Friday Update

CMHNetwork Friday Update 5-13-22

May 13, 2022

Greetings, Network faithful. I don’t know about you, but I am ready for some comfort music. And for me, nothin’ does it like Bob Dylan. Joining Bob is Roger McGuinn, Neal Young, George Harrison, Eric Clapton, G.E. Smith, Tom Petty, and many more. Now that is some serious comfort! Enjoy this soulful tribute to Bob Dylan and then get to readin’ Friday Update, cuz we got work to do!

Most Important Reads of the Week

Invitation for Submission of Articles on Youth and Family Support to the Journal Healthcare
Eileen Brennan, Lisa Stewart, and Claudia Sellmaieare serve as co-editors of a peer-reviewed special issue of the open-access journal Healthcare, that will focus on youth mental health and family support. Invitations for the submission of articles to the peer-reviewed special issue are welcomed! The deadline for submission is June 15, 2022. For more information, please visit the special issue webpage.

Trauma ScreenTIME Course is Now Available
Trauma ScreenTIME is an online training course on how to screen children for trauma. The Child Health and Development Institute of Connecticut (CHDI) developed the training in collaboration with families and national experts based on best practices. The ScreenTIME course provides staff working with children and youth the knowledge to effectively screen children for trauma and connect families with their preferred supports and services to help children recover from trauma exposure. The ScreenTIME course is available at no cost to child-serving professionals. Additionally, continuing education credits are available. Keep up the great work, CHDI!

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.

How Right Now Campaign
How Right Now is a communications campaign designed to promote and strengthen the emotional well-being and resiliency of populations adversely affected by COVID-19–related stress, grief, and loss. Sharing concerns and challenges with your community helps relieve stress and build resilience. Use these tools to start a conversation together.

Secondary Traumatic Stress: Understanding the Impact on Professionals in Trauma-Exposed Workplaces
Designed for all child-serving professionals exposed to details of traumatic events and individuals suffering from post-traumatic distress in the context of their work. Through the content in this course, participants will learn the risks associated with working with individuals suffering from traumatic stress symptoms, strategies to reduce the impact of secondary traumatic stress (STS,) and how to support wellness in staff. Finally, this course addresses how STS is an ethical mandate for organizations and individuals working in trauma-exposed environments.

Double Jeopardy: COVID-19 and Behavioral Health Disparities for Black and Latino Communities in the United States
The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has revealed deep-seated inequities in health care for communities of color and amplifies social and economic factors contributing to poor health outcomes. Recent news reports indicate that the pandemic disproportionately impacts communities of color, compounding longstanding racial disparities.

Understanding and Quantifying Crossroads Moments: How Context and Decisions Can Affect Economic Mobility and Racial and Ethnic Disparities
Many interventions designed to support or improve outcomes among children and youth have been evaluated, but few evaluations assess the long-term effects of interventions. A new report (and accompanying digital feature) from Child Trends and the Urban Institute presents findings from simulations of interventions aimed at improving key “crossroads moments”—or critical moments that can set adolescents and young adults on an upward or downward path of economic mobility. These simulations use the Social Genome Model (SGM), an analytic tool that can project the effects of approaches that support the development of children and youth.

Six Ways to Build Resilience and Hope Into Young People’s Learning About Climate Change
As they become more exposed to the grim realities of climate change, today’s teens and people in their 20s — an entire generation — are experiencing increased anxiety, grief, fear, or guilt about the planet’s future and their own. Here are six ways of helping youth build resilience while learning about the planet’s future and pondering their own. 

Six Things Parents Should Know About Mental Health Before Sending a Kid to College
What can parents do to support the mental health of their children who are away at college? Experts, including Dr. Sarah Cain Spannagel, offer advice on making a plan and keeping the lines of communication open.

Parenting Survival Guide
As many as 1 in 5 children and youth will experience some form of mental health problem. The toll that takes, not only on the children but on parents, too, is enormous. This guide focuses on parents, with practical tips and information on how to prioritize wellness and start making things better for them and their families.

Improving The Measurement Of Structural Racism To Achieve Antiracist Health Policy
This article highlights methodological approaches that will move the field forward in its ability to validly measure structural racism to achieve health equity. The authors identify three key areas that require scholarly attention to advance antiracist health policy research: historical context, geographical context, and theory-based novel quantitative and qualitative methods that capture the multifaceted and systemic properties of structural racism and other systems of oppression.

Discriminatory Transgender Health Bills Have Critical Consequences for Youth
A new Child Trends brief describes the harm inflicted upon gender-diverse children and youth when policies deny them access to gender-affirming care and supportive environments. Gender-affirming care, which includes nonmedical and medical interventions, provides developmentally appropriate support to gender-diverse children and youth. When transgender children and youth feel that their identities are supported, they experience greater life satisfaction, fewer depressive symptoms, increased feelings of safety at school, and reduced school dropout rates.

Why American Teens Are So Sad
The United States is experiencing an extreme teenage mental-health crisis. According to a new CDC study, from 2009 to 2021, the share of American high-school students who say they feel “persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness” rose from 26 percent to 44 percent. This is the highest level of teenage sadness ever recorded. The government survey of almost 8,000 high-school students conducted in the first six months of 2021 found a great deal of variation in mental health among different groups. More than one in four girls reported that they had seriously contemplated attempting suicide during the pandemic, which was twice the rate of boys. Nearly half of LGBTQ teens said they had contemplated suicide during the pandemic, compared with 14 percent of their heterosexual peers. Sadness among white teens seems to be rising faster than among other groups.

Asian American and Pacific Islander LGBTQ Youth Face Unique Mental Health Challenges, Increased Racial & Ethnic Discrimination
A new report by The Trevor Project, the world’s largest suicide prevention and mental health organization for LGBTQ young people, explores the mental health and well-being of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) LGBTQ youth. This report is one of the first to analyze the mental health outcomes among youth who are both AAPI and LGBTQ.

UMD Research Finds Mental Health Help, Parenting Intervention Abates Generational Trauma
Without policies to ensure young parents have access to mental health services, preventing intergenerational trauma can be a challenge. Elizabeth Aparicio, University of Maryland assistant professor in the university’s public health school, conducted research that found children born to young parents are at an elevated risk of abuse and that young moms coping with stress from trauma need support to meet the needs of themselves and their children. This includes mental health treatment and essentials like food, housing, and diapers, but the two are often treated as separate.

The Upswing Fund: 2021 Impact Summary
The Upswing Fund for Adolescent Mental Health was launched in October 2020 in response to rising concerns about the impact that COVID-19 would have on the mental health and well-being of adolescents of color and LGBTQ+ youth. Last year they funded 92 organizations across 33 states & D.C., helping 127,000+ youth of color and LGBTQ+ youth access mental health services they would have otherwise not received. Learn more about what the Upswing Fund is doing to improve adolescent mental 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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