Steve’s News Blast for November 2014

Steve’s Space

It is nice to see all the colors coming out in the Boise area and white on the mountain tops.  Although knowing the warmth is going away and what comes next isn’t that appealing, except of course for skiers, turkeys and Santa.  Well maybe not that appealing for turkeys either!

But last month the room was filled with warmth while IFFCMH recognized seven advocates for their outstanding advocacy in behalf of kids and families at the annual awards banquet (see below). It was quite a day that brought IFFCMH staff and board members from around the state together for the event as well as a series of afternoon workshops and board meeting.  Congratulations to all the recipients of Outstanding Advocacy awards. Special thanks to Ross Edmunds our Keynote speaker and all our workshop presenters who participated in the day and evening program.

We are pleased to be collaborating with the Consortium for Idahoans with Disabilities and working on Advocacy Workshops being offered this month.  These workshops feature opportunities to learn about upcoming legislation addressing sign language interpreters, how to communicate with legislators (Legislators are invited to participate), information on Close the Gap Idaho (Medicaid) and new Home and Community Based Services rules.  Next up is the Pocatello workshop Sat. Nov. 8 at LIFE Inc., 640 Pershing.  The remaining workshops in Idaho Falls, Boise, Twin Falls, CDA, and Nampa are all scheduled for Sat. Nov. 15th.   All workshops are scheduled at  9AM – 3PM. See below for more information and how to register.

We are hearing good things about the mediation process that has been taking place for the past year with respect to the Jeff D lawsuit.  Jeff D is a lawsuit that was brought over 30 years ago and the settlement that appears to be emerging from this most recent mediation is hinting at system improvement that will benefit kids and families.  The settlement and plan is still under wraps, but look for information to be released soon.  IFFCMH and all children and family advocates are thinking positively about this latest effort to resolve the lawsuit and significant recommendations for children’s mental health systems improvement.

IFFCMH commends the Statesman newspaper and Boise Public Radio for their collaboration and work on increasing public awareness of the fragmented Idaho mental health system.  The week long stories on the radio and newspaper articles have raised the shade that has been pulled over the mental health system.  But it is only a beginning.  IFFCMH hopes that both of these media will continue to keep the public informed and begin the next step of advocating for action and discussing ways that people can become involved and advocate for system improvement.

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