Friday Update

CMHNetwork Friday Update 12-18-20

December 18, 2020

Greetings, Network faithful! Time for some sensory education. Legendary dance choreographer Bill T. Jones and TED Fellows Joshua Roman and Somi didn’t know exactly what was going to happen when they took the stage at TED2015. They just knew they wanted to offer the audience an opportunity to witness creative collaboration in action. The result: An improvised piece they call “The Red Circle and the Blue Curtain,” so extraordinary it had to be shared. Enjoy the video and then get to readin’ Friday Update, cuz we got work to do!

Most Important Reads of the Week

Hindsight is 2020
Morning Zen is honored to have Julie Radlauer-Doerfler grace us with a poem that sums up the wild ride known as the year 2020.

The storybook, Unlocked!, was developed by Children for Health, a UK-based charity. The book came out of a partnership with SuperBetter, an organization that provides s resilience-building methodology to educators and students in low resource settings in Africa and India. While Children for Health’s focus is on empowering children in developing countries, the storybook is appropriate for young people worldwide. You can learn more about SuperBetter and its alliance with Children for Health in this blog post.

The Latest From the Optimistic Advocate Podcast for the Week of December 14, 2020
Don’t miss the daily episodes of the Optimistic Advocate podcast! This week, Scott tackles enlightenment, hitting the wall, breathing, doubt, and forgiveness. My goodness, I need a nap after just reading the list of topics!

Now Is Your Chance to Let the NTTAC Know What You Need!
SAMHSA’s National Training and Technical Assistance Center for Child, Youth, and Family Mental Health (NTTAC) requests input from the field on their priority needs and interests for training and technical assistance (TTA) (learn more about NTTAC here). All stakeholders in the children’s, youth, and family mental health field are warmly invited to respond to NTTAC’s Needs Assessment Survey–whether advocates, peers, clinicians, service providers, administrators, educators, or other roles. The NTTAC Team will use this input to design responsive, practical services, and resources. The survey takes approximately 5-15 minutes, and most questions are multiple-choice. Sign up for the NTTAC mailing list to stay in the loop.

An Invitation for Families and Professionals to Attend a Meet and Greet with the National Family Support Technical Assistance Center (NFSTAC)
The NFSTAC is pleased to invite you to a Meet and Greet for the first SAMHSA-funded National Family Support Technical Assistance Center. The NFSTAC will provide resources, training, and technical assistance to families/caregivers and the providers and organizations who support them. This includes mental health and substance use information and lifespan resources, training for families and professionals, connection to family support services, expanded development of the Family Peer Specialist workforce, and technical assistance for organizations. Get the details here.

Shifting From Survival to Supporting Resilience in Children and Families in the COVID-19 Pandemic: Lessons for Informing U.S. Mental Health Priorities
This commentary contextualizes potential mental health outcomes for children during and after the COVID-19 pandemic within the risk and resilience literature. Individual, familial, and community-level factors that may increase risk for mental health challenges for children, as well as factors associated with positive adaptation in the face of adversity, are considered. The authors highlight the value of considering children’s resilience within a systemic perspective by considering family-centered approaches, including short-term and long-term evidence-informed mental health practices.

NNEDLearn 2021
Be sure to mark your calendar for the National Network to Eliminate Disparities in Behavioral Health (NNED)  eleventh annual training opportunity for community-based organizations, NNEDLearn 2021.  The goal of NNEDLearn is to develop members’ 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 March 23-25, 2021, through Zoom. Applications to participate in the virtual NNEDLearn 2021 are available on the NNED website. Use the NNEDLearn 2021 Pre-Application Decision Tree to see if your organization is ready to apply. Click here to apply for one of the training tracks now! The deadline to apply is Friday, January 8, 2021, at 5:00 pm ET.

In Recovery? Join a Community Board to Use Your Experience to Make an Impact
Are you interested in helping to improve services and support for people experiencing substance use and using your lived experience as a person in recovery to influence research in this area? The JEAP Initiative is seeking young adults in recovery from substance misuse issues and adults in recovery with former justice system involvement for two Community Boards. Through monthly meetings with a group of your peers, you will give input about the areas that researchers should prioritize around recovery support services and help shape research in this area. Because the initiative wants to effectively address the needs of a variety of communities affected by substance use disorder, including communities that may be overlooked in research, they are working on creating a board with members who bring a variety of identities and experiences to the table. People encouraged to apply include Black, Indigenous, Latinx, and other people of color; women; people who are gender non-binary; people with disabilities; and people in the LGBTQ community.

Learn more about the JEAP Initiative, and apply here:

COVID-19 Youth Mental Health Resource Hub
We love this Canadian resource!
COVID-19 has, and will, impact the mental health of people everywhere. Kids Help Phone has seen an unprecedented surge of young people feeling more stressed than usual, reaching out during this global pandemic. Finding accurate information and appropriate resources can be hard., School Mental Health Ontario, and Kids Help Phone have partnered to bring you all the information needed in one easy-to-access hub so that youth mental health remains top of mind, and our communities are able to easily access the education, tools, support, and reliable information they need. Please share widely with the young people in your life.

COVID-19 Racism and Mental Health in Chinese American Families
This study revealed that a high percentage of Chinese American parents and their children personally experienced or witnessed anti-Chinese or antiAsian American racial discrimination, both online and in person, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. One in 4 parents and youth reported vicarious racial discrimination almost every day, and most respondents reported directly experiencing or witnessing racial discrimination against other Chinese or Asian American individuals due to COVID-19 at least once. These numbers are highly concerning and support the calls for attention to the issue of racism during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Friday Update is Taking a Two-Week Break!
Just a heads up, we are taking a well-deserved two-week break over the holiday. Friday Update will back, rarin’ to go on January 8, 2021. See you then! No worries, plenty of back episodes for you to read here.

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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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