Friday Update

CMHNetwork 12-24-21

December 24, 2021

Greetings, Network faithful. Let’s start this edition of Friday Update with the beautiful German group, FAUN, singing their hit song, Federkleid. Enjoy the tune, do some medieval dancing, and then get to readin’ Friday Update, cuz we got work to do!

Most Important Reads of the Week

NNEDLearn 2022
Hey Network faithful, be sure to check out the National Network to Eliminate Disparities twelfth annual training opportunity for community-based organizations, NNEDLearn 2022.  The goal of NNEDLearn is to develop skills in evidence-supported and culturally appropriate mental illness and substance use prevention and treatment practices and to support practice implementation.  This training model includes two introductory webinars, a three-day virtual intensive training, and four follow-up virtual coaching sessions.  NNEDLearn participants will engage in the virtual intensive training sessions on April 26-28, 2022. Applications to participate in the virtual NNEDLearn 2022 are now available on the NNED website.

The Foresight Initiative: What’s Ahead for Youth and Youth Services
Our colleagues at Youth Catalytics have launched a new initiative, The Foresight Initiative. They are surveying practitioners in the field to find out how the past two years have affected their work, clients, and future goals. This survey represents an excellent opportunity to contribute to a shared understanding of how the youth services sector is confronting unprecedented disruption and uncertainty in response to the current paradigm-shifting reality. Learn more about The Foresight Initiative here!

Supporting Kids’ Mental Health During COVID-19
Kids are going back to school with their pens, pencils, books, and laptops—but this year, back-to-school is anything but ordinary. In addition to their school supplies, kids are also carrying the stress and uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has been challenging for many children, with some having experienced loss—be it the loss of a loved one due to COVID-19 or the loss of economic, food, or housing security. Many are experiencing the indirect effects of caregiver stress, which we know can impact children substantially. Kids are also dealing with the cumulative social effects of hybrid and remote schooling and the need for physical distancing, which may leave some feeling less connected with their peers and teachers.

Association of Online Risk Factors With Subsequent Youth Suicide-Related Behaviors in the United States
This research presents efforts to understand better the association between various potential risk behaviors and subsequent online suicide/self-harm behavior. Parents, clinicians, and suicide prevention organizations are increasingly faced with questions about the role and importance of online behaviors to suicide. This study provides information in this area to guide future research and suicide prevention activities.

Whether in Person or Virtual, Schools Can Focus on Mental Health
The past 18 months have been challenging for kids. They’ve navigated months to a year or more of virtual learning, including live and self-guided instruction. Many have experienced isolation, loneliness, and unsurprisingly, since kids were at home day after day with family members for a good chunk of the Covid pandemic, family issues. However, kids haven’t just reported concern for themselves but also their parents’ well-being. Many parents are stressed, and their children have noticed.

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.

A Hidden Pandemic of COVID-19: How Psychologists Are Helping Children Who Have Lost Caregivers to COVID-19
More than 1.5 million children have lost a caregiver during the COVID-19 pandemic, and many of them have suffered traumatic experiences. While losing a parent or caregiver is always a challenge to a child’s mental health, these traumas are magnified in a situation like COVID-19. A study published by The Lancet and led by epidemiologist Susan Hillis, PhD, who served on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s COVID-19 International Task Force, called such orphanhood a “hidden pandemic” and pointed to the likelihood of the tragic reverberations being felt well past childhood.

Are You Suffering from Parental Compassion Fatigue? You’re Not Alone But Here’s What to Do
With the stress of the pandemic, some parents are struggling with compassion fatigue. Here are some symptoms, causes, and expert-backed advice on how to handle it.

New Data Further Highlights Suicide Risk Disparity Among Queer Youth
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s 2019 Youth Risk Behavior Survey found that lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) youth continue to experience significantly more violence victimization and suicide risk than heterosexual youth.

Achieving Racial and Ethnic Equity in U.S. Health Care: A Scorecard of State Performance
Profound racial and ethnic disparities in health and well-being have long been the norm in the United States. Black and American Indian/Alaska Native (AIAN) people live fewer years, on average than white people. They are also more likely to die from treatable conditions, die during or after pregnancy and suffer pregnancy-related severe complications, and more likely to lose children in infancy. Black and AIAN people are also at higher risk for many chronic health conditions, from diabetes to hypertension. The COVID-19 pandemic has only worsened, with average life expectancies for Black, Latinx/Hispanic, and, in all likelihood, AIAN people falling more sharply compared to white people.

A Toolkit for Child Welfare Agencies to Help Young People Heal and Thrive During and After Natural Disasters
This Toolkit is for child welfare 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.

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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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