Friday Update

CMHNetwork Friday Update 6-5-20

June 05, 2020

Hey Network faithful, let’s start with a powerful reminder of what the “vibe” of the White House once was, and what it can, and will be, once again. Enjoy the remarkable Keb Mo, singing ‘America the Beautiful,’ as he is warming up in the East Wing of the White House, before performing for President Obama and assembled guests. Culture, beauty, grace, spirit, all things American. Never forget that, Network faithful. Enjoy ya some Keb Mo, and then get to readin’ Friday Update, cuz we got work to do!

Most Important Reads of the Week

Implementing the Pediatric Mental Health Care Access Program: From Policy to Practice
Yes, we canceled the Tampa Conference. However, you can still enjoy selected presentations in our Tampa Conference Webinar Series. Be sure to sign up for our first offering on June 9th!

In 2004, Massachusetts initiated the Massachusetts Child Psychiatry Access Project to address the lack of access to pediatric mental health care. The project created a peer-to-peer consultation network between primary care providers and child psychiatrists throughout the state, enabling PCPs to manage more complex behavioral problems in primary care without subspecialty referral. Over the next 15 years, many states initiated similar programs using a variety of models. This webinar will address the history and evidence currently supporting the model, the process of developing and implementing the model in different states, and the plan for evaluating the PMHCA program. Download the flyer.

Using a “Core Components” Approach to Promote Positive Outcomes in Evidence-Based Youth Programs
Next up in our Tampa Conference webinar series!

Webinar – June 18, 2020 – 2 pm – 3 pm ET
A “core components” approach to evidence-based programming for youth focuses on implementing parts, features, attributes or characteristics of programs shown to be effective, while allowing flexibility in other aspects that can be designed to meet community or population needs. During this webinar, federal staff, policy, and youth-focused experts will introduce the “core components” approach, give an example of research moving this approach toward implementation, and present innovative strategies for how research and evaluation can generate better information about “core components.” This webinar is designed to broaden your thinking about evidence-based practices, how best to identify and monitor “core components,” and discuss how we can support evidence-based practices in ways that are more adaptable in today’s challenging times and complex environments.

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) and Mental Health for Children and Adolescents
States and localities are taking unprecedented steps to respond to the public health threat posed by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Among the measures intended to promote social distancing, many schools have been closed, and classes shifted to home-based distance-learning models. The first school closures began in mid-March 2020, and some states have already closed schools for the rest of the academic year. Nearly all of the 55 million students in kindergarten through 12th grade in the US are affected by these closures. School closures substantially disrupt the lives of students and their families and may have consequences for child health. As such, we must consider the potential associations school closures have with children’s well-being and what can be done to mitigate them.

Looking After Our Mental Health – WHO Report
As countries introduce measures to restrict movement as part of efforts to reduce the number of people infected with COVID-19, more and more of us are making considerable changes to our daily routines. The new realities of working from home, temporary unemployment, home-schooling of children, and lack of physical contact with other family members, friends, and colleagues take time to get used to. Adapting to lifestyle changes such as these, and managing the fear of contracting the virus and worry about people close to us who are particularly vulnerable, are challenging for all of us. They can be particularly difficult for people with mental health conditions. This webpage by the World Health Organization provides helpful hints and advice to use during this uncertain time.

Supporting Child and Family Wellbeing during the COVID-19 Emergency
Here is an excellent resource from New Hampshire NAMI that provides helpful questions to ask both parents/caregivers and children. Consider using this as a template for developing a similar resource that applies to the state you live in!

The Impact of COVID-19 on Children’s Mental Health
Studies indicate that the pandemic could have adverse effects on children’s physical and mental health. Yet, parents do not have the appropriate mental health or counseling skills to help their children or themselves. A study conducted in China found the average posttraumatic scores were four times higher among children who were quarantined than those who were not. This can be attributed to restrictions on daily life, psychological stress caused by home confinement or isolation.

Survey Request: Assessing Early Intervention and Social-Emotional Learning in Schools
Hey Network faithful, here is an opportunity to help one of our graduate interns out with her master’s project. Those of us who have been through the graduate school grind know that getting useful data is critical. Do your good deed for the day and share this data request with your colleagues who are working in education. Here is the request from Anna Tedder:

My  name is Anna Tedder.  I am a master’s candidate in the Child and Adolescent Behavioral Health Program at the University of South Florida. For my field experience, I am working with the Children’s Mental Health Network, researching the availability of early intervention programs within school systems to support students’ mental health. The following questionnaire is an attempt to gather information regarding the need for early intervention social-emotional curricula in our schools as well as what programs are being utilized and any barriers that schools are facing regarding implementation. Considering our current situation, I have also included a question regarding the support of students during the Covid-19 Pandemic. Please feel free to forward this questionnaire to any educators that may be interested in completing it. I will be compiling the data along with completing a literature review on early intervention this summer and will be happy to share the results with you. Please email me with any questions or information at Thank you in advance for your participation in this survey.

And while we are on the topic of graduate students collecting useful data, consider this request from USF doctoral student Enya Vroom.

Moving Science to Practice: Exploring Implementation Capacity Building in Community Settings
Calling all administrators/managers/supervisors and behavioral health professionals (e.g., clinicians, case managers, etc.) working in community-based organizations that deliver evidence-based behavioral health services in the United States! We have a promising doctoral student at the University of South Florida who could use our help. Doctoral student Enya Vroom needs your help with the Implementation Practice Survey that is a part of her dissertation research at the University of South Florida (IRB #686). The main goal is to assess community-based organizations and their employees’ perceptions of implementing evidence-based behavioral health services with adolescent and young adult populations. Participation is completely voluntary, your answers will be kept anonymous, and the survey should take about 15-20 minutes to complete. Must be 18 years or older. Every 25th participant to complete the survey will receive a $25 Amazon gift card! Please use this link to access the survey: If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Enya Vroom (

Responses by Public Residential Care Facilities to Infectious Diseases: Current State and Policy Considerations
This issue brief  from the Korea Institute for Health and Social Affairs discusses the importance of protecting the vulnerable individuals that reside in residential care facilities in Korea during a pandemic such as COVID-19. These facilities run the risk of mass infection due to living within proximity of one another, and pre-existing health conditions. Guidelines need to be put in place for residential care facilities to minimize the risk of exposure. Children’s mental health residential facilities need to educate the children residing in the facility on infectious disease. Further guidelines for children’s residential facilities are discussed.

To Reach Children Experiencing Homelessness, ECE and Housing Agencies can Share Data
new Child Trends brief developed for the Administration for Children and Families’ Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation finds that states struggle to serve homeless children and families in part because of varying definitions of homelessness and the difficulty of reaching families staying temporarily with friends or family. To increase access to high-quality early care and education for children experiencing homelessness, the authors encourage states to explore how they collect data, strengthen agency relationships, and more.

What the Funding? How to Lobby Effectively When You Can’t Be in the Room Where It Happens
A timely read from Mila Becker, on the Coalition for Health Funding website. Her blog post reflects on the “new normal” as Members of Congress are now meeting with constituents and lobbyists over video or teleconference rather than in person — a scenario that is likely to continue for the next 12 months.

CDC Postdoc in Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Research
A research opportunity is currently available with the Division of Violence Prevention (DVP), Research Evaluation Branch (REB), within the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (NCIPC), at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia. Under the guidance of a mentor, the participant will be involved with research related to the primary prevention of child sexual abuse.

Scaling Evidence-Based Treatments for Children: Lessons Learned in Connecticut
A recent webinar explores Connecticut’s efforts over the past 12 years to disseminate evidence-based treatments (EBTs) for children with behavioral health concerns. The webinar was hosted by the New England Mental Health Technology Transfer Center Network and led by the Child Health and Development Institute of Connecticut (CHDI)Child Health and Development Institute of Connecticut’s (CHDI) Jason Lang. In the webinar, Lang shares successful implementation strategies, outcomes, and lessons learned. Learn more about CHDI’s work to expand evidence-based practices.

Also from CHDI

Caregiver Wellness
This issue brief from the Child Health and Development Institute of Connecticut  includes tips and strategies for engaging in self-care and digital resources to help caregivers stay virtually connected.

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About the Author

Scott Bryant-Comstock

My passion is helping to shape policy and practice in children’s mental health. 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 for the exchange of ideas on how to continually improve children’s mental health research, policy and practice.

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