Friday Update

Friday Update 2-17-17

February 17, 2017


Friday Update 2-17-17

Greetings faithful readers. Let’s start off with the Boss. Need we say more? Enjoy this acoustic performance of “The Ghost of Tom Joad” by Bruce Springsteen. Timely words back when he wrote it and now, more than ever. Enjoy the tune and then get to readin’ Friday Update, cuz we got work to do!

Most important reads for this week  

Tell Your Senators to Preserve Critical Protections for Students with Disabilities!
While most people are consumed with the histrionics of our Commander in Chief, Congress is quietly moving to overturn the Every Student Succeeds Act’s (ESSA’s) core requirement that schools be held accountable for the performance of historically marginalized students, including students with disabilities. The House has already voted to do it. Next up, the Senate. Just for today, skip the @realDonaldTrump tweets, and instead, read the Bazelon Call to Action. Gotta stay vigilant, Network faithful! 

House G.O.P. Leaders Outline Plan To Replace Obama Health Care Act 
A great plan for eroding services and supports for all but the wealthy.

The New York Times - “House Republican leaders on Thursday presented their rank-and-file members with the outlines of their plan to replace the Affordable Care Act, leaning heavily on tax credits to finance individual insurance purchases and sharply reducing federal payments to the 31 states that have expanded Medicaid eligibility. Speaker Paul D. Ryan and two House committee chairmen stood with the new secretary of health and human services, former Representative Tom Price of Georgia, preparing Republican lawmakers for a weeklong Presidents’ Day recess that promises to be dominated by angry or anxious questions about the fate of the health law. But the talking points they provided did not say how the legislation would be paid for, essentially laying out the benefits without the more controversial costs. It also included no estimates of the number of people who would gain or lose insurance under the plan, nor did it include comparisons with the Affordable Care Act, which has extended coverage to some 20 million people.”

Sign-On Letter to Congress, Keep Medicaid Coverage for Former Foster Youth
Legislation is currently being drafted in House and Senate Committees to repeal and replace the ACA, and we need to make sure foster youth are not forgotten in these discussions. To that end, First Focus is circulating a sign-on letter for national and state organizations urging Congress to ensure that youth who age out of foster care have continued access to Medicaid coverage until the age of 26. The letter will be sent to the Senate Finance Committee and the House Energy and Commerce Committee. If you would like to sign on your organization to this letter, please review the letter by clicking here and then send your name and organization to

Want a Few Tips on Reaching Your Representative in Congress?
Rachna Choudhry,
 Co-founder of PopVox, has two great articles on how to connect with Congress. Check them out - The Anatomy of a Good Letter to Congress and Want to move Congress? Focus on storytelling. Enjoy!

Educating Lawmakers in Your State About What’s at Stake If the Affordable Care Act Is Repealed
With Members of Congress going on recess in their home districts, next week is an important opportunity to educate lawmakers in your state about what’s at stake if the Affordable Care Act is repealed. Families USA has put together a wonderful list of resources to help you communicate effectively with elected officials, whether by attending a rally, a one-on-one meeting, or through social media.

Nominate your Local Hero for a Change Maker Award
Quick. Pop quiz. Who is your mental health hero? It could be a teacher, a peer, a community activist, or even the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (my personal favorites). Whoever it is, take a few minutes to nominate them for one of the Child Mind Institute annual Change Maker Awards. Child Mind is once again celebrating people and organizations making a change in the lives of children struggling with mental health and learning disorders with their 3rd annual Change Maker Awards in May.  

Want to Know How to Implement Whole Person Integrated Care (WPIC)? Attend This Summit!
Led by stalwart Network faithful Martha Kaufmann and John Franz, and joined by Triple P expert Sarah Van Driel, this Summit will showcase strategies for implementing the WPIC model, which
 focuses on helping people become & stay healthy—rather than focusing more narrowly on “managing” diseases or conditions. Happening in Hickory, NC on March 31st. 

Students Make Data-Based Appeal for Mental Health Services
Ya know why we love Network faithful, Kevin Dwyer? Cuz he is always advocating for strengthening school-based services. Read his Morning Zen Post highlighting the advocacy efforts of local high school students using data to back up their demands for school-wide mental health screening and follow-up support with data. Future research-based advocates in the making!

Michael Phelps and Allison Schmitt Named Honorary Chairpersons for SAMHSA’s National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day 2017
Get out your flippers and goggles, and don’t forget the zinc oxide, cuz SAMHSA is goin’ deep into the Olympic Pool for Awareness Day this year. 

Mental Health Court Curriculum
The Council of State Governments Justice Center has launched Developing a Mental Health Court: An Interdisciplinary Curriculum, a free, online multimedia resource with the information needed to plan, implement, sustain, or simply learn about mental health courts based on research and best practices from the field.

A Whole Bunch of Webinars


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Scott Bryant-Comstock
President & CEO 

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