Friday Update

Friday Update 11-22-13

November 22, 2013


Friday Update 11-22-13

Greetings faithful readers. We are back on schedule with a cornucopia of goodies to get you ready for next week. We lead off this week with a discussion of the importance of balance when talking about what is needed to improve mental health services. So let’s start with the amazing Portuguese artist Sara Tavares singing Balance. Enjoy the music, give your hips a good workout and then get to readin’ Friday Update. We got work to do!

Most important reads for this week 

We need balance in the national discussion about improving mental health 
Another horrific incidence took place this week with the stabbing of Virginia state senator Creigh Deeds on Tuesday apparently by his son, Gus, who later committed suicide. This is the latest in a string of mental health related violent incidents. So once again the media is filled with stories about the need for more hospital beds, stricter guidelines for when someone can be committed by a family member or loved one, and a growing call for a more prominent focus on the seriously mentally ill. And who am I to argue? I agree that we need better services for the seriously mentally ill. No one should be turned away who is a potential danger to themselves or others. But I also worry that we are slipping in to an all-too familiar prescriptive remedy of calling for an increase in psychiatric bed space in hospitals and residential facilities to handle what are often described as “dangerously mentally ill individuals” as an answer to the overall challenge of providing services and supports for a broad spectrum of young people and adults with mental health challenges, most of whom are nonviolent. And this is where the conversation gets polarized. On one side are those calling for more intensive services to the exclusion of anything else and on the other side are those who call for less intensive services to the exclusion of anything else. What we need are both. The dialogue about the future of public mental health services in America needs to honor both ends of the spectrum, recognizing where each is most appropriate. 

Webinar: Promoting positive development among emerging adults with serious mental health conditions
This webinar outlines the Pathways model, presented and validated at the State of the Science Conference, which describes how providers can work productively and effectively with young people who experience serious mental health conditions. Great opportunity to learn more about working with transition-age youth in positive ways.

Four ways sequester is worse in 2014
The Coalition for Health Funding has shared with us some great information from the Center for American Progress. The Center identifies four key factors that make sequestration even worse in 2014. Important read Network faithful! We cannot afford another year of sequestration.

Proposal review process almost complete for the 27th Annual Children’s Mental Health Research & Policy Conference   
If you submitted a proposal you should be hearing from the review committee by the second week in December. Competition was fierce this year and we are assembling one of the strongest conferences ever. The proposals are terrific and the conference will be its usual top-rate event. Registration opens next week. Break out the RayBans and get to packin’. Looking forward to seeing you in sunny Tampa, Florida March 2-5, 2014.

Georgetown Training Institutes – Get your proposals in by December 6th!
There’s still time to submit a proposal for the Georgetown University Training Institutes. Put July 16 – 20, 2014 on your calendar and get ready for the premier training event in children’s mental health offered by the National Technical Assistance Center for Children’s Mental Health.  And remember, there will be a stellar Youth Leadership Track at the conference so get those youth proposals in!

Come work for the National Wraparound Initiative!
Portland State University is hiring a Project Manager for the National Wraparound Initiative (NWI). They are looking for someone who can manage relationships with NWI members, and oversee the NWI’s work in areas such as gathering and synthesizing member input and feedback, and developing and implementing mechanisms for communicating with members and other stakeholders. 

Health reform subsidy calculator – try it out!
The Kaiser Family Foundation has updated its health reform subsidy calculator to provide premium estimates in all 50 states plus the District of Columbia for people who buy coverage through the new state health insurance marketplaces starting in 2014. The calculator is also available in Spanish. Try it out on our website. Thanks Kaiser!

Maximizing enrollment under the ACA: Lessons from the states
As January 1, 2014 approaches, policymakers and the public are increasingly focused on how effectively states and the federal government will enroll the uninsured into coverage under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). Over the last four years, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Maximizing Enrollment program worked with eight states to transform state enrollment systems, policies and procedures for Medicaid and CHIP and to prepare for the ACA’s enrollment requirements. This briefing will share lessons learned that may be useful for state and federal policymakers as ACA implementation moves forward. Attend this December 17 briefing at the Urban Institute in Washington, DC or watch via webcast. Register quickly!

CDC report documents health disparities
Income, education level, sex, race, ethnicity, employment status, and sexual orientation are all related to health and health outcomes for a number of Americans, according to a new Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report Supplement released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The “CDC Health Disparities and Inequalities Report — United States, 2013,” is the second CDC report that highlights differences in mortality and disease risk for multiple conditions related to behaviors, access to health care, and social determinants of health – the conditions in which people are born, grow, live, age, and work.

Leadership development program for managers and executives serving transition-age youth
If you work with transition-age youth in California, take the next step to develop your leadership and management skills by applying for the Leadership Program for Managers and Executives Serving Transition-Age Youth (TAY Leadership Program).

Webinar – Necessary Conditions: Assessing Community Support for Wraparound
Even the most creative and highly individualized wraparound plans can fail if there is a lack of coordination and support for wraparound in the larger community context. This webinar describes what research has revealed about the types of community support that are necessary, and introduces the Community Supports for Wraparound Inventory, which has been used by wraparound projects across the nation to assess local community support. The webinar takes place on December 5th so register early!

The healing power of hugs: Meet Mama Hill
Need some inspiration on this Friday before the holiday week? Meet Mama Hill and nourish your soul with some really good folk.

Webinar to encourage participation in national discussion on mental health
On December 3, 2013, from 12:30 to 2:00 p.m. ET, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) in collaboration with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) will present “Creating Community Solutions:  How to Connect to the National Discussion on Mental Health. Panelists will identify ways to bring together mental health and juvenile justice systems to address the needs of youth by using the Creating Community Solutions approach. The Webinar will focus on how to build on existing community engagement activities to increase collaboration among community partners.

Connecting two worlds: integrating physical and behavioral health care
A new State Refor(u)m blog post highlights a critical component of delivery system integration: better coordination between physical and behavioral health care. The authors examine two states—Minnesota and Washington—and their approaches to integrating physical and behavioral health care, and also offer some lessons from one state health official for states planning to undertake this effort in the future.

Not to be missed


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Scott Bryant-Comstock
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