Friday Update

CMHNetwork Friday Update 4-14-23

April 14, 2023

Hey, Network faithful, I can’t think of a better way to start this week than by celebrating the golden voice of Dimash Qudaibergen as he performs Greshnaya Strast by A’Studio. Set your “chills meter” to 10 and enjoy the song. And then when you are fully Dimashed, get to readin’ Friday Update, cuz we got work to do!

Most Important Reads of the Week

Dr. Julie Radlauer-Doerfler Will Be Presenting at Tedx-Miami
Congratulations to Network faithful Dr. Julie Radlauer-Doerfler for being invited to present at TedX-Miami on May 10, 2023. Julie is a long-time system of care advocate and partner. It is wonderful seeing her get the national recognition she deserves. Learn more about the event here!

Improving the Collection of Race and Ethnicity Data
Advancing health equity requires a lot of data — including accurate, comprehensive data on patients’ race and ethnicity. But the quality and availability of such information vary across the healthcare system. On To the Point, researchers from the National Committee for Quality Assurance, Leavitt Partners, and the Commonwealth Fund identify common challenges facing health plans — how to obtain consent, ensure transparency, and reconcile multiple data sources.

National Federation of Families Call for Proposals Now Open
Submission deadline May 1, 2023
The National Federation of Families seeks presenters for the 34th annual conference. Learn more about proposal topics and requirements here, and get busy writing your winning proposal! This year’s Conference theme will be Advancing Social Justice, Equity, and Inclusion for Families and their Children.

Effects of Pandemic School Closures Linger, Especially for Students With Disabilities
The transition to remote learning wasn’t all bad for 17-year-old high school junior Andalon Ansari. He’s autistic and was a freshman in an Oakland, California, high school when his classes went online because of the COVID-19 shutdowns in 2020. Sometimes, he found it easier to focus in his bedroom with his laptop than in the classroom.

Mobile Response for Children, Youth, and Families: Best Practice Data Elements and Quality Improvement Approaches
Many states are enhancing their capacity to support youth and families experiencing a behavioral health crisis by implementing the Mobile Response and Stabilization Services (MRSS) best practice model. MRSS is a crisis intervention model that provides behavioral health responses to youth, young adults, and families in their homes, schools, and communities. A key element of the long-term success of MRSS is a data-driven continuous quality improvement (CQI) process. CHDI developed a new resource with detailed guidance for developing an effective CQI process.

Strengthening Home- and Community-Based Services to Stabilize Young People with Behavioral Health Problems and Keep Them Out of Hospitals
Between 2015 and 2020, pediatric emergency department visits for mental health episodes increased by 43 percent. Some states are finding innovative ways to get help to young people before a crisis develops. On To the Point, Laura Conrad of the Technical Assistance Collaborative highlights different strategies for funding youth mental health services and promoting care models that center on the needs and preferences of young people. She says linking families to a range of services is key to improving young people’s well-being and keeping them out of the hospital.

Guidance for Family First Prevention Services Act Evaluation Plans for High-Fidelity Wraparound
“Intensive Care Coordination Using a High Fidelity Wraparound Process” (i.e., Wraparound or High Fidelity Wraparound ) has been added to the inventory of research-supported programs by the Title IV-E Prevention Services Clearinghouse, making Wraparound eligible for Title IV-E reimbursement under the Family First Prevention Service Act (FFPSA). Wraparound has been given the designation of “Promising,” which means that its inclusion in a state’s FFPSA five-year plan must be accompanied by a well-designed and rigorous evaluation strategy and a plan for fidelity monitoring continuous quality improvement (CQI).

Screening for Adverse Childhood Experiences Increases Visits to Behavioral Health Services
According to a recent study, new screenings for adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) increase the rate of positive screenings and reception of behavioral health services among children and adolescents. ACEs have been associated with physical and mental health complications, but there have been challenges when implementing wide-scale screening and appropriate action following positive screenings. The lack of referral guidelines and the slow uptake of ACE screening in pediatric primary care led to these challenges.

State Child Abuse & Neglect (Scan) Policies Database Updated With State Statutes
The State Child Abuse & Neglect (SCAN) Policies Database now includes updated state statutes regarding child abuse and neglect definitions for all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. The SCAN Policies Database—a collaboration between Child Trends and Mathematica, with funding from the federal Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation—is a resource to help researchers, analysts, policymakers, child welfare agencies, and others examine differences in states’ child maltreatment definitions and policies.

Evidence for Social and Emotional Learning in Schools
Be sure to check out this new report by Mark Greenberg from the Learning Policy Institute.
From the author: “There is a consensus among educators, parents, and policymakers that education should focus on supporting essential capacities to help children navigate the world successfully. This broad notion of educating the “whole child” generally includes at least the abilities to (1) develop healthy personal relationships, (2) treat others with respect and dignity, (3) develop the cognitive capacity to solve problems and think creatively, (4) succeed in postsecondary education and the labor market, and (5) be a contributing citizen in a democracy. To nurture these capacities, schools should be healthy, caring spaces that create a climate of support for equitable pathways for children to reach these goals while also creating a challenging and dynamic learning environment. Social and emotional learning (SEL) is critical for the development of these capacities.”

How to Help Kids Navigate Friendships and Peer Relationships
How your child relates with peers and friends might seem like something you have little control over. But, parents and caregivers can make a big difference in helping their children develop healthy relationships and friendships, using tools that sustain them later in life.

Getting Candid: Framing the Conversation Around Youth Substance Use Prevention
The National Council for Mental Wellbeing, in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), created a message guide and other tools to support youth-serving providers and other adults in preventing youth substance use. This project aims to give providers and other adults the tools to talk to young people directly.

FY23 Healthy Transitions Notice of Funding Opportunity Announcement
The purpose of this program is 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 that this population of 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 08, 2023.

Schools Say American Kids Are Hungry
There is growing concern about the effects on kids’ ability to learn. America’s schools say kids are hungry — just as pandemic-era benefit programs have lapsed. Congress temporarily made school meals free to all American schoolkids, but since that ended last fall, the need has only seemed to grow. Soaring food prices are adding strains on families who are seeing reductions in multiple kinds of financial assistance. One federal program that ends this month had given nearly 30 million Americans extra food stamps during the pandemic.

American Schools Would Rather Not Tell Parents Just How Badly Behind Their Children Are After the Pandemic
Schools have long faced criticism for failing to inform certain parents about their kids’ academic progress. Opportunities to catch up are plentiful in some places, thanks to federal COVID aid, but won’t last forever. Experts say it will take better communication with parents to help students get the support they need. But after the COVID-19 school closures, the stakes for children have, in many ways, never been greater.

Five Tips to Help Manage Behavior in Young Children
Experiencing conflict in the classroom is a normal part of growing up for young children. It means they are learning to interact with others and navigate the world. That doesn’t mean it is easy to deal with. Teachers have always had to manage misbehavior in the classroom. Still, behavior has become an even more significant challenge for many educators since the pandemic disrupted schools and child care.

Latest Federal Data Show That Young People Are More Likely Than Older Adults to Be Experiencing Symptoms of Anxiety or Depression
Young adults in the United States continue to be more likely than their older counterparts to be experiencing symptoms of anxiety or depression, according to the latest federal data analyzed by KFF researchers. The analysis of the Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey finds that half (50%) of adults ages 18-24 reported anxiety and depression symptoms in 2023, compared to about a third of adults overall. The data also show that young adults are more likely than adults of any other age group to experience mental health symptoms.

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 msaulsbury@cwla.org.

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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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