Friday Update

CMHNetwork Friday Update 8-5-22

August 05, 2022

Greetings, Network faithful. I have a real treat for you today. One of my favorite artists, Mary Spender, is joined by Danish Pete as they perform a stunning acoustic version of Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams.” Channel your inner Stevie Nicks, enjoy the tune, and then get to readin’ Friday Update, cuz we got work to do!

Most Important Reads of the Week

Gardening Can Improve Mental Health, Even for Novices
The physical and mental health benefits of being in nature have been long-established, especially for those with existing medical conditions. Now, a new pilot study found gardening can yield mental health benefits, even among those who have never gardened before.

Pain in the Nation 2022: U.S. Experienced Highest Ever Combined Rates of Deaths Due to Alcohol, Drugs, and Suicide During the First Year of the COVID-19 Pandemic
Trust For America’s Health and Well Being Trust’s annual report found that deaths spanned ages, racial and ethnic groups, and geography but disproportionally harmed young people and people of color. Solutions are known and must be implemented.

Making Measures Matter: Use of Measurement-Based Care to Improve Children’s Behavioral Health
Measurement-based care (MBC) is the routine use of symptom or outcome measures for collaborative decision-making and treatment planning. Over the last decade, MBC has been increasingly applied in behavioral health with positive results. The latest CHDI Issue Brief describes how measurement-based care can enhance family-centered care, reduce costs, and improve children’s behavioral health services outcomes.

Introducing the Research Priorities Generated by the JEAP Initiative Community Boards
The JEAP Initiative, a five-year project funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, is hosting a free virtual forum on Monday, September 12, 10:00 am-11:30 am PT/1:00 pm-2:30 pm ET. This forum will introduce the research priorities generated by the JEAP Initiative Community Boards to the recovery support services research community.  This forum is designed to inspire early career investigators (from students to faculty) and senior investigators to conduct new or expanded research on recovery support services. Individuals interested in connecting with investigators conducting recovery support services research and those interested in engaging Community Boards in recovery support services research are also encouraged to attend this forum.

Governor Murphy Introduces Chair’s Initiative: Strengthening Youth Mental Health Care
At the closing session of NGA’s Summer Meeting 2022, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy accepted the NGA Chair’s gavel from Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson and underlined the importance of Governors’ collaboration to advance bipartisan solutions. As NGA Chair for 2022 – 2023, Governor Murphy unveiled his Chair’s Initiative: Strengthening Youth Mental Health Care. “We are all aware of the youth mental health crisis in our country,” he explained. “It is a crisis that the pandemic did not create but exposed more fully. It is one that we must tackle together and tackle now.”

Psychological First Aid (PFA) for Displaced Children and Families
The National Child Traumatic Stress Network has come out with an evidence-informed flexible approach to assist displaced children and families immediately after arriving in the US. This approach includes tools to help staff support displaced children and families through early transitions.

Addressing Trauma From Gun Violence Must Be Part of Our Legislative Reform
From Lauren Finke, policy advisor at The Kennedy Forum
In the days since the mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas, media, policymakers, advocates, and public figures have focused in on the complex issue of preventing another tragedy. Understandably so. People are fed up. They are tired and exhausted from the seemingly constant headlines marking yet another mass shooting. They want action. But for more and more of us, the emotions run even deeper. Processing these events is increasingly personal and often re-traumatizing.

Talking to Kids About Incidents of Mass Violence Is Better for Their Mental Health, Experts Say
Experts with the American Psychological Association and the National Center for Child Traumatic Stress offer guidance on how to help children and teens with their mental health after exposure to events of mass violence, like the latest string of mass shootings in the U.S.

Gun Violence: A Long-Lasting Toll on Children and Teens
As discussion and debate continue on mass shootings, there is increasing evidence that growing up amidst this violence and other extreme stressors affects developing brains and bodies in ways that can be permanent.

How Making Art Helps Improve Mental Health
Art therapy can help reduce pain and improve patients’ sense of control over their lives. Research has found that making art can activate reward pathways in the brain, reduce stress, lower anxiety levels and improve mood. Various studies have also looked at its benefits among specific populations: It’s been linked with reduced post-traumatic stress disorder and depression among Syrian refugee children and lower levels of anxiety, PTSD, and dissociation among children who were victims of sexual abuse, for example. 

How to Support Your LGBTQ Child’s Mental Health
Support from parents and caregivers can impact a child’s mental health. When a child comes out, parents don’t always know what to do or say, and that’s OK, said Caitlin Ryan, director of the Family Acceptance Project. The main thing is that you are there for your child, she added. This article details specific ways you can support your LGBTQ child’s mental health.

Helping Kids Grieve
Coping with the death of a loved one brings enormous challenges for the whole family. Grieving may never completely end, but working through the difficult feelings can become easier with time. Families can begin healing together through support, open conversations, and finding ways to keep the person’s memory alive. Sesame Street in Communities offers a library of resources to support kids in their grieving process.

Confronting Health Misinformation
The Surgeon General’s Community Toolkit for Addressing Health Misinformation provides specific guidance and resources for health care providers, educators, librarians, faith leaders, and trusted community members to understand, identify, and stop the spread of health misinformation in their communities.

Seeking Providers and Administrators of Disability Employment Services for a Research Project
The Center on Knowledge Translation for Employment Research (CeKTER), a sister center to Transitions to Adulthood Center for Research, is recruiting disability employment service providers and administrators for a new research project. CeKTER’s project hopes to identify the most effective methods of sharing employment research with stakeholders. The project will compare three methods of delivering information to learn the best way to get meaningful research results to these individuals or organizations. Participants in the study will be invited to view one media type and will be compensated up to $90. The study will take place in late summer/early fall.

The Great Reset How Covid-19 Changed Student Enrollment and Engagement and Where Higher Ed Goes From Here
After two years of disruptions from Covid-19 and the shift to remote and hybrid learning, college and university campuses are beginning to look more normal—or at least the new normal for higher education after the pandemic. Still, as with much of our lives and the economy in general, the lingering effects of the pandemic will take years to work through colleges and universities. The learning loss in elementary and secondary schools, in particular, is something that will be felt in college classrooms into the next decade. In the short term, the pandemic has left colleges facing twin crises: empty seats in classrooms and vacant beds in residence halls; at the same time, officials are dealing with alarming levels of disconnection among the students who remain on campuses.

How to Help Children and Teens Manage Their Stress
Stress in young people doesn’t always look like stress in adults. But like adults, children and teens—even those with life-altering losses—can find healthy ways to cope. Together, young people and their parents or caregivers can learn to spot the signs of excess stress and manage it with the right tools.

Crisis on Campus: 60% Of College Kids Are Living With Mental Health Disorders, and Schools Are Woefully Unprepared
Nearly half of college students surveyed by Fortune reported their overall mental health has worsened since the pandemic. About 56% say they have experienced worsening stress, 53% reported heightened anxiety, and 45% cited increased depression symptoms. Nearly half of college students surveyed by Fortune reported their overall mental health has worsened since the pandemic. About 56% say they have experienced worsening stress, 53% reported heightened anxiety, and 45% cited increased depression symptoms.

Integrated Early Childhood Data Is an Essential Tool for Advancing Racial and Ethnic Equity
Early childhood integrated data systems (ECIDS) offer policymakers a comprehensive view of early learning investments and children’s and families’ experiences with different intervention services from birth. In response to the enhanced national focus on racial inequities—and the increased urgency to rebuild and strengthen early care and education systems in light of disparities exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic—ECDC consulted with experts in early childhood, racial equity, and early childhood data systems to assess how efforts to collect, integrate, and share data can support the creation of more equitable systems and outcomes for young children and families.

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