Friday Update 12-13-13

December 17, 2013


Friday Update 12-13-13 (Coming to you on Monday night!)

Greetings faithful readers. It has been a busy week for children’s mental health in general. With the anniversary of the tragedy in Newtown, yet another school shooting on Friday, Congressman Tim Murphy’s proposal for mental health funding and the devastating impact of the sequester beginning to sink in for families and providers across the country it would be easy to react to the emotion of it all. We actually need to do the opposite. This is the time for reason, listening and most important – education. Faithful readers know we like to start off with a video to lift your spirits and gain some perspective on the weeks events, so let’s start off with a pep talk from Kid President on the importance of teachers and students – we are both! Watch the video, “get your learn on” and then get back to Friday Update cuz as usual, we have a bunch of goodies for you to feast on.

Most important reads for this week

Time to dig deep…. At least clean out the lint in your pockets
Okay, so faithful readers know the drill. To ensure our independence we do not take government funds. It allows us to both celebrate the good things being done in federal government and provide tough love when needed. Beyond that, we pride ourselves on bringing you news that is relevant to you each and every week. Can you believe we have sent out Friday Update for 82 straight weeks and counting? Yowzer. That’s gotta at least be worth a tax-deductible donation to help keep Friday Update coming to your inbox. We average donations about $25.00. As a small non-profit every dollar counts. As we approach the end of the year it is time to ask you to consider making a donation to the Children’s Mental Health Network. If everyone reading this gave $5.00 we would not have to ask again for another year. So wadda ya say? Friday Update rocks (at least that’s what you keep telling us) so dig deep and donate 5 bucks to help keep it going. Click here to show your support and thanks again. Friday Update will always remain free. Help us ensure it stays that way for another year. Thank you!

Congressman Tim Murphy introduces controversial Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act of 2013
On Friday, one day before the anniversary of the Newtown school shooting tragedy and on the same day of yet another tragic shooting at a school in Colorado, Congressman Tim Murphy introduced the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act of 2013, a bill that would effectively rewrite how the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) operates and significantly narrow the focus of the types of mental health services and supports it helps promote through its grant programs. While the bill is at this point just a proposal, it is an important read for Network faithful as it sheds a light on the thinking of many individuals across the country about how to improve mental health services in America. Unfortunately, with the continued tragedies occurring at schools across the nation the tendency to equate guns and violence with mental illness leads to recommended solutions in this bill that are narrow in focus and could potentially set back the advances in the field of mental health 20 to 30 years.

A year since Newtown – Has anything changed?
Please be sure to read the Morning Zen post that was written on Thursday of last week to reflect on the anniversary of the Newtown school shootings that took the lives of 20 young children and 6 school staff, the shooter Adam Lanza and his mother, Nancy. It is a must read for those who care about separating the wheat from the chaff when talking about improving services and supports for young people with emotional challenges and their families.

Support the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013 (BBA)
Network faithful – Please read the letter from NDD United—an alliance of more than 3,200 national, state, and local organizations working to protect investments in core government functions, of which the Children’s Mental Health Network is a part. We solidly endorse the approach being taken by NDD United in supporting the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013. “The deal is far from perfect, to be sure. The additional resources provided by the Bipartisan Budget Act will help restore some harmful sequestration cuts, but NDD funding remains too low—particularly in FY 2015 when most of the sequestration cuts remain in effect under the agreement. Both the FY 2014 and FY 2015 funding levels are well below the FY 2010 funding level for NDD, even without adjusting for inflation. Nonetheless, NDD United calls on Congress to pass the Bipartisan Budget Act without delay. Once stability has been restored, we encourage Congress and the administration to build on the bipartisan momentum created by Chairman Murray and Chairman Ryan and continue working to address our long-term fiscal challenges and find a permanent replacement to sequestration.”

Registration is now open for the 27th Annual Children’s Mental Health Research & Policy Conference   
Letters to those who submitted proposals will go out next week. We can’t wait to share the agenda with you. It is simply amazing. Time to start packin’ for the 27th Annual Children’s Mental Health Research & Policy Conference in Tampa, Florida March 2 – 5, 2014. Looking forward to seeing you there.

Georgetown Training Institutes – are you ready?
Be sure to 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. Thanks to all who submitted workshop proposals. We will keep you posted on the decision-making process as it moves forward.

Vote for your favorite meme! Mental Health Meme contest deadline extended until Dec 22nd!
People of all ages can vote for their favorite mental health meme that demonstrates how young people manage their mental health. The strengths-based memes from 18-30 year olds with the most likes will win 1st, 2nd and 3rd place. Winners’ memes will appear in the next issue of Focal Point! I just voted and I’m an old geezer (according to my kids) so what are you waiting for?

Assistant Director for Statewide Systems of Care in Tennessee
The State of Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services is looking for a well-qualified candidate to serve as the Assistant Director of the Office of Statewide Systems of Care. Okay Network faithful, get on this one quick. The position will post on the State of Tennessee website on Wednesday, December 19th and close at 11:5pm CST sharp on Christmas Eve.  What are you waiting for?

Virginia Governor proposes $38.3 million for mental health services
Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell has proposed $38.3 million for mental health services over the next two years and has ordered the creation of a mental health task force to provide guidance on how to utilize the funds. The initial focus of the initiative is to expand state crisis intervention programs, maintain and expand bed capacity and provide more operating funds to two state hospitals. In addition, there are plans to review existing mental health programs to assess needs for expansion, and explore the use of telepsychiatry. Also up for consideration is expanding outpatient services for young adults with mental health challenges and programs designed to help those with serious and persistent mental illnesses avoid hospitalization. Needless to say, Network faithful in Virginia need to be a part of the process!

Vanguard celebrates 25 years of excellence
The Children’s Mental Health Network congratulates Vanguard Communications, a key consultant to system of care communities for many years, as they celebrate their 25th year of operation. Vanguard is a Hispanic woman-owned public relations firm in Washington, DC that specializes in communications initiatives that educate the public, change perceptions and behavior, affect public policy and ultimately protect the health and well-being of communities. Watch the great video they produced celebrating their anniversary and be sure to check out their webpage. They have a number of great communication resources available for download.

AHRQ’s Innovations Exchange focuses on mental health care in rural settings
The latest issue of the AHRQ Health Care Innovations Exchange features three innovation profiles describing programs that increased access and improved mental health care for individuals living in rural areas.

Health Care for America report reveals human, economic costs of states’ rejection of expanded Medicaid funding
Governors and lawmakers in 25 states who reject federal support to expand state Medicaid programs are sacrificing thousands of lives and pushing away enormous economic development benefits that come with $426 billion in direct funding over 10 years, according to a new report by Health Care for America Now.

HHS announces Affordable Care Act mental health services funding
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that it plans to issue a $50 million funding opportunity announcement to help Community Health Centers establish or expand behavioral health services for people living with mental illness, and drug and alcohol problems. Community Health Centers will be able to use these new funds, made available through the Affordable Care Act, for efforts such as hiring new mental health and substance use disorder professionals, adding mental health and substance use disorder services, and employing team-based models of care.

How does your county stack up on health insurance? Consult this interactive map
Read about the impending healthcare policy changes scheduled to be implemented under the Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act come January 2014. Health insurance companies are currently submitting medical insurance rate filings to state departments of insurance for approval, and an innovative website called ValuePenguin has created a few tools that preview the proposed rates under consideration on these health insurance exchanges. Excellent resource!

Help stop the pandemic of sexual violence against children
Network faithful should take note of a new digital magazine called Safe. The magazine is designed to help stop the pandemic of violence against children. Safe is the first publication of its kind to spotlight the courageous and inspiring individuals who are confronting the issue of sexual violence head-on, along with the proven approaches that work to prevent violence and help those who have experienced it move from surviving to thriving. The content is designed to engage a wide body of readers and encourage them to take action.

Science of adolescent development continues to inform juvenile justice system
Over the past decade, state and local jurisdictions have been actively developing strategies to reduce both recidivism and spending in their juvenile justice systems. Many also seek to ensure that every youth who comes in contact with the system is met with procedural fairness at every stage of the justice system. To help accomplish these goals, juvenile justice leaders are examining and applying research and recommendations outlined in Reforming Juvenile Justice: A Developmental Approach, a seminal report released by National Research Council in 2012. This report provides an extensive review of decades of research on juvenile justice programs and practices.

Looking ahead to the New Year with
Top your list of New Year’s resolutions with a plan to ramp up efforts to reach out and enroll eligible children in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Be sure to let families know that children and parents can enroll in Medicaid and CHIP at any time during the year

Helping foster and adoptive families cope with trauma
The American Academy of Pediatrics is out with a new guide focused on helping foster and adoptive families cope with trauma. The purpose of this guide is to support adoptive and foster families by strengthening the abilities of pediatricians to identify traumatized children, educate families about toxic stress and the possible biological, behavioral, and social manifestations of early childhood trauma, and empower families to respond to their child’s behavior in a manner that acknowledges past trauma but promotes the learning of new, more adaptive reactions to stress.

Health Action 2014: Making the Promise Real
Families USA’s annual conference, Health Action 2014: Making the Promise Real, is fast approaching! The conference will take place January 23 – 25, 2014, at the Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill. Health Action 2014 will feature exciting speakers from both the state and national levels. San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro will be speaking at the opening and State Senator Leticia Van de Putte (D-TX), who recently announced her bid for Texas Lieutenant Governor, has been confirmed as the closing speaker. Also invited are Vice President Joe Biden, former President Bill Clinton, Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) and many others.

Not to be missed


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 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? 

Be sure to add to your contacts so that Friday Update doesn’t get snared caught in your spam filter.

Let us know what you need from the Network!   

We love feedback so let us know how we can improve the website to better meet your needs. Contact us here. We run this operation on your donations. If you find Friday Update useful and the resources we alert you to on our website useful, take one minute to keep us going for another year with your tax-deductible donation. 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

Explore More Posts

What Do You Think?

Join The Conversation