Monday, October 3, 2011

Leading From Possibility


This morning I attended the monthly meeting of the Children’s Behavioral Health Initiative (CBHI) Advisory Council, with one of our MSW Interns from Salem State University.  This is the group that is advising the Department of Mental Health on the implementation plan of the Rosie D. case outcome. All the professional mental health societies and trade organizations as well specialty MD groups, advocacy groups and client consumer groups, Executive Office of Health and Human Service Agencies, hospitals serving children and others concerned with Mental Health Issues and services related to children.  It was a big group as it always is.  These are the folks who not only care about the mental health services provided to children, but are really focused on the barriers standing in the way of delivering these services. And there are many that seem to be unintentional- the consequence of addressing a complex set of issues, services and financial restraints.

As we started reviewing what are mission was, our accomplishments, our authority, our power (or lack of), we noted all the other initiatives that were occurring at the same time with similar missions:  There is: the CANS project that zeros in on providing ‘wrap around services’ for children; the Behavioral Health/Primary Care Integration Group, which is focuses on just what the title says; the state Mental Health Planning  Council which oversees mental health services to kids and adults; the Department of Child and Family Services Advisory Council, which focuses on the services provided to DCF families and Children; the group that; the Office of the Child Advocate; the group that is reviewing the Governor’s proposal to restructure the provision of state services to children;  and several others.

As we started listing all the groups, we saw that we really needed to get clear about our own focus and to coordinate these efforts of well informed, dedicated, and committed mental health individuals caring about the mental, social and educational health of our children. Our next meeting will focus on this question. As we go through this process, I remind myself that many good people care tremendously about providing services to our children and that there are many routes to follow-none are simple or clear cut, just like most of life.  We need to ‘be with’ the lack of clarity as we sort it all out. The ambiguity is clear.

Carol J. Trust

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