Friday Update

CMHNetwork Friday Update 12-31-21

December 30, 2021

Greetings, Network faithful. What better way to get ready for the new year than with The 2Cellos playing the AC/DC classic, Thunderstruck. Yep, you read it right—classical Cellos rockin’ out. Close the door, turn up the volume, and get inspired. Enjoy the tune and then get to readin’ Friday Update, cuz we got work to do!

Most Important Reads of the Week

Transitions ACR Holds Their First Webinar of the New Year!
January 18, 2 – 3:30 PM ET
The Peer Academic Supports for Success (PASS) model is a student peer coaching approach to support the academic success of 1st and 2nd-year college students with mental health conditions. This webinar will provide an overview of the intervention and share the pilot randomized controlled trial findings. (Note: CEUs are not available for this webinar)

Understanding the Landscape: Mental Health Access for African American and LatinX Children and Youth in the State of Georgia
Healthcare Georgia Foundation partnered with the Multicultural Development Institute, Inc., to cultivate this White Paper discussing mental health equity for the African American and Latinx communities in urban and rural Georgia. The purpose is to examine how mental health equity is defined, resources available and implemented, and access for behavioral health services throughout the state of Georgia. Thorough research of these issues also informs conclusions about the current state of mental health equity in Georgia and recommendations for future research and funding.

Mental Health and Resiliency Tools for Health Care Workers: COVID-19
This Minnesota Department of Health has posted tools and resources for healthcare workers to help them deal with mental, emotional, and psychological challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Included is a tip sheet on ways to address anxieties and concerns, a wellness guide in various languages, including Spanish and Somali, and resources to help leaders effectively communicate with healthcare workers.

Supporting Student Wellness and Success: Use of ESSER Funds for Building a Comprehensive and Equitable School Mental Health System
Connecticut has a unique opportunity to develop a comprehensive and sustainable approach to student wellness and behavioral health funded with pandemic-related federal support. The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 forced school districts across Connecticut and nationally to rethink how they deliver educational and behavioral health services and exposed gaps in existing systems for identifying and addressing student social, emotional, and behavioral needs. The pandemic also resulted in more students presenting with behavioral health needs and an exacerbation in the severity of symptoms for many students.

Achieving Progress Toward Health Equity Using Race and Ethnicity Data: State Strategies and Lessons Learned
The National Governors Association Center for Best Practices, the Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy, and the National Academy for State Health Policy published the issue brief Achieving Progress Toward Health Equity Using Race and Ethnicity Data: State Strategies and Lessons Learned.

Racial Disparities in COVID-19 Impacts and Vaccinations for Children
Research suggests COVID-19 has disproportionately affected the health of children of color in ways that mirror patterns observed among adults. Studies find that, compared to their White counterparts, Black, Hispanic, and Asian children had lower rates of testing but were significantly more likely to be infected; Black and Hispanic children were more likely to be hospitalized and more likely to have multi-system inflammatory syndrome (MIS-C (a serious and sometimes deadly condition where different body parts become inflamed, including the heart, lungs, kidneys, and brain); Black children were more likely to be admitted to intensive care units due to MIS-C; and Hispanic, Black, and American Indian and Alaska Native (AIAN) children had higher rates of death. Recent data from CDC also show racial disparities in COVID-19 health impacts.

Managing Your Distress in the Aftermath of Racial Trauma and Stress
Research has shown that experiences of racism can build on each other and have negative impacts on both physical and mental health. Here are the warning signs that you may be experiencing racial trauma and tips for coping.

Anti-Racist Policymaking to Protect, Promote, and Preserve Black Families and Babies
Policymakers can use a new resource from Child Trends and the Equity Research Action Coalition at the UNC Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute to advance equity in policy and programs for Black families and babies. The Protect, Promote, Preserve Framework (the 3Ps) highlights policy approaches with the potential to protect Black families and babies from harm and trauma; promote their health, wealth, and educational access; and preserve their family units, cultural heritage, language, and positive racial identity. While some policies—such as expanded income eligibility for health insurance and state earned income tax credits—may reduce disparities for Black families and babies, there is a need for more research and analyses that use a racial equity lens to uncover policies that are anti-Black.

The Impact of Increased Immigrant Enforcement on Child Welfare
As of 2016, out of the 70 million children under 18 in the U.S., more than 18 million reside with at least one immigrant parent. The recent years of policies and practices involving family separation, deportation, and detainment deeply impact the lives of families residing in a mixed household status. The presentation noted that as a result of these enforcement policies, many children living in these conditions, families, children, and communities often live in fear of law enforcement. For children, this fear can project into relations with friends, neighbors, and classmates.

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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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