Friday Update

CMHNetwork Friday Update 4-16-21

April 16, 2021

Greetings, faithful readers. Written more than 50 years ago, the Bob Dylan classic “The Times They Are A-Changin‘” is as relevant today as it was then. We invite you to enjoy this touching rendition performed by Brandi Carlile and Mike McCready (Pearl Jam) from a recent event celebrating the 75th anniversary of the UN, Peace Through Music. Change is inevitable. It’s up to us to create change that uplifts, change that betters ourselves and humankind, and change that is for the good and the love of everyone. Enjoy this iconic tune and then get to readin’ Friday Update, cuz we got work to do!

Most Important Reads of the Week

Mr. President, Science Matters: Build Back NREPP NOW (the National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices)
Don’t miss Dennis Embry’s latest Morning Zen post!
“Dear Mr. President:
SAMHSA and the Nation experienced the silencing of proven science to prevent, moderate, treat and recover from mental, emotional, behavioral disorders, including serious mental illnesses and addictions. The former Administration removed all traces of scientifically proven strategies that regular citizens, families, local leaders, schools, and communities could review and chose from to better the lives of loved ones, schools, communities, and more. It was an act of “cancel culture” of knowledge. The former Trump-appointed SAMSHA administration killed the National Registry for Evidence-Based Programs and Practices (NREPP)—used by tens of thousands of people and organizations every year to understand what strategies might be helpful.”

Youth Mobile Response Services: An Investment to Decriminalize Mental Health
The Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) released a new report, Youth Mobile Response Services: An Investment to Decriminalize Mental Health. The authors evaluate the role of law enforcement and mental health systems in the United States and their relationships to racial justice – recognizing that these systems have caused more harm than good over the past few centuries.

Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis: Effectiveness of Wraparound Care Coordination for Children and Adolescents
For nearly 30 years, “Wraparound” has been adopted in states and jurisdictions across the country to better meet the mental health and other needs of children and adolescents with serious emotional and behavioral needs and their families, and keep them safely in their homes and communities. However, it has long been debated whether Wraparound is actually more effective than traditional services. New research by a team of researchers at the University of Washington Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences finds that Wraparound consistently produces more positive outcomes for these youth. Moreover, Wraparound may hold potential for reducing disparities in outcomes for youth of color, disparities that have long been found for mental health services.

Supporting Child, Caregiver, and Family Well-Being in Times of Crisis: Strategies to Promote Effective Virtual and Phone Engagement
Anyone who interacts with children, caregivers, and families has an opportunity to reach out and provide encouragement, support, and information that can strengthen a family’s ability to meet both the challenges of daily life and the added stressors that come in a time of crisis. Families develop and cultivate resilience through adversity, and often they just need some additional resources to thrive. There are many ways that professionals outside of child protective services can act to support children and their caregivers and connect them with appropriate resources that may mitigate any risks for harm. The guide provides questions and prompts for practitioners to engage parents and youth based on five different protective factors: rapport, parental resilience, social connections, knowledge of parenting and child development, and concrete supports in time of need.

Reflections on the Joker’s Popularity and What America Can Learn From Gotham City’s Mental Health System: An Interview With Micah Howe
In this episode of The Optimistic Advocate, I had the honor of engaging in conversation with Micah Howe, a dedicated mental health advocate from rural Iowa. Micah candidly shared his journey through mental health treatment and support, and his evolution as an advocate. Micah provides some great tips for those with mental illness, their families, and loved ones. Micah is a strong advocate and a rising voice for those with lived experience. Enjoy the interview! 

Reaching Youth: At Risk for Substance Use and Misuse
This resource guide was compiled to address the need for comprehensive, evidence-based information to help states implement new early intervention programs or expand and improve existing ones. The document provides a set of principles of effective early intervention services; in-depth case studies of five different innovative state programs; a state-by-state description of early intervention services; and examples of programs and tools.

New Report Series Explores Medicaid’s Role in the National Recovery
Created in partnership with Well Being Trust – a national foundation dedicated to advancing the mental, social, and spiritual health of the nation – the Medicaid Forward: Behavioral Health report provides evidence-backed, sustainable policy and program solutions to improve Medicaid members’ mental health and well-being and support Medicaid programs during these unprecedented times. Read NAMD Executive Director Matt Salo’s call to action and get busy!

Supporting Parents Who Have Experienced Trauma
new Child Trends brief outlines strategies that policymakers, service providers, and caregivers can use during the COVID-19 pandemic to support parents who have experienced trauma. Throughout the pandemic, caregivers have faced many challenges, including unemployment and benefits cuts, loss of child care, and the need to supervise virtual learning. Research shows that chronic stress and hardship can negatively affect parents’ and caregivers’ ability to support and nurture their children. These effects are even more significant for parents who have a history of trauma.

COVID-19 is Making Kids Anxious: What Can Parents Do?
The COVID-19 pandemic has created a stressful time for everyone. This is especially true for children, who are more vulnerable to the emotional impact of traumatic events that disrupt their daily lives. Some children may be more irritable or clingy, and some may regress and demand extra attention. Developmental scientist Jessica Bartlett, Ph.D., suggests that parents support their children’s physical and emotional health by practicing the three R’s: routines, regulation and reassurance.

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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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