Friday Update 4-26-19

Greetings faithful readers. Yep, Friday Update is coming to you on Sunday. Ah, but what a beautiful Sunday it is! Let’s start off with the New Radicals, who remind us that You Get What You Give.

You feel your dreams are dying – Hold tight
You’ve got the music in you – Don’t let go
You’ve got the music in you – One dance left
This world is gonna pull through – Don’t give up
You’ve got a reason to live – Can’t forget
We only get what we give

Yep, that about sums it up. Get inspired by this breezy, Sunday afternoon drive with the top down sort of song, and then get to reading’ Friday Update, cuz we got work to do!

Most important reads for this week

The Impact of Family Peer Support for Justice-Involved Families
The Parent Professional Advocacy League (PPAL) surveyed 151 parents who have juvenile justice-involved youth regarding their experience with family peer support. There has been little research done on the impact of family peer support for families whose children are juvenile justice involved, so this study offers an eye-opening view of the topic. Bottom line? Families improve when they have family peer support. Troubling news? The survey exposed marked inequities along racial lines. Survey results showed that twice as many African American youth had been expelled than Caucasian youth. Also, African American youth were most likely to be sent home from school with instructions to get an evaluation of their “dangerousness” before they could return. The rate of arrest by a school resource office for African American students (29%) was nearly double the overall rate. Thank you PPAL for shedding light on the importance of family peer support for justice-involved families and giving us a searing reminder that we have much to do to address racial inequities in the provision of services and supports.

Speaking of PPAL

PPAL Wins Healthline Best Depression Blog of 2019!
Congratulations to Lisa Lambert, Executive Director of the Parent Professional Advocacy League (and CMHNetwork Advisory Council member) for having her blog identified by Healthline as one of their Best Depression Blogs for 2019! Winning blogs were selected based on the quality of content, the frequency of posts, and a connection to their community. Way to go, Lisa!

The Impact of Chronic Underfunding on America’s Public Health System: Trends, Risks, and Recommendations, 2019
The Trust for America’s Health is out with a new report that provides a critical overview of the impact of chronic underfunding on America’s public health system. The report examines federal, state, and local public health funding, and recommends needed investments and policy actions to prioritize prevention, effectively address 21st-century threats, and ultimately achieve optimal health for all Americans. This is a strategic read, Network faithful!

Legislative Activity on Medicaid Heating Up Across the Country
The midterm election of Democratic governors in states like Kansas, along with three successful Medicaid expansion ballot initiatives, laid the groundwork for the first serious expansion debates in a number of states. Yet, when combined with recent court rulings striking down Medicaid work-requirement programs in Kentucky and Arkansas, and an administration intent on reforming the program created to serve the nation’s most vulnerable people, a perfect storm of uncertainty has been created.

The Challenge of Going Off Psychiatric Drugs
Excellent long read (or audio listen) in the New Yorker, discussing the challenge of getting off of psychiatric drugs. So many of us have loved ones and colleagues how have been on psychiatric meds for years, sometimes decades. How should individuals and their providers approach the complex challenge of stopping psychiatric medication? A complicated issue for sure, but one worth discussing. The audio file is just over an hour long, so give yourself the gift of some quality time to either listen to or read this article.

Powerpoint Slides from the 32nd Annual Research & Policy Conference Now Available! – Updated to include additional PPT’s!
Oh man, we sure do hope you were able to attend the 32nd Annual “Tampa Conference” last month and take advantage of the plethora of amazing presentations. Were you unable to make it to Tampa? Oh no! Hey, no worries, we got ya covered. We have updated the agenda for the 32nd Annual Research and Policy Conference on Child, Adolescent, and Young Adult Behavioral Health to include hyperlinked files from presentation slide decks that we have permission to post. Hyperlinked files are highlighted in blue. Enjoy!

Here is a sampling of slide decks from presentations at the 32nd Annual Research and Policy Conference on Child, Adolescent and Young Adult Behavioral Health

  1. Subjective Experiences of Having and Managing a Serious Mental Health Condition in Young Adulthood
  2. Strategies to Facilitate Senior Leader Engagement in the Implementation and Sustainability of Evidence-Based Practice
  3. Evidence-Based Child Trauma Assessment: Barriers, Sustainable Dissemination, and Treatment Implications
  4. Changes in Child Trauma Assessment Practices and Related Barriers During and After a Learning Collaborative (LC): Specificity, Diffusion, and Sustainability

Adverse Childhood Experiences Are Different Than Child Trauma, and It’s Critical to Understand Why
Legislators, caregivers, and the media increasingly recognize that childhood adversity poses risks to individual health and well-being. The original Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) Study has helped raise public awareness about this critical public health issue. However, as the use of ACEs questionnaires for identifying potentially harmful childhood experiences has gained popularity, it is important to understand how ACEs differ from other commonly used terms, including childhood adversity, trauma, and toxic stress.

A Blueprint for Changemakers: Achieving Health Equity Through Law & Policy
ChangeLab Solutions and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation recently released A Blueprint for Changemakers: Achieving Health Equity Through Law & Policy, a new guide to help communities advance a local agenda to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to be healthy. The guide also outlines ways to leverage the unique power and efficacy of local policy solutions, incorporate health in all policies, and engage diverse community members in the policy process. The Blueprint is a valuable resource for people who have seen what inequality looks like and are ready for a new approach that gives everyone a fair chance to live a healthy life.

Tune in on May 6: Live Webcast of SAMHSA’s 2019 Awareness Day Event
Tune into the live webcast of SAMHSA’s 2019 National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day event, “Suicide Prevention: Strategies That Work,” on Monday, May 6 at 3:00 p.m. EDT. You’ll learn about evidence-based strategies and resources for preventing suicide among children, youth, and young adults.

May 8: Mental Health Policy Briefing: Raising the Priority of California Children with Special Health Care Needs
Access to mental health services is a big issue of concern for many families of children with special health care needs. From access to care to improving coordination of care and ensuring that disputes about coverage are resolved timely, much more can be done in California. On May 8, the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health will be hosting a 30-minute policy briefing on raising the priority of mental health services and supports for California children with special health care needs. Speakers from the National Health Law Program will highlight current state policy priorities and share ways to engage in advocacy efforts. Check it out!

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About the Author

Scott Bryant-Comstock

With a rich history of over 30 years involvement in state and local communities as a practitioner, trainer, state government official and a national reviewer of systems reform efforts, Scott Bryant-Comstock has built a solid reputation as a facilitator of family, professional, advocacy and political involvement in mental health system reform efforts. Throughout his career, Scott has incorporated learnings from policy-makers, families, providers and community leaders throughout the United States into a focused approach to improving services and supports for youth with emotional challenges and their families. Scott is the founder, President & CEO of the Children’s Mental Health Network.

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