Friday Update

Friday Update 3-16-18

March 16, 2018


Friday Update 3-16-18 

Greetings faithful readers. As we gear up for the March for Our Lives in Washington, DC next week, I am thinking we need a little Green Day to get our engines tuned up. 

What good is love and peace on earth?
When it’s exclusive?
Where’s the truth in the written word?
If no one reads it
A new day dawning
Comes without warning
So don’t think twice
We live in troubled times

Immerse yourself in Green Day’s “Troubled Times” video and then get to readin’ Friday Update, cuz we got work to do!

Most important reads for this week  
On March 24th, the Collective Voices of the March for Our Lives Movement Will Be Heard
On March 24, the youth and families of March For Our Lives will take to the streets of Washington DC to demand that their lives and safety become a priority and that we end gun violence and mass shootings in our schools today. I am looking forward to joining our colleagues from Sandy Hook Promise and thousands of others at the march in Washington, DC. Join us in Washington DC or march in your own community. Details on marches taking place near you can be found here.

New Round of HTI Funding Comes with a Lot of Empty Calories
Note: This post includes a call to action to write the Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use.
Never a dull moment with our colleagues at SAMHSA. The announcement of a new round of funding opportunities for Healthy Transitions grants (HTI), which we consider excellent news, comes tinged with the apparent decision not to include a robust evaluation component. According to SAMHSA, while they are remaining committed to conducting evaluations as part of grant programs, they also want to be mindful of “grantee burden.”

Advocacy Tales
After immersing himself in the ever-expanding 24-hour news cycle over the past two years, Scott Bryant-Comstock develops the supernatural ability to transport himself to an alternate universe inside of a cartoon strip, where he can slow down the barrage of “breaking news” and make sense out of the nonsensical. The first issue of this continuing series dives into the Alice in Wonderland world of the HTI disappearing evaluation contract. Enjoy the series, Network faithful!

NREPP is Dead! How Does SAMSHA Make NREPP or Its Successor Better?
I have received numerous contacts from people who are worried that the decision to cancel the National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices (NREPP) is politically motivated. Politics aside, what if the issue with NREPP is a structural one, where the architecture of the database is such that a faulty search engine is what is leading the SAMHSA Administration to claim that there are few quality studies in the database, even though such studies do exist? If this were the case, then the argument that there is “no good science” in the NREPP database would fall apart. Guess what? The architecture is faulty and there is plenty of good science within. Dennis Embry did a deep dive into the NREPP database and offers specific recommendations to fix the architecture so that the plethora of good science can be recognized. Wholesale cutting of NREPP because of an assumption of lack of quality science within is a premise that must be challenged. 

Family of Slain 18-Year-Old Reminds Us to Remember All Victims of Gun Violence
Ayana McAllister wanted to become a detective who helped victims of sexual assault. “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” was her favorite show. “She used to always say she wanted to be just like Olivia Benson,” recalls her sister, N’Daja McAllister. But one year ago, the 18-year-old was shot and killed in Northeast Washington. Ayana was home for spring break from her freshman year at Saint Augustine’s University in North Carolina. She was one of the 259 homicides recorded in the DC area last year. Unlike on “Law & Order,” where the bad guy always gets caught by the end of the hour, her murder remains unsolved.

I Survived A Mass Shooting. Here Are The Questions I’m Frequently Asked
When fellow mass shooting survivors began asking Morning Zen contributor Lisa Hamp about her experience, she published the answers in a HuffPost article so that they would reach the widest possible audience. Mass shootings are unsettlingly common in the United States. These questions are valuable to those who endure them and those wishing to offer support.

Asian American Women Have Tough Time Seeking Help for Eating Disorders
Insightful post from our colleagues at the NNED – “Young Asian American women tend to have cultural and family influences that discourage them from seeking help for eating disorders, according to new research led by Yuying Tsong. The study is one of few in eating disorder literature to examine Asian Americans in particular, Tsong said; most focus on white Americans. But what research there is indicates that while Asian Americans are at equal risk for eating disorders, they are often misdiagnosed or under-diagnosed.”

The Wrong Side of History: Gun Violence… It’s Time to Talk About It
Spoken Word artist IN-Q delivers a stirring message on the absurdity of gun violence, and our nation’s apparent unwillingness to do anything about it. 

No Tattoo Shop Would Help Teen Who Self-Harmed, Then Artist Saw Her Scars & Stepped In
A wonderful example of how tattoo artists are helping people who have struggled with self-harm.

A Haven From Trauma’s Cruel Grip
Starting as a pilot project in San Francisco, CA, with a small state grant in 2001, the Trauma Recovery Center’s all-encompassing approach to trauma recovery and prevention – for survivors of gun violence, sexual assault, hate crimes and other violent offenses — has become a national model.

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scottScott Bryant-Comstock
President & CEO


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