Friday Update

Friday Update 6-2-17

May 10, 2017


Friday Update 6-2-17

Greetings faithful readers. May 29th marked President Kennedy’s 100th birthday. Take a moment to watch this video in which Caroline Kennedy and other members of the Kennedy family share their reflections on what his life meant to them. The video is a good reminder to us all on the importance of keeping America’s moral compass alive and well for our children and grandchildren. Okay, enjoy the video and then get to readin’ Friday Update, cuz we got work to do!

Most important reads for this week  

New Center at USF to Focus on Early Intervention as Right Path to Success for Young Children
A new center has been established by the University of South Florida in the Department of Child and Family Studies aimed at improving the well-being and academic success of vulnerable children in Florida, nationally and globally. The USF Rightpath Research and Innovation Center, with a focus on prevention, will work to improve language, literacy and mathematics development in young children who are at risk for poor outcomes due to limited English language proficiency, low socioeconomic and ethnic minority backgrounds, or those who have communication, learning, behavioral or intellectual disabilities. Network Advisory Council member and Department Chair Mario Hernandez continues to lead the way in helping to stimulate innovative research, training, and education at the university level on behalf of our most vulnerable populations. Good on ya, Mario!

Save the Dates!
Save the dates for the 31st Annual Research & Policy Conference on Child, Adolescent, and Young Adult Behavioral Health: March 4 – 7, 2018 in Tampa, FL! Oh man, it’s gonna be a good one.  

Last Day to Apply for a Slot on the Interdepartmental Serious Mental Illness Coordinating Committee
Okay, Network faithful, if you have been putting off sending in your application to be considered as a member of the ISMICC… well, at midnight tonight, everything turns into a pumpkin, so get on it. The ISMICC has been established to provide oversight on the effect federal programs related to serious mental illness have on public health. That’s a tall order, so we need some reasonable voices on this committee. If you are a family member or young adult with lived experience, I encourage you to nominate someone or nominate yourself! The clock is ticking.​​

A Haven From Trauma’s Cruel Grip
Starting as a pilot project in San Francisco, CA, with a small state grant in 2001, the Trauma Recovery Center’s all-encompassing approach to trauma recovery and prevention – for survivors of gun violence, sexual assault, hate crimes and other violent offenses — has become a national model.

SAMHSA Hires Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist Dr. Justine Larson, Senior Medical Advisor for the Center for Mental Health Services 
SAMHSA just hired Dr. Justine Larson as the new Senior Medical Advisor and y’all need to send her a welcome. And if you are a family advocate, then you darned well better call and make an appointment to see her. I don’t know Dr. Larson, so I guess the jury is still out, but her resume suggests someone who has rolled up her sleeves and worked in community mental health settings. While at Johns Hopkins University, Dr. Larson conducted research in the area of access to care for under-served and minority populations. Most recently, Dr. Larson has served as a consulting psychiatrist for an integrated behavioral health program at a Federally Qualified Health Center in the state of Maryland. In that role, she provided education to primary care providers, curbside consultations, and direct clinical care.  She has been an active member of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and served as co-chair of the Committee on Systems of Care for youth with serious emotional disturbances. Hallelujah! SAMHSA needs to hire more people who have worked in community settings and understand that addressing mental illness requires a continuum perspective. Welcome aboard, Dr. Larson!

Blaming Parents: What I’ve Learned and Unlearned as a Child Psychiatrist
I did some digging on Dr. Larson and came across an article she wrote for Scientific American back in 2011. The article focuses on her self-reflection about the importance of understanding the family perspective when addressing mental health issues. Read the article. It will give you a feel of who she is as a person and as a provider of mental health services.

E. Fuller Torrey Is Right About a Cause of Schizophrenia but Missed How to Prevent Schizophrenia
Why do so many choose to ignore environmental factors in the search for the keys to unlocking schizophrenia? Dennis Embry writes, ”The time is now to stop writing off psychiatric disorders as caused by some unknown genetic defect or chemical imbalance in the brain. The 2009 Institute of Medicine Report on the Prevention of Mental, Emotional, and Behavioral Disorders Among Young People makes it clear that psychiatric disorders are increasingly preventable.”  

Senate Health Care Deliberations Continue, Share Your Concerns Today
Michael Petruzzelli, from the National Council for Behavioral Health, has put together a useful template that you can use to urge your Senators to protect Medicaid by not repealing the Medicaid expansion or converting the program to a capped system. Take 30 minutes to download the letter, adapt to your organization (Mike has made this easy for you to do) and then send it off to your Senator!

I Have Aspergers and Sometimes I Feel…
Network faithful Alma Ben-Yaakov has a new book out about children with Aspergers. Alma is a mother and an educator with many years of experience. This colorfully illustrated, welcoming picture book presents an opportunity for parents and caregivers to open conversations with children with Aspergers or ASD, or any child who might benefit.

Costs to Community Mental Health Agencies to Sustain an Evidence-Based Practice
There is strong research showing that EBPs result in improved child outcomes and significant long-term cost savings to society. However, the increased direct cost incurred by providers for delivering EBPs is the most frequently cited barrier to sustainment. This study examines the costs of offering an EBP compared with usual care and found that the extra costs associated with an EBP may be a financial burden for community mental health agencies, as well as a potential barrier to broader EBP uptake. Implications for public policy include providing reimbursement rates and financial incentives to offset potential implementation costs and promote sustainment of EBPs. 

Archived webinar: Trauma-Informed Approaches for At-risk Youth
The Office for Victims of Crime Training and Technical Assistance Center hosted the webinar, “Expert Q&A: Working with At-risk Youth with High Levels of Trauma and Risk for (Re)Victimization.” This webinar addressed how organizations that serve at-risk youth can gain a grounding in trauma-informed care. (Select Past Sessions)

Building the Foundations for Sustainable Development: a Case for Global Investment in the Capabilities of Adolescents
A new Health Policy paper shows that investments in adolescent health and well-being are some of the best that can be made, resulting in a 10-fold economic benefit, and are vital for the progress towards achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

Here ya go! Congressional Justifications posted for the major public health service agencies:

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Scott Bryant-Comstock
President & CEO 

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