CMHNetwork Friday Update 5-27-22
May 27, 2022
May 27, 2022
Greetings, Network faithful. My soul hurts after the horrific school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, earlier this week. As faithful readers know, we always start Friday Update with music. For some reason, I am drawn to the Sam Cooke classic, Bring it on Home to Me. There are no hidden meanings or clever topical references to this week’s events. Just a great song that I needed to lose myself in today. Give yourself the gift of a treasured five minutes to lose yourself in this version of the song by the Tedeschi Trucks Band. Just let yourself go and smile about the complexities of humanity and the joy and goodness that is in every one of us, even on the darkest days. Enjoy the tune, and then get to readin’ Friday Update, cuz we got work to do!
Most Important Reads of the Week
From Sandy Hook to Uvalde. And So It Continues…
On December 14, 2012, I wrote this lead-in for Friday Update:
Greetings, faithful readers. As we send this update to you, our hearts are saddened by the senseless violence that took place at a Connecticut elementary school today. The news of this tragedy is unfolding, and we will certainly be weighing in as more details emerge. We debated whether or not to send our typically upbeat Friday Update out today but ultimately decided that, yes, the spirit, hope, and hard work of the Network must go on, even on days when tragedy is all around us. So enjoy this issue of Friday Update and keep the families of those lost today, the teachers and children who witnessed the horror, and the first responders close to your heart.
And now, here we are on May 27, 2022, reeling from the senseless mass murder at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, a few short days ago. It’s been a little over ten years since the Sandy Hook massacre. In 2022 alone, there have been 27 school shootings resulting in injury or death in the U.S. Since the Sandy Hook massacre, I have watched Senator Chris Murphy shout, plead, and beg members of Congress to do something about gun violence. After this most recent massacre, his remarks on the Senate floor are most likely compelling. But you know what? I still can’t watch. My heart is too heavy. It is probably not the response I should be giving you, but it is the raw truth. I am so tired of this. Yes, we will marshal through this and soldier on; we will continue fighting for common sense because that’s what we do. But today, my heart just plain hurts too much. I’ll pick up the fight tomorrow. Today, for me, is for… actually, I am not even sure what today is for. Grieving, I guess.
I encourage all readers of Friday Update to visit the Sandy Hook Promise website and, if so moved, get involved by volunteering, donating funds to this most worthy cause, or both. Born out of unspeakable tragedy, this organization is a beacon of light in our collective search for sensible solutions to gun violence. As the Sandy Hook Promise website so distinctly and eloquently states – “Sandy Hook Promise envisions a future where children are free from shootings and acts of violence in their schools, homes, and communities.” Visit the Sandy Hook Promise website and make a difference today.
Helpful Resources to Address the Mass Shooting in Uvalde, Texas
Many thanks to Michelle Zabel, MSS, Assistant Dean, and Director, The Institute for Innovation and Implementation, for compiling this list of resources in response to the horrific mass shooting in Texas earlier this week.
Helping Young People Cope With Mental Health Challenges
Vox Media’s NowThis is linking arms with Ken Burns and PBS to share an upcoming documentary titled “Hiding in Plain Sight: Youth Mental Illness.” Scenes from the forthcoming film will be shared across NowThis social platforms throughout Mental Health Awareness Month in May. NowThis will host a live TikTok conversation about the topic, as well. The goal, Burns said, is “to get this material out to young people around the country.” The film itself will debut at the end of June on PBS.
Uplift by Youth Era: Teaching Youth Peer Support Skills
More than 500 youth signed up for the most recent Uplift event! Studied by the University of Oxford and co-designed with young adults, Uplift by Youth Era is the future of peer support. Empower a young person in your life to be who they need, and apply to join the next Uplift training in June!
Randolph “Randy” Muck September 14, 1955 to April 21, 2021 in Memoriam
On the first anniversary of his death, several of us who knew and worked with Randy write this tribute to remember and honor his impact on so many people. Randy provided much-needed leadership from within the federal government to develop and disseminate evidence-based substance use treatments designed for adolescents and their families. He was successful because he had a rare ability to connect with all the groups important to improving adolescent treatment: provider organizations, schools, juvenile justice, counselors, federal agency decision-makers, researchers, private foundations, and most importantly—adolescents and their families. He saw how these groups could align their different interests and collaborate. This, in turn, helped youth, families, and systems of care in ways that continue to have an impact.
HHS Awards Nearly $25 Million to Expand Access to School-Based Health Services
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), recently announced nearly $25 million will be made available to improve and strengthen access to school-based health services in communities across the country. Awards will support local partnerships between schools and health centers to provide children and youth with the comprehensive physical and mental health care they need.
Investing in Prevention Makes Good Financial Sense
Primary prevention—including screening and intervention before negative health outcomes occur—is relatively inexpensive. The higher-risk behaviors it is designed to reduce are so costly to the healthcare system that it is staggeringly wasteful not to make sure that screening and treatment referrals are readily implemented and faithfully reimbursed by insurers and that interventions are convenient for parents and their children.
PAX Good Behavior Game
Speaking of prevention…
The PAX Good Behavior Game is an evidence-based universal preventive intervention applied by teachers in the classroom. This evidence-based practice consists of research-based strategies with origins in behavioral science, neuroscience, and cultural wisdom that operate together to improve children’s self-regulation. Teachers implement these strategies as part of their daily routines in carrying out tasks such as getting students’ attention, selecting students for tasks, transitioning from one task to the next, working as part of a team, limiting problematic behavior, and reinforcing pro-social behavior.
HHS Launches New Maternal Mental Health Hotline
The Maternal Mental Health Hotline is a new, confidential, toll-free hotline for expecting and new moms experiencing mental health challenges. Those who contact the hotline can receive a range of support, including brief interventions from trained culturally and trauma-informed counselors and referrals to both community-based and telehealth providers as needed. Callers also will receive evidence-based information and referrals to support groups and other community resources.
Six Things You Need To Know About Music and Health
A growing body of research suggests that listening to or performing music affects the brain in ways that may help promote health and manage disease symptoms. More justification for the plethora of music videos posted in Friday Update!
Know Your Rights: Parity for Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Benefits
This brochure gives an overview of the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008. It lists some common limits placed on mental health and substance use disorder benefits and services.
Going Digital: Behavioral Health Tech
Aaahhhh!!! Less than 20 days!!! Well? Have you registered for the 2022 Going Digital: Behavioral Health Tech summit on June 8-9th yet? Can’t make it? Wondering if you can access all of the sessions with our hundreds of speakers after June 8-9th? YES, but ONLY if you register in advance. So, you should probably get on that.
Building a More Equitable Juvenile Justice System for Everyone
Racial inequities regarding the policing of children, and the subsequent disparities in their treatment within the juvenile justice system, have been problems in this country for far too long. It is encouraging that many states and counties are not only recognizing these issues but are taking action. The CSG Justice Center is committed to providing research-driven, data-informed solutions to our partners to continue building safer and stronger communities for everyone, especially our youth.
Disruptions to School and Home Life Among High School Students During the COVID-19 Pandemic — Adolescent Behaviors and Experiences Survey, United States, January–June 2021
Young people have experienced disruptions to school and home life since the COVID-19 pandemic began in March 2020. From January to June 2021, CDC conducted the Adolescent Behaviors and Experiences Survey (ABES), an online survey of a probability-based, nationally representative sample of U.S. public- and private-school students in grades 9–12. ABES data were used to estimate the prevalence of disruptions and adverse experiences during the pandemic, including parental and personal job loss, homelessness, hunger, emotional or physical abuse by a parent or other adult at home, receipt of telemedicine, and difficulty completing schoolwork. Prevalence estimates are presented for all students by sex, race and ethnicity, grade, sexual identity, and difficulty completing schoolwork.
CDC Survey Finds the Pandemic Had a Big Impact on Teens’ Mental Health
According to a survey published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than four in 10 teens report feeling “persistently sad or hopeless” during the COVID-19 pandemic. Girls were twice as likely to experience mental health troubles compared to boys. And LGBTQ students were hit the hardest. The CDC’s findings were gathered from online surveys from a sample of 7,700 US students during the first six months of 2021.
New Initiative to Define Policy Recommendations for Embedding Equity into 988
The Kennedy-Satcher Center for Mental Health Equity & Beacon Health Options are joining forces to create and develop an equitable crisis response for the future of behavioral health service delivery ahead of the July 2022 launch of 988.
State Policymakers Can Support Equitable School-based Telemental Health Services
This brief presents five ways state policymakers can support equitable school-based telemental health services, with recommendations based on relevant policy context, existing research, and—in some cases—feedback from interviews with five TMH providers who testified to on-the-ground experience with these interventions.
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.