Friday Update – 5-17-13

May 17, 2013


Friday update 5-17-13

Greetings faithful readers – Happy Friday to you. What a week of twists and turns – everything from a groundbreaking report from CDC on children’s mental health, a whole slew of great funding opportunities, to a House proposal to slash close to 20% off the HHS budget on top of sequestration {dang, only a $92 billion discrepancy between the House and Senate caps overall)… I’m gettin’ dizzy. So wadda ya say we get dizzy together with the Traveling Wilburys Wilbury Twist. Get your dance on and then get to readin’ Friday Update.

Most important reads for this week

Hot off the press – System of Care Training Conference has been cancelled
Kudo’s to Gary Blau, Chief, Child, Adolescent and Family Branch, Center for Mental Health Services, for making the tough, but correct, decision to cancel the summer meeting for system of care grantees. These are difficult fiscal times, and while we at the Network see great value in bringing together grantees for learning opportunities, in weighing the importance and value of having a face-to-face meeting with the current need to demonstrate cost efficiency and fiscal restraint, the decision to cancel is the right one.

CDC issues first comprehensive report on children’s mental health in the United States
On Thursday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued the first ever CDC report tracking the number of U.S. children age 3-17 years who have specific mental disorders or indicators of mental health. The report documents that millions of U.S. children have mental disorders. Boys and girls of all ages, regions, ethnic and racial backgrounds experience these health issues. The report is an important step to better understand childhood mental disorders, identify gaps in data, and develop strategies to help children reach their full potential in life. Today, Friday, May 17, CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden will be a keynote speaker and will provide remarks related to the report at the Eighteenth Annual Rosalynn Carter Georgia Mental Health Forum. CMHNetwork Advisory Council member Brigitte Manteuffel will be in attendance and will provide an update that you can read next week. Thank you Brigitte!

Silence As Kids’ Psych Beds Cut; What If Cancer Or Burn Beds?
Speaking of Network Advisory Council members being in the know, Lisa Lambert, executive director of the Parent/Professional Advocacy League had an article posted yesterday on Boston’s NPR news station website to coincide with the release of the CDC report. In the article she highlights that the CDC report notes that “A total of 13%–20% of children living in the United States experience a mental disorder in a given year, and surveillance during 1994–2011 has shown the prevalence of these conditions to be increasing.” Yet as that prevalence increases, treatment options are decreasing.” In the article she discusses one particular pending loss, of Cambridge Hospital children’s psychiatric beds, long especially valued by families.

House targets HHS for 18.7% cut after sequestration
If House Republicans get their way, spending targets for appropriations bills for the coming year with Labor, Education and Health and Human Services would see an approximate 18.7% cut across the board on top of the cuts already made in the March 1 sequestration order. Yes, you heard right – close to a 20 percent reduction on top of the cuts made in the sequestration order. While the likelihood of the House Labor-HHS proposal gaining traction is slim, it sends an important reminder of the folly of sequestration and Congress’s unwillingness to find a permanent fix.

Take Mental Health to Heart! 
Throughout the month of May, the Children’s Mental Health Network is uniting with Magellan Health Services’ Take Mental Health to Heart campaign to raise awareness about the importance of investing in America’s youth through its Plant a Seed social media campaign. To encourage these seeds of awareness to grow strong, Magellan will donate $1 to the Children’s Mental Health Network for every virtual seed that is “planted” on the Web site during the month of May (up to $10,000). The more Network faithful who plant a seed, the more money we get from Magellan. Thank you to everyone who took the time this week to visit and plant a “virtual seed” in support of the Take Mental Health to Heart campaign. You can continue to show your support of the Children’s Mental Health Network by planting additional “virtual seeds.” Every seed counts. Please continue planting those seeds (it’s free) and support the Network.

Little Children, Big Challenges: Divorce
Another great resource from our dear partners at both Sesame Workshop and the Child Mind Institute as part of their Speak Up for Kids campaign. Divorce is one of the most common transitions young children experience today, with ultimately 40 percent of all children experiencing the divorce of their parents. Join Sesame Workshop’s Lynn Chwatsky, VP of Educational Outreach Initiatives and Partners, and clinical psychologist, child specialist, and author Dr. JoAnne Pedro-Carroll as they discuss Sesame Street’s newest educational outreach initiative, Little Children, Big Challenges: Divorce on Monday, May 20, 2013 from 9:00 am EDT to 10:00 am EDT. You don’t want to miss this informative webinar!

The Woman Who Changed Her Brain: Barbara Arrowsmith-Young
Arrowsmith-Young is recognized as the creator of one of the first practical applications of the principles of neuroplasticity to the treatment of learning disorders. Her program is implemented in 40 schools internationally. Fascinating TedTalk that we highly recommend you watch.

Another billion on the table for health care innovation
Public and private sector groups who are willing to take on health reform initiatives should consider the second round of Health Care Innovation Awards being offered through HHS. The awards will total $1 billion so take note of this one and if your organization meets the qualifications, get a move on!

PCORI announces $81 million in new funding opportunities
We keep promoting the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) in the hope that children’s mental health researchers, families, youth, and other stakeholders will get more involved in patient-centered comparative clinical effectiveness research (CER). Well, another opportunity has just presented itself. PCORI has just announced plans to award up to $81 million in a new round of PCORI Funding Announcements (PFAs).

CHCS tackles sustainability for family youth peer support and home and community-based services through Medicaid
Last week we shared the joint CMS/SAMHSA bulletin that had us jumping for joy about the possibilities ahead for those wanting to improve (and expand) services and supports for children and youth with emotional challenges and their families. Well guess what? The Center for Health Care Strategies (CHCS) has a number of great resources they developed for states participating in the (CMS funded) CHIPRA Care Management Entity Collaborative that address sustainability for family youth peer support and home and community-based services through Medicaid. Okay Network faithful, what are you waiting for? Do some book learnin’ and broaden the horizons of decision-makers at the local and state level.

The Oregon experiment – Amidst the controversy, mental health improves
There has been much buzz lately about an article that was recently published in the New England Journal of Medicine on the impact of the “The Oregon Experiment — Effects of Medicaid on Clinical Outcomes” study. The study showed that expanding Medicaid coverage to some low-income Oregon residents substantially improved their mental health and reduced financial strains on them, but it didn’t significantly boost their physical health. The physical health findings have some saying that health reform “isn’t working.” We have both sides of the argument for you so read the articles and weigh in. It is important to look beyond the headlines and make informed decisions about Medicaid expansion. For those committed to improving mental health for children, youth and families, these preliminary results after two years of study are encouraging.

Kaiser Foundation unveils new health reform website
The Kaiser Foundation has updated its website with the usual brilliance we have come to expect. Full of interactive tools, the newly redesigned website provides summaries, explanations and analysis of the health reform law and its impact, as well as polling data, relevant research, and news from Kaiser Health News, the editorially independent news service established by the Foundation.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy May Lead to Fewer Juvenile Arrests, Report Says
Enrolling young people in school-based, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) programs may lead to fewer arrests, improved educational performance and higher graduation rates, according to a new report released by the National Bureau of Economic Research.

Screening of new documentary on seclusion and restraint
Network faithful in the Washington, DC area should check out the new documentary about restraint and seclusion from filmmaker Dan Habib told from the point of view of students. The screening will be held May 30 at 5 p.m. at the National Youth Transition Center in Washington, DC. Space is limited.

Webinar: Behavioral Restraint and Seclusion
The International Bipolar Foundation is sponsoring a webinar with Leslie Morrison on Behavioral Restraint and Seclusion May 23rd. Space is limited so act quickly!

Navigating HIV Care: Using Navigators, Linkage Specialists & Community Health Care Workers to Improve Health Outcomes Webinar
On Thursday, May 23, the HHS Office of HIV/AIDS & Infectious Disease Policy (OHAIDP) working with the HIV Prevention Justice Alliance (HIV PJA) will convene a webinar to discuss how HIV care navigation can improve health equity and decrease disparities by addressing barriers to care. This looks like a good one!

Hot links

New resource postings to the CMHNetwork website this week

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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
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