helm, the office has taken a quiet but decisive turn away from that mandate.

Know Your Rights Voter Guide 
Check out the Bazelon Center’s just-published voter guide. The publication is a “Know Your Rights Guide for Voters with Mental Disabilities and Advocates.” Less than four weeks from Election Day, the Bazelon Center is working hard to make sure that people with mental disabilities have the opportunity to vote.

How Racism Makes Us Sick 
Why does race matter so profoundly for health? David R. Williams developed a scale to measure the impact of discrimination on well-being, going beyond traditional measures like income and education to reveal how factors like implicit bias, residential segregation, and negative stereotypes create and sustain inequality. In this eye-opening talk, Williams presents evidence for how racism is producing a rigged system — and offers hopeful examples of programs across the US that are working to dismantle discrimination.

Estimated Impacts of the Proposed Public Charge Rule on Immigrants and Medicaid
An excellent issue brief from the Kaiser Family Foundation
As the Trump administration proposes changes to federal “public charge” policies, the resulting fear and uncertainty among immigrant families about using public programs could drive down enrollment in Medicaid and CHIP, potentially by millions of people, a new analysis shows.

Mindfulness Programs for Children 
Check out this fabulous Morning Zen post by Melissa Sirola, one of our dedicated interns for the fall semester!  For her internship with the Children’s Mental Health Network, Melissa is researching the effects of Mindfulness on behavioral and mental health issues with children in rural primary school settings.

Pathways State of the Science: Mitigating Early Loss of Community Participation in Early Psychosis Services: State of the Science 
This briefing paper focuses on the significant loss of community and social connection that often occurs when young people begin to experience psychosis. The paper also discusses interventions that can mitigate these losses and contribute to recovery.

New Toolkit Offers Ways to Evaluate Suicide Prevention Efforts in Arctic Communities 
The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), in collaboration with the Mental Health Innovation Network and other federal partners, has released the RISING SUN toolkit to help clinicians, communities, policymakers, and researchers measure the impact and effectiveness of suicide prevention efforts in rural and tribal communities.

Somewhere to Turn: Meeting the Mental Health Needs of Adoptive and Guardianship Families 
The Adoption Competent Mental Health Guides were recently released in California to help build mental health capacity and competency for post-adoption youth. The guides were created as part of AB 1790, which addressed barriers to the availability of adoption/permanency mental health professionals and created recommendations to remove those barriers.

New Early Childhood Data Collaborative Report Provides State-By-State Understanding of Early Childhood Data Systems 
A new state-by-state analysis reveals that, because early childhood and education data are largely siloed by program and state agency, many policymakers struggle to use this data to improve and support their programs. Better coordination of ECE data and systems can improve the use of data to inform early childhood policies and, ultimately, improve outcomes for our most vulnerable children. Easy-to-use interactive maps and state profiles allow users to explore the capacity of individual states to link child-, program-, and workforce-level data.

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About the Author

Scott Bryant-Comstock

My passion is helping to shape policy and practice in children’s mental health. For the past 40 years, my journey as a mental health advocate has traveled from volunteering at a suicide and crisis center, professional roles as a therapist in an outpatient clinic, in-home family therapist, state mental health official, Board Chair for a county mental health program, and national reviewer of children’s mental health systems reform efforts. As the founder of the Children’s Mental Health Network (2009), I lead the Network’s efforts to grow a national online forum for the exchange of ideas on how to continually improve children’s mental health research, policy and practice.

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