Friday Update

CMHNetwork Friday Update 3-18-22

March 17, 2022

Greetings, Network faithful. Time to get our “Garage Punk” vibe on with the Linda Lindas, singing their hit song, Growing Up. Turn up the volume and enjoy. But after about an hour or so of bouncin’ around, get to readin’ Friday Update, cuz we got work to do! Much love to my amazing bride, Lynda, and a shout out to #MoshPitSue for bringing the Linda Lindas to the Network!

Most Important Reads of the Week

Youth Era Prominently Featured in Study Published by the Journal of European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry
Big-time props to our colleagues at Youth Era for their growing international stature as the leading authority in the youth peer-to-peer space. It has been exciting watching their collaboration with researchers at Oxford University. Viewing their training with youth in the United Kingdom is nothing short of inspiring. And now, the research study focusing on their work is out. Well done, Youth Era!

A Journey Together: Redefining Our Approach to a System of Care 
System of Care Strategy Virtual Summit – May 10 – 11, 2022
The National Center for Training and Technical Assistance on Child, Youth, and Family Mental Health (NTTAC) is pleased to announce a no-cost System of Care Strategy Summit (SOC Summit) on May 11, 2022. The System of Care Strategy Summit is an opportunity for all children’s mental health partners to renew and re-energize their efforts to support children and young people with behavioral health needs and their caregivers. This event is preceded by a half-day System of Care / CMHI grantee pre-meeting on May 10, 2022.

Are You a Foster Parent With a Child in School? Join the Foster Parent Pandemic Education Experiences Study!
Please read this message from Mary Rauktis, lead author of this important study, and share it with your networks!
“As an educator, I teach aspiring students how to engage with and build on the resilience of children and their caregivers. As a mentor, I have advised former foster care youth who have later become colleagues and friends. I have witnessed how challenging it is to go to college not as well prepared as peers, with far less familial support and the price paid emotionally and educationally. The sense that this pandemic may be placing this group even further behind makes me feel somewhat helpless and very concerned for their future. They cannot be forgotten in the broader conversation about learning loss.”

March 20-26 is National Poisoning Prevention Week
March 20-26 is National Poisoning Prevention Week. You may be surprised to learn that poisoning is the number #1 cause of unintentional injury deaths in the U.S. It may also surprise you that Poison Control responds to more than 2 million callers each year, around half of which are from people who need help managing suspected poisonings after their kid got into something they shouldn’t have. But what about the people who can’t or don’t want to call? Like the mom whose toddler is screaming because, well, surprise, vanilla body spray doesn’t taste as good as it smells. That mom, and many other parents and caregivers turn to webPOISONCONTROL® for help. While the free app also manages plenty of “my husband drank Windex because he thought it was Gatorade” cases, more than 62% of webPOISONCONTROL cases are about kids under six.

Youth, Young Adults, and Families Wanted! Survey on Telehealth for Wraparound
A new report from the National Wraparound Initiative describes findings from the NWI survey on Wraparound providers’ experiences using telehealth. Now, we are working on getting youth and family perspectives on their experiences with telehealth for Wraparound. If you are a youth/young adult or family member who has participated in telehealth for Wraparound – or services like counseling or peer support provided through telehealth as part of Wraparound – we’d love it if you could contribute to this work by taking the 3-minute NWI Telehealth Survey for Youth, Young Adults and Families.

Kids Very Rarely Do Better Than Their Parents Are Doing. Here’s What to Do
Now in the third year of the pandemic, families may be worrying about the milestones their children have missed out on, but tending to their social-emotional needs first will help kids succeed in other ways over time.

Online Learning, Racial Tensions and ‘the Talk’: Black Parents Raising Children Amid Multiple Crises
This year has been full of stress, chaos, and uncertainty for all parents — whether adjusting to the pandemic’s impact on jobs and children’s school schedules or trying to protect them while they were ineligible for vaccines. Black parents say 2021 has come with additional challenges, as they’ve also had to confront issues of race, whether it’s helping children explain to their peers why they support the Black Lives Matter movement or having “the talk” about why Black people are often judged differently than whites and how to act when stopped by police.

Tips to Help Your Child Manage Scary News
Whether from television news reports, the car radio, digital media, or adult discussions, children are often bombarded with information about the world around them. Children may become frightened and overwhelmed when the events being described include violence, extreme weather events, a disease outbreak, or discussions of more dispersed threats such as climate change. Keep these tips in mind as you help your child through scary times.

College Students’ Stress Levels Are ‘Bubbling Over.’ Here’s Why, and How Schools Can Help
College students are struggling with their mental health as the pandemic drags on. Dr. Riana Elyse Anderson explains how schools can help by engaging in prevention strategies like reducing the number of assignments given or offering mental health days.

Emergency Department Use by Children and Youth with Mental Health Conditions: A Health Equity Agenda
The Child Health and Development Institute of Connecticut’s Jeffrey Vanderploeg and Jason Lang, along with Yale School of Medicine’s Michael Hoge and others, co-authored “Emergency Department Use by Children and Youth with Mental Health Conditions: A Health Equity Agenda, for the Community Mental Health Journal. This review of research on emergency department use before the pandemic found that children and youth in the U.S. were being sent to emergency departments at alarming and increasing rates for mental health conditions that didn’t warrant emergency care. The rate of increase in these referrals was greater for Black and Latinx children and for children who were publicly insured and uninsured. Once there, children were rarely seen by a behavioral health professional and rarely received an evidence-based assessment, treatment, care coordination, or an outpatient connection. The authors provide comprehensive strategies to address these health inequities and improve the appropriateness and quality of care in both emergency departments and the community.

The Pandemic Has Created a ‘Zoom Boom’ in Remote Psychotherapy
Teletherapy has provided both providers and patients with a crucial lifeline during the significant challenges of the pandemic. Mental health experts weigh in on the future of remote care beyond COVID-19.

The Hopeful Futures Campaign
A coalition of national organizations committed to ensuring that every student has access to effective and supportive school mental health care released the first-ever “America’s School Mental Health Report Card and Action Center,” with individual report cards for all 50 states and DC. These school mental health report cards highlight accomplishments and provide important action steps to help address the children’s mental health crisis in every state. They serve as a great starting point for policymakers who want to strengthen school mental health supports and policies in their communities.

Black Families’ Cultural Assets Should Inform Policies That Promote Their Well-Being
A new Child Trends brief argues that reframing Black families’ cultural assets—i.e., the core protective elements that many U.S. Black families share, such as cultural values, traditions, and practices—is crucial to developing policies and practices that enhance their well-being. To achieve this, elected officials, researchers, and philanthropies must use their resources to address structural racism and support Black families.

Improving The Measurement Of Structural Racism To Achieve Antiracist Health Policy
In this Health Affairs article, the authors explore three key areas to advance this research: historical context, geographic context, and theory-based novel quantitative and qualitative methods that capture the multifaceted and systemic properties of structural racism as well as other systems of oppression.

State Actions to Prevent and Mitigate Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)
Experiencing adversity in early life can affect a person’s health, well-being, and success into adulthood. This brief highlights the recent work of nine states (Alaska, California, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, Wyoming) to prevent and mitigate adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and to implement trauma-informed practices at the state level. COVID-19 has brought additional attention to the impact of ACEs and trauma across the lifespan, which may be exacerbated by disruption in the lives of families; increased family stressors; income, food, and housing insecurity; social isolation; and school closures.

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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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