Friday Update 8-2-13

August 03, 2013


Friday Update 8-2-13

Greetings faithful readers. Several ways for you to get involved this week so take your time reading through this issue of Friday Update. What makes the Children’s Mental Health Network unique is that families with mental health challenges in their midst and those who work with and care for them know no political boundaries. We are Republican, Democrat and everything in-between. And that is indeed a beautiful thing. This issue of Friday Update has a number of stories that will challenge you to think about the issues at hand, not political party affiliations. So let’s get in the mood for readin’, thinkin’ and doin’ with a live performance of the classic “Come Together” by the Beatles. Enjoy the video and then get to readin’ Friday Update.

Most important reads for this week

Healthy Transitions Initiative – Now you see it, now you don’t
One minute the Healthy Transitions Initiative is in the budget and the next minute it’s out. Network faithful need to speak out about this and we have some ideas about how you can get involved in educating elected officials about the importance of continued funding for this initiative. Elected officials rely on the information provided to them to be able to make fully-informed decisions, which means it is incumbent upon us to do our job as educators to speak up and let them know what is working well and making a difference for youth with serious emotional challenges and their families. Ultimately, the responsibility lies with us as citizens of this great country to make some noise. If we don’t let our voices be heard then we might as well be playin’ jacks.

August is Action to Keep Students Safe Month
The month of August marks the first Action to Keep Students Safe Month! This is your opportunity to get involved in the fight against the inappropriate use of seclusion and restraint in our nations schools. Tell your representatives about the importance of the Act to Keep All Students Safe (HR 1893).

Getting serious about mental illnesses
Interesting blog post by Dr. Thomas Insel on what is meant by the term serious mental illness (SMI) and the increasing research focus on SMI by the National Institute of Mental Health – the focus is broader than you might think.

ConnecTeen Calgary: Providing youth peer support for over 30 years
Let’s give a special shout out to Network faithful ConnecTeen in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. We discovered this amazing youth-driven organization a few months ago and have been excited to learn more about their forward thinking use of online access and mobile devices to connect with youth in distress. Youth-driven organizations in the United States might want to give a shout to our friends up north.

Track Medicaid decisions state by state
The Commonwealth Fund has come out with a new interactive map that tracks Medicaid decisions at the state level, showing which states are expanding, pursuing a customized expansion, or not expanding, and which states haven’t yet decided whether to expand. The map also offers state-level infographics, based on data from the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured, highlighting the law’s impact on the uninsured, with and without Medicaid expansion.

Embrace the House Republican Conference planning kit designed to dismantle Obamacare: Say what?
What’s that you say? The Network is sharing a document that has the sole aim of bringing down health care reform? A document that encourages lawmakers to hold media events packed with personal stories from people who say they’ve been harmed by the health law? A document that encourages Republicans to hold an Obamacare “media tour,” featuring businesses in their districts that say they’ve had to cut jobs or limit expansion because of the health law? 
Absolutely! In the immortal words of Stephen Stills “If you can’t be with the one you love, love the one you’re with.”

Join in the “Stay Covered” challenge
Join SAMHSA in the mission to develop innovative communications strategies to target individuals who experience high levels of involuntary breaks (“churn”) in health insurance coverage. The “Stay Covered Challenge” calls for the development of a marketing/outreach campaign designed for use by providers and community-based organizations in targeting individuals in Medicaid due to disability. C’mon, get your organization to join the challenge.

Give NIH your suggestions on the health and health research needs and concerns for LGBTI populations
NIH is inviting comments and suggestions on the health and health research needs, specific health issues and concerns for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans/transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) populations.

Teaching families to fish: How to support families as care coordinators
What would care coordination look like if families received support and training for their role as principal care coordinators for their child with special health care needs? A new issue brief from the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health proposes a series of attributes that would characterize true family-centered care coordination. Wonderful affirmation of the importance of families as care coordinators.

Social, behavioral, health services, and policy research on minority health and health disparities
Looks like a great funding opportunity from the National Institutes of Health and the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities for Network faithful committed to addressing disparities.

Become a certified application counselor
Groups can now apply online to become certified application counselors, who’ll help with the on-the-ground effort to sign people up for exchange coverage. Think of the application counselors as kinda like “navigators” or “in-person assisters” – but somehow different. CMS released the application for federal exchange and partnership states, and it’s just for community health centers or other providers, hospitals, and non-federal government or nonprofit social service agencies.

HHS letter on trauma-informed treatment
On July 11, 2013, three U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) agencies—the Administration for Children and Families (ACF), the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), and SAMHSA—have come together to issue a letter to state directors of child welfare and Medicaid, and mental health authorities encouraging them to strengthen their efforts to address complex trauma among children and youth known to child welfare.

Youth Peer-to-Peer standards: What’s important?
The initial draft of Youth M.O.V.E.’s National Youth Peer to Peer Standards is out for review and they are looking for feedback. Head on over to the Youth M.O.V.E. National website, review the draft standards and give them feedback. While you are at it, show them some CMHNetwork love!

NAB unveils youth mental health awareness campaign
On Tuesday, July 23, the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) launched OK2TALK, a campaign to increase understanding and awareness about mental health in youth. The Tumblr-based community campaign includes television and radio ads in English and Spanish that feature teens and young adults opening up about their experiences with mental health problems.

National Dialogue on Mental Health
As part of the National Dialogue on Mental Health, the Toolkit for Community Conversations About Mental Health has been released. The toolkit, developed by SAMHSA (Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration), can be downloaded for your use in convening a community conversation on mental health.

New “Zooming In” interactive tool provides detailed estimates of potential changes in Medicaid enrollment and the uninsured at the local level under the Affordable Care Act
A new online tool released last week by the Kaiser Family Foundation provides detailed projections of the impact of the Affordable Care Act on Medicaid enrollment and the uninsured in local communities across the nation. The tool is one of several interactive offerings on the Foundation’s recently redesigned website that can help people understand the key elements of the health reform law, its implications and its implementation.

Amid bankruptcy, Detroit has a bigger problem
Network faithful are encouraged to read the recent commentary in USA Today from Children’s Health Fund Co-Founder and President Irwin Redlener, M.D. on what is likely the greatest tragedy of the recent Detroit bankruptcy – the welfare of children. It’s an important read full of spot on analysis and statistics that you can use in your advocacy efforts on behalf of children and families as we all work to get Congress to prioritize the needs of children as our most important investment.

Not to be missed


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?

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. We run this operation data-on your donations. If you find Friday Update useful and the resources we alert you to data-on our website useful, take data-one minute to keep us going for another year with your tax-deductible donation. Thanks again to so many of you who are spreading the word. We are indeed a collective voice and your support is greatly appreciated.

Scott Bryant-Comstock
President & CEO

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