Friday update 5-3-13

May 03, 2013


Friday update 5-3-13

Greetings faithful readers – Happy Friday to you. Children’s Mental Health Awareness Month is in full swing and there are tons of good stuff goin’ on throughout the month of May. No worries, we will keep up with it for you and give you the overflowing cornucopia of options to celebrate that are available to you. How can we not start with Kool and the Gang and their mega hit Celebration. C’mon, no ones lookin’ and you are already hummin’ so watch the danged video already… and the then get to readin’ Friday Update.

Most important reads for this week

Demi Lovato to receive award at National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day launch in DC
A couple of days ago we reported on SAMHSA’s National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day launch festivities. In addition to Kathleen Sebelius, HHS Secretary and Pamela Hyde, SAMHSA Administrator; Demi Lovato, singer, songwriter, X-Factor judge (sigh) and proud spokesperson for addressing stigma related to mental health challenges will be in attendance to receive an award for her work as a mentor to young adults with mental health and substance use challenges. What? Demi Lovato? The one who puts Simon in his place every week on X Factor at the ripe old age of 20? The one who has 13,643,647 (and counting) twitter followers who will be checking her tweets on Awareness Day? The one who is completely candid and open about her struggles with bipolar disorder, bulimia, substance abuse, and self-mutilation in hopes that her story will encourage other young people to seek help? Well pardon me while I swoon. Heck, I might even have a “heart attack” (her new hit single). Aw heck, let’s watch her video before going any further.

House Briefing on effective services and supports for youth and young adults
Hey Network faithful, if you are in Washington DC next week you have multiple options to hang with the powers that be for Awareness Day kickoff activities. In addition to the SAMHSA event on Tuesday, May 7th, a legislative briefing will be held on the same day in honor of National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week and you are invited to attend. The briefing will focus on effective services and supports for Youth and Young Adults and the value and importance of Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services (SAMHSA) funded grant programs. The briefing is an annual event that is planned by the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law, Mental Health America, National Alliance on Mental Illness, the Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health and the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Yep, good times for children’s mental health in Washington DC next week. Please note you can’t do both as they overlap just a bit, so you and your team are gonna have to play junk an’ a po to figure out who goes where.

Planning an event for Awareness Day 2013?
SAMHSA has just released a ton of information to help you get ready for Awareness Day. Whoever does their social marketing has got it goin’ on!

SAMHSA goes virtual for Awareness Day
As if Demi Lovato wasn’t enough, as if her close to 13.7 million fans weren’t enough (cuz you know they are all gonna get in on the tweetin’), looks like SAMHSA is gettin’ its cool on even further by going virtual for an afternoon unveiling of an Awareness Day video that will be accessible to anyone with a computer connection. Props to SAMHSA for doing this for the many Network faithful who don’t live in the Washington DC area but want to be part of the festivities.

Hot Tip:
The National Technical Assistance Center for Children’s Mental Health at Georgetown University is conducting a national search to fill the position of Child Welfare Director. The application deadline is May 31, 2013 so dust off those resumes... The TA Center will hold interviews during the month of June and hope to offer the position to a successful candidate by the middle of July. Get on it Network faithful!

Voices of Hope: Perspectives on Youth Mental Health
Awareness Month activities just keep on comin’. We are thrilled to be promoting the work of the Child Mind Institute’s Speak Up for Kids month-long campaign to protect and promote children’s mental health. So take out a number 2 pencil and write this down – Awesome webinar May 2, 2013 | 8:00 PM EST. And then sign up for the webinar – you won’t be sorry. This is your chance to be a part of an open and inspiring conversation about what it’s like to be a young person struggling with their mental health. Featuring the members of the Active Minds Speakers Bureau, this webinar will bring together a diverse group of young adults to share their unique and personal journeys with mental illness. Don’t miss it!

Provide Comments Regarding Possible HIPAA Impacts on Reporting of Persons With Certain Mental Health Issues to National Background Check Database
Network faithful: This one is important for all to review!

On January 16, 2013, President Obama announced a series of Executive Actions to reduce gun violence in the United States. These actions include efforts to improve the Federal Government’s background check system, called the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), for the sale or transfer of firearms by licensed dealers. Among those persons who are disqualified from possessing or receiving firearms under Federal law are those “adjudicated to be mentally defective, or who have been committed to a mental institution” (mental health prohibitor). Concerns have been raised that the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) Privacy Rule may be a barrier to states’ reporting to NICS the identities of individuals subject to the mental health prohibitor. Public input is also being sought on unintended consequences that such actions may have on individuals seeking mental health services. An important consideration when responding is the effect of the proposed HIPAA change on “temporary hold” cases. Comments are due June 7, 2013. We will be providing our recommendations in the next few weeks. Study up folks!

Cartoonists demand action to end gun violence
While we are on the topic of gun violence you should watch the video created by leading cartoonists we have posted on the website. Some of the nation’s best-loved cartoonists are calling on Congress to not back down and take action to enact common sense gun laws that will prevent violence and save lives. In the wake of the tragic mass shooting in Newtown, these artists came together and created some beautiful images to express their outrage and heartbreak at the senseless loss of innocent lives. And after the shameful vote in the U.S. Senate, their message is timelier than ever.

Reclaiming Futures: Graffiti artist turns it around
Ready for an inspirational video that showcases how a community wraps around someone headed in the wrong direction and helps him discover a different path? Then watch the video we have for you that chronicles the journey of Guy, a well-known graffiti artist in Everett, Washington. In this three-minute video, Guy describes his transformation as a Promising Artists in Recovery (PAIR) participant as part of Reclaiming Futures of Snohomish County – nice work folks! Reclaiming Futures helps communities break the cycle of drugs, alcohol and crime. You can learn more about their approach here.

Closing the gap in healthcare disparities through dissemination and implementation of patient centered outcomes research
Heads up Network research faithful – AHRQ has done it again with another great funding opportunity to “identify effective strategies to reduce healthcare disparities in racial and ethnic minority populations in under-resourced healthcare settings, with a particular focus on strategies for stakeholder engagement and shared decision making specific to health care delivery systems, clinicians, and patients.” This is right in your wheelhouse oh ye researchers who follow the Network. Do us proud and apply for this important opportunity.

Mental health disparities endanger Chicago’s youth
Network faithful are encouraged to read this important interview with Dr. Carl Bell conducted by Ebony Magazine. The article puts the national debate over gun violence and dwindling mental health resources in gripping perspective. One of many sobering facts from the article – Chicago (whose gun-violence murder rate last year was the equivalent of “a ‘Newtown,’ [massacre] every four months“), has seen a steady decrease in funding to mental health programs. This is a troubling trend that we will continue to bring to your attention. Calling it a travesty doesn’t nearly touch the senseless deaths taking place in Chicago and cities around the country each and every day.

Dare to Dream $1,000 grants available – Apply now!
Here is but one of many bright spots concerning youth in America. The Dare to Dream America program provides an opportunity for youth (ages 13 to 25) to get involved in mental health awareness activities. Successful applicants are awarded a grant up to $1000 to do projects that promote mental health awareness and reduce the stigma associated with it. Youth M.O.V.E. National has got it goin’ on with this one. Get busy and help mentor a deserving youth to turn in a winning proposal.

Medicaid Directors push for coverage for long-term treatment of mentally ill
On April 18, 2013 the National Association of Medicaid Directors sent a letter to Congress outlining several recommendations regarding mental health legislation. Two key recommendations in the letter focused on doing away with a policy that generally prohibits state Medicaid programs from covering long-term treatment for the mentally ill ages 21 to 64, and ensuring continuity of care for individuals with mental illness who transition between Medicaid and Qualified Health Plans (QHPs) offered through Exchanges. (Now, if we can only get them to write a similar letter focused on the needs of children and youth!)

SAMHSA is accepting applications for up to $38 million in State Adolescent Treatment Enhancement and Dissemination grants
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is accepting applications for cooperative agreements for State Adolescent and Transitional Aged Youth Treatment Enhancement and Dissemination grants for up to four years. The program provides funding to states/territories/tribes to improve treatment for adolescents and transitional aged youth through the development of a learning laboratory with collaborating local community-based treatment provider sites. Through the shared experience between the state/territory/tribe and local community-based treatment provider sites, an evidence-based practice will be implemented to help better provide services to meet the needs of adolescents, transitional aged youth, and their families/primary caregivers.

Dang, that was a lot of information and we are only halfway through. Make sure your thumbs are still opposable cuz you are going to want to tweet Demi Lovato on Tuesday. To get you in the mood for the final gauntlet of hot links and more incredible resources posted to the website this week, we’ve got a twitter song to inspire you if you are already a seasoned twitter user (@CMHNetwork) or possibly motivate you to get your own twitter account. Warning: This video is not for the faint of heart or chronically uptight… Once finished with the video, wipe the tears of laughter from your eyes and keep reading!

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
President & CEO

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