Friday Update

CMHNetwork 12-17-21

December 17, 2021

Greetings, Network faithful. Are you familiar with The Foals, an English rock band from Oxford? If so, cheers. If not, you are in for a treat. Enjoy their most recent hit, Wake Me Up, dance around the room a bit, wake up already, and then get to readin’ Friday Update, cuz we got work to do!

Most Important Reads of the Week

2021-2022 Appropriate Care and Treatment Initiative Survey
Hey Network faithful, please spread the word about this important survey!
The study team at the University of South Florida (USF), Department of Child and Family Studies is conducting a national online survey of former youth residents of residential treatment facilities and their parents and caregivers to understand their experiences and perspective of the care received by the facilities. The types of facilities include programs such as therapeutic boarding schools, wilderness camps, residential treatment centers, and boot camps. The survey will be completed online via the web-based survey links below. The information shared will be anonymous and cannot be linked to individuals in any way. We will create a report based on the answers provided by all survey participants to inform policymakers, parents, teens, and treatment providers with the goal of improving services and regulations. The survey will take about 15 minutes to complete.

Gary Blau Re-Joins SAMHSA as Senior Advisor for Children, Youth and Families
Welcome back, Gary!
Dr. Gary Blau is rejoining the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) as the Senior Advisor for Children, Youth, and Families. He rejoins SAMHSA after spending over fifteen years as the Chief of the Child, Adolescent, and Family Branch, where he provided national leadership for child, adolescent, and young adult mental health and helped create “systems of care” across the United States.

NIMH’s Small Business Research Program
Did you know NIMH supports small businesses in developing technologies that help transform the understanding and treatment of mental illnesses? The NIMH Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs support research and development by small businesses that are aligned with the NIMH Strategic Plan and aimed at the development and validation of new methods, tools, and technologies to advance understanding, prevention and treatment of mental illness and to understand normal brain function.

Racially Disproportionate Discipline in Early Childhood Educational Settings
In a recent analysis from Pre-K through elementary school systems, U.S. states reported 1.27 million cases of young children enrolled in public schools being suspended or expelled in a single school year. Analyses also show that preschool children are expelled at rates more than three times higher than children in K-12 settings. These alarming statistics have led to new legislation, codes of conduct, and efforts by education officials and policymakers alike to reduce the use of suspensions, expulsions, and other exclusionary practices.

Differential Impact, Differential Adjustments: Diverse Experiences of the COVID-19 Pandemic by College Students in an Upper-Midwestern University, USA
As we continue to battle the COVID-19 pandemic and the new variants, we need to remain mindful of its impact on students and their unique experiences, particularly the variety of stressors they encounter. In this qualitative study, the authors introduce a matrix of COVID-19’s impact on students. Drawing on systems and ecological systems theories, the authors discuss how the onset of COVID-19 and its mitigation measures impacted university students across the broad spectrum of their lives, including their families.

Preventing Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs): Leveraging the Best Available Evidence
An estimated 62% of adults surveyed across 23 states reported that they had experienced one ACE during childhood and nearly one-quarter reported that they had experienced three or more ACEs. ACEs can have negative, lasting effects on health, wellbeing, and opportunity. These exposures can disrupt healthy brain development, affect social development, compromise immune systems, and can lead to substance misuse and other unhealthy coping behaviors.

National Council for Mental Wellbeing: NatCon22, April 11-13, 2022
The National Council for Mental Wellbeing invites you to join other professionals representing the very best of our field as they convene at NatCon22, the largest conference in mental health and substance use treatment, from April 11-13, 2022, to be held at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center in the Washington, DC, metropolitan area.

Request for Proposals Addressing Access to Care
The Klingenstein Third Generation Foundation announces the opening of applications for its Request for Proposals Addressing Access to Care. The Foundation solicits applications for investigator-initiated proposals conducting research to demonstrate the benefits of new health care delivery models or prevention approaches for improving access to mental health care for youth. Academic researchers from universities or research institutions that provide mental and behavioral health programs for children and adolescents are eligible. PROPOSALS ARE DUE 11:59 PM EST, JANUARY 10, 2022

 A Comprehensive Technical Package for the Prevention of Youth Violence and Associated Risk Behaviors
This technical package represents a select group of strategies based on the best available evidence to help communities and states sharpen their focus on prevention activities with the greatest potential to prevent youth violence and its consequences. These strategies include promoting family environments that support healthy development; providing quality education early in life; strengthening youth’s skills; connecting youth to caring adults and activities; creating protective community environments; and intervening to lessen harms and prevent future risk.

A New Tool for Solving Missing and Murdered Cases in Indian Country
Bryan Newland, Assistant Secretary, Indian Affairs, recently announced the launch of the Bureau of Indian Affairs’ new website dedicated to solving missing and murdered cases in Indian Country. The tool draws attention to unresolved cases involving indigenous persons for which the BIA, Office of Justice Services, Missing and Murdered Unit (MMU) is working and invites the public to help law enforcement solve those cases. This is one of the first efforts to actually track and to help with the large number of missing Indian Youth. 

First Steps to Promote Good Behavior
What parents and teachers do when children are not acting out may be the first step to promoting good behavior. Developmental psychologist Ed Feil, PhD, studies “First Step Next,” a school and home-based intervention program that redirects focus from negative behavior to more positive behavior by providing positive feedback when kids behave well. Giving kids a pat on the back or telling them what a good job they’re going can help improve positive social skills and decrease negative behaviors.

A Toolkit for Juvenile Justice Agencies to Help Young People Heal and Thrive During and After Natural Disasters
This Toolkit is for juvenile justice staff, supervisors, and administrators who work with and on behalf of children, youth, and families who experience a natural disaster. The information and resources in the Toolkit provide evidence- and trauma-informed guidance for promoting positive outcomes for children and youth who experience natural disasters.

Using Photos to Capture Young Adults’ Experiences with Positive Youth Development
While some job training programs have employed Positive Youth Development (PYD) as an approach for working with young adult clients and their unique situations, qualitative research on PYD has generally not incorporated these young people’s perspectives. For this project, Child Trends has used photovoice—a method that draws out youth voice through photo-based prompts—to learn how young people feel about their experiences with Positive Youth Development.

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About the Author

Scott Bryant-Comstock

Hello, I’m Scott Bryant-Comstock, CEO and founder of the Children’s Mental Health Network. For the past 40 years, my journey as a mental health advocate has traveled from volunteering at a suicide and crisis center, professional roles as a therapist in an outpatient clinic, in-home family therapist, state mental health official, Board Chair for a county mental health program, and national reviewer of children’s mental health systems reform efforts. As the founder of the Children’s Mental Health Network (2009), I lead the Network’s efforts to grow a national online forum to exchange ideas on how to improve children’s mental health research, policy, and practice.

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