Friday Update

Friday Update 2-14-20

February 17, 2020

Hey Network faithful, let’s start this issue of Friday Update with the late Northern Irish guitarist, Gary Moore, singing and slaying his song, “Still Got The Blues.” You may not know Gary Moore, but trust me, the dude was tuned in. Enjoy Still Got the Blues, and then get to readin’ Friday Update, cuz we got work to do!

Most Important Reads of the Week

Tampa Conference Early Registration Ends Soon!
The Tampa Conference is almost here! Be sure to register by February 28 to take advantage of the early-bird registration. Save $50.00!

Broken Places Screening at the Tampa Conference – Premiers on PBS April 6th
Don’t miss this exciting pre-conference session at the Tampa Conference! After viewing the film, Daniella Rin Hover, who has been featured in the 2004 documentary, Aging Out, and in the current documentary, Broken Places, will lead a question and answer session with attendees.

Tampa Conference Hotel Rooms
Speaking of the Tampa Conference, I have five hotel reservations at the Hilton Tampa Downtown at the conference rate. Arrival 3/14 and departure 3/18. The Hilton sold out weeks ago, so these rooms will go quickly. First come, first served. If you are interested, let me know. Be sure to include names for each of the rooms requested. The rooms will get gobbled up quickly, so get on it!

SAMHSA Watch – The Death Knell Has Been Sounded: New SAMHSA Technical Assistance Grant Guts the Values and Principles of Systems of Care
Due to popular demand, re-sharing this Morning Zen post from last month

Last month, SAMHSA released a new grant announcement for a Technical Assistance Center that will provide resources and support for CMHI grantees. Unfortunately, with this announcement for something as seemingly straightforward as a notice for a five-year grant award for the provision of technical assistance to CMHI grantees, we are witnessing the gutting of the heart and soul of the systems of care movement – all with the stroke of a pen. Yes, systems of care as we know it could be a thing of the past, just like that. The death knell has been sounded. Here is why.

CMS Seeking Comment on Rural Maternal Health
Through the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Office of Minority Health, CMS is seeking information related to opportunities to improve access, quality, and outcomes before, during, and after pregnancy, and to develop and refine programs and policies that ensure all rural women have access to high-quality maternal health care that results in optimal health.

Social Marketing Assistance Available From NASMHPD
Looking for some help with your social marketing strategy? The National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors, led by the fantastic Leah Holmes-Bonilla, may have some resources that could be useful to you. Heck, ya darned right, this opportunity would be helpful – Leah is the best!

The Play Project Helps Young Children With Autism Reach Their Full Potential Through PLAY
The PLAY Project™ is a parent-implemented, intensive early intervention program for young children with autism that is evidence-based. Far too many children with autism are waiting for services. Early intervention can make a profound difference in the life course of these children because their brains are developing at an incredible rate before the age of 5. Children, including children with autism, learn best through play in the natural environment of the home. The secret is knowing how to engage the child in a playful way that promotes his or her development.

Get Your Mental Health Statistics Correct!
Excellent work by Ron Manderscheid, Executive Director of the National Association of Rural Mental Health, with his response to a recent article in the Washington Post by Joe Grogan, assistant to the President and Director of the Domestic Policy Council. In the post, titled Americans have failed people with mental illness. Grogan writes that President Trump is proposing the boldest reform in decades for the millions of Americans who live with serious mental illness. Unfortunately, Grogan relies on outdated and misleading information, such as the comparison of 1950s state hospital beds with the number of individuals with MI in Jails (which is commonly used by the far right in the mental health field and by the current White House). Read the post article and then dive into current data for a more accurate understanding. Excellent work, Ron!

New Resources Highlight Innovative Strategies to Support the Early Childhood Workforce
Child Trends has developed a series of resources that explore how state policies, practices, and funding can strengthen the early childhood education workforce. The resources spotlight strategies from Georgia, Pennsylvania, Montana, Minnesota, Louisiana, Indiana, and Arkansas, such as early childhood apprenticeships, flexible salary bonuses, and business training.

Trump’s 2020 Budget Proposes Cuts to CDC, Medicaid, ACA, and More
This week, President Trump released a $4.8 trillion budget proposal reflecting deep cuts to Medicaid, food stamps, student loan assistance, affordable housing, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); among others. While the proposal won’t pass this year, it reveals the President’s priorities if he’s reelected and continues to have the support of Congress.

How Yoga Helps Heal Trauma: A Q&A with Bessel van der Kolk
Bessel van der Kolk, MD, is a clinical psychiatrist whose work attempts to integrate mind, brain, body, and social connections to understand and treat trauma. He is the author of The Body Keeps the Score, which examines how trauma affects the brain and body, and looks at a variety of treatments, including yoga. When people are traumatized, they become afraid of their physical sensations; their breathing becomes shallow, and they become uptight and frightened about what they’re feeling inside. When you slow down your breathing with yoga, you can increase your heart rate variability, and that decreases stress. It’s a gentle, safe way for people to befriend their bodies, where the trauma of the past is stored.

Evidence-Based Treatments Should be the Standard of Care
Better outcomes improved health equity, and cost savings are three reasons why evidence-based children’s mental health treatments should become the standard of care in Connecticut. The Child Health Development Institute (CHDI) President & CEO, Jeff Vanderploeg, illustrated these points in a Hartford Courant op-ed, “There are ways to help children who suffer from mental health conditions, and we should make more use of them.” He cited a CHDI analysis of data from 45,000 children, which found that evidence-based treatments resulted in greater improvements and reduced disparities in treatment outcomes compared to “usual care.” The findings are further summarized in Issue Brief 71, “Better than Usual (Care): Evidence-based Treatment Improve Outcomes and Reduce Disparities for Children of Color.” CHDI continues to stay ahead of the curve in children’s mental health research and policy discussions. Well done, Jeff!

When a Mental Health Crisis Hit My Family: Irene’s Story of Hoping and Coping
When a mental health crisis hit Irene’s family, it was completely unexpected. Everything was going smoothly, and then suddenly…it wasn’t. The stress of being thrown into the mental health system, searching for answers, and being the primary caretaker of someone with a mental health condition was overwhelming, and Irene wasn’t taking care of herself. After one particularly hard day, Irene realized she had to take care of herself, or else she wouldn’t be able to care for her family. Irene tells her story of what happened, the tools she came to find and use to maintain her well-being, and how that, in turn, helped her family member as well. Watch more videos from Transitions to Adulthood Center for Research here. Lovin it, oh UMASS Network faithful!

Participate in the Sequences of Employment and Education (Seed) Study
The Transitions to Adulthood Center for Research at the University of Massachusetts Medical School is currently recruiting for the Sequences of Employment and Education (SEED) study to better understand how the employment and education experiences of young adults (ages 16-25) with serious mental health conditions change over time. You may be eligible if you are a young adult with a serious mental health condition who has experience in foster care and, or, additional challenges with substance use. Participation includes six 1-hour surveys over 20 months period. All information shared will be kept confidential. Participants will be compensated up to $145 in gift cards for their time. Check it out to see if you are eligible! Learn more about the SEED Study here.

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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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