Friday Update

Friday Update 7-29-16

July 31, 2016


Friday Update 7-29-16 

Greetings faithful readers. Take four minutes to watch this important message from George Takei (the original Sulu from Star Trek) regarding his own personal experience with racial demonization – a most relevant topic of discussion during this presidential campaign season. Watch the video and then get to readin’ Friday Update, cuz we got work to do! 

Most important reads for this week 

Father of Fallen Muslim Soldier Gives Powerful DNC Speech. Gold Star Family Deserves Our Respect
It was heartening to see both Democrats and Republicans speak out against the bewildering comments by Donald Trump after Khizr Khan, father of an American hero, spoke at the Democratic National Convention. What was less heartening was the silence of key leadership within the Republican Party. Ask your representative in Congress where they stand on the Khizr Khan speech and their reaction to the remarks made by the Republican Party’s official candidate for the presidency. Put on your advocacy boots, Network faithful!

Writing Away the Stigma

Over the next eight weeks, CMHNetwork Advisory Council member Lee Gutkind has graciously agreed to share the writings of individuals who participated in his most recent workshop on “Writing Away the Stigma.” Network readers will remember the popular series of essays we featured from his 2015 workshop. This week, we begin with a commentary from Lee Gutkind on his experience leading the Writing Away the Stigma workshop. Enjoy! 

NIH Announces New Director for NIMH 
Joshua Gordon has been announced as the new director of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). He currently serves as associate professor of psychiatry at Columbia University Medical Center and research psychiatrist at the New York State Psychiatric Institute.

Remembering Suzanne Wright, Co-Founder of Autism Speaks 
Wright was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer nine months ago and died Friday at her home in Fairfield, Connecticut, Autism Speaks said. Wright and her husband, former NBC chief executive Bob Wright, founded the charity in 2005 after their grandson, Christian, was diagnosed with autism.

Arizona becomes the last state to provide health insurance to low-income children 
Arizona is rejoining a children’s health insurance program for low and middle-income families, becoming the last state in the union to provide coverage for health care, dental care, speech therapy and other services to families who don’t qualify for Medicaid.

LGBTQ Youth: Voices of Trauma, Lives of Promise
It is a priority to strengthen the professional systems to support lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and and/or questioning (LGBTQ) youth after sexual assault and other traumas that these youth commonly experience. This 13-minute video features five LGBTQ youth who discuss details of their own trauma experiences related to their respective LGBTQ identities, how they gained resilience, and how professionals helped them in this regard.

Racial Diversity Among Top Senate Staff 
In Washington, the lack of racial diversity among top U.S.Senate staff is commonly recognized but assessed in ways that are primarily anecdotal. Congress requires that many companies and federal agencies disclose racial diversity employee data, but it does not apply such disclosure requirements to its own workforce. This report provides data that quantifies the lack of racial diversity among top U.S. Senate staff in 2015. We hope that the report brings renewed attention and commitment to resolving this challenge, and we look forward to following up in a year to assess whether progress has been made. 


  • Caring for Children in the Midst of a Behavioral Health Crisis: Connecticut’s Mobile Crisis Intervention Service
    Families often turn to hospital emergency departments when their child is experiencing a behavioral health crisis; however, for many children a community-based alternative would be more appropriate. CHDI’s latest Issue Brief discusses Connecticut’s system of mobile crisis (EMPS Crisis Intervention Services), which brings mental health clinicians to homes, schools and other community settings to provide crisis stabilization and short-term intervention. The model is considered one of the best in the nation and presents a viable option for states and communities interested in developing their own mobile crisis service system.

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scottScott Bryant-Comstock
President & CEO

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