Friday Update

CMHNetwork Friday Update 3-17-23

March 17, 2023

Hey, Network faithful, let’s take a moment to enjoy the distinctive voice of the late Nanci Griffith, a folk legend with a voice anointed by angels. Celebrate all that is beautiful in this life, and then get to readin’, cuz we got work to do! Do your heart some good and start this fine day listening to Nanci sing one of her many beautiful songs, Love at the Five and Dime.

Most Important Reads of the Week

Join Youth Era for an Amazing Livestream on YouTube!
Friday, March 31st / 3:30 PM – 5:30 PM PDT
Youth Era is attempting to widen its reach with its upcoming training. Instead of 4 days, the training will be condensed into 2 hours and hosted on YouTube Live to increase accessibility and create a low-barrier opportunity for young people. The goal of the event is to spread awareness about mental health issues and help give youth the tools they need to support each other. The event is free and will feature interactive activities, guest speakers, and content from experts on how to effectively offer help and support to those around you. If you have not yet experienced their three-story broadcast studio yet, well, you need to! The production quality takes the training experience to a whole new level. If you work with youth or have a young person in your life, you can register for this free event at

Everything is Normal Until Proven Otherwise – 2nd Edition!
A Book About Unconditional Care and Wraparound Services
Two children’s mental health icons, Karl Dennis and Ira Lourie, are about to release the second edition of their groundbreaking book; Everything is Normal Until Proven Otherwise. This edition enhances the first by including more Karl Dennis stories, a much greater focus on Unconditional Care, family involvement reframed as Family Voice and Choice, a focus on family strengths, and a short history of the Parent Movement. The first edition sold out quickly, so if you are a fan of Unconditional Care and Wraparound services, not to mention these two rock-star authors, get on it! The book will be available in late April, but you can pre-order now. Presale orders are being taken NOW at

Youth-in-Transition Policy Summit
The Utah Office of Substance Use and Mental Health and the Center for Law and Social Policy invite you to the Youth-in-Transition Policy Summit to be held in Salt Lake City, Utah, on April 4th (9:30 am-4:30 pm MT) and 5th (9 am-3 pm MT), 2023. This is a hybrid in person-online event. The dual purposes of the Policy Summit are 1) to showcase state or local governmental-level policies designed to improve services for transition-age youth (approximately between 16 and 25) and 2) to examine the levels of youth engagement in the development and implementation of these policies.

ACF and SAMHSA Training for Parents, Caregivers, and Families on the Mental Health of Children to be held March 22
The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) are offering a virtual training for parents, caregivers, and families on the mental health needs of children. Register today!

Gun Violence Researchers at Harvard Chan School Receive Largest-Ever Grant
Researchers at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health have received a five-year, $5 million grant to support research on firearm injuries and deaths. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation grant will be a vital tool in advancing research on gun violence prevention in the U.S. The field has been substantially underfunded in recent years due to restricted federal funding and charitable foundations’ reluctance to enter the politically-charged debate about firearms, according to David Hemenway, professor of health policy at Harvard Chan School director of the Harvard Injury Control Research Center (HICRC).

NEW: HRSA Makes $30 Million Available for Health Centers to Expand Early Childhood Development Services
The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), announced the availability of approximately $30 million for HRSA-funded health centers to expand early childhood development care through increased screenings and follow-up services.

Parents Today: Less ‘Helicoptering,’ More Concern About Kids’ Mental Health
In the wake of pandemic disruptions and an unprecedented rise in school shootings, a majority of parents place less of a premium on their children’s academic success than on their mental well-being and character.

Most Black Children Live in Neighborhoods That Lack Amenities Associated with Child Well-being
According to Child Trends analysis of data from the 2020-2021 National Survey of Children’s Health (NSCH), most Black children in the United States live in neighborhoods that lack amenities associated with children’s healthy development and well-being—a legacy of residential segregation and other racial and environmental inequities.

Call for Papers: Equitable Access to Early Care and Education in the United States
Many families with young children in the United States need access to early care and education (ECE) that is affordable, convenient, and matches their preferences and needs. This special issue aims to advance the knowledge base on policy solutions and practices that improve equitable access to affordable and high-quality ECE from family and provider perspectives.

Mental Health Awareness Training Grants
The purpose of this program is to: (1) train individuals to recognize the signs and symptoms of mental disorders and how to safely de-escalate crisis situations involving individuals with a mental illness and (2) provide education on resources available in the community for individuals with a mental illness and other relevant resources. Application deadline May 1, 2023.

Call for Papers on Adolescent Mental Health
Adolescence is the most vulnerable developmental period for the onset of mental health issues. JAMA Pediatrics is soliciting research manuscripts describing rigorous empirical studies of adolescent mental health to advance the science in this critical area that affects children and adolescent health. Studies that identify factors associated with negative and positive mental health outcomes and mental well-being, as well as clinical trials that evaluate interventions to improve outcomes among adolescents with anxiety, depression, and other mental health disorders, will be considered.

Preventing and Ending Youth Homelessness in America
This brief is the first in a series highlighting challenges and opportunities facing youth ages 14 through 24 as part of the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Thrive by 25® efforts, a set of investments focused on promoting basic needs, permanent connections, education and credentials, financial stability and youth leadership for young people.

Who’s Looking Out for the Mental Health of Infants and Toddlers?
The last few years have been a strain on nearly everyone, with routines disrupted, social interactions curtailed, and stress and anxiety running high. There’s been much written and discussed about how those challenges have impacted students in K-12 schools and colleges — how they’re suffering in the wake of the pandemic and experiencing alarmingly high rates of mental health concerns. But what about kids who are even younger — infants, toddlers, and preschool-aged children who also lived through the pandemic and are not immune to the stressors it caused? It’s estimated that 10–16% of infants, toddlers, and preschool-aged kids (ages 0-3) experience mental health issues. For kids growing up in poverty, the rate increases to about 22%.

Zen Dens and Peace Rooms: How Schools are Giving Kids Space to Reflect, Regulate
Students use calming rooms, which are typically voluntary & open to all students when they feel anxious, agitated, or need some alone time. The Brave Room at Indian Hill Elementary School in Cincinnati has pillow chairs, a mini Zen garden, and soft lighting. Every day, students stop in — some for a few minutes, others for a full class period — to use fidget toys, coloring books, kinetic sand, or chill out.

Autism Rates Have Tripled. Is It Now More Common or Are We Just Better at Diagnosis?
New research suggests doctors have improved at identifying autism, especially among children with average or above-average IQs. But that doesn’t fully explain the trend. Autism rates tripled among children in the New York and New Jersey metropolitan area from 2000 to 2016, according to a study published in the journal Pediatrics.

New Proposed Rule Changing the Foster Care Licensing Regulation Supports Keeping Families Safely Together through Kinship Care
When parents are unable to safely care for their children, it is often grandparents, other family members, or kin who step forward to provide a loving home for those children, either temporarily or permanently. When children cannot remain safely with their parents, placement with kin is preferred over placement in foster care with non-relatives. A government report estimated that more than 2 million children across America live with kin caregivers. Because we know children who need care do best with their own families, ACF is proposing a new rule that would allow child welfare agencies to adopt one set of licensing standards for family members and kin that acknowledges the kinship relationship and differs from the licensing standards used for non-relative foster family homes.

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