“Deja View” is a new segment on our blog that gives a monthly recap of change ignited by the Young Minds community!
A Fond Farewell to Founding Associate Attorney, Wesley Sheffield
Wesley Sheffield had just passed the California Bar in 2012 when she took a job at the newly founded nonprofit, Young Minds Advocacy Project. She was one of three founding staff members who set out to create an organization to address the number one health issue facing young people and their families–unmet mental health needs. The learning curve was steep–really steep–but driven by an unshakable determination to make an impact in the lives of others, Wesley became a cornerstone member of the Young Minds team.
Wesley’s warm and welcoming personality draws “folks” (as she’d say) to her, making her both a strong leader and an effective collaborative partner. But it’s Wesley’s sharp mind and encyclopedic knowledge of youth mental health laws and policies that make her one of the most adept mental health advocates for youth in the state. In California, she championed efforts to expand community-based services to all Medicaid youth, co-writing a white paper about the impact these services could have on juvenile justice-involved youth. Wesley was also instrumental in our case in Idaho, Jeff D. v. Otter. Alongside Young Minds’ president, Patrick Gardner, she succeeded in negotiating a settlement agreement (in a case older than she is) which, once fully implemented, will provide as many as 9,000 Idaho children with improved access to community-based mental health services. She also fostered essential community partnerships throughout the Gem State helping to ensure that implementation of these services will lead to improved outcomes for youth and families.
Fortunately, as Wesley said at a dinner in her honor earlier this month, “This isn’t goodbye.” As a founding member of Young Minds, and a huge piece of its heart, Wesley will continue our mission of improving the lives of youth and families. We wish her luck in her new endeavor and look forward to celebrating her accomplishments in the years to come.
CA Rollout of Therapeutic Foster Care (TFC)
This month, the California Department of Health and Human Services (DHCS) and the Department of Social Services (CDSS) issued an information notice providing initial guidance to counties on how to rollout Therapeutic Foster Care (TFC), an intensive and highly coordinated short-term treatment for children with complex emotional and behavioral needs. Delivered in a family setting using specially trained foster parents, TFC provides home-based alternatives to more restrictive institutional settings, such as a hospital and group homes. County Mental Health Plans (MHPs) are expected to start delivering TFC services to youth starting January 1, 2017. Implementation of this long awaited service will complete the full trio of intensive mental health treatments and supports known as “Katie A. services,” named after the class action lawsuit that lead to their development. Young Minds, co-counsel for the plaintiffs, has been working with the state and our partners to monitor implementation of these services since 2011 in order to ensure thousands of vulnerable youth avoid unnecessary hospitalizations or out-of-home placements.
To learn more about the rollout of TFC, please visit our blog.
Blog Post of the Month
Home of the Brave: How Girls and Women Can Live in Boldness
By Aisa Villarosa, Associate Attorney
In honor of our nation’s first female presidential nominee from a major party, I reached out to female friends, mentors, and colleagues for a discussion on risk taking. Among them are artists and attorneys; a salsa instructor and a scholar; a Midwest non profit co-founder and a DC lobbyist – and, all in all, some of the most confident and accomplished humans I’ve ever known. I asked them a series of questions to determine how to channel their collective female bad-ass-ness. Given the pedigree of my sample group, I was astonished that a dialogue initially focused on risk taking was as much – if not more – about fear:
“In my personal life, I have to be unafraid to show up and be all in despite previous heartbreak. I have to take risks in order to communicate my needs, desires, and feelings. It’s scary and I hate it!”
“I volunteered to give a talk at a national conference in August to 15 of the nation’s top immigration collaboratives … and I’m scared completely. Like ‘can’t-sleep’ scared
Read the full blog here.
Help Us Find Our Next Great Intern!
Young Minds is seeking a social media enthusiast with Google Analytics skills to support efforts to grow our online reach and networks. The Social Media & Communications Intern will help us spread the word that mental health matters and engage youth and others around mental health policy in California.
For more information view the full post.
Upcoming Event — Innovative Minds 10/07
This fall marks another year of successful advocacy for Young Minds! To celebrate, we’re hosting our 4th Anniversary Celebration and fundraiser on October 7th from 6 to 9pm at the beautiful Allied Arts Guild in Menlo Park, California. This annual event brings together a diverse group of community members to improve California’s mental health system for young people and their families. Join us for a night of collective action (and fun!) to improve the lives of youth in our community.
This year’s special guest speaker will be Mike Porath. Mike is the founder and CEO of The Mighty, a digital publisher and online community that helps millions of people facing mental illnesses, disabilities and diseases. Join us for food, drinks, live music, and a silent auction! Learn more and RSVP at: youngmindsadvocacy.org/Innovative-Minds.
Thanks to our sponsor Uplift Families Services (Formerly EMQ Families First) and our community and business partners: The Chronicle of Social Change, New America Media, Partners for Strong Minds, SF CASA, and Lagunitas Brewery.