Friday Update

Friday Update 4-22-16

April 25, 2016


Friday Update 4-22-16

Greetings faithful readers. Let’s take a minute to enjoy the musical genius of Prince in this retrospective about the 2007 Superbowl half-time show, where Prince, as usual, dominated. Enjoy the video and then get to readin’ Friday Update, cuz we got work to do!

Most important reads for this week

With the Love of Music
You don’t want to miss reading this poignant Zen post by Leah Bennett, who brings to life her extraordinary experience in navigating a turbulent childhood with resilience and the love of music. Leah originally submitted this post earlier this year as an essay for her college application. 

High-Fidelity Wraparound Pilot Paves the Way for Possible Medicaid Funding in North Carolina
Two North Carolina counties (Buncombe and Henderson) have been selected as pilot sites for a state initiative to use enhanced behavioral health treatment services to reduce the number of children placed in foster care or residential facilities. The System of Care pilot will target children and youths who receive Medicaid, are in therapeutic foster care and need treatment for mental health, drug or alcohol issues.  If the High-Fidelity pilot produces positive results, state health officials will consider adding it to the list of services covered by Medicaid.

How schools are using ‘mindful eating’ to help prevent eating disorders
Speaking of North Carolina, what’s not to love about this innovative effort at a K-8 school in North Carolina? Students are learning a practice called “Mindful Eating,” that focuses on cultivating “present moment awareness” during meal times. Mindful eating invites participants to “pay attention” to the food in front of them and engage their five senses (sight, smell, hearing, taste and touch) before consuming a single morsel. This mindfulness practice builds the children’s awareness of important physical cues like hunger and satiety.

Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day
We are counting down the days until SAMHSA’s National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day 2016 national event! Where will you be on Thursday, May 5, at 7 p.m. EDT?

Register to watch the Awareness Day Live! webcast and tune in on May 5th.

The national event will explore how communities around the country are connecting children, youth, and young adults with mental and substance use disorders—and their families—to behavioral health services and supports. Youth and family leaders, educators, law enforcement officials, and behavioral health professionals will share strategies for addressing barriers to behavioral health care access. Also at the event, SAMHSA will present a Special Recognition Award to this year’s Honorary Chairperson, Reid Ewing—best known for his role as Dylan on “Modern Family”—for his efforts to promote openness and educate others about mental health.

Rising to the Challenge of Policing Today’s Youth
The Police Foundation, a Washington, DC-based non-profit organization, has just released the first of a series of youth-focused policy briefs online. It is important to provide the law enforcement community with resources that can help to improve public safety and steer young people toward the appropriate support services they might need. The four policy brief series is designed for California law enforcement executives but is applicable on a national scale.

Re-Designing Community Mental Health Services for Urban Children: Supporting Schooling to Promote Mental Health
Community mental health services targeting empirical predictors of learning can improve school and home behavior for children living in high poverty urban communities.

Principles of Substance Abuse Prevention for Early Childhood
Substance abuse and addiction are preventable disorders that interfere with normal healthy functioning, contributing to physical and behavioral health problems, injuries, lost income and productivity, and family dysfunction. While substance use generally begins during the adolescent years, there are known biological, psychological, social, and environmental factors that contribute to the risk that begins accumulating as early as the prenatal period. This creates opportunities to intervene very early in an individual’s life and thereby prevent substance use disorders—and, along with them, a range of other related behavioral problems—long before they would normally manifest themselves.

Insurance company drops ‘discriminatory’ policy on suicide attempts
Score one for common sense! A leading Canadian insurance provider has agreed to change its policy of denying benefit payments to people who try to kill or injure themselves. Effective immediately, Desjardins Group is removing a contentious exclusion clause from the employee benefits plan of at least one of its clients, the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) in Toronto. Baby steps, but headed in the right direction.

Campaign Highlights the Many Faces of Problem Gambling
Created for the Nebraska Gamblers Assistance Program, the FIVE FACES PSA campaign highlights the many faces of problem gambling. An important topic that does not get enough attention.

Consortium for Science-Based Information on Children, Youth and Families Unveils New Web-based Resource Center
The Consortium for Science-Based Information on Children, Youth and Families just launched a new web-based resource center. The website promotes healthy child and family development by highlighting science-based information for those who care for, or work with, children. Always great to see a new website that will help folks who work on behalf of children and families.

A Snapshot of Behavioral Health Issues for Asian American/Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander Boys and Men: Jumpstarting an Overdue Conversation
This brief highlights these issues specific to Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) boys and men – a diverse population that is often overlooked, underserved, and not well understood. Recognizing that this brief is not a comprehensive, in-depth discussion of all the pertinent behavioral health issues for each AANHPI subgroup, this brief represents a start to a much overdue conversation and action strategy.

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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