Skip to content

Reflections on the Joker’s Popularity and What America Can Learn From Gotham City’s Mental Health System: An Interview With Micah Howe

Enjoy this fascinating discussion with Micah Howe, a dedicated mental health advocate from rural Iowa. Micah candidly shares his personal journey through the mental health treatment and support, and his evolution as an advocate. Micah was scheduled to speak at the 33rd Annual Research and Policy Conference, scheduled for March, 2020. COVID-19 put a halt…

Melissa Heatly – Integrating Behavioral Health and the Schools in the Midst of the Pandemic

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, who refuse to sit on the sidelines, and just figure out a way to get it done. However, this podcast is not just about what advocates do it also about who they are as people 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. And in this time of pandemic, I don’t know that there are many people more important, than those who are trying to figure out along with multitudes of other people in their community, how to make sure that services stay at the level that they were before the pandemic for youth and families, 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!

Bonita Gibb on Innovations in Rural Mental Health and Personal Self Care

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…

Melanie Funchess – A Personal Journey Through Advocacy

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…