Friday Update

CMHNetwork Friday Update 8-15-21

August 15, 2021

Greetings, Network faithful. I don’t know about you, but I am ready for some comfort music. And for me, nothin’ does it like Bob Dylan. Joining Bob is Roger McGuinn, Neal Young, George Harrison, Eric Clapton, G.E. Smith, Tom Petty, and many more. Now that is some serious comfort! Enjoy this soulful tribute to Bob Dylan and then get to readin’ Friday Update, cuz we got work to do!

Most Important Reads of the Week

Scientific Healing of Historic Disparities: Creating Equity in Educational and Economic Outcomes
A “must-read” from the CMHNetwork Science Advisor, Dennis Embry
Focus your brain and think critically about who will lose lots of money if Black, Brown, Red, Yellow, Mixed, and poor White kids ALL did better at school, in the workplace, in their health, and the community, now and in the future. Imagine all those kids are all healthier in body and brain, too. Imagine fewer Americans are abusing hard drugs like Oxy or other opiates, let alone tobacco and alcohol. Many human enterprises—legal or not—thrive on carrion. It takes spiritual, intellectual, and political will and knowledge to redraw the map for the right course.

Structural Racism Booklet: Research and Policy Analyses
The National Prevention Science Coalition to Improve Lives is pleased to provide a 40-page booklet of factsheets documenting structural racism across societal systems. Experts from a wide range of fields present data on the negative impacts of racist practices on the health and well-being of children and families and recommend public policies to weed it out.

Creating and Enhancing Pathways to a Racially/Ethnically Diverse Behavioral Health Workforce
Wednesday, August 18, 2021
1:00 pm – 2:30 pm EDT
Join this NNED Virtual Roundtable to hear about strategies that motivate racially/ethnically diverse individuals to consider behavioral health as a career path. Discover how community-based organizations are working to diversify the behavioral health workforce, including recruiting and retaining racially/ethnically diverse staff. Learn from panelists about professional pathways and programs/trainings that support racially/ethnically diverse people in behavioral health careers.

Free Online Family Therapy or CBT Training
Partnership to End Addiction is recruiting therapists who treat youth 13-25 to participate in free Family Therapy or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) training. The clinical training opportunity is offered as part of an NIMH-funded research project, Treating Teens.  The evidence base shows that Family Therapy and CBT are the most effective practices in treating adolescent externalizing disorders (conduct problems, delinquency, and substance misuse). Yet, they are often accompanied by large, costly manuals and are not often implemented with fidelity or used at all.  To fill that gap, we have developed an innovative and accessible online training system built on the core elements of Family Therapy and CBT. Treating Teens has three components: online training, feedback, and consultation. The Principle Investigator for this researech project is Dr. Aaron Hogue.

By participating in the research component of this project, participants will help advance understanding of, and foster the development of best practices for, the use of Family Therapy and CBT with teens and their families. For more information, please email Download more information on the study below:

Study Finds Overrepresentation of LGBTQ+ Youth in Midwest Foster Care System
The study outlined here is one of the first of its kind to be conducted in a Midwestern state, where available data on LGBTQ+ youth is extremely limited. It follows similar studies in New York City and Los Angeles showing equally high representation of youth with diverse SOGIE in foster care. Together these studies provide evidence that in the middle of the country, as well as in large urban areas, a greater proportion of LGBTQ+ youth are represented in foster care than in the general population.

Parents Help Kids with Language
From the Positive Parenting Newsfeed
Language deficits are common developmental delays. Studies find that about 1 in every five children will learn to talk or use words later than others their age. A new study compared toddlers whose parents participated in a language intervention training program to those whose parents did not. The research suggests that parents can promote language development by allowing for pauses in conversations to give children a turn to talk, responding to children’s sounds with single words or simple phrases, and reading frequently.

AAP Anxiety and Depression ECHO
In partnership with the National Training and Technical Assistance Center for Child, Youth, and Family Mental Health (NTTAC), the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) will host a Project ECHO (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes) learning collaborative on anxiety and depression. This ECHO aims to build the capacity of primary care providers to provide quality behavioral and mental health care within the medical home setting, with a focus on anxiety and depression. This ECHO will launch on August 25, 2021, and meet twice per month through January 2022. If you are interested in learning more about the AAP Anxiety and Depression ECHO, please reach out to Lisa Brock, Program Manager, ECHO Initiatives, at

Conversations with Health Law Leaders: Political Determinants of Health – Daniel Dawes
Daniel E. Dawes, JD, Director of the Satcher Health Leadership Institute at Morehouse School of Medicine and a widely respected lawyer, author, scholar, educator, and leader in the health equity, health reform, and mental health movements, sits down with David S. Cade, Executive Vice President and CEO of the American Health Law Association, to discuss the political determinants of health.

State of Florida Best Practices Response Protocol for Schools to Use Mobile Response Teams
This protocol was developed as a part of Florida House Bill 945. House Bill 945 focuses on three areas (1) mobile response teams, (2) coordination of children’s system of care, and (3) crisis stabilization services. As part of the bill, the Louis de la Parte Florida Mental Health Institute (FMHI) was charged with developing a best practices response protocol for schools to use mobile response teams (MRT) when students are experiencing a behavioral health crisis and have been assessed to be at risk for harming themselves or others.

Stress Management and Coping Virtual Field Trips – Gratitude
Our colleagues at School Mental Health Ontario are out with another great virtual field trip – this one focusing on Gratitude Strategies. These strategies help us intentionally notice and appreciate the positives in life, even when facing a challenge. Doing so can support healthy relationships and the development of resilience. 

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!

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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 (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.

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