Friday Update

CMHNetwork Friday Update 3-31-23

March 29, 2023

Hey Network faithful, do you feel it? I do. Yep, a change is gonna come. Let’s start off this edition of Friday Update with Brian Owens and his father, Thomas Owens, rendition of the Sam Cooke classic, A Change is Gonna Come.” Feel the change bubbling up, get motivated to take action, and then get to readin’ Friday Update, cuz we got work to do!

Most Important Reads of the Week

Join Youth Era for an Amazing Livestream on YouTube TODAY!
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

Our Experiences with Trauma: A Tool to Proactively Minimize the Effects of Trauma
Hey, Network faithful, check out this new publication by John VanDenBerg, Maggie VanDenBerg, and David Jacobson. This brief article and accompanying video describe a tool to proactively deal with traumatic events and how the authors used it in their professions, lives, and family. This set of steps calls for a person or their supports to predict likely trauma which may occur, brainstorm ways to prevent the trauma from happening and plan for what to do if the traumatic event does occur.

FREDLA Launches 2023 Parent Peer Support Institute
Advancing Parent Peer Support: Practice, Program & Policy
April 4-6, 2023
The Institute offers three half-day sessions of professional development specifically designed for parent peer support providers, supervisors, administrators and policymakers and anyone who values parent peer support.

Youth Mental Health Advisory
Surgeon General Vivek Murthy is an evangelist for wellness, hosting town halls and expounding on meditation and mindfulness on his House Calls podcast. He’s particularly concerned about kids’ mental health and has issued guidance for young people, suggesting they ask for help, volunteer in their communities and learn stress management techniques.

New Tip Sheet for Young Adults: My “Must Have” Papers
Becoming a young adult means a lot of paperwork! Real IDs, Social Security cards, passports, medical records, employment records, and more. It can be overwhelming. How do you know the most important documents to hold onto and those you can toss out? Or which documents to carry with you at all times and which to keep safely at home? This new 4-page, well-organized tip sheet, created by the Transitions to Adulthood Center for Research, can help you answer those questions and others. The goal is to make the transition to adulthood easier – for all people involved, both the young adults and their supporters. 

Post-its-to-Practice Virtual Symposium
Friday, April 21, 2023, 8:30am-12:30pm
The Post-its-to-Practicum Virtual Symposium will provide various sessions that focus on supporting the needs and changing the narrative of children and adolescents involved in the child welfare system and those with an incarcerated parent. This workshop is designed for helping professionals, graduate students, and supportive adults interested in these fields. Attendees will explore interventions and best practices that will support their advocacy efforts and connect with other professionals and supportive adults in these fields. This event is sponsored by the NCCU Counselor Education Program, NCCU Juvenile Justice Institute (JJI), and Our Children’s Place of Coastal Horizons.

Request for Information (RFI): Gaps and Opportunities in Global Mental Health Research
Help the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) shape the future of global mental health research! Respond to NIMH’s request for information (RFI) to identify research gaps and opportunities that will advance our understanding and role in supporting basic, translational, and services-oriented global mental health research. All responses must be submitted electronically by May 5, 2023. Please use this submission web form or in an email to Please use the subject “GMH RFI Response – NOT-MH-23-175.”

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

Journal of Pediatrics Study Finds Opioids Were the Most Common Cause of Fatal Poisoning of Young Children
Opioids were the most common substance contributing to the poisoning deaths of children ages five and younger, according to a new study. The research, published Wednesday in the journal Pediatrics, found that opioids accounted for more than 47% of the poisoning deaths among children in that age group between 2005 and 2018 — 346 of 731 total deaths reported to the National Center for Fatality Review and Prevention. The study’s sobering findings underscore the extent of the opioid epidemic’s impact on children, according to its lead author.

Tips for Teens: The Truth About E-Cigarettes
This fact sheet for teens provides facts about vaping. It describes short- and long-term effects and lists signs of vaping. The fact sheet helps to dispel common myths about vaping. Access sources and references cited in this fact sheet.

Needs of Caregivers of Youth Enrolled in a Statewide System of Care: A Latent Class Analysis
Systems of Care (SOC) provide a coordinated array of services to youth with serious emotional and behavioral problems and their families. Little is known about what caregiver-specific needs at presentation to care may contribute to the use of and engagement with care coordination and subsequent youth and family outcomes. This study aimed to determine latent classes of youth enrolled in wraparound care coordination within a statewide SOC based on caregiver needs impacting youth functioning and identify the relationship between class membership and characteristics of participation in Child and Family Team meetings (CFTs) and mental health outcomes at six-month follow-up.

Inside America’s Youth Mental Health Crisis
Kids in the U.S. and around the world are in crisis. More than 60% of children with depression don’t get any mental health treatment, according to Mental Health America. Pair that statistic with the fact that about 80% of the United States has a severe shortage of child psychiatrists, and the picture becomes clear: there is a growing mental health crisis in the United States and beyond. That’s why CBS News and local CBS-owned television stations spent more than six months exploring the problem’s sources and solutions across the country that could address it.

Supporting Communities Affected by Violence in Building Resilience
It’s hard to know how to help young children understand and cope with the effects of violence, but there are ways to help them feel safer and more secure and build hope for a more peaceful, kinder future. Check out these new resources from Sesame Street in Communities.

1 in 4 Parents Report Being Fired for Work Interruptions Due to Child Care Breakdowns
Nearly one in 4 parents reported last year being fired from their jobs due to the continuing breakdown of child care for their kids, according to a new study published Thursday. It’s just the latest statistic in a crisis that is exacting a costly toll not only on families but also on the economy: The report puts the price tag for the lack of access to affordable child care at $122 billion in 2022 due to lost wages, productivity, and tax revenue.

Planning and Developing Infrastructure to Promote the Mental Health of Children, Youth and Families in American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) Communities
This program aims to provide tribes and tribal organizations with tools and resources to plan and design a family-driven, community-based, and culturally and linguistically competent system of care. A system of care is “a spectrum of effective community-based services and supports for children and youth, with or at risk for mental health or other challenges, and their families, that is organized into a coordinated network, builds meaningful partnerships with families and youth, and addresses their cultural and linguistic needs, in order for them to function better at home, in school, and throughout life.” SAMHSA plans to issue 17 awards for $5,907,708 up to $350,000 annually for up to 3 years.

Healthy Transitions: Improving Life Trajectories for Youth and Young Adults with Serious Mental Disorders Program
This program aims to improve and expand access to developmentally, culturally, and linguistically appropriate services and supports for transition-aged youth and young adults (ages 16-25) who either have or are at risk for developing serious mental health conditions. Award recipients will be expected to identify and provide appropriate behavioral health interventions to transition-aged youth and young adults at risk for serious emotional disturbance or mental illness. With this program, SAMHSA aims to improve emotional and behavioral health functioning so youth and young adults can maximize their potential to assume adult roles and responsibilities and lead full and productive lives. Application Due Date: Monday, May 8, 2023.

Mental Health Awareness Training Grants
The purpose of this program is to: (1) train individuals (e.g., school personnel and emergency services personnel, including fire department and law enforcement personnel, veterans, armed services members, and their families, etc.) to recognize the signs and symptoms of mental disorders and 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, including how to establish linkages with school and community-based mental health agencies. SAMHSA plans to issue up to 22 awards for $4,412,361 up to $200,000 per year per award for up to 3 years. Application Due Date: Monday, May 1, 2023.

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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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