Friday Update

Friday Update 9-30-19

September 30, 2019

Greetings faithful readers. Here we are in the midst of another week where it feels like the divide in America is widening. We gotta be the glue, Network faithful. Here is an oldie but a goodie advocacy tune that will get you right and ready for the battle ahead. Enjoy “The River” by Bruce Springsteen. How can you say no to Bruce? Enjoy the tune, fire yourself up, and then get to readin’ Friday Update, cuz we got work to do!

Most Important Reads of the Week

Pathways RTC Abruptly De-Funded by SAMHSA
Another cut by SAMHSA occurred this past week, and this one hurts. For reasons that are puzzling to me (actually, I have not been able to find a publicly stated reason), SAMHSA decided at the last minute to pull funding for the Pathways RTC at Portland State. If you are as concerned about the arbitrary nature of this decision as I am, take a moment to let your representatives and SAMHSA know and encourage them to reconsider!

The Dangerous Consequences of Classroom Consequences
Children who are noticed, praised, and reinforced for peace, productivity, health, and happiness by adults and peers in schools grow up to be peaceful, productive, healthy, and happy. What tools are available to do this, you ask? CMHNetwork Science Advisor, Dennis Embry shows us how the PAX Good Behavior Game helps.

Youth ERA Launches Website Offering Youth Peer Support Through Online Articles and Resources
Leave it to the crew at Youth ERA to absolutely blow our mind with their newest online product – This new peer-led website is designed to offer support and help to young people through tough times. The website is home to articles, resources, and original content written by young people for young people. Youth ERA uses the strength of this web-based platform to empower youth on their mental health journey—giving them the tools they need to not only survive but to thrive. 

My Grandfather, My Son, and the Right Thing
Lisa Lambert shares a deeply personal account about how developing an understanding of the nuances that guided her grandfather’s personal code of conduct, which she deeply admired, helped her better understand her son with significant mental health needs. Such wisdom in this Zen piece. Be sure to give it a read. Your humanity index will thank you for it.

We Are Getting Close to the Deadline for the Call for Proposal Process for the 33rd Annual Research and Policy Conference. Time Is Ticking, and  We Are Waiting for You!
Save the dates for the 33rd Annual Research & Policy Conference on Child, Adolescent, and Young Adult Behavioral Health: March 15 – 18, 2020 in Tampa, FL and get to writing your fantastic proposal. Deadline for proposals is October 11th. Yikes!

Premier of the Documentary Film ‘Broken Places’ and Q & A With Daniella Rin Hoover at the Tampa Pre-Conference!
Film producer, Roger Weisberg, has chronicled the lives of children and families growing up in adversity. BROKEN PLACES is Weisberg’s 33rd documentary, and poses the complex question of why some children are severely damaged by early adversity while others are able to thrive. To help answer this question, Weisberg dug into 40 years of his film archives to update a few of the stories of children growing up in difficult circumstances that he filmed decades ago. It turns out that some of these children were so scarred by abuse and neglect that they are now in mental institutions, correctional facilities, or drug rehabilitation centers. A few died prematurely. However, there are others who managed to overcome comparable childhood stress and are now healthy, self-sufficient adults. Viewers are given a unique time-lapse perspective, witnessing how a few of these troubled children evolved into the adults they are today. After viewing the film, Daniella Rin Hoover, who has been featured in the 2004 documentary, Aging Out, and in the current documentary, Broken Places, will lead a question and answer session with attendees.

Tampa Pre-Conference Featuring Latest Information on Transforming Residential Interventions
Residential interventions serving youth and families are changing dramatically. Over the past 14 years, the National Building Bridges Initiative has brought together providers, families, and youth, along with local, state and national advocacy leaders, to develop a practice framework that connects and aligns residential programs and their oversight agencies with communities and with emerging evidence and science. This collaborative approach has yielded significant innovation, transformation, and improved outcomes. This pre-conference session will present the practice pillars of the BBI framework and significant trends that have developed over the past decade. The session will also be the first public release of the second book on residential interventions: Transforming Residential Interventions: Practical Strategies and Future Directions.

Man, and that’s just the pre-conference sessions!

Gary Blau Confirmed as Keynote Speaker for the Tampa Conference!
Dr. Gary Blau, Executive Director for The Hackett Center for Mental Health, and long-time leader of children’s mental health efforts at the state and federal levels will provide a Keynote Address at the 33rd Annual Research and Policy Conference on Child, Adolescent, and Young Adult Behavioral Health. He will discuss progress made over the past 25 years in children’s mental health research and policy. As a former “bureaucrat” that was a staunch “advocate” for youth, families and quality services, Dr. Blau will also share his thoughts on the key challenges facing the children’s mental health research and policy community, and steps necessary to address those challenges. Finally, Dr. Blau will share his vision for how public-private partnerships can be strengthened to ensure a higher commitment to fidelity in research, policy, and practice. Don’t miss it!​​

Child Protection Caseworker Support: A Podcast by the Florida Institute of Child Welfare
Child Protection Caseworker Support is a new podcast series by the Florida Institute for Child Welfare. In the series, Dr. Jessica Pryce, Director of the Institute, sits down with child welfare professionals to discuss and offer guidance on a variety of issues pertinent to the field. Produced by Institute Program Director Marianna Tutwiler, the series is available on the Institute’s website. The next podcast is on October 7th. Check it out!

Advancing Comprehensive School Mental Health Systems
This report offers collective insight and guidance to local communities and states to advance comprehensive school mental health systems. Contents were informed by examination of national best practices and performance standards, local and state exemplars, and recommendations provided by federal/national, state, local and private leaders.

Integrating Primary and Behavioral Healthcare Through the Lens of Prevention National Conference
November 13-15, 2019 / New Orleans, Louisiana
The word prevention is frequently used in the healthcare profession, but what does prevention really mean when it comes to healthcare? Does it actually improve patient, population, and community-level outcomes? Or does it improve the standard of care in behavioral health and primary care? Join national leaders in the prevention field who are committed to improving behavioral and primary health outcomes by integrating with the science and practice of prevention across public, private, and community sectors at this national conference. Did I mention that the event takes place in New Orleans? How can you say no to that? Early conference registration deadline is October 1st, so get on it!

CLAS Toolkit: Advancing Health Equity and Racial Justice in Children’s Behavioral Health
This free, self-guided toolkit is designed to help child- and family-serving organizations develop their own Health Equity Plans to advance health equity and to reduce racial injustice and health disparities within their organizations, services, and communities. The toolkit is based on the National Standards for Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services in Health and Health Care (National CLAS Standards) and follows a four phase process for implementing those standards developed by the Connecticut Department of Children and Families, CHDI, Beacon Health Options, and Health & Equity, LLC.

Help Your Baby Deal with Emotions
Just like adults, babies experience a wide range of daily emotions. It’s a parent’s job to help them sort through the difficult ones. But do you know how to help your infant cope? New research offers some clues.

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About the Author

Scott Bryant-Comstock

Hello, I’m Scott Bryant-Comstock, CEO and founder of the Children’s Mental Health Network. For the past 40 years, my journey as a mental health advocate has traveled from volunteering at a suicide and crisis center, professional roles as a therapist in an outpatient clinic, in-home family therapist, state mental health official, Board Chair for a county mental health program, and national reviewer of children’s mental health systems reform efforts. As the founder of the Children’s Mental Health Network (2009), I lead the Network’s efforts to grow a national online forum to exchange ideas on how to improve children’s mental health research, policy, and practice.

In 2019, I had a full-blown Kundalini awakening. That experience has clarified many of the questions about purpose, focus, and mission that I have had my entire life. And heck, I want to share those learnings with you!

I encourage you to listen to the Optimistic Advocate podcast, with new episodes every Monday through Friday. Episodes always give you something to chew on as you move through the day. Insights from me, always a bit of poetry, and inspiring homework for you, as we move together on this beautiful journey of creating harmony with the universe. As a bonus, periodically, we post a long-form interview with inspiring advocates who help individuals and families make positive changes in their lives in communities across the globe. Remember to stay optimistic and listen to the universe (It’s speaking through you, I promise.).

Choose the podcast player of your choice and subscribe!

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