Friday Update

CMHNetwork Friday Update 4-16-22

April 16, 2022

Greetings, faithful readers – Let’s start this edition by spending time with the great Curtis Mayfield, singing his iconic song Keep on Keeping On. Much love from the Children’s Mental Health Network to all of you for your tireless advocacy efforts. Enjoy ya some Mayfield and then get to readin’ Friday Update, cuz we got work to do! 

Most Important Reads of the Week

Alcohol Use Among Girls and Young Women: A Worrying Trend
For at least two decades, data showed that boys and young men were more likely to drink than girls and young women. However, an unsettling trend has taken hold: Data now show that girls and young women, ages 12 to 20, are drinking more alcohol than their male counterparts. Alcohol use by people under the legal drinking age of 21 has decreased over the past few decades, but the decreases were more pronounced for males than females. In 2020, more girls and young women reported past-month alcohol use than boys and young men.

Race Matters — Arriving at More Equitable Health Policy
Social programs like Medicaid are supposed to help people, but often they reproduce racial inequities — and sometimes create them. That’s because policymakers can’t always see the impact their decisions have on people of color. On the latest episode of The Dose podcast, Cornell’s Jamila Michener talks about a tool she developed to help legislators and government officials identify when and how they should be thinking about racism.

Going Digital: Behavioral Health Tech
June 6 – 10, 2022

Going Digital: Behavioral Health Tech 2022 (#GDBHT2022) is the leading virtual behavioral health conference committed to expanding access to mental health and substance use services through technology and innovation. The Going Digital community is made up of health plans, employers, health systems, behavioral health providers, startups, investors, and policymakers to connect to advance access to behavioral healthcare for all. Attendance is FREE for everyone; participants are encouraged to make an optional donation of any amount to the 2022 non-profit partner, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention!

CHDI Launches National Online Training Course on How to Screen Children for Trauma
Trauma screening is a crucial first step toward identifying and connecting children and families who have experienced trauma with support and appropriate services, including evidence-based treatment. Trauma ScreenTIME is an online training course on how to screen children for trauma. This training was developed by the Child Health and Development Institute in collaboration with national experts based on current research and best practices. 

The Launch of 988: Let’s Get Ready!
April 25, 2022, 2-3 pm ET
If you are a family leader or provide services for children and youth, you won’t want to miss this webinar hosted by the Family-Run Executive Director Leadership Association. Join them to learn about the launch and implementation of 988 and how to become involved in the efforts happening in your state or community.

Young Men of Color Present Their Research on Mental Health
A cohort of Black and brown men 21 years and younger undertook research based on the premise that they are best equipped to research their own community’s experience with mental health and make recommendations for effective change. The researchers conducted surveys, interviews, and focus groups with peers about youth-led strategies on community healing and bettering mental health in Chicago. Inspiring!

Telehealth Has Played an Outsized Role Meeting Mental Health Needs During the COVID-19 Pandemic
There has been a rapid increase in the use of telehealth thus far in the COVID-19 pandemic for both mental and physical health concerns. While many employer health plans covered telehealth before the pandemic, utilization of these services was relatively low, accounting for less than 1% of outpatient visits. At its pandemic peak, telehealth represented 13% of outpatient visits between March and August 2020. While many continue to envision an expanded role for telehealth in the delivery of care following the pandemic, there remains considerable uncertainty in what services will be available, where and how providers will practice, how benefits will be structured, and how providers will be able to practice will be paid.

Reimagining Black Families’ Cultural Assets Can Inform Policies and Practices That Enhance Their Well-being
This brief is part of a larger effort by Child Trends researchers to expand knowledge about Black children and families. This effort will include continued work on Black family cultural assets and developing a new multi-year applied research agenda on Black children and families. While these publications will sometimes prioritize adults within Black families and sometimes prioritize children, the goals of the publications and research agenda are consistent—to build a deeper understanding of the diversity of Black families, contextualize their experiences within systems and institutions, and produce evidence to inform policies and practices that promote their well-being in the twenty-first century.

Children’s Mental Health: Understanding an Ongoing Public Health Concern
Poor mental health among children continues to be a substantial public health concern. A new report on children’s mental health used data from different sources to describe mental health and mental disorders in children during 2013–2019. Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and anxiety among children of all ages, and symptoms related to depression among adolescents, are the most common concerns. More information on positive mental health indicators such as emotional well-being and resilience is needed to truly understand children’s mental health.

The College Faculty Guide to Academic Supports for College Students with Serious Mental Health Conditions
This video series is designed to provide information and strategies for college faculty members regarding how to support the academic participation and success of students who experience mental health conditions. College students commonly experience mental health conditions, yet myths and misconceptions about mental health conditions persist. This video series aims to dispel these misconceptions and provide research-based information regarding how the experience of a mental health condition can impact a student’s academic participation and performance.

Harvard Chan C-CHANGE Youth Summit on Climate, Equity, and Health
Harvard Chan C-CHANGE and Putney Pre College are hosting their annual Youth Summit on Climate, Equity, and Health from July 24th – 30th in Boston, MA. This week-long summit will train high school students to be leaders in their communities through workshops, field-based activities, and meetings with scientists, health and policy experts, academics, energy innovators, and more. Full and partial scholarships are available and specifically designed to provide equitable access for students representing diverse voices, backgrounds, and perspectives.

Request for Information (RFI): Seeking Stakeholder Actionable Input to Improve Research on Health and Well-being for Asians, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders
The National Institute of Health (NIH)NIH is seeking information on opportunities and actionable recommendations for priorities that will help enhance research on the health of Asian, Native Hawaiian, and Other Pacific Islander populations. Specifically, respondents are asked to briefly address select topics or categories in the context of specific disease or health conditions (e.g., type of cancer, diabetes, aging, or mental health) as they pertain to specific Asian, Native Hawaiian, or Other Pacific Islander populations. The deadline to respond is April 8th.

Youth Incarceration in the United States
This infographic from the Annie E. Casey Foundation shows that public agencies made enormous progress reducing youth incarceration between 1995 and 2019, reflecting the deep declines in juvenile arrests over the same period. However, some harmful practices remained stubbornly entrenched, such as an over-reliance on incarceration once youth are referred to the juvenile justice system, especially for Black and Native American youth.

How Early Childhood Experiences Affect Lifelong Health and Learning
How is ongoing, severe stress and adversity in early childhood connected to chronic disease in adults? And, what can we do about it? In this animated video, narrated by Center on the Developing Child Director Jack P. Shonkoff, M.D., learn what the latest science tells us about how early experiences affect early learning and school readiness, and lifelong health.

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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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