Friday Update 12-29-17

December 06, 2017


Friday Update 12-29-17

Greetings faithful readers. There is no denying that this has been a most tumultuous year in our country. As advocates, it could be easy to lose hope, but that is the last thing the Network faithful do. We not only survive, we thrive. Network faithful have never met a challenge that they were not willing to take on. In 1967, during a speech to the United Nations, Abba Eban said: “nations do behave wisely once they have exhausted all other alternatives.” Borrowing the words and applying them to our current situation in America, I think it is safe to say we are definitely in a phase of “exhausting all other alternatives!” Fear not, Network faithful; we will rise above the current chaos. Our ability to keep our vision clear even in the stormiest of times is what makes America great. Take a moment to watch and listen to the Rascal Flatts song My Wish For You. The lyrics in this song express our wish here at the Children’s Mental Health Network for you as we ready ourselves to take on 2018. Enjoy the video and then get to readin’ Friday Update, cuz we got work to do!

Most important reads for this week  

Make Your Year-End Donation to the Network Today!
Thank you, Network faithful, for all of your comments this past year about how Friday Update helps you, uplifts you, and even, yes, sometimes makes you go grrrr…. Producing Friday Update requires a constant focus on the news of the day, and this past year, that has been a dizzying task! Everything the Network does is due to contributions from our readers, and all donations go toward the production of Friday Update and the maintenance of our website. As a reminder, I don’t take a salary, so you can rest assured that 100% of your contribution goes toward finding the most current information, resources and opinion pieces that are shaping the landscape in children’s mental health. If you agree with me that now, more than ever, we need this forum for the exchange of ideas and information, please consider making a year-end donation so that we can keep Friday Update coming your way. Thank you!

Check out the Amazing Lineup of Presenters for the Tampa Conference
We are closing in on having a final program ready for the 31st Annual Research and Policy Conference on Child, Adolescent, and Young Adult Behavioral Health. We are still moving a few things around, and presenters are providing final edits before we send the program to our amazing editors. But… I can’t resist sharing the schedule of events with you in draft form. Oh man, are you gonna love it! The agenda includes a record-breaking 310 different presentations. Yowzer!!! Enjoy, get excited, get registered, and I will see you in Tampa in March!

Debate Erupts Within HHS About ‘Words to Avoid’ Such as ‘Vulnerable,’ ‘Diversity’ and ‘Entitlement’
Health and Human Services Department officials confirmed last week that they had singled out a handful of words that should be avoided in the upcoming budget process, but said they had not blocked employees from using them outright. The Fiscal Year 2019 budget process style guide listed three “words to avoid”: “vulnerable,” “diversity” and “entitlement.” It provided just one exception: the words could be used “when the terms are referenced within a legal citation or part of a title.” At a budget meeting last week at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, employees were also told to avoid four other words not listed in the lengthy document: “fetus,” “transgender,” “evidence-based” and “science-based.” Now, more than ever, we need to pay attention to the “quiet silencing” that is going on within HHS.

George Carlin Recalls the Supreme Court Case About His ‘Seven Dirty Words’
Okay, I can’t resist. During this time of surreal madness, as evidenced by the language police monitoring the halls of HHS, I can’t help but think of the late George Carlin’s iconic comedic take on words you cannot say on television. In this interview, he talks about his reaction to the Supreme Court case about his seven dirty words. 

Get Your Very Own “Seven Words” Tee-Shirt and Mug!
And last, but not least – The good folks at the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health (ASPPH) have made available “Seven Words” coffee mugs and tee-shirts. 

Doing Less With Less: Mental Health Care in Mississippi
The state of mental health care in Mississippi has been in freefall for years. As a consequence of the ripple effects of the financial crisis, Mississippi saw its state support for mental health care slashed by $42 million from 2009 to 2011, roughly 15 percent of the Department of Mental Health’s budget. The state, which had 1,156 psychiatric beds in 2010, has just 486 today. In 2016, after years of failing to heed warnings from federal prosecutors, Mississippi was sued by the U.S. Department of Justice for failing to deliver adequate care to its residents. The crumbling mental health system in Mississippi continues to get worse. Legislators tasked with drawing up budget recommendations nonetheless have suggested another $3 million cut for mental health in the upcoming year.

Raising Babies to Be Mentally, Emotionally, and Behaviorally Healthy
For hundreds thousand years, our ancestral and modern human babies learned everything about the world by being held, spoken to, and interacting with real, live humans for hours on end. In America, that is less and less so—with adverse developmental effects. In this Morning Zen post, Dennis Embry reminds us that tiny, everyday interactions have large, evolutionary consequences in child development for good or harm.

How the Adolescent Peer Support League is Cultivating Peer to Peer Support Among Young Adults in High School 
Dawn Bunch, Founder of the Adolescent Peer Support League, was recently interviewed by Jordan Cooper, host of the Public Interest Podcast. Dawn, who is a senior in high school, speaks about the anxiety-inducing stresses of teenage life and how teens can help each other overcome these challenges. A worthy listen. Excellent job, Dawn!

I Survived A Mass Shooting. Here Are The Questions I’m Frequently Asked
When fellow mass shooting survivors began asking Morning Zen contributor Lisa Hamp about her experience, she published the answers in a HuffPost article so that they would reach the widest possible audience. Mass shootings are unsettlingly common in the United States. These questions are valuable to those who endure them and those wishing to offer support.

Call for Papers Deadline for the University of Maryland Training Institutes (July 25 – 28, 2018) Extended to January 8th
The 2018 Training Institutes will address data-driven policy, system design and implementation, and evidence-informed approaches relevant to Medicaid, mental health, substance use, child welfare, juvenile justice, early intervention, and prevention stakeholders and practitioners. If you have not submitted your proposal yet, take advantage of a little extra time to get ‘er done! 

Children’s Health Funding Hangs in the Balance as Congress Leaves Town
Families and governors wonder what’s next after Congress approves enough funding for children’s health insurance through March. 

Note: The Children’s Mental Health Network joined over 1,000 organizations in signing on to the letter sent to Congress calling for the immediate enactment of a strong, five-year extension of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Read the letter here.

Will Congress Save Dreamers Before Trump’s DACA Deadline?
Members of both parties have vowed to fix DACA, but a concrete plan still hasn’t materialized. While the delays continue, more than a hundred Dreamers are losing their status every day, meaning, among other things, that they can no longer work legally in the U.S. 

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. Thanks again to so many of you who are spreading the word. We are indeed a collective voice and appreciate your support. 

scottScott Bryant-Comstock
President & CEO

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