Friday Update

Friday Update 3-11-16

March 13, 2016


Friday Update 3-11-16

Greetings faithful readers. Let’s start off this edition of Friday Update with the sounds of Rodrigo y Gabriela, two amazing guitar players that you will not want to miss. Enjoy the music and then get to readin’ Friday Update, cuz we got work to do!

Most important reads for this week 

Child psychiatrists or unicorns, which one is harder to find?
Lisa Lambert points out the elephant in the room. Psychiatrists are an increasingly rare commodity in the public mental health system.

When the local mental health clinic abruptly closed last September, Cheryl knew she would have a tough time finding a new psychiatrist to treat her son. Her 15 year old son is complicated, to start with. He has several diagnoses, has uncommon reactions to medications and has had frequent ups and downs. Shortly after she began searching, Cheryl realized the truth: child psychiatrists with openings are nearly impossible to find.

HELP Releases Mental Health Draft
A draft of a bipartisan mental health bill released late Monday would create of a model training program of authorized disclourse of patient records under HIPAA. The 114-page bill, which is set to be marked up by the Senate HELP Committee on March 16, would also mandate a study of 42 CFR Part 2, the federal law that requires patients sign off on every provider who can view their drug and alcohol abuse treatment records. Telemedicine would received grants for child psychiatry through the Health Resources and Services Administration.

Bringing Accountability to Mental Health Parity
A group of Democratic senators have introduced a measure aimed at ramping up accountability and enforcement of the mental health parity law. The bill, which has been referred to the HELP Committee, is a companion measure to a House bill introduced by Rep. Joe Kennedy.

Mental Health Parity’s Limited Impact on Utilization and Access for Health Plan Beneficiaries
The passage of comprehensive mental health parity appears to have done little to increase access for patients with mental health conditions. Completing a national analysis using commercial claims data from the Health Care Cost Institute database, our findings reveal that the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act had little to no effect on access and utilization of mental health services for patients with depression, bipolar, or schizophrenia.

Nominations for the 2016 Change Maker Awards are Now Open
A message from our friends at the Child Mind Institute
We’re pleased to announce that nominations for the 2016 Change Maker Awards are NOW open! Help us honor the people and organizations that are transforming the lives of children struggling with mental health and learning disorders. Nominate the change maker in your life for the Local Hero Award and Outstanding Organization Award today.

The Disease of Poverty
Sir Michael Marmot makes a compelling case for early intervention as a key strategy for addressing adult health inequalities.

Health Features: Getting Enough Sleep
In this CDC feature, learn how many adults don’t get enough sleep in the U.S., and tips for getting healthy sleep.

Challenges and Recommendations for Evaluating Suicide Prevention Programs
This report from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) Suicide Prevention Resource Center provides “lessons learned” about evaluation and data/surveillance collection from state and tribal Garrett Lee Smith (GLS) evaluator Community of Learning participants. It addresses evaluation and data challenges as well as tribal and state-specific evaluation concerns, and provides recommendations, resource lists, and case studies on how GLS evaluators overcame particular evaluation challenges.

Mental Health of Transgender Children Who Are Supported in Their Identities
Transgender children who have socially transitioned, that is, who identify as the gender “opposite” their natal sex and are supported to live openly as that gender, are increasingly visible in society, yet we know nothing about their mental health. Previous work with children with gender identity disorder (GID; now termed gender dysphoria) has found remarkably high rates of anxiety and depression in these children. Here we examine, for the first time, mental health in a sample of socially transitioned transgender children.

Understanding Anxiety Disorders: When Panic, Fear and Worries Overwhelm
Anxiety disorders affect nearly 1 in 5 American adults each year, creating fear and uncertainty that interfere with everyday activities. The good news is that most anxiety disorders get better with treatment.


A group of Democratic senators this week introduced a measure aimed at ramping up accountability and enforcement of the mental health parity law. The bill, which has been referred to the HELP Committee, is a companion measure to a House bill introduced by Rep. Joe Kennedy. – See more at:

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scottScott Bryant-Comstock
President & CEO

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