Friday Update

CMHNetwork Friday Update 6-26-21

June 26, 2021

Greetings, faithful readers. Let’s revisit a popular request of a delightful cover by PMG of the Cars hit song, Just What I Needed. So get what you need from this video (Pay attention to the guy playing the tambourine), enjoy the endorphin rush, and then get to readin’ Friday Update cuz we got work to do!

Most Important Reads of the Week

Understanding How Client Problematic Gaming Behaviors Affect Perspectives, Attitudes, and Clinical Practice of Behavioral Health Clinicians
Amanda Weston, a doctoral candidate at the University of South Florida’s Behavioral and Community Science PhD program, is conducting a national dissertation survey examining registered/licensed clinicians’ attitudes and perspectives about their ability to recognize, diagnosis, and treat problematic video gaming behaviors (PGB) in their children, adolescents, and adults that they serve. Participants do not need to have experience working with clients with problematic gaming behaviors to be eligible for the survey. Information collected from this survey will be used to develop training for clinicians and enhance understanding of the perceived prevalence of PGB, how PGB are being assessed, diagnosed, and treated within communities, and the barriers to implementing treatment interventions to these populations. Let’s help Amanda out with this important study. Take the survey!

Conversations on Race – A Three-Part Series with Julie Radlauer-Doerfler & Ryon Coote
Conversations about race, racism, and racial justice are more important than ever. The We Can Talk- Honest Conversations About Race podcast series is designed to move audiences from skepticism about the existence of discrimination or our ability to do anything about it into a frame of mind that is more solution-oriented. The podcast’s goal is to model how to have difficult conversations and encourage others to do the same.

A New Tracker Highlights Racial Disparities and Missing Data in America’s COVID-19 Outbreaks
Last month, a major new COVID-19 data source came on the scene: the Health Equity Tracker, developed by the Satcher Health Leadership Institute at Morehouse School of Medicine. This tracker incorporates data from the CDC, the Census, and other sources to provide comprehensive information on which communities have been hit hardest by COVID-19—and why they are more vulnerable. Notably, it is currently the only place where you can find COVID-19 race/ethnicity case data at the county level.

Closing the Gap with Social Determinants of Health Accelerator Plans
CDC released a grant opportunity late last week: DP21-2111 – Closing the Gap with Social Determinants of Health Accelerator Plans. The grant will fund approximately 20 state, local, tribal or territorial jurisdictions to develop an implementation-ready social determinants of health (SDOH) accelerator plan. Recipients will convene and coordinate a Leadership Team consisting of multi-sectoral partners to plan and develop an SDOH accelerator plan to fast-track improvements in health and social outcomes related to chronic health conditions among population groups experiencing health disparities and inequity. At least one territory and one tribe will be funded. No more than three state and local applicants per HHS region will receive awards to ensure geographic diversity. Awards will be up to $125,000 with a budget period of 12 months. The deadline to apply is July 5th.

Confronting a Legacy of Scarcity: A Plan for America’s Reinvestment in Public Health
The Yale Global Health Justice Partnership — a collaboration between the Yale Law School and Yale School of Public Health — released a new report, “Confronting a Legacy of Scarcity: A Plan for America’s Reinvestment in Public Health,” which outlines a set of proposals to revive public health in the United States. The report recommended that significant investments are needed urgently and immediately to repair the underfunded public health infrastructure in the United States, which the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has further eroded.

MH LIT: Student Mental Health in Action
The amazing team at School Mental Health Ontario is out with another resource as part of their Student Mental Health Action Kit called MH LIT: Student Mental Health in Action! This kit provides a resource for secondary school educators to support student mental health literacy and help-seeking. The resource includes a four-part lesson series focusing on mental health and mental illness (the dual continuum); signs of mental health problems; strategies to support mental health and well-being; and how/where to access help for yourself and your friends, when needed. The resource also offers additional supportive materials, including a school readiness checklist, a secondary school leader’s implementation resource, as well as educator preparation suggestions.

Suicide Continues to Get Sad Before It Gets Sadder
This article discusses the need for continued research on suicide, and it is trending upward.  It also discusses needed updates on definitions associated with suicide. Here is an excerpt:

In 2018, in response to yet another historically high Colorado suicide death count, I published an article imploring Colorado suicide prevention administrators and practitioners to heed the alert, “It is going to get worse before it gets worse.” In reaction to this alarm, and many earlier words of warning, some readers accused me of suffering from the ‘Chicken Little Syndrome.’

With the advantage of hindsight, it is now fitting to paraphrase a popular quote from Miguel de Cervantes, the author of Don Quixote: “Facts are the enemy of [your perceived] truth.”

Dr. George Patrin Response to MedPage Today Article on the Need for Novel Research to Combat Suicide
I asked Dr. George Patrin, founder of the Serendipity Alliance, to comment on the above article. Dr. Patrin is a leader in the field of Suicidology and a former Advisory Council member for the Children’s Mental Health Network. Here is his reply:

I agree it’s sad that we simply are not getting it, that suicide deaths continue because we keep looking for a magic risk data point to alert us that we need to care enough to intervene and stay with the person until they are in a better, brighter place. Along with the author, Russell Copelan, I am very tired of our society being OK with suicide getting worse before it gets better…or not. Continue reading here.

Using Trauma-Informed Restorative Justice With Youth
This brief describes how restorative juvenile justice approaches are applied in jurisdictions to divert youth from justice system involvement and address their behavioral health needs while promoting public safety. It also emphasizes the negative impact traditional, punitive justice responses have on minority populations and lists larger benefits of restorative justice such as reduced trauma, cost savings, and lesser involvement in the JJS.

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