Friday Update

Friday update – 5-4-12

May 08, 2013


Friday update – 5-4-12

Greetings faithful readers. Here is what’s new on the Children’s Mental Health Network website this week. Full disclosure – This email is coming to you Sunday morning. Sorry for the delay but the dog ate the homework. Warning – if you actually read every attachment referenced in this e-blast you are lookin’ at just a bit over 1,000 pages. So figure on mowin’ the lawn next week. It can wait…


Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week is here. Raise awareness and celebrate children’s mental health!
We have added a gazillion resources for Awareness Week from a host of different sources. Okay, maybe not a gazillion, but a heck of a lot… Click here to peruse what we’ve got. For more information on Awareness week and the other Awareness Campaigns underway this month, click here.

Morning Zen – Los Angeles Is Betting On One Crusading Doc To Turn Public Health System Around
A truly inspirational story about Dr. Mitch Katz, who is transforming the Los Angeles county’s public health system one primary care clinic at a time.There is much in this story for system of care proponents to take note of and extrapolate from. Remember, in the brave new world that may or may not include the CMHI, we still need to be aggressive in our pursuit of community-based services and supports that wrap around youth and families. Have some Morning Zen here and be inspired.

Network faithful – you just about crashed the server last week
Over 2,000 hits on the story about Kristin Melton and her Green Queen campaign in the first hour after sending out the Friday Update last week. Her story has clearly touched many of you so we are providing the link again so you can follow her children’s mental health advocacy platform. Kristin is an integral part of the CMHI Project Connect grant effort in Southern Illinois. Check out the Project Connect Facebook page here and then be sure to go to Kristin’s Green Ribbon Advocate page. We are behind you all the way Kristin!

The Trevor Project: Innovations in Youth Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention – Featured at the Georgetown Training Institutes
The 2012 Georgetown University Training Institutes will be here before you know it and the amazing offerings continue to roll in. Be sure to start your Training Institutes experience by attending a special presentation by the Trevor Project on Wednesday, July 25 from 4:00 PM to 5:30 PM, entitled The Trevor Project: Innovations in Youth Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention. The panel will describe the project’s innovative approaches to crisis intervention and suicide prevention, education, and support for youth with a special focus on gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and questioning youth. Details here (great video from Daniel Radcliffe as well). We are excited about being a co-sponsor of the Georgetown Training Institutes and will be there in full force. So sign up already!

Witnessing the power of art
The Network will be in Burlington, NC on Thursday, May 10th for the “Behind the Seen: Encounters with the Contemporary Family.” Congrats to Courtney Cormier and her crew at North Carolina Families United for their excellent work. Behind the Scenes draws its inspiration from the work of one of our Advisory Council members, Anne Ferrier, who developed the Observer Observed project in Sarasota, Florida. Read about “Behind the Seen” in an article by Molly McGowan of the Times-News here.

Latest report on mental health statistics now available

Thinking of curling up with a good book this weekend? We are too, but for us, instead of a mystery novel we are going to read SAMHSA’s Mental Health, United States, 2010, the latest in a series of publications issued biannually by SAMHSA since 1980. Modeled after CDC’s annual report, Health, US, this new report includes mental health statistics at the national and State levels from 35 different data sources. We will give you an update when we finish. Looks like a real page turner. Details here.

SAMHSA is gettin’ its twitter on…
Okay SAMHSA, we are liking how you are embracing the whole social media thing to help folks promote Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day. Check out the messages SAMHSA is tailoring to Facebook and Twitter for Awareness Day. Details here.

New research out from AHRQ showing the need for more study on the effectiveness of first- and second- generation antipsychotics for children
Network faithful take note: 399 pages of research bliss. Set your inner research geek free!

Little evidence exists that directly compares the effectiveness or safety of first- and second-generation antipsychotics for treating psychiatric and behavioral conditions in children, adolescents, and young adults, a new AHRQ research review finds. Mental health problems affect one in every five young people at any given time, and use of antipsychotics for children and adolescents has increased during the past 20 years.  Two generations of antipsychotics have been developed since antipsychotics were first used, each with potential side effects.  If the “399 pages” heads-up doesn’t scare you, dive in here.

MHA webinar on state medicaid managed care contracting
Props to Mental Health America for a timely webinar on state medicaid managed care contracting. The webinar is Monday at 2:00 pm EST so be sure to register quickly. Yep, we know this is late notice but if you skip the lunch at Panera Bread you could make it. If the soup bread bowl is too tempting you can always visit the Mental Health America website at a later date to view a playback. Details here.

May 16 webinar – Emerging Models of Public and Private Health Insurance Exchange
Heads up Network faithful, you can never get too much information about the health care reform train that left the station awhile ago (yep, it left, regardless of what the Supremes do). So, you might want to pencil in this webinar sponsored by the National Institute for Health Care Management.

The health insurance exchange is one of the centerpieces of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, promising to increase transparency and reduce premiums. Some states are successfully forging ahead with exchange implementation, while others are stymied by political uncertainties, including the impending Supreme Court decision. Meanwhile, private exchanges are evolving, and health insurers are buying into already established exchanges such as Bloom Health. Details here.

Statement from Secretary Sebelius on National Foster Care Month
May is National Foster Care Month. Secretary Sebelius recently spoke about the importance of focusing on the nation’s more than 400,000 children and youth in the foster care system. “It is a time for us to raise awareness about the urgent needs of these young people and encourage all Americans to get involved – as foster or adoptive parents, volunteers, mentors, employers or in other ways.” Read her remarks here.

Network faithful – We are interested in learning about advocacy and support efforts on behalf of families of origin of youth in foster care. This is a tough topic but one we think needs more attention. If you know of any programs across the country that are focusing on families of origin, let us know.

Map of Juvenile Mental Health Courts Now Available on the GAINS Website
Policy Research Associates, Inc., operator of SAMHSA’s GAINS Center, has recently announced the availability of a juvenile mental health court (JMHC) map. The purpose of this map is to help communities identify the various jurisdictions across the country that have active JMHCs. JMHCs provide case management and support to youth in the juvenile justice system with behavioral health needs. These courts focus on treatment and rehabilitation, and help to divert youth from juvenile detention facilities to community-based services in their local systems of care.  Details here.
Network faithful take note: We are a fan of the JMHC concept but want to see much more of a family-driven approach. If you are part of a family organization that is doing good work with a JMHC, let us know so we can promote your efforts. Click here to give us the scoop.

“Listening” is the key to creating value in health care
Interesting article from a physician on the importance of “listening” to patients. The Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) established by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) recently published criteria that it will use to fund research to “help people make informed healthcare decisions.”  To this end, PCORI asserts that health care outcomes research should be guided “by the voice of the patient”. Read the article here.

Network faithful take note: This is a central tenet of health care reform, but will only happen if those of us from the Child Mental Health Initiative continue to push for a family-driven approach to decision-making about health care options for families.

NAMI launches new website: Mental Health Care Gets My Vote
NAMI has put together an excellent website to help its members focus their message in preparation for the election season. Goals include grassroots voter registration, get-out-the-vote efforts for the general election, dialogues with candidates, and encouraging people to volunteer on election campaigns, regardless of party.

The “Mental Health Care Gets My Vote” website is stocked with information and tools, including detailed breakdowns of state election laws and the rights of people living with disabilities in a “Right to Vote” section. Details here.

Network faithful take note: As part of our emphasis on being a collective voice, we celebrate good work from many different sources. Take advantage of the great work NAMI has done here and apply or adapt it to your specific organization’s needs.

New resources!


  • Creating Seamless Coverage Transitions Between Medicaid and the Exchanges
    This brief from the Center for Health Care Strategies (CHCS) anticipates many Medicaid beneficiaries’ eligibility for various subsidy programs shifting over time under health care reform, and identifies policy approaches that may help smooth such transitions among programs.

  • The Individual Mandate in Perspective
    From the Urban Institute – we are huge fans.
    If the ACA were in effect today, 94 percent of the total population would not have to newly purchase insurance or pay a fine. While a small number of people would be affected by the individual responsibility requirement, the overall benefit to the population would be large, in terms of reducing premiums and increasing stability of insurance markets.

  • Health Policy Briefs
    Health reform discussions in Congress encapsulate dozens of complex issues, but a new resource from Health Affairs and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) can help make following the debate easier. The briefs are geared to policy-makers, congressional staffers, and others who need short, jargon-free explanations of health policy basics.

Let us know what you need from the Network!
We love feedback so let us know how we can improve the website to better meet your needs. Contact us here. As always, thank you for your continued support of the Children’s Mental Health Network,

Scott Bryant-Comstock
President & CEO

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