Scott has been involved in shaping policy and practice in children’s mental health for the past 40 years. His journey as a mental health advocate has traveled from volunteering at a suicide and crisis center, professional roles as a therapist in an outpatient clinic, in-home family therapist, state mental health official, Board Chair for a county mental health program, and national reviewer of children’s mental health systems reform efforts. As the founder of the Children’s Mental Health Network (2009), he leads the Network’s efforts to grow a national online forum for the exchange of ideas on how to continually improve children’s mental health research, policy and practice.
Welcome to another episode of The Optimistic Advocate. This is episode eight and I'm your host, Scott Bryant Comstock, founder of the Children's Mental Health Network. This podcast is about advocates who are innovative, refuse to sit on the sidelines and figure out a way to get it done. However, this podcast is not just about what advocates do but also about who they are and what motivates them.In this episode, I am excited to have as my guest, Melissa Heatly. Melissa is a clinical child psychologist. She coordinates the school-based initiatives with pediatric behavioral health and wellness at UR Medicine, which provides comprehensive school-based behavioral health services, consultation, and training to youth and educators across the greater Rochester region.Melissa is a true community organizer working through the lens of behavioral health. Amid the pandemic, I don’t know that there are many people more important than those working tirelessly, along with multitudes of other people in their community, to make sure that services stay at the level that they were before the pandemic and, how they can be improved.You can learn more about Melissa Heatly and her work at the University of Rochester Medical Center Website.Enjoy the episode, and remember to subscribe to the podcast so you don't miss a single episode!
In this episode, I spend some quality time with Bonita Gibb, Social Marketing Coordinator with the Otsego County System of Care in upstate New York, about an hour outside of Albany. Bonita wrote in to the children's mental health network and wanted to share some of the amazing things that they were doing with youth and families during the pandemic.Enjoy the interview, and be sure to download the "Summer Guide at Home" that Bonita spoke about during the podcast interview.Making the Most of a Summer at Home: A Guide for a Happy and Healthy Summer During COVID-19 - well, check out her favorite read right now - "Incidents in the Live of a Slave GirlIncidents in the Life of a Slave Girl as Told by Herself -
Got a comment or request for a future interview? Send an audio file to We would love to hear from you!Our guest for this episode is Melanie Funchess, out of Rochester, New York. Melanie is an advocates advocate. She directs community engagement for the Mental Health Association in Rochester. A large part of her work is to make connections with diverse communities, bringing them together, with the ultimate goal of strengthening the fabric of services and supports that are provided to the good people of Rochester.Now that's pretty impressive in and of itself, but her history as an advocate goes all the way back to childhood. And today we're going to learn about that history. We're going to take a deep dive into who Melanie Funchess is, how she got into this work, and what motivates her to do the advocacy work she does.
Episode 5: Julie Radlauer on Practicing Professional Self CareThis is The Optimistic Advocate, a weekly interview show that follows Scott Bryant-Comstock and his guests, as they explore how effective advocates create change for themselves and for others.If you are a person interested in advocacy, in improving yourself or helping others make improvement in their lives, and would like tangible tips on how to do so, then this is the show for you!In this episode of The Optimistic Advocate, Scott engages in conversation with Julie Radlauer, co-founder of the Ronik-Radlauer Group, a leadership development firm in Florida.As a busy mental health advocate and leadership consultant, Julie Radlauer spends her time helping organizations throughout the United States create change, improve their skills in serving families, and establish themselves as leaders in human services in the communities in which they live. Julie does all of this while maintaining a healthy balance with her role as wife and mother. It's no small feat that she is busier than ever during the height of the Pandemic and a nation in turmoil about racial injustice.Self-care, Julie says, is critical, if mental health advocates are to be productive and useful in their work with organizations and community leaders. She shares some practical tips in this interview.Links & Resources:Ronik-Radlauer Grou Website: https://ronikradlauer.comFacebook:
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Creator Details

Jun 12th, 1956
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4 hours, 36 minutes
Podchaser Creator ID logo 558467