Friday Update

Friday Update 7-8-16

July 08, 2016


Friday Update 7-8-16

Greetings faithful readers. Such senseless tragedy this week. Take a moment to watch President Obama’s remarks after the mass killing in Dallas last night, and his remarks a few days earlier after the senseless killing of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile. 

Most important reads for this week 

Martin Rafferty Defines ‘Next Generation Advocacy’ Leadership for Mental Health Reform

Change in approach to mental health advocacy is coming and it is embodied by Next Generation Advocates like Martin Rafferty, CEO of Youth M.O.V.E. Oregon (YMO). Learn more about how Martin and the amazing team from YMO are rewriting the definition of peer support and setting the stage for Next Generation Advocacy.

A Potpourri of Perspectives on H.R. 2646

With the passage of H.R. 2646 in the House this week, I thought it would be good to include a sampling of perspectives on the bill that have been featured on the Children’s Mental Health Network website. We pride ourselves on being a collective voice, and the perspectives below certainly stretch the boundaries of ‘collective’! Politicians come and go but advocates remain, and it is so important that we continue to listen to each other. Heck, who knows, ya might even learn somethin’! 

Note: Most of these posts were written before the passage of H.R. 2646 in the House, so the various calls to action won’t reflect the most recent events. The selections  include a brief reflection from me about H.R. 2646 excerpted from a post on Next Generation Advocacy; a call to support H.R. 2646 from Dottie Pacharis, parent, advocate and author of Mind on the Run – A Bipolar Chronicle;  a call to defeat H.R. 2646 from Val Marsh, Executive Director of the National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery; and a call to advocates to celebrate the positives in H.R. 2646 from Debbie Plotnick, Vice President, Mental Health and Systems Advocacy, Mental Health America.

Enjoy the different reads and allow yourself the gift of critical thinking. Ultimately, you must decide what is the right thing to do as the legislative process moves forward.

  • A Moment of Reflection on HR 2646
    Scott Bryant-Comstock, President & CEO, Children’s Mental Health Network 
    Currently, there are several mental health reform bill proposals in the House and Senate working their way toward merger into a bill that, increasingly, looks like it might pass. The conversation about mental health reform in Washington, DC has been driven primarily by advocacy leaders inside the beltway. These leaders are undeniably well-versed in the inner workings of the legislative process, understanding the nuances and give and take of compromise. Their influence with congressional leaders carries significant weight in deciding what gets included in a particular mental health bill and what does not. 

    If you look closely at the current mental health bill that just passed the House (H.R. 2646), it is clear that mental health reform models only your grandfather could love (reliance on hospitalization, focus on “after-the-fact” treatment), still rule the day. There is an active component of the advocacy community that seems to want to “Make America Great Again”, wistfully remembering how the national mental health service delivery system was 40 or 50 years ago. Only one problem – resuscitating old models from a time when there were only three television networks, models that really should have a D.N.R. tag on them, ultimately won’t work in an American landscape that is vastly different in the year 2016. 
    (Excerpt from the Morning Zen post on Next Generation Advocacy

  • Congress, hear this mother’s plea: Help families with mental illness 
    Dottie Pacharis, parent, advocate and author of Mind on the Run – A Bipolar Chronicle 
    We have a presidential election every four years. We have a mental-health crisis in this country 365 days a year, every year. We only hear about the mass shootings that make the national news; yet tragedies involving untreated mental illness occur daily throughout this country and will continue to do so until Congress passes meaningful mental-health reform legislation.
  • The Murphy Bill, HR 2646 — a Heinous Piece of Legislation — is Coming to a Vote
    Val Marsh, Executive Director of the National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery 
    HR 2646 is a heinous piece of legislation that has been hailed as the solution to the nation’s problems with gun violence, terrorism, and the massive influx of people with mental health conditions into the correctional system and the burgeoning ranks among the homeless. Not to mention that it will save untold hundreds of thousands of families from anguish and unwarranted pain. And it is a calculated, repulsive lie. 
  •      An Open Letter to Advocates About the Murphy/Johnson Bill 
    Debbie Plotnick, Vice President, Mental Health and Systems Advocacy, Mental Health America 
    It’s time to step back and take some credit. Acknowledge that your efforts have made a significant difference, even though no one has gotten everything they’ve wanted. But your efforts have had very positive results. Then gather your strength to not only beat back more of what you don’t want, and what you find hurtful, but also to fight for more of what you know is true and right, and for what you do want. 

Call for Abstracts: Integrating Evidence-Based Practice and Implementation Science in Academic and Field Curricula
The Child and Family Evidence Based Practice Consortium encourages you to submit an abstract for a special issue of the Journal of Social Work Education that focuses upon a key conceptual next step in professional workforce development: How to integrate evidence based practice and implementation science in academic and field curricula. Note the July 31, 2016 submission deadline.

Daniel Dawes Appears on the Tom Joyner Morning Show
Oh man, the cool factor of the CMHNetwork Advisory Council has just gone through the roof as Council member extraordinaire Daniel Dawes made an appearance on the Tom Joyner Morning Show to talk about the Affordable Care Act. Check it out! 

Choices is hiring!
Two ‘Choice’ jobs are available at the Choices location in Illinois. Check it out, job hunters!

Dates Announced for the Tampa Conference
Okay, go ahead and mark down March 5 – 8, 2017 on your calendar, pack some sun screen and get ready for the 30th Annual Research & Policy Conference on Child, Adolescent, and Young Adult Behavioral Health. Details on submitting proposals for the conference will be posted soon. For now, order an extra pair of Bermuda’s and get ready!


  • America Needs More Black Men Leading Its Classrooms 
    America’s teachers are disproportionally female (75 percent) and white (83 percent), according to recent federal data. Black men make up less than 2 percent of teachers, though minorities now make up a majority of students in public schools. Data also suggests that students of color are often unfairly penalized when graded by white teachers—but teachers of color don’t appear to exhibit this same grading bias against white children.
  • HHS Parity Website 
    HHS recently launched a website that provides everything you wanted to know about parity but were afraid to ask!
  • Understanding Child Trauma 
    Gives parents and caregivers an overview of the types of traumatic stress that commonly affect children and details on the effects these events have on their physical and psychological health. Includes a list of resources for assisting with recovery.

Is Friday Update workin’ for ya? 
We love feedback so let us know how we can improve the website to better meet your needs. Contact us here. Thanks again to so many of you who are spreading the word. We are indeed a collective voice and appreciate your support.

scottScott Bryant-Comstock
President & CEO

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