It's #GivingTuesday!

0 Comments | Posted

Today is #GivingTuesday, and we could not be more excited. This is the day you can make a difference by joining Network faithful all across the country in giving to promote positive dialogue about children's mental health. Here are two important ways your  donation can directly support the work of the Children's Mental Health Network:

Friday Update
Make a donation to the Children's Mental Health Network and help keep Friday Update coming to you each and every week - 180 consecutive weeks and counting! That is over three and one-half years of content-rich information and commentary on the most important policy, research and practice issues in children's mental health, delivered to your in-box every week.

What it costs to produce: Friday Update costs $2,000.00 per week in time and expense to produce. We think it is worth it, and from what we hear from readers across the nation, and increasingly in other countries across the world, so do you. Check out back issues of Friday Update here. 


Click on the button belowand be an important part of supporting the Children's Mental Health Network.

We hope you'll join others by making a donation to the Children's Mental Health Network today. Your dedication to improving services and supports for children and youth with emotional challenges and their families across the country will be truly appreciated. And we feel confident saying this because every day we hear wonderful stories of affirmation from families, friends, providers and community leaders nationwide. We depend on your contributions to keep the Network running, so give what you can.


Scott Bryant-Comstock
President & CEO
Children's Mental Health Network

Give 5 for Friday Update!

0 Comments | Posted

5Hey Network faithful, today is the day to Give $5 for Friday Update
During this week of giving thanks, take one minute to make a $5 donation to the Children's Mental Health Network and help keep Friday Update coming to you each and every week - 180 consecutive weeks and counting! That is over three and one-half years of content-rich information and commentary on the most important policy, research and practice issues in children's mental health, delivered to your in-box every week.

Let's put this into perspective
Five dollars is about the price of one venti vanilla latte at Starbucks. Just think, making a donation instead of drinking your venti vanilla latte for one day will help our growing legion of Network faithful continue reading Friday Update each week. Oh man, I get goose bumps just thinking about the philanthropy of it all!

grandmaClick on the button below and be an important part of supporting the Children's Mental Health Network.

Researchers want to know how families prioritize benefits & risks of psychotropic meds for their children

0 Comments | Posted

A team of researchers at the University of Maryland have been conducting research for over 15 years with caregivers of children who have  a mental health condition. Through this work they have come to understand the needs and concerns of caregivers when faced with the decision to use a psychotropic medication for their child. A better understanding of how caregivers prioritize the benefits and risks of psychotropic medication and what outcomes they most desire for their children has been the factors motivating this research. The current study, called the PIONEER Study (Caregiver PrIoritzing Outcomes, Needs, ExpEctations and Recovery), is being conducted in collaboration with family caregivers, who have helped to inform the research questions and to identify the key concerns in managing the care of a child with mental health needs. This research gives families a voice in expressing what matters most to them when it comes to weighing the benefits and risks of the different demands in the care management of their child and when it comes to prioritizing the outcomes that are most important to them and their child.

What is the Caregiver PIONEER Study?

  • The study hopes to give adults the facts they need to make the best health care choices for their child.

Who can join the study?

  • Parent or Primary Caregiver of a child who:
    • is age 21 or younger
    • has a developmental disability
    • has an emotional or behavior problem

How will this help families like you?

  • You will help other families make the best health care choices for their child.

What you will be asked to do if you join the study?

  • Complete an online survey that will take 40-50 minutes.

Our promise to you:

  • We will always respect your privacy.
  • We will never use your or your child’s name in anything we collect or in any papers or flyers we share.
  • We will provide you with feedback from the study
  • You will get a $50 gift card for being in this study

You can access the survey here:


  • Please contact the Project Coordinator:
    Melissa Ross
    Phone: 410-706-0807
    Fax: 410-706-5394
    School of Pharmacy
    Department of Pharmaceutical Health Services Research
    220 Arch St, Baltimore, MD 21201
    PI: Susan dosReis, Ph.D.;; 410-706-0807
    This research study is funded by a contract from the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (ME-1306-01511)

Most Americans report a personal connection to those who have abused prescription painkillers; Whites more likely to be affected than Blacks or Hispanics

0 Comments | Posted

Poll Finds 9 Percent Say a Family Member or Close Friend Died of an Overdose; 27 Percent Say Either They or Someone Close to Them Has Been Addicted

With prescription painkiller abuse garnering more attention from the media and policymakers, the latest Kaiser Family Foundation Health Tracking Poll finds most Americans have a personal connection to the issue.

In total, 56 percent report a personal connection to painkiller abuse, because they either know someone who has taken a painkiller that wasn't prescribed to them; have been addicted to painkillers themselves or know someone who has; or know someone who died from an overdose. Whites are more likely than Blacks and Hispanics to say they have a personal connection to prescription painkiller abuse (63% vs. 44% and 37%, respectively).

The total includes a surprising 16 percent who say they know someone who died, including 9 percent who describe that person as a close friend or family member. In addition, 27 percent say either they themselves have been, or a family member or close friend, has been addicted to painkillers.


The poll provides a detailed look at the public's views, experiences and knowledge about prescription painkiller abuse, including a look at the importance they place on the issue.

Half (50%) say reducing prescription painkiller and heroin abuse should be a top priority for their governor and legislature, ranking the issue below improving public education (76%), making health care more accessible and affordable (68%), attracting and retaining businesses and jobs (64%), and reducing crime (64%), but similar to protecting the environment (54%), reforming the criminal justice system (50%), and improving infrastructure (46%).

Large majorities also say a number of strategies to reduce prescription painkiller abuse would be at least somewhat effective, such as providing treatment for those who are addicted (85%), monitoring doctors’ prescribing habits (82%), public education and awareness programs (80%), training doctors on the appropriate use of painkillers (79%), and encouraging people who were prescribed painkillers to dispose of any extras once they no longer medically need them (69%).

About equal shares say addressing the issue should primarily be the responsibility of the federal (36%) or state government (39%), while fewer (16%) say it should fall to local governments. Republicans are more likely to say the responsibility primarily falls to state governments, while Democrats are more apt to say it falls to the federal government.

The tracking poll this month also finds more people with an unfavorable view of the Affordable Care Act than a favorable view (45% vs. 38%).  Views of the health care law had been narrowly divided for much of the year.  As in the past, there is a stark partisan divide, with most Democrats (63%) having a favorable opinion, most Republicans (75%) having an unfavorable one, and independents in the middle (36% favorable, 44% unfavorable).  

The public also remains split on what Congress should do next: 30 percent say they would like Congress to repeal the entire law, 12 percent want Congress to scale it back, 16 percent want to move forward with implementing the law as is, and 26 percent want Congress to expand what the law does.

The survey finds that about a third of the public (35%, including 40% of the uninsured) say they are closely following news coverage of the ACA’s third open enrollment period. Seven in 10 (69%) of the uninsured say health insurance is something they need, though most have not tried to get health insurance recently.  Among those without health insurance, the largest share (33%) cites affordability of insurance as the reason they remain uninsured.

Read the Poll

The poll was designed and analyzed by public opinion researchers at the Kaiser Family Foundation and was conducted from Nov. 10 to 17, 2015 among a nationally representative random digit dial telephone sample of 1,352. Interviews were conducted in English and Spanish by landline (540) and cell phone (812). The margin of sampling error is plus or minus 3 percentage points for the full sample. For results based on subgroups, the margin of sampling error may be higher.

Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.

Why Paper Tigers Works- Behind the scenes with the Children’s Resilience Initiative

0 Comments | Posted

Theresa Barila, Children's Resiliency Initiative, announced as plenary speaker for the 29th Annual Research & Policy Conference, March 13 - 16, 2016!

Theresa Barila, co-founder of the Children’s Resilience Initiative and longtime community mobilizer in Walla Walla, WA. will share the “back-story” to the documentary Paper Tigers, now in national screenings. Theresa will describe how a focus on common language, common agenda and the community capacity development model of the Family Policy Council, created the context, structure and support not just for Paper Tigers but for the many other untold resilience-based stories underway in Walla Walla. Newly released research showing how youth positive supports and resilience-building strategies can buffer the negative effects of ACES – even for youth with a large number of ACES- will also be reviewed.

  • Get more details about the 29th Annual Research & Policy Conference here.

About the plenary speaker
teri2Theresa Barila is coordinator of the Walla Walla County Community Network, part of the Washington State Community Network System. Together, this family-community-state partnership reduces expensive social problems by involving each community in finding its own unique pathway to thriving families. Building community capacity is a key element of the Network’s mission. One example of community capacity development is the creation of the Children’s Resilience Initiative to bring awareness of the impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences as the major determinant of adult- and public- health to the Walla Walla Valley community for practical application, with an emphasis on Resilience. This work has attracted national attention in part due to its grassroots organizational development and the focus on the hope of Resilience.

Theresa has a Masters of Science in Fisheries Management and a Bachelor of Science in Biology. Born and raised in Washington, D.C., she migrated west in 1981 and now calls the Pacific Northwest home. Her area of expertise for 20 years with salmon and steelhead Federal recovery planning in the Snake and Columbia River system was focused on fish stress and physiology. She shifted career goals in 1998 when she resigned from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and accepted the role of Network Coordinator. She has lived in Walla Walla since 1984, and has been the Network coordinator since 1998. She has two children: a 34 year old son and a 25 year old daughter. Experiencing the world of a special needs child with Asperger’s Syndrome (Autism Spectrum) has significantly shaped Teri’s thinking on systems, education, resilience and advocacy for children.

Webinar alert: An Overview of Current Research and Implementation Best Practices in Wraparound

0 Comments | Posted

Date/Time: Tuesday, January 19, 2016, 11am - 12pm PST / 2pm - 3pm EST

This webinar will set the context for the importance of Wraparound quality, fidelity, and implementation supports. A review of the latest innovations, data, and research will be presented on such areas as cost, outcomes, workforce supports, and evidence-based clinical practices.

Student speaks out about new Masters in Child & Adolescent Behavioral Health program at USF

0 Comments | Posted

The fully online Master of Science Degree in Child & Adolescent Behavioral Health (MSCABH) at the University of South Florida prepares professionals to serve in public and non-profit agencies and schools that work with diverse children and adolescents experiencing behavioral health challenges and their families.  Read below what one of our first students in the Youth & Behavioral Health Concentration, Christine Gitch, has to say about the program.

An interview with Christine Gitch, student in the Youth & Behavioral Health Concentration

gitchWhy did you choose the MSCABH program at USF?
I wanted to get my foot in the door to my dream of helping children and adolescents, and to acquire the extensive education needed for behavioral health. When I read about the diversity of courses in the MSCABH program, that’s when my aspiration reached its peak.

Tell us about your undergraduate degree.
I obtained my Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism at Rider University in New Jersey.

How did you find out about the USF MSCABH program?
After being at USF for one semester studying aging and neuroscience, I gradually realized my true passion was to study mental health in children. I set up a meeting with the director of the MSCABH program, who patiently spoke with me about all of my options (even alternate programs at USF). Not only was this person extremely influential, but he is the reason I applied to the MSCABH program. He introduced me to a professor in the program, who is now my advisor, who also did an incredible job explaining the courses and helping me choose the right track.

Have you had any experiences working in the field of child and adolescent behavioral/mental health?
I worked with children for six years at a childcare center in New Jersey. As the years went by, more and more children were being diagnosed with developmental disorders and mental health issues, and my love for the job only increased from there, and I chose to continue to my education. During my first semester in the MSCABH program, I sought out any professors in the program who would willingly let me get involved with their research. From there, I was introduced to USF’s Center for Autism and Related Disabilities (CARD) and soon began volunteering for them.

I am currently a mentor to a 23 year-old student with Autism Spectrum Disorder. The more experience I gain working with individuals with developmental disabilities, the more my thirst for knowledge and research continues to grow.

What do you hope to achieve with this degree? Do you have a dream job in mind?
I aspire to be a highly trained researcher who supports people with developmental and behavioral disabilities. My goal is to excel in behavioral health research and implement groundbreaking ideas to help individuals who suffer from behavioral health disorders. I have several dreams in mind, and this program definitely keeps my options open.

This program has been more than satisfying. The wide range of courses, the variety of material, and the excellent networking opportunities have taught me more in three semesters than I learned throughout my four years of undergrad. I think one of the most intriguing aspects of this program is the fact that the other students are just as passionate about behavioral health as I am, which makes it easy to converse in a knowledge-filled atmosphere.

  • To learn more about the Master of Science degree in Child & Adolescent Behavioral Health, visit the USF website.
  • For more information, contact Bruce Lubotsky Levin, DrPH, MPH Program Director -, (813) 974-6400
  • Sandra Dwinell, Admissions Advisor -, (813) 974-0342

Applications being accepted for the 2016 National Center for Child Traumatic Stress grant

0 Comments | Posted

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Mental Health Services, is accepting applications for the fiscal year (FY) 2016 National Center for Child Traumatic Stress (NCCTS) grant. The purpose of the NCCTS is to develop and maintain a collaborative network structure, support resource and policy development and dissemination, and coordinate the network’s national child trauma education and training efforts.

The NCCTS is part of the National Child Traumatic Stress Initiative (NCTSI). The purpose of NCTSI is to improve the quality of trauma treatment and services in communities for children, adolescents, and their families who experience or witness traumatic events, and to increase access to effective trauma-focused treatment and services for children and adolescents throughout the nation. The initiative is designed to address child trauma issues by creating a national network of grantees—the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) or Network—that works collaboratively to develop and promote effective trauma treatment and services for children, adolescents, and their families exposed to a wide array of traumatic events.

  • Application Due Date: Wednesday, January 20, 2016
  • Anticipated Award Amount: Up to $6,000,000
  • More information can be found here.

Urban Institute looking for examples of evidence-based family intervention strategies

1 Comment | Posted

The Urban Institute and Child Trends have been contracted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) to identify evidence-based, evidence-informed, and promising practices that exist for family intervention, including strategies that address family conflict to prevent youth from becoming homeless, family reunification strategies for youth who experience homelessness, and other strategies for reconnecting youth to family when a physical reunification may not be appropriate. The review will also examine interventions with a family component that are used in systems outside of Runaway and Homeless Youth programs (e.g., child welfare, mental health, substance abuse, justice) that might be appropriate for youth experiencing or at risk of homelessness

We are currently looking for evaluations of interventions – published or unpublished – that meet the following criteria:

  • Include a focus on relationships with family (e.g., the intervention addresses family outcomes like communication, problem solving, or parenting) or includes family members in some of the activities (e.g., family members attend activities separately or jointly with the youth).
  • Target youth between the ages of 12-24
  • Target youth who are at risk of or experiencing homelessness
  • Target risk factors for homelessness(e.g., family conflict, substance abuse, etc.) that are often addressed by other sectors such as child welfare, education, mental health, and justice

Please send any resources (e.g., evaluations, reports or other write-ups, or other documented information) that you think might be relevant to Ann Schindler at . If possible, please provide either an electronic version of the resource or a link where we might be able to access it. We will be accepting resources for inclusion through November 27, 2015. If you have questions about this request, please contact Brandon Stratford at If you have questions about the project, contact Mike Pergamit at .Thank you in advance for your assistance.

HHS Seeks new Members for American Indian and Alaska Native Health Research Advisory Council

0 Comments | Posted

The HHS Office of Minority Health is currently recruiting to fill several vacancies on the HHS American Indian and Alaska Native Health Research Advisory Council (HRAC) which addresses health disparities in Indian County. The HRAC supports collaborative research efforts between HHS and tribal partners by providing input and guidance on policies, strategies, and programmatic issues affecting Indian tribes. The HRAC consists of 16 delegates: one delegate from each of the 12 Indian Health Service Areas; and four national-at-large delegates.

  • Nominations for council members will be accepted through November 30, 2015.
  • Learn more here.
  • Sign Up Now
  • Take Action
  • Contribute