Friday Update

CMHNetwork Friday Update 10-13-23

October 12, 2023

Greetings, faithful readers. So much helpful information in this issue of Friday Update that you can use to get you through the week. Let’s start with the Del McCoury Band singing the Buffalo Springfield classic, “For What It’s Worth.” Enjoy the tune and then get to readin’ Friday Update, cuz we got work to do!

Most Important Reads of the Week

The Children’s Mental Health Network is Closing Down
After meeting with the Board of the Children’s Mental Health Network, we have decided this will be our last year of operation. It has been an incredible journey, and every reader of Friday Update will always hold a special place in our hearts. Only three issues of Friday Update left after this one, so enjoy!

Building a Strong Foundation: Increasing Access to Mental Health Services for Young Children
Early childhood is a critical period for building resilience and laying the foundation for healthy development and positive mental health. Experiences in these formative years shape people throughout childhood and into adulthood. This makes the early years a powerful time for both prevention and intervention. However, as concerns about youth mental health are growing, much of the focus is on older youth. Effective and long-lasting solutions must include a focus on early childhood so that all children have the best possible start in life. This issue brief identifies effective strategies for strengthening promotion and prevention efforts and ensuring access to high-quality mental health services for young children.

Teens Are Exhausted by Phone Notifications but Don’t Know How to Quit, Report Finds
Common Sense Media released a new research report revealing that teens are constantly receiving and fielding notifications on their smartphones. According to the report, Constant Companion: A Week in the Life of a Young Person’s Smartphone Useover half of participants received 237 or more notifications per day. The barrage of notifications, along with smartphone use during school days and nighttime, combines to create a powerful yet complicated relationship between teens and their phones.

Klingenstein Third Generation Foundation Announces the Opening of Applications for Its Post-doctoral Fellowship Programs
The Klingenstein Third Generation Foundation awards fellowship grants annually to outstanding post-doctoral candidates investigating the causes, prevention, and treatment of children and adolescents with ADHD or depression, especially those from low-income families and under-resourced communities or other marginalized populations that may have limited support and resources. The Fellowship supports two-year research projects that could lead to federal funding and other national research awards. The Foundation supports research that produces direct and tangible benefits to children and their families while also supporting promising early-career scientists. The Fellowship award is $100,000, payable over two years in equal installments of $50,000. Applications are due January 10, 2024

Young Adult Research Study Participants Wanted
Are you 18-30 years old, employed, and living w/a mental health condition that makes it hard to keep up with your job? The Learning & Working During the Transition to Adulthood Rehabilitation Research & Training Center Tools for Work Success Study may help. The primary purpose of the Tools for Work Success Study is to determine which of two approaches is most effective in helping young adults, ages 18 to 30 years old, with mental health conditions develop skills around focus, memory, planning/time management, and problem-solving for work. 

To Solve the LGBTQ Youth Mental Health Crisis, Our Research Must Be More Nuanced
From Myeshia Price, Director of Research Science, Trevor Project
LGBTQ young people of color, including those who identify in more nuanced ways than either gay or lesbian, are more likely to struggle with their mental health than their white LGBTQ counterparts. As researchers, if we can equip ourselves with this information about their unique needs and experiences, we can create intervention strategies that support the mental health of every LGBTQ young person rather than attempting to apply a “broad strokes” approach that assumes what works for one group must work for all.

AAP Launches New Center of Excellence on Social Media and Youth Mental Health
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) was recently awarded $10 million ($2 million/year, renewable up to five years) from the US Department of Health and Human Services, through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. The funding will enable AAP to establish a National Center of Excellence on Social Media and Mental Wellness, which the AAP has named Center of Excellence: Creating a Healthy Digital Ecosystem for Children and Youth.

HHS Announces $131.7 Million to Support At-risk Youth and Families
The US Department of Health and Human Services, through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, has announced $131.7 million awarded in in grant programs that connect youth and families to behavioral health services.

Misdiagnosis of Mood Disorders in Black Teenagers
The adolescent years can be tough, especially for teens dealing with mental health challenges, who often struggle to be heard and to feel like themselves. Mood disorders usually begin in the teenage years, but their symptoms can be hard to interpret, and kids may be overlooked or misdiagnosed. This is especially true for children of color, who research suggests are less likely to get an accurate diagnosis when they show signs of a mood disorder.

A Toolkit for School Systems to Advance Comprehensive School Employee Wellness
School system investments in employee wellness can reduce costs, foster favorable working conditions, and improve student outcomes. However, traditional approaches to wellness are often limited to physical and mental health and frequently focus exclusively on teachers, limiting the potential of school system investments to promote equitable and sustainable wellness for all school employees. By contrast, a comprehensive approach that centers employee voice and leverages school systems’ role in setting and enforcing policies and distributing resources has greater potential to achieve systemwide reductions in job stressors and increases in access to wellness resources for all employees, especially those with the greatest needs.

Neuroscientist Andrew Huberman on the Right Way to Praise Your Kids to Set Them Up for Success
Andrew Huberman, a professor of neurobiology and ophthalmology at Stanford School of Medicine and host of the Huberman Lab, evaluates how performance and grit are inextricably linked to the praise people receive and give themselves, as well as whether or not they can learn and adopt a growth mindset.

Youth and the Juvenile Justice System: 2022 National Report
Youth and the Juvenile Justice System: 2022 National Report is the fifth edition of a comprehensive report on youth victimization, offending by youth, and the juvenile justice system. With this release, the report series has adopted a new name (the series was previously known as “Juvenile Offenders and Victims”), but the focus of the report remains unchanged: the report consists of the most requested information on youth and the juvenile justice system in the United States.

Improving Access to School-Based Behavioral Health Services Through Medicaid
Many young people are currently experiencing considerable mental health challenges; Medicaid school-based behavioral health services can play a crucial role in their health and wellness. Federal policymakers have an opportunity to optimize federal resources and new Medicaid flexibilities for states to increase access to mental health services in schools. Collaborative models, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child (WSCC) model, demonstrate how the education, school health, and public health sectors can work together to improve children’s health and wellbeing.

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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, 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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