Friday Update

CMHNetwork Friday Update 7-10-21

July 10, 2021

Greetings, Network faithful. I need a little Prince in my life right about now. Enjoy this fantastic performance from the 2004 Rock Hall of Fame tribute to George Harrison. Prince steals the show with his superb artistry with the guitar, which is as it should be. The universe is in alignment. Okay, shut the door, turn up the volume, and embrace the spirit of Prince and George Harrison. What could be better? Enjoy the video and then get to readin’ Friday Update, cuz we got work to do!

Most Important Reads for the Week

Tessie Castillo: Advocate for Humanity on Death Row
Tessie Castillo is an author, journalist, and public speaker specializing in criminal justice, drug policy, prison reform, and racial equity. She co-wrote her first book, Crimson Letters: Voices from Death Row, with four men serving death sentences in North Carolina, whom she met while volunteering at North Carolina’s Central Prison in 2014. While volunteering, Castillo was moved by the wisdom, humility, and accountability of the men in prison. In May 2014, she wrote an editorial to the Raleigh News & Observer advocating for the humanity of people on Death Row. In response, the prison administration canceled her class and revoked her status as a volunteer. Castillo began writing to her former students. The letters and essays they exchanged formed the base for Crimson Letters: Voices from Death Row. After its publication in March 2020, the prison confiscated the book from its co-authors and banned it from NC prisons. Be sure to listen to my interview with the amazing advocate, Tessie Castillo!

Pediatric Mental Health Minute Series: Supporting the Grieving Child and Family
In this 15-minute video titled Supporting the Grieving Child and Family, David J Schonfeld, MD, FAAP, will discuss basic skills for pediatric healthcare providers to talk with and support grieving children and families and outline some of the unique challenges posed by grief during the current COVID-19 pandemic. The Pediatric Mental Health Minute Series provides real-time education to support pediatricians caring for children and youth with mental health disorders.

Building Bridges of Hope through Trauma-Informed Caregiver-School Partnerships
Hosted by the National Training Center for Child, Youth & Family Mental Health on July 20, 2021   4-6 p.m. ET / 3-5 p.m. CT
Supporting children and youth with high emotional and behavioral needs is often lonely, overwhelming, complex, and not well-understood. As a caregiver, how do you navigate school services, child welfare, and other involved systems to get the support you need for your child? As school providers, how might we learn with families through their advocacy journeys? Listen and learn from family advocates and colleagues in the field to deepen our practice, student-center our services, and make this work less lonely and more connected.

Anti-LGBTQ Policy Proposals Can Harm Youth Mental Health
A new exploratory analysis from Child Trends suggests that proposing legislation that discriminates against LGBTQ people may increase the number of LGBTQ youth who experience a mental health crisis. From 2015 to 2019, state legislatures introduced 215 pieces of anti-LGBTQ legislation, for an average of 43 proposed laws each year. Researchers examined the volume of texts to Crisis Text Line—a free, 24-hour service that connects people who need support with a licensed counselor via text message—and found that these messages increased in states during the four weeks following the introduction of an anti-LGBTQ legislation proposal in that state. As policymakers consider introducing legislation that limits access to or participation in services and opportunities for LGBTQ people, they must also consider the potential detrimental impacts of such policy debates on the well-being of LGBTQ youth.

We Can Prevent Childhood Adversity
A new CDC infographic shows the impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and how preventing ACEs can help create neighborhoods and communities where every child thrives. This infographic showcases data from the CDC-Kaiser Permanente ACE Study. ACEs are potentially traumatic events in childhood (0-17 years), such as neglect and experiencing or witnessing violence. However, types of early adversity can be stopped before they start. Safe, stable, and nurturing relationships and environments have a positive impact on creating positive childhood experiences. Their benefits can last a lifetime.

New Mental Health Workforce and Organization Resources From the Massachusetts Children’s Behavioral Health Knowledge Center!
These tools were built in partnership with young people & providers to best support effective young adult peer mentor integration. Young adult peer mentors can transform your organization. Young adult peer mentors complement clinical supports, ensuring that services are culturally and developmentally attuned to youth and young adult needs.

The Child Health and Development Institute of Connecticut, Inc. (CHDI) and the National Center for Youth Opportunity and Justice (NCYOJ) teamed up to create three tip sheets to help educators understand trauma and how it can manifest in student behaviors, as well as emphasize the importance of incorporating a trauma-informed perspective into the design, implementation, and evaluation of school responder models.

KITS: Giving Kids a Leg Up in Learning!
The transition to kindergarten can be tough on kids. Researcher Katherine Pears, PhD, says parents and teachers can use a summer program intervention, KITS, to get kids ready. For teachers, KITS techniques, such as thanking kids in advance, have made teaching easier. Parents were also benefitting from KITS. According to their teachers, kids who took part in the KITS intervention during the summer were found to have better literacy skills compared to the group that did not receive the KITS intervention. Teachers also reported KITS kids, as having better self-regulation skills at the end of kindergarten.

2021 Racial and Ethnic Disparities Conference hosted by the Coalition for Juvenile Justice
November 1 – 3, 2021
Each year, CJJ hosts a conference focusing specifically on racial and ethnic disparities in the youth legal system. These conferences give stakeholders from around the country an opportunity to share strategies and explore solutions to this serious problem. This year’s conference will bring together stakeholders working to fight disparities at the local, state, and national levels, as well as the larger juvenile justice community. To view a draft of the agenda, click here.

Yoga: What You Need To Know
Look. You don’t need to convince me that yoga is good for ya, but NIH is here to help you out if you need a bit more research to convince you. Research suggests that yoga may have several potential benefits for children.

Explore More Posts
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.

Explore More Posts