Friday Update

CMHNetwork Friday Update 4-25-21

April 25, 2021

Greetings, faithful readers. I’ve got a treat for you! Immerse yourself in the brilliance of Sami Yusuf with his Azerbaijani composition – Nasimi. The lyrics of this song come from the poetry of the 14th-century mystical poet Nasimi, who was one of the first literary figures to compose in Azerbaijani. The musical narrative is majestic, powerful, and intensely beautiful. Performed live at the Opening Ceremony of the 43rd UNESCO World Heritage Committee held at the Heydar Aliyev Center in Baku, Azerbaijan. Enjoy this performance, and then get to readin’ Friday Update, cuz we got work to do!

Most Important Reads of the Week

The MOST Dynamic Family Advocate – Barbara Huff
Oh man, this was a significant interview for me to be a part of. This episode of The Optimistic Advocate features the iconic family advocate – Barbara Huff. Barbara is the first board president and the founding Executive Director of the National Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health (NFFCMH). In this delightful conversation, Barbara weaves the story of her impactful advocacy journey, from an Interior Design professional “mom” to the unwavering, trail-blazing family advocate who left her mark on, among many important milestones, helping to craft the original legislation that brought the United States systems of care, to helping to create, and then lead, the National Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health, the first advocacy organization to solely focus on the needs of children and adolescents with behavioral health challenges and their families. It was a joyous interview for me to conduct. Take your time with this one, folks, as it runs just a bit over an hour and a half. Pace yourself, as the conversation is full of nuggets of wisdom.

Miriam Delphin-Rittmon, Nominee for Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use, Department of Health and Human Services
President Joe Biden announced his intent to nominate Miriam Delphin-Rittmon, for Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use, Department of Health and Human Services. We wish Miriam well and look forward to a fresh vision of leadership for SAMHSA!

We Can Talk: Honest Conversation About Race
In this episode of The Optimistic Advocate podcast, Julie Radlauer-Doerfler and Ryon Coote have a conversation about race and social justice issues, demonstrating how people from different backgrounds can have deep and civil conversations about these complex issues. This episode is the first of a series of conversations about race. Enjoy the series!

An Exploration of Substance Use Fundamentals & Youth Perspective on the Impacts of COVID-19
Join the National Council and Thomas E. Freese, PhD, co-director for both the UCLA Integrated Substance Abuse Programs & the Pacific Southwest Addiction Technology Transfer Center, for “An Exploration of Substance Use Fundamentals & Youth Perspective on the Impacts of COVID-19” on Thursday, April 29 from 3:00-4:30 pm ET / 12:00-1:30 pm PT, to learn more about the effects of the pandemic on youth and why it is more important than ever to understand youth substance use. Together, we will explore preliminary data from a national assessment and an overview of various substances and the associated impact of the psychoactive substances most commonly used by youth.

Children’s Wisconsin Meets $15 Million Challenge to Help Address Mental and Behavioral Health in Kids
Children’s Wisconsin says its largest single donation in history, $15 million, has been met through a dollar-for-dollar challenge from the Reiman Foundation. In total, Children’s Wisconsin says $30 million was raised to help address a growing mental and behavioral health crisis in kids. In November 2019, Children’s Wisconsin announced a comprehensive $150 million systemwide five-year investment. Seven initiatives have been designed for the investment, including universal screening for mental health, school-based mental and behavioral health programs throughout the state, a therapist fellowship program, and partnerships with inpatient and residential area providers. Check out their website here.

Study Links Structural Brain Changes to Behavioral Problems in Children Who Snore
A large study of children has uncovered evidence that behavioral problems in children who snore may be associated with changes in their brain’s frontal lobe structure. The findings support the early evaluation of children with habitual snoring (snoring three or more nights a week).

First National ‘Mental Health Action Day’ to Drive People to Take a First Mental Health Action for Themselves or Others
One year into COVID-19 and amidst a growing mental health crisis, MTV Entertainment Group and nearly 200 organizations team up to plan the inaugural ‘Mental Health Action Day’ on May 20.

Children Seeking Mental Health Care Likely to Stay In ER Longer Than a Decade Earlier
Children seeking mental health care are likely to stay in emergency rooms longer than they would have a decade earlier, according to a recent study of 2005 to 2015 data. The study’s authors called on state and federal leaders to institute policy to revamp mental health treatment and expand the number of available pediatric mental health specialists, including in emergency rooms.

In case you missed it…
The Tampa Conference – Celebrating 32 Years of Excellence and the End of an Era
I come to you with an announcement that includes a mixture of joy and pride, and admittedly, a tinge of sadness. After much reflection and conversation with Mario Hernandez, Chair of the Department of Child & Family Studies at the University of South Florida, we have decided to let the Annual Research & Policy Conference on Child, Adolescent, and Young Adult Behavioral Health, affectionately known as “The Tampa Conference,” have a much-deserved rest. Get out your handkerchief and read my heartfelt thank you to all things Tampa Conference!

How Schools Can Help Kids Heal After A Year Of ‘Crisis And Uncertainty’
To reestablish relationships in the classroom — and help kids cope with the stress and trauma of the past year — mental health experts say educators can start by building in time every day, for every student, in every classroom to share their feelings and learn the basics of naming and managing their emotions. Think morning circle time or, for older students, homeroom.

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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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