Teachers Guide to SM, What to Tell the Teacher About Your Child

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~ From our colleagues at the Child Mind Institute ~ 

childmindThirty-six irresistible youngsters from 16 states (and Shanghai!) joined us last week for Brave Buddies, our summer program for children with selective mutism. These kids have extreme anxiety about speaking outside their homes, especially in school. At Brave Buddies they get intensive therapy, practicing what we call brave talking while playing, doing group activities and going on field trips. The week culminated in a visit to the ice cream store where they flexed their brave muscles by ordering their own ice cream. 

While these kids have been preparing to use their voices in school in a few weeks, teachers have been preparing, too, to welcome new students with all kinds of strengths and weaknesses. This week on childmind.org we offer a Teachers Guide to Selective Mutism, which explains how to recognize the widely misunderstood disorder and help children who have it. And for parents wondering how much information to share with teachers about a child's strengths, weaknesses, talents and interests, check out  7 Things to Tell the Teacher About Your Child

Caroline Miller, Editorial Director 

Teachers Guide to Selective Mutism 
What teachers need to know about SM, including what it looks like in the classroom and tips for encouraging kids with SM to participate. 

7 Things to Tell the Teacher About Your Child 
Sharing key information can help a new teacher forge a strong connection with your child. And the start of the school year is not too early to open up. 

How to Give Kids Effective Instructions 
The first step to getting more cooperation is making sure children understand what they're being told to do.

10 Ways to Teach Your Child the Skills to Prevent Sexual Abuse 
Open conversation about anatomy, clear privacy rules and a no-secrets policy can help protect young kids without scaring them.

SAMHSA Seeking Comment on New Report on Opioid Use By Pregnant and Parenting Women

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Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Advancing the Care of Pregnant and Parenting Women With Opioid Use Disorder and Their Infants: A Foundation for Clinical Guidance, Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2016.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), has released a report entitled “Advancing the Care of Pregnant and Parenting Women with Opioid Use Disorder and Their Infants: A Foundation for Clinical Guidance” in the Federal Register for public comment. This document will serve as the basis of a clinical guide that SAMHSA is preparing on the care and treatment of pregnant women with opioid use disorder and their infants. Please review the report and provide input on this document. To see the announcement, go to this link: https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/USSAMHSA/bulletins/15a80c4

The public comment period will be open for 30 days after its release and all comments will be collected through this Federal Register mechanism. SAMHSA will incorporate comments in the clinical guide after the closure of the comment period. Please do not send your comments on the document to SAMHSA staff directly. SAMHSA would like to collect all comments through the Federal Register mechanism. To go to the Federal Register Notice and submit comments, please go to this link: https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2016/08/03/2016-18324/request-for-comment-on-report-entitled-advancing-the-care-of-pregnant-and-parenting-women-with

Recommended Citation Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Advancing the Care of Pregnant and Parenting Women With Opioid Use Disorder and Their Infants: A Foundation for Clinical Guidance, Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2016.

  • Download the report here.
  • Download the Notice of Comment here.

Now Available: Online Guide to Nonpartisan Election Activity for 501(c)(3) Nonprofit Organizations

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As the 2016 election season enters high gear, Nonprofit VOTE has released a comprehensive online guide for 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations on nonpartisan ways to promote voting and engage candidates in the 2016 election
. Called Nonprofits, Voting and Elections, the online guide reviews the prohibition on partisan political activity. It provides topic by topic advice on how nonprofits and their staff can promote voter registration, conduct voter education, talk to candidates, work on ballot measures and encourage the people they serve to participate and vote.

“Being nonpartisan doesn’t mean staying on the sidelines in an important national election,” said Brian Miller, Nonprofit VOTE’s Executive Director. “Nonprofits can take advantage of opportunities to engage their communities and talk to candidates with the knowledge of how to do so on a nonpartisan basis.” 

Nonprofits, Voting and Elections distills advice from Nonprofit VOTE’s legal partners and extensive library of nonpartisan voter engagement resources. It cites factors nonprofits need to consider when carrying out nonpartisan election activities.  Each section links to practical ideas and common examples of nonpartisan nonprofit activities such as voter registration, candidate forums, voter education or what staff may do in their personal time vs. representing their nonprofit.  

“Nonprofits want to – and legally can – help people in their communities exercise their right to vote, but historically some nonprofits have lacked guidance on what it means to be nonpartisan at election time,” remarked Tim Delaney, CEO of the National Council of Nonprofits. “Nonprofit VOTE’s comprehensive and timely guide is a terrific resource that illuminates clear pathways for nonprofits to promote civic engagement so every American participates in democracy.” 

The Hidden Harm of Antidepressants

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An in-depth analysis of clinical trials reveals widespread underreporting of negative side effects, including suicide attempts and aggressive behavior

Antidepressants are some of the most commonly prescribed medications out there. More than one out of 10 Americans over age 12—roughly 11 percent—take these drugs, according to a 2011 report by the National Center for Health Statistics. And yet, recent reports have revealed that important data about the safety of these drugs—especially their risks for children and adolescents—has been withheld from the medical community and the public.

In the latest and most comprehensive analysis, published last week inBMJ (the British Medical Journal),a group of researchers at the Nordic Cochrane Center in Copenhagen showed that pharmaceutical companies were not presenting the full extent of serious harm in clinical study reports, which are detailed documents sent to regulatory authorities such as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the European Medicines Agency (EMA) when applying for approval of a new drug. The researchers examined documents from 70 double-blind, placebo-controlled trials of two common types of antidepressants—selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) and serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRI)—and found that the occurrence of suicidal thoughts and aggressive behavior doubled in children and adolescents who used these medications.

Continue reading on the Scientific American website.

Study Finds Group Drumming Bangs Away at Anxiety and Depression

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Researchers in London have found evidence of a surprisingly effective treatment for anxiety and depression, one that even alters the inflammatory immune responses that may underlie these disorders. Prozac? Actually, percussion. An “exploratory examination” found 10 weeks of group drumming provided significant benefits for a group of people who had sought help for mental-health issues. What’s more, the improvements persisted for at least three months after the sessions concluded.

Continue reading on the Pacific Standard website.

Behavioral Health Coverage Under MHPAEA: A Nationwide Expansion

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~ Announcement from SAMHSA ~ 

Do you have questions about what your health insurance covers for mental health or substance use disorder services?

The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA) of 2008 requires health insurers and group health plans to provide the same level of benefits for mental and/or substance use treatment and services that they do for medical/surgical care.

The final MHPAEA regulations published in 2013 applied parity protections to the commercial market, and final regulations issued by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services on March 29, 2016, applies parity rules to Medicaid managed care and the Children’s Health Insurance Program. As a result, parity requirements now apply to most health plans in the United States.

Download these resources about parity for mental health and substance use disorder benefits:

Webinar: Mental Health Disparities Research at NIMH

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August 31, 2016, 2:00-3:00 PM ET 

The NIH recognizes the importance of reducing and eliminating mental health disparities in communities across the country. This webinar will present exemplary studies that highlight the strategic objectives of the NIMH Strategic Plan for Research. NIMH-funded researchers who have investigated mental health disparities will present their preliminary findings.

Sign up for the webinar here.

Webinar: Shared Decision Making Dialogues: Engaging Individuals and families in Decision Making

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August 30, 2016, 1:00-2:00 PM ET

This SAMHSA webinar will draw from examples at two different service settings—a peer-run recovery center and a program that serves young adults experiencing psychosis—and to illustrate ways to help individuals and families make the most of health care conversations. The presenters will highlight how they use the framework of shared decision making to guide services delivery and engage people using their services to become active in all aspects of their healthcare. '

Sign up here.

Webinar: Integrated Service Settings Open Doors for Youth Experiencing Homelessness

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August 4, 2016, 12:00-1:30 PM ET

Join this SAMHSA-HRSA Center for Integrated Health Solutions webinar to enhance knowledge and skills for working with youth experiencing homelessness, and with the social service agencies key to securing housing and other supports. After this webinar, participants will appreciate the risk factors for homelessness among youth and understand its life cycle; understand the complex array of health, behavioral, and social issues that need to be addressed during clinical encounters with youth experiencing homelessness; have the knowledge of how to engage homeless youth and earn their trust; identify and collaborate with partners at the community and/or state level that can facilitate access to shelter, housing, and other key supports for youth experiencing homelessness; and use specific tools and interventions to identify, and improve outcomes for, youth experiencing homelessness.

  • Sign up for the webinar here.
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