Behavioral health on college campuses

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Looks like an interesting webisode coming up on KSOC-TV. Panelists will be focusing on the impact of mental health issues and academic success among college students.

Behavioral Health on College Campuses – Live KSOC-TV Webisode
Thursday, September 24, 2015 | 2 p.m. Eastern Time

  • Description:
    Mental health issues are a significant barrier to academic success among college students. Untreated mental illness—including depression, anxiety, and eating disorders—in the college population is associated with lower grade-point averages and higher probability of dropping out. However, help is available for students who may be struggling.

    KSOC-TV will address the topic of mental and substance use disorders among college students during its latest live, interactive webisode, "Behavioral Health on College Campuses."

    The panel will address a range of issues, including protective factors that promote positive mental health, warning signs that can alert friends and others that someone may be struggling and strategies to intervene, and access to services and supports.
  • Access the Live Webisode here

Tom Insel leaves NIMH for Alphabet

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inselNetwork faithful know well of our admiration, and yes, sometimes consternation, with outgoing NIMH Director, Tom Insel. While we didn't always agree with him, our respect for his leadership and commitment to better understanding the intricacies of mental illness and the brain have always been at 110%. We will miss his leadership and wish him well in his new venture. Read the announcement from NIH Director, Francis Collins, below:

NIH Director’s Statement Regarding Dr. Thomas Insel’s Departure

  • Dear Colleagues,

    After serving 13 years as Director for the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), Thomas R. Insel, M.D., will step down effective November 1, 2015. Tom first served the NIMH from 1980 to 1994 in the Division of Intramural Research, and then returned as Director in 2002. Between NIMH stints he served as Professor of Psychiatry at Emory University, where he was the founding director of the Center for Behavioral Neuroscience and director of an NIH-funded Center for Autism Research. From 1994 to 1999, he was Director of the Yerkes Regional Primate Research Center in Atlanta. Known for his research into the neurobiology of complex social behaviors, Tom was a pioneer in the study of the role oxytocin and vasopressin in social bonding.

    I had the privilege of serving as co-chair of the Search Committee that recruited Tom as the NIMH Director in 2002. Then I had the joy and benefit of working with him as a fellow Institute Director, and for the last six years as NIH Director. Under Tom’s leadership, the NIMH has nurtured a culture of science that puts the needs of patients with serious mental illness at the center of its efforts. This has resulted in major initiatives like the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium, which involves over 500 researchers in over 80 institutions across 25 countries; the Research Domain Criteria (RDoC) effort, which is developing a new taxonomy for mental illness research; the Army STARRS (Study to Assess Risk and Resilience in Servicemembers) project, an unprecedented partnership between the NIH and the Department of Defense that is the largest study of mental health risk and resilience ever conducted among military personnel; the National Database for Autism Research (NDAR), the most significant repository for autism related data; and RAISE (Recovery After an Initial Schizophrenia Effort), an NIMH research effort that seeks to fundamentally change the trajectory and prognosis of schizophrenia through coordinated and aggressive early treatment.

    Tom has also been at center of many significant trans-NIH and HHS efforts, chairing the Congressionally established Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC), a Federal advisory committee that coordinates autism research and services; co-chairing the Blueprint for Neuroscience Research, which supported the pioneering Human Connectome Project and established the gold standard for neuroimaging and a treasure trove of genetic, behavioral, and imaging data, all openly accessible; co-chairing the NIH Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) program, which has the ambitious goal of accelerating the development and application of innovative technologies to map brain circuits; and co-leading Common Fund efforts in Molecular Libraries, Single Cell Biology, and Genotype-Tissue Expression (GTEx). Tom has the notable distinction of serving simultaneously as the Director for two NIH Institutes/Centers, heading up the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) at its founding, until a permanent director was appointed.

    In terms of Tom’s future, he is definitely not retiring. He is planning to join the Google Life Sciences (GLS) team at Alphabet (formerly Google) to lead a new effort that will focus on mental health. The GLS mission is to create technology for earlier detection, better prevention, and more effective management of serious health conditions. In his new role, Tom will be exploring this approach for a wide spectrum of issues in mental health. While we conduct a national search for a new NIMH Director, Bruce Cuthbert, Ph.D., will serve as Acting Director. Bruce has held a number of leadership positions at the NIMH, serving as the Director of the Division of Adult Translational Research from 2009 to 2014, and until recently devoting his efforts full time to the Institute’s RDoC effort. Bruce is a clinical psychologist and an internationally recognized researcher. I deeply appreciate his willingness to lead the Institute during this transition period.

    Please give Bruce your full support, and join me in congratulating Tom on his extraordinary time at the NIH, thanking him for all he’s done, and wishing him the very best in this next stage of his career.

    Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D.

    Director, National Institutes of Health

System of Care Institute is looking for a new Director

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Hey Network faithful, this looks like a great opportunity for the right person!

  • Job: Director, System of Care Institute
  • Location: Portland, OR
  • Deadline: 10/01/2015
  • Website:
  • Sponsor: System of Care Institute, The Center for Improvement of Child and Family Services (CCF), School of Social Work, Portland State University

The Center for Improvement of Child and Family Services (CCF) integrates research, education, and training to advance the delivery of services to children and families. We work with agency and community partners to promote a child serving system that protects children, respects families, and builds community capacity to address emerging needs. Based within the Center for Improvement of Child and Family Services, the Systems of Care Institute (SOCI) provides training, consultation and organizational support for the implementation of family/youth centered, culturally responsive and community based service delivery system. Using Systems of Care as a foundational component, SOCI has a proven track record of supporting the implementation of Wraparound and integrated care coordination processes at the local, regional and state level throughout the Northwest.

The Director of System of Care Team provides leadership for the System of Care Institute, an externally funded program of the School of Social Work’s suite of research and sponsored projects. This Institute offers consulting and training designed to promote system of care principles in child and family services across multiple systems. System of care principles include: Strengths-based, family and youth driven, collaborative, and culturally and linguistically responsive programming.

For a full position description and to apply, please visit Portland State University's Human Resources web site.

Application will be accepted until finalists are identified.

Rock Star Awards celebrates champions for youth

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It’s that time of year again; Youth Motivating Other through Voices of Experience (M.O.V.E.) National is celebrating the 5th Annual RockStar Awards! This prestigious award honors individuals and organizations who make an outstanding contribution to the improvement of youth, services and systems that support positive growth and development of young people who have lived experience in various child-serving systems including, but not limited to, mental health, juvenile justice, education, and child welfare. On your mark, get set go! NOMINATIONS are OPEN until October 15th! National RockStars will be announced on Saturday, November 21st during the 26th Annual National Federation of Families Conference in Washington, DC.

Alcohol, tobacco, and prescription drug use by teens declines; Level of youth with major depressive episodes remains high

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SAMHSA Press Release - Thursday, September 10, 2015 ~

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) latest National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) report shows progress in reducing some forms of substance use – especially among adolescents. Substance use levels in many areas, however have remained relatively constant. Mental illness levels have also remained constant over time, but adolescents are experiencing higher levels of depression than in past years.

SAMHSA issued its 2014 NSDUH report on mental and substance use disorders as part of the kick off for the 26th annual observance of National Recovery Month. Recovery Month broadens public awareness to the fact that behavioral health is essential to health, prevention works, treatment for substance use and mental disorders is effective, and people can and do recover from these disorders.

With regard to substance use, the report found some areas of progress, particularly among adolescents. For example, the percentage of adolescents aged 12 to 17 who were current (past month) tobacco users declined by roughly half from 15.2 percent in 2002 to 7.0 percent in 2014. Similarly, the level of adolescents engaged in past month illegal alcohol use dropped from 17.6 percent to 11.5 percent over the same period. The level of current nonmedical users of prescription pain relievers decreased from 3.2 percent in 2002 to 1.9 percent in 2014 among adolescents aged 12 to 17.

Marijuana continues to be the most commonly used illicit drug. In 2014, roughly 8.4 percent of Americans age 12 and older were current users of marijuana – up from 7.5 percent in 2013. Marijuana use is especially growing among those aged 26 and older – from 5.6 percent in 2013 to 6.6 percent in 2014. The percentage of adolescents who were current marijuana users in 2014 (7.4 percent) was similar to recent years.

Although the survey shows nonmedical pain reliever use continues to be the second most common type of illicit drug use, the percentage of people aged 12 or older in 2014 who were current nonmedical users of pain relievers (1.6 percent) was lower than in most years since 2002, and about the same as in 2013. However, current heroin use increased from 0.1 percent of the population age 12 and older in 2013 to 0.2 in 2014.

Overall, the use of illicit drugs – including marijuana – among Americans aged 12 and older increased from 9.4 percent in 2013 to 10.2 percent in 2014. This was driven particularly by the increase in adult marijuana use.

The report also shows that about 43.6 million adults aged 18 or older experienced some form of mental illness in the past year. It also shows that 6.6 percent of the adult population and 11.4 percent of adolescents aged 12 to 17 (2.8 million adolescents) experienced major depressive episodes in the past year. Among adults, these levels are roughly consistent with levels seen in recent years. There was a higher percentage of youth with MDE in 2014 than in each year from 2004 and 2012 – similar to the 2013 estimate. Youth who experienced a major depressive episode in the past year were more likely than other youth to have used any illicit drugs in the past year.

“Although progress has been made in some areas, especially among young people, there are many challenges we need to meet in addressing the behavioral health issues facing our nation,” said Acting SAMHSA Administrator Kana Enomoto. “Fortunately there is effective action being taken by the Administration and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services with initiatives to reduce prescription opioid and heroin related overdose, death, and dependence as well as many evidence-based early intervention programs to increase access to treatment and recovery for people with serious mental illness. These kind of evidence-based approaches for treating mental and substance use disorders provide hope and recovery for people with behavioral health needs.”

“The data released today show some signs of progress, including lower levels of nonmedical prescription drug use and teen alcohol and tobacco use; however we still have significant challenges to address,” said Michael Botticelli, Director of National Drug Control Policy. “We know that evidence-based prevention efforts are the most effective way to reduce drug use and to support the roughly 90 percent of American youth who do not use illicit drugs. This Administration will continue to expand community-based efforts to prevent drug use, pursue ‘smart on crime’ approaches to drug enforcement, increase access to treatment, work to reduce overdose deaths, and support the millions of Americans in recovery.”

NSDUH is a scientific annual survey of approximately 67,500 people throughout the country, aged 12 and older. Because of its statistical power, NSDUH is a primary source of information on the scope and nature of many substance abuse and mental health issues affecting the nation.

Ensuring Safe Child Care for Children Needing Medication: Building a High Quality System of Medication Administration Training & Consultation

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chdiFinding a safe environment for children needing medication in child care settings can be difficult. Unfortunately, not all child care providers comply with State medication administration regulations designed to keep children safe.

Read the Child Health and Development Institute's (CHDI) latest issue brief to see how Connecticut is addressing this problem. Yes, the issue brief is specific to Connecticut, but the way CHDI presents its information is so well done, we think it worthy of sharing across the country. Use it to create something similar for your state!

  • CHDI's Issue Brief series can be found at Heck, you might as well sign up to receive their materials on a regular basis!

OxyContin for kids? Senator Manchin says "Just say no!"

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Senator Joe Manchin and a bipartisan group of eight colleagues are urging the HELP Committee leadership to "hold hearings on the exponential rise in the misues and abuse of opioid painkillers and consequent opioid overdose deaths as well as examine the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) recent decision to approve a frequently abused prescription opioid painkiller known as OxyContin for use by children as young as 11 years old."

Should there be any doubt about what should be done, Network faithful? We think not!

Institute for Translational Research seeking Scholars

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Interested in research? Enjoy hands-on learning in the real world? Want to make a positive difference in your community? If yes, then consider applying to become a scholar at the Institute for Translational Research in Adolescent Behavioral Health!

The Institute is a federally funded* state of the art research education program, that teaches the practical skills of translational and implementation science in the field of adolescent behavioral health. The Institute and its outstanding Institute Scholars work with community partners, academic mentors, and national mentors to advance the field of translational science and promote evidence-based practice.

The Institute is a collaborative effort between the University of South Florida College of Public Health, the University of South Florida College of Behavioral and Community Sciences, and local community partner agencies.

Funding is available to Institute Scholars for course credits (in-state tuition and fees) and related program activities including an opportunity to present their work at the Annual Research and Policy Conference on Child, Adolescent, and Young Adult Behavioral Health. Institute Scholars work with faculty mentors and community agency partners on a service-learning research project and earn a Graduate Certificate in Translational Research in Adolescent Behavioral Health. Nine credit hours are offered via online courses and six credit hours are earned through the completion of a service-learning project with a community agency.

Institute Scholars are admitted each fall and coursework will begin in the spring.

 Interested in applying?

*Funding for the Institute is provided by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, Grant 5R25DA031103-04

Project ABC launches "Toddlers Know What They Want" campaign

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On September 28, 2015 Project ABC will launch the new “Toddlers Know What They Want” PSA to expand conversations that help strengthen relationships between young children and their adults.

Relationships matter, even before they have words
This is one of the key messages for parents and caregivers of young children ages 12-24 months in a new Public Service Announcement produced by SAMHSA-funded Project ABC. We are looking for partners who can support us in getting this message out by posting on websites, sharing through social media, at conferences and trainings, and with parents and other caregivers. The PSA is available in English, Khmer and Spanish. More information is available in the document attached.

If you would like to join the #relationshipsmatter movement or you have any questions or please contact Adriana E. Molina at or 213.385.5100 x3087  by September 18, 2015 and sign up to receive the #relationshipsmatter campaign toolkit.

If you can play, let me know how you would like to participate and whom I should contact – You are also welcome to forward my information to your web master, training folks or any other social media savvy folks!

In collaboration,

Adriana E. Molina, MS, LMFT
Director of Social Marketing and Violence Prevention
Project ABC / Parent Support Circles
Children’s Institute, Inc.
310.783.4677 x3087

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