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Children's Mental Health Awareness Week

"Finding Help, Finding Hope"

As national events continue to illuminate the critical need for mental health care reform in this country, we must increase our efforts to educate the nation about the importance of prevention and early identification of mental health challenges. We must also highlight the fact that children are an integral part of a family unit and create an understanding amongst policy leaders and practitioners that healthy families are better equipped to support resilient children. Legislation, policies, and practices must fully endorse the undisputed importance of full family engagement and participation in the care and treatment of their children. Further, we must advocate for a holistic approach to children's mental health that includes the provision of supports that strengthen the family as they nurture resiliency.

Please join us as we create a national dialogue about the importance of finding help, finding hope.

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Introduction of Mental Health Reform Act of 2015

Today, Senators Chris Murphy (D-CT) and Bill Cassidy (R-LA) are introducing their long-awaited mental health reform legislation.  The text of the bill is not yet available, but will be soon.  We have seen an advance copy and spoken with Senator Murphy’s staff this afternoon to confirm what is in it.  I want to share with you links to the press statement and blog that we have just issued in response to the legislation.

Spoiler alerts: it is similar to HR2646 in its overall approach to mental health reform.  There are some noteworthy differences, but it incorporates many of the provisions for which MHA was credited with getting into HR2646.  It also makes no changes to Protection and Advocacy services available to people with mental illnesses.

Passing of Linda Machado

It is with a heavy heart that we inform everyone that Linda Machado, Executive Director of Hawaii Families as Allies, has passed.

A longtime foster parent of youth with mental health challenges, Linda is recognized for her many contributions to the mental health and child welfare systems over the years, including roles as a parent partner and youth coordinator for HFAA. Linda was a true pioneer in her community and we will miss her passion for helping children, youth, and families.

Information on memorial arrangements will be provided as they become available.