Friday Update

Friday Update 6-28-13

June 28, 2013


Friday Update 6-28-13

Greetings faithful readers. We were so fortunate this week to have had the opportunity to visit with wonderful Network faithful steeped in the conviction of the importance of collaboration between individuals passionate about improving mental health services for children and families. So let’s begin this issue of Friday Update with a great song and example of collaboration by Walk off the Earth. Get inspired and then get to readin’ Friday Update.

Most important reads for this week

The Danger of Doubt: The Ruthless and Frequently Misunderstood Logic of OCD
The Children’s Mental Health Network is thrilled to welcome new Network faithful Fletcher Wortmann. Fletcher is a prolific author, whose recent book “Triggered: A Memoir of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder,” was named one of Booklist’s “Top 10 Science & Health Books of 2012.”  Don’t miss his Morning Zen blog post where he relays a personal and painfully clear account of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. From the blog post – “OCD sufferers aren’t straight-jacketed neurotics or treacherous psychopaths or lovable buffoon detectives. We are people who suffer, in a way that is familiar to almost everyone, but to a degree that no one should have to endure. I lost the first twenty years of my life to OCD but I hope that, by continuing to spread awareness of the nature of the disorder, we can bring it out of the shadows and work to alleviate the suffering of so many.”

Network faithful Bill Lichtenstein honored by 2013 Casey Medals competition
The Children’s Mental Health Network is proud of Network faithful Bill Lichtenstein for winning honorable mention in the 2013 Casey Medals competition for his article “A Terrible Way to Discipline Children,” published in the New York Times Sunday Review. After learning that his 5-year-old daughter had been repeatedly locked in a converted closet in her elementary school, Bill exposed the largely unknown use of seclusion rooms and physical restraints as forms of punishment in schools around the U.S. The piece attracted a flood of media attention to the issue, sparked tremendous response from readers, and helped coalesce a national effort to end these practices and promote positive behavior interventions in schools. Read Bill’s article and if it inspires you, as we hope it will, join us in supporting the Keeping All Students Safe Act (HR 1381). Good on ya Bill!

Justice Kennedy: DOMA had to go because it “humiliates tens of thousands of children”
Justice Kennedy wrote the majority opinion for the Supreme Court decision to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the 1996 law preventing the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriage. In the opinion, he focuses directly on the children of same-sex couples. DOMA, he writes, “humiliates tens of thousands of children now being raised by same-sex couples. The law in question makes it even more difficult for the children to understand the integrity and closeness of their own family and its concord with other families in their community and in their daily lives.”

Clinton Foundation launches “Too Small to Fail” initiative
Hillary Rodham Clinton and the Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation are partnering with Next Generation, a non-partisan strategic policy and communications organization, to launch Too Small To Fail, a new initiative to improve the health and well-being of children ages zero to five. Too Small to Fail will promote scientific research about early childhood development with the goal of reaching as many American parents and business leaders as possible and motivating them to act. Network faithful are encouraged to get involved.

National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month
July is National Minority Mental Health Awareness month! It’s time to come together and increase awareness of mental illness and mental health promotion while embracing the diversity of your community. Choose personal and/or community steps and pledge to raise awareness about the importance of mental health in your own life and in your community.

Our Strength and Support: Celebrating National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month
Speaking of National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month, check out a great web accessible panel discussion on mental health in minority communities Wednesday July 17.

Unsung heroes of public health
The Campaign for Public Health Foundation is once again honoring unsung heroes of public health. The Fourth Annual Unsung Heroes of Public Health Awards will take place on Wednesday, December 4, 2013 and nominations will be open through Friday November 1, 2013. Please consider nominating a colleague in one of their three award categories.

National Council’s Advocacy Leadership Awards
Speaking of awards, the National Council has opened nominations for their prestigious Advocacy Leadership Awards. These awards recognize outstanding achievements in behavioral health policy and advocacy over the last year. The Advocacy Leadership Awards will recognize and celebrate individuals and organizations who are changing the face of behavioral healthcare, and who are leading the charge to expand access to services and supports for individuals living with mental illness and substance use conditions. A $5,000 grant will be provided to the non-profit organization of the honoree’s choice. Nominate someone worthy today!

HHS seeks applicants for HHSentrepreneurs Program
Health and Human Services (HHS) Deputy Secretary Bill Corr announced that the Department is seeking innovators and entrepreneurs to apply for the HHSentrepreneurs Program. Launched last year, HHSentrepreneurs connects private sector innovators and entrepreneurs with teams of federal employees working on projects that address some of the biggest challenges in health, health care and human services. Sounds like a perfect opportunity for Network faithful!

First in new series of reader-friendly guides to health reform focuses on primary care
To help people make sense of the many changes taking place in the U.S. health care system—and how they are likely to affect individuals, families, and businesses—The Commonwealth Fund is developing a series of short, jargon-free publications for sharing by all. The first in the series—Primary Care: Our First Line of Defense —explains why primary care is so fundamental to patients and to a “healthy” health system.  This is a great read folks!

National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day 2014
Dang, SAMHSA is planning for 2014 Awareness Day already. Might as well go ahead and mark down May 8 on your calendar.

Materials for pediatricians on addressing trauma
In partnership with the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption and Jockey Being Family, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has developed materials for pediatricians on how to support adoptive and foster families by strengthening the abilities of pediatricians to identify traumatized children, educate families about toxic stress, and empower families to respond to their child’s behavior in a manner that acknowledges past trauma. AAP is ramping it up folks and we are lovin’ it!

HHS launches Health Insurance Marketplace educational tools
The Obama administration kicked off the Health Insurance Marketplace education effort with a new, consumer-focused website and the 24-hours-a-day consumer call center to help Americans prepare for open enrollment and ultimately sign up for private health insurance.  The new tools will help Americans understand their choices and select the coverage that best suits their needs when open enrollment in the new Health Insurance Marketplace begins October 1. Yep, October 1. Gonna be here before you know it.

Ron Finley: A guerilla gardener in South Central LA
Network faithful know how much we like to profile the amazing power of community gardens on the lives of youth and families. Check out this inspiring TED Talk by a truly amazing guerilla gardner in South Central LA.

Project ECHO expands access to mental health care
The Robert Wood Johnson and GE foundations and the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center have announced a new national institute focused on replicating Project ECHO (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes) and opened a mental health clinic designed to serve as a model for expanding access to mental health care in the United States.

Hot reads


We have been paying particular attention to juvenile justice issues this week so thought we would comb the resource database for some good reads on the intersection between juvenile justice and mental health when addressing the needs of young people involved with both service delivery systems. Enjoy and please let us know of other great resources focused on this topic.

Is Friday Update workin’ for ya?

A big THANK YOU for reading and participating in Friday Update each and every week. Our promise to you is that we will work 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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