Friday Update

Friday Update 3-17-17

March 18, 2017


Friday Update 3-17-17

Greetings faithful readers. Let’s start off with the cover of the Bob Dylan song I Shall Be Released, performed by Kirk Ross from the movie Captain Fantastic. Yep, ya gotta see the movie! It will give you hope in dark times. Listen to the song, watch the movie, and then get to readin’ Friday Update, cuz we got work to do!

Most important reads for this week  

SAMHSA Announces AOT Training for Community Leaders – We are watching
SAMHSA will present two-day trainings at three different sites across the nation in May and June to address the common barriers that public mental health officials and judges have reported as reasons for not fully implementing AOT in their communities. The curriculum, developed by the Treatment Advocacy Center (TAC) in consultation with SAMHSA, will be targeted to leaders and policymakers of state and local mental health agencies, judges who currently preside over civil commitment dockets, coordinators and providers of outpatient services to high-risk individuals with mental illness, and leaders of peer and/or family advocacy groups.

The big question for me is to understand better who, besides TAC, was involved in the development of the curriculum. I will let you know what I find out. As long-time readers know, AOT was a polarizing topic among mental health advocates during the debate around Representative Murphy’s Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act. How SAMHSA incorporates the voices of all sides of the AOT debate into its training and education efforts is an important story that we will be following closely.

Department of Education Seeks Comments on New IDEA Website
The U.S. Department of Education Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) has recently launched a new website to provide resources to support the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). OSERS is seeking input from users of the website as part of its effort to provide updated, easy-to-navigate IDEA resources to children with disabilities and their families, teachers, administrators, advocates, and other stakeholders. Visit the website and share your thoughts about what information should be included!

Supporting Comprehensive and Innovative Care for Children: Request for Information on a Potential Pediatric Alternative Payment Model
CMS is seeking input on approaches to improve the quality and reduce the cost of care for children and youth enrolled in Medicaid and CHIP. We need children’s mental health advocates to take the time to comment on this RFI so that there is more attention paid to children with mental health needs. SAMHSA has been working with CMS to promote this opportunity which can potentially build upon systems of care and wraparound work. Look for an email from me mid-week with a comprehensive list of discussion points for you to address when submitting your comments. You can download a pdf of the RFI here.

Son Volt – Back Against The Wall
Thanks to Network faithful John Franz for sharing a song of inspiration and hope. ”A sort of musical inspiration as we search for handholds to help us climb out of the wounded, divided, reactive and reductive miasma we fell into after the election and reassemble as a healing, united, proactive and integrative new community of action. Glimmers are already out there. We need to share and coalesce.”  

Quote of the Week on the American Health Care Act
“You’ll have a lot of choices. You’ll have plans that nobody’s even thinking of today. They will have plans that today nobody has even thought about because the market’s going to import that with millions and millions of people wanting health care.” - President Trump 

Does Donald Trump Know What the GOP Health Bill Does? Maybe Not. 
Thanks to our friends at the Coalition for Health Funding for sharing this fascinating look behind the curtain of President Trump’s understanding of the American Health Care Act. ”With the help of Vox’s Jacob Gardenswartz, I collected and read absolutely everything Donald Trump has said publicly about the AHCA. The transcripts cover speeches, rallies, meetings with congressional leaders, interviews with friendly news outlets, and, of course, tweets. I learned a few things from the exercise.”

Making Sense out of the AHCA
Oh my goodness, are you as blurry-eyed as I am trying to sort through the American Health Care Act? Aside from the fact (okay, opinion) that the AHCA would effectively obliterate evidence-based efforts to improve the behavioral health of Americans across the age spectrum, how is one to make sense of this bill? No worries, once again, our friends at PopVox have put together a handy guide for understanding the AHCA in their latest issue of Gavel Down. Check it out.

Quick, Hurry, Rush and Damn the Consequences
Lost in the blur of distractions coming out of the White House is the fact that Republicans have passed their ACA repeal bill out of three House committees without a single hearing. Let that sink in for a moment. On Wednesday, Democrats held a hearing on the impact of the GOP’s ACA repeal bill.You should watch it to round out your thinking about how this bill would impact children and families.
State Leaders Talk AHCA
On March 7, the National Academy for State Health Policy (NASHP) issued a chart summarizing how the American Health Care Act, passed out of House committees the day before, differed from the Affordable Care Act (ACA). 

And Then There Is the President’s Budget
Sigh… Let’s tackle this one next week, Network faithful. Sound good? Gotta pace yourself! For those of you who want to wade into the river on this bundle of joy, start here.

Now Available: Funding Application for QIC-LGBTQ2S Local Implementation Sites
The National Quality Improvement Center (QIC) on Tailored Services, Placement Stability and Permanency for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning, and Two-Spirit (LGBTQ2S) Children and Youth in Foster Care, in collaboration with the Children’s Bureau (CB), invites eligible applicants who are limited to state governments, county governments, and Native American tribal governments (federally recognized) that are responsible for administering the child welfare/ foster care program throughout their jurisdiction, to apply to become a local implementation site. 

Call for Applications for SAMHSA’s 2017 Bringing Recovery Supports to Scale Technical Assistance Center Strategy Policy Academy Now Available
 This year’s theme is “Building a Strong Recovery-Oriented Workforce.” Applications must be submitted by state, territorial, or tribal behavioral health entities and applicants are required to include diverse stakeholder and peer representation as part of their team.  Applications are also encouraged to consider the inclusion of activities to create parent, youth or family support training and certification programs; focus on supported housing or recovery housing; address supported employment and supported education; or focus on wellness efforts.  
Webinar: Strategies for Improving Law Enforcement Responses to People with Behavioral Health Conditions
In the course of their work as first responders, police officers routinely encounter people with mental and/or substance use disorders. However, many officers lack training in responding to mental health crises or options other than a hospital emergency department or the jail. This SAMHSA GAINS Center webinar will examine efforts to ensure successful interactions between police officers and people experiencing a mental health crisis, a mental health co-response strategy in Portland (ME), and the Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion Initiative in King County (WA).  

Is Friday Update workin’ for ya? 
We love feedback so let us know how we can improve the website to better meet your needs. Contact us here. Thanks again to so many of you who are spreading the word. We are indeed a collective voice and appreciate your support.


Scott Bryant-Comstock
President & CEO 

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