Friday Update

Friday update 3-15-13

March 16, 2013


Friday update – 3-15-13

Greetings faithful readers – Goodness gracious… another week and another deal not done. Yep, with more promises from the rarified air in Washington, DC that things are gonna get settled on Monday, I got the one and only Fats Domino singing Blue Monday in my head. Heck, you might as well enjoy this live version of him singing his famous song, cuz Monday is likely to be just as “blue” as last Monday, and the Monday before that… Watch the video (I promise – it will put you in a mellow sway, which is what you need right about now) and then dive in to a delicious offering of great information from our website this week.

Immigration injustice – why the collective voice of the CMHNetwork needs to care
Be sure to spend some time with our latest Morning Zen piece. With the first drafts of an immigration overhaul expected to be released this month or next, hundreds of civil rights, health, labor, and religious groups are asking the president and members of Congress to include health care coverage in any legislative package. Network faithful know too well that mental health challenges have no boundaries – and most certainly include families impacted by immigration. This is a subject many don’t like to delve into but we need to. Read on…

Sequester – kind of like the Grinch when it comes to block grants
In the spirit of “keepin’ it real” HHS sent letters to all 50 states detailing a sample of sequester cuts to local health and human services programs. Let’s keep this simple and clear. If your program is relying on discretionary block grant funding you might want to be thinking about plan B. Check out the letter sent to Governor Rick Perry of Texas and then make sure you request a copy of the letter sent to your Governor to find out how sequestration will impact block grant funding. Details here.

The first parity lawsuit hits – expect more to come
The Children’s Mental Health Network was not surprised to read about the first class-action lawsuit under the 2008 mental health parity law. The New York State Psychiatric Association and a group of employees have filed suit, alleging that United Health Group has violated that statute and the national health reform law. Folks, we are going to see more of this. The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act and the health care law is designed to improve Americans’ access to psychologists, psychiatrists and other mental health providers by requiring insurers to cover mental health care and pay for it on the same level as physical health services. Gotta hold some feet to the fire, folks. Simply celebrating parity, which still does not have the teeth needed to ensure access to a wider array of services with quality controls, and that “mental health” is now in the national discussion, is not enough. Read more here and get our take on the good, the bad and the ugly of parity. UPDATE: Just as we were about to hit the send button for Friday Update, we received an email blast from the National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare that pertains to this topic. We have included it verbatim on our webpage so that you can see it. Nice job Council!

Sebelius goes twitter… and local
HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has become the latest Cabinet chief to join Twitter. The first tweet from @Sebelius featured the secretary at her laptop, hard at work – probably figuring out how to get local leaders to help sell and implement the ACA. Details here.

Help SAMHSA organize their website
Someone pinch me. You mean we can rearrange SAMHSA’s website to our liking? Well, not exactly, but you can provide feedback on how the site is structured and make suggestions for improvement. Gotta give SAMHSA some love for this initiative, which they are calling “Project Evolve.” The window for making suggestions is March 13–19, 2013, so you need to act quickly. Details here.

SAMHSA set to release bid for CMHI TA Center
Since we are talking about SAHMSA, did you know they are soliciting proposals for a on a full and open competitive basis to increase capacity and effectiveness of the Child, Adolescent and Family Branch (CAFB) of the Division of Service and Systems Improvement by acquiring technical assistance support to help the Comprehensive Community Mental Health Services for Children and Their Families Program, otherwise known as the Children’s Mental Health Initiative (CMHI). Dang, that’s a mouthful, but basically it means that if you are interested in bidding on the CMHI TA Center ya gotta get your ducks in a row. The estimated date for issuance of the RFP is March 21, 2013 with proposal responses due on April 22, 2013. Details here.

If you are going to apply for a navigator grant, get on it!
Any organization considering applying for a navigator grant should complete the registration process as soon as possible. Given the dwindling timeline, it’s not clear how long applicants will have to prepare their proposals but potential applicants – particularly those who have never applied for a federal grant – can register now. Details here.

MY Fest – “Creating a Future Free of Bullying and Suicide”
The sixth annual MY Fest – “Creating a Future Free of Bullying and Suicide” will take place Sunday, March 24, 2013, Tempe Beach Park, Tempe, Arizona. Don’t live in Arizona? Well then, it’s time for a road trip. MYFest has become the go-to youth involvement festival. The Children’s Mental Health Network has been following the growth of MYFest since the very first one and it gets bigger and better each year. Check out all the details here.

Sarnat and Lienhard awards now available
Hey Network faithful, pay attention to this news item. The Institute of Medicine is now accepting nominations for the Rhoda and Bernard Sarnat International Prize in Mental Health ($20,000 prize) and the  Gustav O. Lienhard Award ($40,000 prize). These two awards are presented annually by the Institute of Medicine. Definitely worth checking out. Read more here and nominate someone!

HHS seeks nominations to the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is seeking nominations of qualified individuals to be considered for appointment as members of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA). They are looking for people with particular expertise in, or knowledge of, matters concerning HIV and AIDS, public health, global health, philanthropy, marketing or business, as well as other national leaders held in high esteem from other sectors of society. Gotta get your nominations in by April 1st. Details here.

IOM Roundtable presentations now available
The Institute of Medicine Roundtable on Value and Science Driven Health has posted the presentations from their recent meeting on patient engagement. Special thanks to Advisory Council member Brigitte Manteuffel for representing the Network at this meeting. Read more here.

Rachael Baker-Wells joins the CMHNetwork Advisory Council
Speaking of Network Advisory Council members; we are thrilled to welcome Rachael Baker-Wells to the CMHNetwork Advisory Council. Rachael is a sibling of a now adult child with mental and behavioral health issues. Rachael started her career in children’s mental health at the age of 8 when she testified for the Utah state legislature in support of funding for children’s mental health. Her involvement in children’s mental health continued through her youth, undergraduate studies, and now in her planned graduate studies in public health. Rachael has worked for the last six years in substance use disorder research, collaborating with a compendium of mental and behavioral health organizations, including the National Institute of Drug Abuse and SAMHSA. Rachael brings her research experience, social media expertise, history of working with substance use disorder treatment, and insight as a sibling of a child with mental health issues.

Blueprint for Change: A Comprehensive Model for the Identification and Treatment of Youth with Mental Health Needs in Contact with the Juvenile Justice System
It is now well established that the vast majority of youth in the juvenile justice system, approximately 70%, suffer from mental disorders, with 25% experiencing disorders so severe that their ability to function is significantly impaired. For some youth, contact with the juvenile justice system is often their first and only chance to get help. For others, it is the last resort after being bounced from one system to another. Frustrated juvenile justice administrators and mental health professionals are struggling to take action, yet little progress has been made due, at least in part, to the fact that there has been a lack of information available about how best to respond to these youth.  The Blueprint for Change attempts to fill that gap. Download the report here.

Children’s Board of Hillsborough County, FL seeking Executive Director
The Board is seeking a motivated and dynamic Executive Director to oversee the operations of the Children’s Board and lead the agency into its next phase of growth. Check it out on our Jobs page.

National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month is just around the corner
This July, organizations across the country will be taking part in celebrating National Minority Health Awareness Month. The focus is to keep building awareness of the importance of mental health and supports in every community. To help you get ready to take part, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) and the National Network to Eliminate Disparities in Behavioral Health (NNED) are organizing a series of planning webinars. Can’t wait for these to roll out! Details here.

Pathways “Speak Out” series
We are particularly enjoying Pathways “Speak Out” series in their latest online newsletter. Check out what youth are saying about the latest question – “If you could give advice to providers about working with youth/young adults, what would it be?”

Get out your umbrella to protect you from the stormy weather and then get back to work!
Okay, that’s it for today. Many, many things to apply for and definitely think about in this issue of Friday Update. Hang in there Network faithful, we are here every Friday (okay, sometimes it’s Monday…) to get you through the stormy weather. And with that – how about a little Billie Holiday to get your head straight for the rest of the workday. Enjoy the video folks and then get back to work. We got a sequester to dream about. Where is the Oracle when we need her? Actually, she has some sage advice for us here.

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 hard 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 2013? 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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