Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Award for Health Equity presented by Youth M.O.V.E. National

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Youth M.O.V.E. National is pleased to offer the Robert Wood Johnson Award for Health Equity presented by Youth M.O.V.E. National. Youth M.O.V.E. National has partnered with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to honor and reward excellence in promoting health equity and systems transformation work.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Award for Health Equity presented by Youth M.O.V.E. National recognizes and honors individuals who have successfully implemented a systems change approach within the past two years to improve outcomes for those impacted by health disparities. With this award, we are aiming to recognize and celebrate an individual who has helped to create a culture of health, particularly in one or more of the following areas: access to quality care, education, employment, income, community environment, housing, and public safety.

One nominee (an individual or team of up to two individuals) will receive national recognition, as well as a $3000 prize. The prize money is unrestricted and may be used in any way determined by the winner.

Eligibility- Consistent with the Official Rules for this award, in order to be considered for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Award for Health Equity presented by Youth M.O.V.E. National, nominees must be:

  • *Citizens or legal residents of the United States;
  • *Thirteen (13) years of age or older;
  • *Not a trustee, director, officer, stakeholder, employee, contractor, agent, representative, affiliate of Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Youth M.O.V.E. National, selection committee, or the spouse/domestic partner, parent, sibling, child, or grandchild of any of the foregoing;
  • *Have not previously received any Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Award for Health Equity from any sponsor organization in any year.

Enter your nomination here!

Nominations Open for 2016 RockStar Awards

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rockstarYouth M.O.V.E. National presents the annual RockStar Award to individuals and/or 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. If you know someone or an organization who meets these guidelines and you would like to nominate them, please complete and return this application no later than September 5, 2016.

  • Get started on your application here!

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge Promote Mental Health Awareness

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The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry are spearheading the Heads Together campaign to end stigma around mental health. Heads Together aims to change the national conversation on mental health and wellbeing, and will be a partnership with inspiring charities with decades of experience in tackling stigma, raising awareness, and providing vital help for people with mental health challenges.

There has been huge progress made to tackle stigma surrounding mental health in recent decades, but it still remains a key issue driven by negative associations, experience and language. Through this campaign, Their Royal Highnesses are keen to build on the great work that is already taking place across the country, to ensure that people feel comfortable with their everyday mental wellbeing, feel able to support their friends and families through difficult times, and that stigma no longer prevents people getting help they need.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visited a helpline service run by YoungMinds to help tackle the stigma associated with calling support services and encourage those who need help to seek it.

Their Royal Highnesses were given a taster of the training that equips helpline volunteers to provide support to those who call. And that training can help all of us support friends, family members or colleagues who might need a bit of support. Here are some top tips to help us all help each other. Download them and share them with others.

5 tips

Children’s Institute Subject of MDRC Study on Improving Service Delivery for Children Affected By Trauma

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(LOS ANGELES)—On Monday, August 8, MDRC—a nonprofit, nonpartisan education and social policy research organization dedicated to learning what works to improve programs and policies that affect low-income people and communities—released a new study on Los Angeles-based organization Children’s Institute, Inc., (CII) titled “Improving Service Delivery for Children Affected by Trauma.”

Created in 1974 by the Ford Foundation and a group of federal agencies, MDRC’s mission is to find solutions to some of the most difficult problems facing the nation—from reducing poverty and bolstering economic self-sufficiency to improving public education and college graduation rates. MDRC is best known for mounting large-scale demonstrations and evaluations of real-world policies and programs targeted to low-income people.

Founded in 1906, Children’s Institute, Inc., is one of the country’s largest children’s services organizations, serving more than 28,000 children and families a year in some of Los Angeles’s most challenged communities, including Watts and South L.A. CII is a multi service organization that provides holistic and coordinated support to children and families by engaging them in multiple, trauma-informed services: clinical services to address children’s mental health needs, early childhood programs for young children, programs designed to help parents and guardians better support their children, and youth activities designed to develop protective factors. A central aspect of CII’s clinical services is using evidence-based practices—highly specified treatment modes that research has shown to be effective in treating a targeted population. This comprehensive model contrasts with the often fragmented and uncoordinated child welfare system.

MDRC used a mix of quantitative and qualitative data to assess the implementation of CII’s services during the study period.  In particular, the team assessed the level of client participation in multiple types of services and evidence-based practices. The results of the study found that nearly all clients receiving CII’s clinical services also participate in family support and/or youth development services at CII, which is a stated goal of the organization’s Integrated Service Model. To implement the integrated model, CII had to overcome the challenges of coordinating care across a fragmented system. Flexible funding—like that provided to CII by the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation and the Social Innovation Fund—was essential to providing clients with non-clinical services.  The study found that other multiservice organizations might also want to creatively weave together public and private funding streams to integrate services effectively.

With nearly a third of CII’s clinical clients receiving an evidence-based practice, the study’s findings confirm CII’s leadership in providing these state-of-the-art services, especially given the 2012 estimate that only 2 percent of youth receive care that is evidence-based through California’s county mental health plans. 

The in-depth fidelity study examining CII’s implementation of Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy indicated that CII’s fidelity to the treatment model was aligned with that of other community-based organizations in similar fidelity studies.

Moving forward, CII is poised to contribute to the national dialogue on how to implement holistic, trauma-informed human services for high-risk populations. The organization will utilize the results of this study to contribute more broadly to the mental health field by disseminating findings related to the implementation of evidence-based practices in real-world contexts, and by demonstrating improved clinical outcomes for high-risk youth who receive family support and youth development services.

CII is also involved in MDRC’s ongoing Building Bridges and Bonds study of fatherhood programs, funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. In this separate and unrelated study, MDRC and CII will be building evidence about a unique CII program called Project FatherhoodSM that promotes and builds parenting skills in men, increases conflict management skills, and reduces co-parenting conflict for both parents.

  • Download the report here.

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 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:

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:

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:

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