Friday, November 21, 2008

Post for the Road: Happy Thanksgiving, Y'all

Next week, I am going to be on the Left coast with my wife's family for Thanksgiving (been a while and all of that), so the posts may be a bit sparse, although I will try to keep abreast of the changes in Massachusetts.  It is an interesting time:  the Mental Health Campaign is doing some real policy development work, the CANS is about to take center stage in the Virtual Gateway and the 9C cuts are hitting the Commonwealth, making it harder to get the work done.  I got this the other day, and leave with this thought from the Mental Health and Substance Abuse Coalition of Massachusetts the other day:

Re: Contact Governor Patrick about Cuts to Behavioral Health Services
As you know, MHSACM has been working with our various coalition partners to ensure that our community responds to the FY 2009 9C budget cuts with one voice. If you have not done so already, please contact Governor Patrick and urge him to restore the cuts to DMH-funded community-based services.

On the other hand, the Children's Behavioral Health Initiative hosted a summit the other day, with the faculty of the various schools of social work and psychology, to help develop the curricula needed to teach "wraparound"  and some of the other concepts unique to the impending settlement.  Sure, cuts are hard, but it seems so obvious to me that the folks within the Patrick Administration are trying so hard to do the right thing that I really don't want to call them up and give them a hard time.

It seems a good time to gather with family, give thanks for the turkey in whatever way you deem appropriate, and prepare yourself for the work yet to come.  We've done a lot, but there is much more left to do.

PS.  Many of us in the Pediatric world have been arguing that the behavioral health screening for young children should be dropped.  Nice to see this on the CBHI website:
Behavioral health screening in the primary care setting for children less than 6 months of age.  In response to continuing concerns raised by the primary care provider community about the suitability of behavioral health screening for children less than 6 months of age, MassHealth asked the Massachusetts Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (MCAAP) to provide an assessment of the screening periodicity schedule. MCAAP recently offered its recommendations, which MassHealth is currently reviewing.
One hopes that my Academy recommended that the screening focus on maternal depression rather than childhood depression.  We shall see.

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