Friday Update

CMHNetwork Friday Update 1-8-21

January 07, 2021

Greetings, Network faithful! Time for some serious focusing on resilience after what we all witnessed in our country this week. I’m just gonna leave you with some good old Katy Perry, singing her song, Resilient. It’s a light and easy listen. Give yourself the gift of something light and easy, and  then get to readin’ Friday Update, cuz we got work to do!

Most Important Reads of the Week

Awaken the Gods of Light
Kundalini Chronicles – Episode 27 – Awaken the Gods of Light. After watching the horror of the attempted Coup d’état at the U.S. Capitol, it’s no wonder that the poem that wrote itself this morning was about darkness and light. 

Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use Resigns
It appears that the violence at the Capitol the other day, accompanied by the language used by the President to foment that violence, was more than Elinore McCance-Katz could bear. You can read her resignation letter here. I wish Elinore McCance-Katz the best of luck. The circumstances were extreme, but any time we have the opportunity for self-reflection, and alignment of our values with our actions, is a treasured gift. With the coming change in leadership, opportunities for clarity, and vision abound. Join me in looking forward to a new day.

Tips and Tricks to Developing and Sustaining a Family Advisory Board
Join the Transitions ACR for their first webinar of 2021! Have you ever considered starting up an Advisory Board for your organization? Join this webinar and learn the “Whys” and “How-Tos” to help you build and sustain an effective advisory board (even virtually). Date: Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021. Time: 1:00-2:00PM ET.

Building Trust in and Access to a COVID-19 Vaccine Within Communities of Color and Tribal Nations
Trust for America’s Health (TFAH) and co-authors National Medical Association, and UnidosUS have released the new issue brief Building Trust in and Access to a COVID-19 Vaccine Within Communities of Color and Tribal Nations, which explores how policymakers and the healthcare sector must earn trust within communities of color and tribal communities to ensure COVID-19 vaccine receptivity. The policy brief calls for building vaccine acceptance through data transparency, tailored communications via trusted messengers, ensuring ease of vaccine access, and zero out-of-pocket costs.

Finding Community During the Holiday Season
Sharing a heartfelt message on the Center for the Study of Social Policy website, from Elliott Hinkle, reminding all of us to treasure compassion and understanding – traits we could all use more of!

Take a Moment to Enjoy the Accomplishments of One of Our Favorite Partners!
We love the Child Health and Development Institute of Connecticut (CHDI). Over the years, we have featured their fine work in Friday Update, and 2020 was no exception. Enjoy their year-end review of highlights, and get ready for an even better year of accomplishments in 2021!

The Game That Can Give You Ten Extra Years of Your Life
When game designer Jane McGonigal found herself bedridden and suicidal following a severe concussion, she had a fascinating idea for how to get better. She dove into scientific research and created the healing game, SuperBetter. McGonigal explains how a game can boost resilience in this moving talk and promises to add 7.5 minutes to your life. Sneak peek – I just interviewed Keith Wakeman, CEO of SuperBetter. I can’t wait for you to listen!

Strong Relationships, Social and Emotional Skills can Support Academic Success
Early data from a new Child Trends evaluation of youthCONNECT, an integrated student supports initiative aimed at high school students, show that strong relationships with adults and social and emotional skills are associated with academic success. Additionally, students who reported having an adult with whom they could discuss educational and career goals reported engaging in fewer risky behaviors, which can also support academic success.

A Hidden Crisis
Youth suicide was already at a record high before the pandemic — with increases among teens every year from 2007 to 2017, it is the second-leading cause of death among high-school-aged students — and some researchers fear the mental health consequences of coronavirus restrictions on not only schools but also sports could help elevate those numbers.

Death Rates Due to Suicide and Homicide Among Persons Aged 10–24: United States, 2000–2017
Deaths due to suicide and homicide, often referred to collectively as violent deaths, have consistently been a major cause of premature death to persons aged 10–24 in the United States. In 2017, suicide was the second leading cause of death for persons aged 10–14, 15–19, and 20–24, and homicide ranked third for persons aged 15–19 and 20–24 and fifth for persons aged 10–14. This report presents trends for 2000–2017 in suicide and homicide death rates for all persons aged 10–24 and for age groups 10–14, 15–19, and 20–24.

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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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