Friday Update

Friday Update 2-7-14

February 07, 2014


Friday Update 2-7-14

Greetings faithful readers. We have been talking a lot lately about the importance of children’s mental health advocates speaking up on important issues. But what if you get anxious or have stage fright when speaking in public? Trust me, as someone who has had his moments as the king of anxiety attacks, it can be paralyzing. So to give those of you sitting on the fence some encouragement to take that next important advocacy step, enjoy this TED Talk by Joe Kowan, who talks about his own anxiety battles and how he has worked through them. Watch the video, get inspired and then get to readin’ Friday Update! 

Most important reads for this week

Senator Harkin holds event to introduce Keeping All Students Safe Act 
We have some wonderful news to share. On Wednesday, February 12, Senator Tom Harkin, Chairman of the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP), will host an event to discuss the findings of a Committee investigation into the obstacles faced by parents whose children were secluded or restrained in public schools. Senator Harkin will discuss the results of the investigation as well as his introduction of Keeping All Students Safe Act, which aims to ensure effective implementation of positive behavioral interventions in our nation’s schools. As Network faithful know, this is an issue we have been following closely for some time now. It is most exciting to see this move forward. 

Members of Congress advocate for improved mental health services 
On January 30th of this year Reps. Doris Matsui, Leonard Lance, Jon Runyan and Paul Tonko sent letters to Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton and Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp asking them to include a 10-state Medicaid demonstration project to expand mental health services to beneficiaries based on the Excellence in Mental Health Act. A big thanks from the Children’s Mental Health Network to these members of Congress who are championing improved mental health services in America. The National Council for Behavioral Health has been campaigning hard for bringing attention to the need for passage of the Excellence in Mental Health Act. The Children’s Mental Health Network encourages all faithful readers to visit the Council Action Page where in just two minutes you can make your voice heard to members of Congress. We also want to encourage Network faithful to call these Congressional leaders and say thank you! Time is of the essence on this one folks. 

Derek Clark: The power of determination
The Children’s Mental Health Network is pleased to shine a bright light on Derek Clark, a world renowned motivational speaker and great example of the diversity of subscribers to Friday Update. Derek Clark’s life is one of resilience and redemption. As a child he suffered unthinkable child abuse, abandonment and emotional distress before being turned over to a psychiatric hospital at age five. His 13 years in the San Francisco bay area foster care system reflected an early life of humiliation, aggression, emotional distress, overwhelming anxiety and being wrongfully labeled. Eventually, with the help of foster parents and mentors he defied the artificial limitations imposed upon him. You don’t want to miss his amazing TED Talk. 

Agenda at a glance is posted for the 27th Annual Children’s Mental Health Research & Policy Conference  
The agenda at a glance for the conference is now available. Download it here, get even more excited (Is it possible?), pack the sunscreen and get ready for another stellar children’s mental health research and policy conference. You are gonna love it. Former Surgeon General David Satcher, mental health scholar Thom Bornemann, an amazing research-focused wraparound plenary and transition plenary, a federal update from Larke Huang and Michael Dennis. Oh my goodness, I need to catch my breath… Register today and be sure to book your hotel room before the deadline. Details on the USF conference website. See you in Tampa March 2 – 5, 2014.

Georgetown University Training Institutes open for registration
Speaking of conferences; the Georgetown University Training Institutes is now officially open for registration. Yep, the Children’s Mental Health Network will be there in force so be sure to join us July 16 – 20 in Washington, DC for practical, “how to” training on systems of care for children, youth, and young adults with mental health challenges and their families. Georgetown University has an incredible conference planned with 30 Institutes, 30 Workshops, 20 Professional Development Seminars, General Sessions with exciting featured speakers, and a RockStar Youth Leadership Track. Check out their website for complete information.  See you in July!

Friday Update pauses for a brief nap after all the excitement around these two upcoming conferences… 

Shout out to Kinsey Street Online Marketing
There are many unsung heroes who help the Children’s Mental Health Network maintain a strong web presence. One we want to acknowledge with our deepest thanks is Robert Coats of Kinsey Street Online Marketing. Robert is a Google genius who has a deep commitment to helping non-profits succeed. Robert has been working with the Network for over a year now and has been a tremendous help and quite frankly is key to our ever-expanding reach across the country and increasingly in countries around the globe. 

Celebrating Five Years – Achievements of the Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2009 (CHIPRA) 
Happy birthday CHIPRA! Read a nice post by HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on the significance of the five-year anniversary of this important program focused on advancing health coverage for children. 

Summer research fellowship for emerging scholars focused on low-income and vulnerable Hispanic children and families 
The National Research Center on Hispanic Children & Families just announced a new Summer Research Fellowship program for 2014. In its inaugural year, the goal of the Summer Research Fellowship Program is to attract, develop, and expand the pool of emerging scholars focused on studying issues concerning low-income and vulnerable Hispanic children and families.  This 12-week program is open to those currently enrolled in an advanced graduate program (Master’s, Ph.D., or ABD – “all but dissertation”) and will provide graduate students with the opportunity to carry out policy-research in an applied setting, and in ways that can impact both policy and programs serving Hispanic children and families.  This looks like a great opportunity! 

Health provider toolkit for adolescent and young adult (AYA) males 
The Boys Initiative, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting achievement and health for boys and young men, has launched the Partnership for Male Youth and released the Partnership’s Health Provider Toolkit for Adolescent and Young Adult (AYA) Males. 

The Johnson Foundation at Wingspread explores systems of care 
The Johnson Foundation at Wingspread unveiled its latest Inspiring Solutions dialogue on the system of care approach, a collaborative health care framework enhancing coordination among agencies, families, and youth with mental health disorders. Many Network faithful were a part of this dialogue and we couldn’t be more excited to share this. Participants were invited to explore and offer insight as to how they have been personally impacted by the shift to a system of care model of health care provision and where they see the movement heading. 

Former foster youth stay insured until 26 
Great story on the Kaiser website highlighting the fact that former foster youth in California are eligible for Medi-Cal until age 26 under the federal Affordable Care Act (ACA). This ensures that former foster youth can access the health care services they need, just like non-foster youth who can stay on their parents’ insurance plans until 26. Excellent read Network faithful. 

Wisconsin creates new Office of Children’s Mental Health 
The Governor of Wisconsin recently announced that Elizabeth Hudson will head up a new Office of Children’s Mental Health. In an era when we are seeing states either consolidate or completely do away with children’s mental health offices, this is welcome news. We will keep an eye on this one to monitor progress on keeping children’s mental health at the forefront of state policy discussions. Wisconsin Network faithful should be sure to give Ms. Hudson a hearty hello and let her know that you want to be involved in ways most helpful to improving services for youth with emotional challenges and their families. 

California – Mini-Grants Request for Applications – $201,000 in awards available 
This one is for California Network faithful only. The California Office of Statewide Planning and Development (OSHPD) has an RFA out for mini-grants that will fund programs that encourage diversity in the health professions. Get on it folks. They are offering a webinar that will help you apply! 

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 2014? 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? 

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Scott Bryant-Comstock
President & CEO

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