Coming Next Week – An Apology Letter to the Interdepartmental Serious Mental Illness Coordinating Committee (ISMICC)
July 05, 2019
The Interdepartmental Serious Mental Illness Coordinating Committee (ISMICC) met earlier this week, and after reviewing the agenda for the meeting, I was saddened and dismayed by the total lack of focus on children. At first, I got agitated. But then I took a moment to reflect and concluded that being agitated without doing anything about it doesn’t do any good. I owe the ISMICC an apology.
With the chaos that swirls around the current administration, it is easy to lose focus on the myriad of things that require our attention as children’s mental health advocates. Paying attention to the work of the ISMICC, candidly, has not been on my radar as a priority. What a mistake. The ISMICC, charged by Congress to, among other things, ”make specific recommendations for actions that agencies can take to better coordinate the administration of mental health services for adults with SMI or children with SED, ” needs our attention and focus.
Next weeks Morning Zen post will move beyond apologies and provide some avenues where you can get involved to help bolster the ISMICC’s ability to provide comprehensive data on mental health services for children, youth, young adults and their families to SAMHSA, and more important, Congress.
My passion is helping to shape policy and practice in children’s mental health. 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 for the exchange of ideas on how to continually improve children’s mental health research, policy and practice.