Steve’s News Blast October 2014

Steve’s Space

The question isn’t what to talk about but where to begin.  Our Third Annual Awards Banquet and Community Conversations program will take place on October 18.  Congratulations to the great children’s mental health advocates chosen to be recognized for their outstanding advocacy this year.  They are: Susannah Heist (Youth), Jennifer Zielinski, Mary Lemke (parents), Marilyn Baughman, Chuck Halligan and Howard Belodoff (professionals).  A special President’s award will also be announced.

This year we are also very pleased to have Ross Edmunds as our keynote speaker.   Mr. Edmunds is the Administrator of Idaho Department of Health & Welfare Behavioral Health Division.  He is leading the numerous changes taking place in Behavioral Health as the statewide system “transforms” and becomes more locally centered with new regional behavioral health boards being formed in each region, including the formation of children’s mental health sub-committees in each of the 7 regions.  Turning vision into reality for the benefit of all members of the behavioral health community is the challenge Mr. Edmunds has accepted.

The banquet, awards presentation, and all community conversations will take place at the Holiday Inn on Elder Street in Boise.  The banquet begins at 6PM, and the community conversations at 10:30 AM.  Community conversations will cover children’s mental health services in general; Idaho Lives suicide prevention project; Close the Gap Idaho; and the Jeff D lawsuit.  The community is invited to attend all discussions and the awards banquet.  More on the banquet, community conversations and how to register is found below.

Things have also been changing for us as many new faces have been added to our Family Support staff.  I welcome our newest staff in Region 1, Mary Ruth Dilling and Kelly Bryant; and in Region 6, Marja Slifka.  We continue to offer and work with parent and youth groups in all regions with the added support of our new staff.  Contact our Boise office if you wish to contact any of our regional staff members.   Some of our newest staff members are involved with facilitating meetings with parents concerned with reductions and/or elimination of PSR/CBRS services provided to their child through Optum.   We are gathering stories from parents, as well as their questions and concerns, which we believe can help positively assist with communication gaps, and process issues directly impacting kids and families.  Watch for meetings being scheduled in your region, or contact our office to find locations, dates and times for these meetings or to discuss your situation, tell us your story, directly.

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