Friday Update

CMHNetwork Friday Update 1-7-22

January 07, 2022

Greetings, Network faithful. Okay, I’ve found a great DJ mix by J. Worra called Check Out. Cue this up for your next zoom meeting and use it for the intro to your session—three minutes of heart-pumping joy. Enjoy the mix, and then get to readin’ Friday Update, cuz we got work to do!  

Most Important Reads of the Week

Coping During COVID: How Parents Rated Family Peer Support
The pandemic upended life for families in America. Families whose children have mental health needs were particularly hard hit. However, family support did not miss a beat, and many families sought out both 1 to 1 family support and virtual support groups and Facebook groups. In August 2020, the Parent/Professional Advocacy League asked families where they got their support during COVID restrictions. 81% said that 1 to 1 support helped them find care during this time. Unsurprisingly, parents also moved online in droves, where they joined communities of other parents.

Postdoctoral Fellowships in Mental Health Services Research
Our wonderful colleagues at the Department of Psychiatry at UMass Chan Medical School are recruiting for two postdoctoral fellowships. One fellowship follows a Clinical Investigation Track, and the other follows a Psychiatric Rehabilitation Research Track (Full description here). Both positions will begin in September 2022 and continue through August 2024. Each fellow will be partnered with faculty mentors to define their area of research focus, which should build upon existing Center research. Fellows will participate in ongoing research and grant submissions, complete pilot projects, have opportunities for publications and presentations using new and existing datasets, and prepare independent research grants. This postdoc is an excellent opportunity, Network faithful!

Science and Reading: A One-Two Punch for Success
A new study from the University of Pennsylvania studied more than 1,500 kindergartners who participated in the ARC Core curriculum, which combines literacy and science instruction. The study found that students who participated in ARC performed better academically than those in the standard curriculum. The scientists suggest that parents read to their kids 30 minutes a day and make it fun by including books about animals, bugs, and other science topics.

Announcing the National SOGIE Center – Promoting the Wellbeing of LGBTQ+ Youth and Their Families
Leading social justice organizations have joined together to form a national center to address the needs of LGBTQ+ young people and their families involved in public systems through cutting-edge resources and assistance. Led by The Institute for Innovation and Implementation at the University of Maryland’s School of Social Work (The Institute), the National SOGIE Center consolidates the latest evidence-based tools, training, and other resources, as well as consultation, for those working in public youth-serving systems.

The Kids Are Not All Right: The Urgent Need to Expand Effective Behavioral Health Services for Children and Youth
Spreading and scaling proven interventions throughout the health, public health, and educational systems is the necessary, if overdue, response to the current behavioral health crisis facing children and youth. All levels of government, industry, providers, advocates, and community organizations should commit themselves to working across sectors and silos to build delivery and public health systems needed to advance kids’ health and well-being. The stakes for millions of children, families, and society are high and depend on taking comprehensive and immediate action.

Mental Health and Our Changing Climate—Impacts, Inequities, Responses
The American Psychological Association and ecoAmerica jointly released Mental Health and Our Changing Climate, a report that chronicles the impacts of climate change on Americans’ mental health and psychological well-being and provides guidance and resources to act and advocate. The report builds on the celebrated 2017 edition to include the latest research and expanded sections on populations disproportionately impacted, climate anxiety, and a spectrum of solutions.

Conversations on Race: Do You See Color?
In this episode of the Optimistic Advocate podcast, Julie Radlauer-Doerfler and Ryon Coote have a conversation on the concept of “I don’t see color.” This is the third in the three-part series – Conversations on Race. We look forward to hearing more from these two progressive advocates as they launch their podcast to continue the conversation. Stay tuned for details!

National Estimate of LGBTQ Youth Seriously Considering Suicide
Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death among young people (Hedegaard, Curtin, & Warner, 2018), with LGBTQ youth being four times more likely to consider suicide seriously, to make a suicide plan, and to attempt suicide than their peers (Kann et al., 2018; Johns et al., 2019). Understanding the number of LGBTQ youth who seriously considered killing themselves each year will aid in prevention strategies, improve our ability to advocate for LGBTQ supportive policies, and advance future research endeavors.

Achieving Racial Equity in Massachusetts: The Dynamic Duo Is on a Mission!
In this episode of the Optimistic Advocate podcast, we unveil the magic of the dynamic duo of Audrey Smolkin and Thula Sibanda as they embark on an incredible mission to provide racial equity training to providers, families, community leaders throughout the entire state of Massachusetts.

Want People to Take the COVID-19 Vaccine? Confront Racism in Health Care
Even as the Delta variant rages in many places, many Americans have not received a COVID-19 vaccine. The reasons are complex, but a long history of poor access to health care for Black and Latinx communities has been a tall barrier. On the first episode of the new season of The Dose podcast, host Shanoor Seervai talks to Rhea Boyd, M.D., a pediatrician, and public health advocate, about what it will take to dismantle the historical racism that has long prevented people of color from getting the health care they need.

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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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