Friday Update

CMHNetwork Friday Update 7-22-22

July 22, 2022

Greetings, Network faithful. I have a real treat for you today. Get your groove on with Josh Turner and friends covering the Ray Charles song, Mary Ann. Pro tip – the drummer in this song is amazing! Enjoy the tune, do some dancin’ in your office (with the door closed, of course), and then get to readin’ Friday Update, cuz we got work to do!

Most Important Reads of the Week

HHS Prepares for Imminent Launch of 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline
This Saturday marks the launch of the three-digit 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline, which officials hope will make the service more accessible and effective than the current 10-digit National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. While not all states are prepared for the launch, HHS officials on a press call sounded excited about and confident in the initiative’s success.

A New Day or More of the Same? Our Hopes and Fears for 988 (and 911)
Must Read from the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law
This paper proposes a vision for a truly community-based response to people with urgent behavioral health needs. 988 can be part of this response but is only a part of what we really need.

WHO Highlights Urgent Need to Transform Mental Health and Mental Health Care
The World Health Organization released its largest review of world mental health since the turn of the century. The detailed work provides a blueprint for governments, academics, health professionals, civil society, and others with an ambition to support the world in transforming mental health. In 2019, nearly a billion people – including 14% of the world’s adolescents – were living with a mental disorder. Suicide accounted for more than 1 in 100 deaths, and 58% of suicides occurred before age 50. Mental disorders are the leading cause of disability, causing 1 in 6 years lived with disability. People with severe mental health conditions die on average 10 to 20 years earlier than the general population, mostly due to preventable physical diseases. Childhood sexual abuse and bullying victimization are major causes of depression. Social and economic inequalities, public health emergencies, war, and the climate crisis are among the global, structural threats to mental health. Depression and anxiety went up by more than 25% in the first year of the pandemic alone.

These 14 Innovations Are Tackling Youth Mental Health Challenges
Youth mental health is one of the most underfunded, neglected, yet crucial global challenges. Fourteen percent of the world’s young people live with a mental health condition, and one young person dies by suicide every 11 minutes. The selected 14 Top Innovators from the UpLink Youth Mental Health Challenge will receive support to scale their solutions to support young people’s mental health worldwide.

SuperBetter is Inviting You to Own a Stake in Their Company
and help spread mental health positivity across the globe…
Our friends at SuperBetter (one of the 14 innovators from the UpLink Youth Mental Health Challenge mentioned in the article above) were recently named a top innovator in youth mental health by The World Economic Forum. They have started a crowd-funding campaign to help further their reach to youth and families across the globe. If you are interested in sharing in the company’s ownership, check out their story on the Republic investment page and, if inclined, reserve your spot.

Optimistic Advocate Interview With Keith Wakeman, CEO of SuperBetter
Speaking of SuperBetter, give yourself a gift and listen to the interview I did with their CEO last year!
SuperBetter is an app designed to empower individuals and communities to live epic lives full of joy, resilience, strong social relationships, positive emotions, and a sense of purpose. In this episode of the Optimistic Advocate, Keith Wakeman, CEO of SuperBetter, talks about the story behind this fantastic app’s success. He discusses their mission to unlock heroic potential in every one of us worldwide through the app. Their epic win is to positively impact the co-occurring epidemics of mental illness, addiction, and suicide. And equally important, building connections with mission-aligned organizations to improve resilience, recovery, and mental health in the industries and communities they serve. SuperBetter is based on Jane McGonigal’s work, the Chief Science Officer of SuperBetter, and author of the New York Times best-seller of the same name.

Hopeful Cities Playbook
Hopeful Cities, a project of IFred, led by the inspirational Kathryn Goetzke, has just released the Hopeful Cities Playbook. The Playbook is based on the knowledge that hope is a critical skill that positively impacts all aspects of life. Hope is a known protective factor against anxiety and depression and has been linked to increased productivity, reduced crime, better social connection, and more. The Playbook is intended to give cities, counties, states, and countries free, accessible, action-oriented resources to activate hope in their city. As hopelessness is predictive of weapon-carrying on school property, violence, crime, addiction, and more, we must start teaching the ‘what’ of hopelessness and ‘how’ of hope. This Playbook gives you the resources to do so.

Schools and Mental Health: A Position Statement
Recirculating this position statement from The Center for Mental Health in Schools, which operates under the auspices of the School Mental Health Project in the Department of Psychology, UCLA.
Schools can make a major contribution to mental health. For this to happen, however, the work must be framed as doing much more than enhancing access to mental health services and adding social-emotional learning to the curriculum. The efforts must be embedded into a unified, comprehensive, and equitable system for addressing barriers to learning and teaching. The system must be prioritized as a primary and essential component of school improvement policy and practice.

The 7 Dimensions of Wellness
Have you ever heard of the 7 Dimensions of Wellness in one’s life? If not, Youth Era’s Empowerment author, Mordekai Tawney, put together this guide to understanding the seven areas in your life that impact overall wellness.

Latino Students’ Gains Threatened by the Pandemic, Analysis Finds
Latinos students have made academic progress over the last two to three decades—including rising high school graduation rates and enrollment in post-secondary education. But policymakers must now work to address setbacks to this progress caused by the pandemic. That’s one of the key takeaways from a new report by UnidosUS, a Latino civil rights and advocacy organization, on the state of education for Latino students.

Nearly Half of Us Kids Live in Homes With Criminal Justice Involvement
A University of Michigan study shows that four in 10 children in the United States grow up in households where a parent or co-residing adult faced at least one criminal charge, were convicted of a felony or spent time in prison. This dwarfs estimates from the Bureau of Justice Statistics that less than 1 in 40 children have a parent in prison in a given year.

Changing School Start Times: Impact on Sleep in Primary And Secondary School Students
The implementation of healthy school start times (at or after 8:30 am for middle and high school students) is a critical health policy that can quickly and effectively address significant adolescent sleep debt with minimal impact on younger students, who often are required to start earlier to accommodate later secondary school start times. This study highlights the significant benefit of later school start times for middle and high school students while demonstrating no significant negative effects of earlier elementary school start times. The study is novel due to the large sample size, the 2-year follow-up period, and the relatively diverse sample. Future studies should examine how early is too early to start school across development.

Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES): Preventing Early Trauma to Improve Adult Health
Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) are potentially traumatic events that occur in childhood. ACEs are linked to chronic health problems, mental illness, and substance misuse in adulthood. ACEs can include violence, abuse, and growing up in a family with mental health or substance use problems. Toxic stress from ACEs can change brain development and affect how the body responds to stress. However, ACEs can be prevented.

Providing Culturally Competent Mental Health Care to LGBTQIA+ Youth & Young Adults
Research has found that LGBTQIA+ youth and young adults have worse mental health than their heterosexual, cisgender peers, including higher rates of depression and suicidal ideation.2 The 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) found that lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) adults had more than twice the rate of mental illness than straight adults — 37.4% of LGB adults reported a mental illness in the past year, compared to 17.1% of straight adults.

Supporting Young Parenting Students Using Navigation Services
Young parenting students face unique obstacles in navigating the higher education system while balancing a demanding set of personal responsibilities. In a new Child Trends brief, Manica F. Ramos and Renee Ryberg suggest that navigation services—or services that help people access and navigate the information, resources, and supports available—can help young parenting students surmount barriers in the higher education system that impact their educational trajectories.

Advancing Health Equity Through Federal Payment and Delivery System Reforms
In several commentaries over the past six months, leaders from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) have announced advancing health equity as a top priority. This emphasis results from CMMI’s review of the first ten years of the Innovation Center, which showed that equity was not a priority in model design, participant recruitment, or evaluation. In our review of the past decade of evidence on these experiments, we identified the following five areas in which CMS can focus efforts to advance health equity through payment and delivery system reform.

Personal Resiliency Tips for Helpers Who Support Students
It’s essential to take care of yourself, not just for your well-being but also for those you care about and support. Self-care will help improve your energy, focus, ability to cope with challenges, and overall life experience. And you’re modeling wellness strategies for the children and youth you serve. Be sure to visit School Mental Health Ontario for more great resources like this!

Hiding in Plain Sight: Youth Mental Illness Now Streaming
Follow the journeys of more than 20 young Americans from all over the country and all walks of life who have struggled with thoughts and feelings that have troubled—and, at times—overwhelmed them. Hiding in Plain Sight presents an unstinting look at the seemingly insurmountable obstacles faced by those living with mental disorders and the hope many have found after that storm.

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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, 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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