Friday Update

CMHNetwork Friday Update 7-3-20

July 03, 2020

The U.S. celebrates this Independence Day amid nationwide protests and calls for systemic reforms. In this short film, five young descendants of Frederick Douglass read and respond to excerpts of his famous speech, “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?” which asks us to consider America’s long history of denying equal rights to Black Americans. Enjoy these young voices and celebrate their connection, and ours, to the great Frederick Douglass, and then get to readin’ Friday Update, cuz we got work to do!

Most Important Reads of the Week

Our next “Tampa Conference” webinar is approaching. Don’t miss it!
Development of Patient Experience Questionnaire Measuring Patient Satisfaction and Quality of Care in Behavioral Healthcare Environment
July 7, 2020 – 2:00 pm ET – 3:00 pm ET
Be sure to put this webinar on your calendar! KVC Kentucky has implemented two surveys to evaluate consumers’ and family members’ experiences with KVC Kentucky services. The purpose of this study was to conduct a psychometric evaluation of the Consumer (CES) and Family Member Experience (FMES) surveys to assess their: 1) reliability and 2) construct validity.  The study provides evidence of these instruments in measuring the quality of provided services.

And then, coming up after that!

Changing the Narrative and Sustaining the Message of Mental Well-Being Among Young Men and Boys
July 14, 2020 – 2:00 pm ET – 3:00 pm ET
This webinar will highlight the Making Connections initiative in its fifth year and will share lessons that have emerged on shifting the narrative about mental health and well-being for young men and boys across the 13 sites. Most local coalitions involved in this work have intentionally engaged young organizers and leaders in planning, implementation, and evaluation. The voices of these young leaders are often those elevated in sharing the model. This work has built a solid foundation for sustaining the work through mentorship, youth board of directors, and building the capacity of young organizers to lead.

Advocating for Youth Access to Mental Health Services During a Pandemic
The Mental Health Advocacy Program for Kids (MHAP for Kids) has demonstrated its impact by improved youth and family functioning, school attendance, and youth mental health, decreased use of emergency or mobile crisis services, and reduced court-involvement. As the largest public health crisis in recent history intensifies systemic barriers and increases the need for mental health care for youth, MHAP for Kids adapts its strategies to support youth and their families. This webinar describes the MHAP for Kids model and the innovative approach the program uses to meet the needs of families during COVID-19.

Children Of Incarcerated Parents: Need Support Now More Than Ever
As COVID-19 developments continue to come at us with dizzying frequency, families and professionals revise and revamp their efforts to support the educational, emotional, nutritional, and safety needs of children. And yet we know that tucked away is a group of children who were unrecognized before the Pandemic and continue to be so now: children whose parents are in jail or prison. These children weren’t convicted of a crime but are experiencing the sentence that comes with having an incarcerated parent.

Our Children’s Place of Coastal Horizons Center is a North Carolina program committed to the children of incarcerated and returning parents. We strive to be the leading North Carolina advocate and educational resource focused on the children and the need for a statewide response to ensure their well-being.  Learn more about their work here.

Primary Care Providers Play Key a Role in Discussing and Addressing Children’s Mental Health with Families
CHDI’s Eminent Abebe Gurganus and Lisa Honigfeld co-authored an article in the Journal of Pediatric Health Care, examining communication between parents and pediatricians about children’s mental health issues. The article was based on an analysis of survey responses from a national sample of 1,763 parents and caregivers. Results showed that parent comfort discussing mental health concerns was less likely when they perceived that providers generally dismissed those concerns. Findings suggested that nonjudgmental, knowledgeable staff and discussion of child and parent strengths could facilitate both parental comfort and communication between parents and pediatricians about mental health concerns.

Telehealth, Families, and Youth – What’s Their Take?
Big props to the Parent/Professional Advocacy League of Massachusetts who surveyed both families and youth/young adults in mid-May on their experiences with telehealth, which quickly became the preferred method of contact when the Pandemic hit. Until this report, most of the narrative around telehealth has been from providers. Read this report and learn what families and youth had to say!

Guidance on Reopening In-Person Behavioral Health Services
Ohio’s Behavioral Health system has continued to provide services throughout the COVID-19 Pandemic, although many programs have restricted in-person sessions. In many communities accessing mental health and addiction services has looked different over the past several weeks. As Governor Mike DeWine and Ohio Department of Health Director, Amy Acton, M.D., begin lifting Stay at Home related orders, many businesses will be able to return to offering clinically appropriate services in a face to face setting. The following is a guide to assist in reopening services at your facilities during the COVID pandemic.

Supporting Children of Incarcerated Parents During COVID-19
While all children are responding and adapting to  COVID-19 in their unique ways, children with incarcerated parents have the additional burden of worrying about their parents who they can no longer visit and speak to as often, if at all. Children may be hearing about the dire situation in prisons and jails. Hence, it is important to ask children what they are hearing and feeling so that you can provide simple, age-appropriate truths and correct misinformation. We can help children make sense of our new world in a way that is honest and minimizes children’s anxiety or fear by regularly creating space for children to share how they are feeling and to ask questions. Even if you don’t know how to respond, simply listening and validating feelings is helpful.

Meditation in Everyday Life During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Doctoral student Eric Tifft is a doctoral student in clinical psychology at the University at Albany, State University of New York (SUNY). Eric and his research team is conducting a research study on meditation practices and coping with the recent COVID-19 pandemic and is seeking our help! The research study hopes to understand better how meditation and other practices (e.g., yoga, prayer, etc.) are being used to help people cope with the many challenges we are all facing during the COVID-19 pandemic. The research team is recruiting participants who meditate (all levels of experience are welcome!) and can read/understand English at a basic level. The online survey will take about 30-45 minutes to complete. While lengthy, participants can enter a raffle to win one of two $50 gift cards or one of five $20 gift cards at the end. Your participation could help advance the science of meditation and the alleviation of human suffering! If you have any questions, please feel free to visit the Anxiety Disorders Research Program at

COVID Resources for Rural Communities
Here is a list of follow-up resource links from Federal agencies that you may find helpful in your on-going work to serve rural communities impacted by addiction in the midst of this pandemic.

#HealthyAtHome – Mental Health
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. Fortunately, there are lots of things that we can do to look after our mental health and to help others who may need some extra support and care.

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