Friday Update

Friday Update 1-20-20

January 20, 2020

Hey Network faithful, let’s start this issue of Friday Update with Bunny Wailer, Manu Chao, and Bushman singing the Wailer’s classic, “Soul Rebel,” along with musicians from around the world. We are all soul rebels, so close your office door, turn this sucker way up, and sing along. Get amped with Soul Rebel, and then, get to readin’ Friday Update, cuz we got work to do.

Most Important Reads of the Week

SAMHSA Watch – The Death Knell Has Been Sounded: New SAMHSA Technical Assistance Grant Guts the Values and Principles of Systems of Care
Last month, SAMHSA released a new grant announcement for a Technical Assistance Center that will provide resources and support for CMHI grantees. Unfortunately, with this announcement for something  as seemingly straightforward as a notice for a five-year grant award for the provision of technical assistance to CMHI grantees, we are witnessing the gutting of the heart and soul of the systems of care movement – all with the stroke of a pen. Yes, systems of care as we know it could be a thing of the past, just like that. The death knell has been sounded. Here is why.

State of California Trauma-Informed System of Care for Children and Youth
SAMHSA leadership may be out of step with the system of care movement, but states are moving forward full steam ahead. Take a look at what is happening in California, where the state is making progress in promoting integrated care. This effort builds upon the current Continuum of Care Reform (CCR) implementation effort by, among other things, developing a coordinated, timely, and trauma-informed system-of-care approach for foster children and youth. California’s investment in CCR established a new statewide vision for the role of residential care within the full continuum of available placement options, in which residential care is no longer viewed solely as a “placement” for children. Rather, residential care is a Short Term Residential Therapeutic Program (STRTP) utilized to address the mental health needs of youth and to assess and support a well-planned transition to home-based settings.

Tampa Conference Agenda Now Online!
The agenda for the Tampa Conference is now online, and it is a winner! Check it out, and remember to register and book your hotel room soon. The conference hotel is sold out, but we have added more rooms to the overflow. Hurry!

Seeking Participants for a National Survey on Support for Youth in Transition
The Family-Run Executive Director Leadership Association, in partnership with the Pathways Research and Training Center at Portland State University, is conducting a survey of family members/young adult allies and young adults to determine the types and amounts of support family members and young adult allies provide for youth and young adults during their transition years of 16 to 25. Check it out and share it widely!

Child Trends Announces New Positive Parenting e-newsletter
Interested in staying up to date on the latest research around child development and parenting best practices? Sign up for the new Positive Parenting e-newsletter, which will deliver videos to your inbox that explain how parents can use research to make informed decisions about their children’s lives.

Are We Trauma-Informed? Tools to Measure Progress in a Program, School, or Organization
The October 2019 Issue Brief from the Child Health Development Institute (CHDI) is one not to overlook. Researchers from CHDI, the Yale School of Medicine, and the Medical University of South Carolina conducted a systematic review of measures (in particular, surveys) of a trauma-informed approach that were published between 1988 and 2018. Using specific search terms, the research team reviewed journal articles and websites for surveys that measured a systems-level, trauma-informed approach focused on addressing psychological trauma. An excellent read, Network faithful!

Why Most NonRCTs Program Evaluation Findings are Unreliable and a Way to Improve Them
Well-conducted randomized controlled trials (RCTs) are considered the strongest method of evaluating a program’s effectiveness. But, for some programs, RCT evidence may not be available. In these cases, policy officials often look to “quasi-experiments”—studies that compare program participants to a group of nonparticipants selected through methods other than randomization—to gauge program effectiveness. Check out this issue of Straight Talk on Evidence and learn from the Straight Talk crew how your evaluation efforts can be improved.

How to Talk about Mental Health: Addressing Misunderstandings about Mental Health in the Media
Stories in the media, such as those told through the news, TV shows, movies, books, and social media, sometimes use incorrect or offensive statements to describe mental health conditions. Unfortunately, these wrong ideas can be taken as facts by people who may not know a lot about mental health. It is our goal to use this tip sheet to bust these negative ideas about mental health and people with mental health conditions.

The Massachusetts Statewide Youth Advisory Council (SYAC) and the Learning and Working Center at the Transitions to Adulthood Center for Research (TACR), collaborated to develop this tip sheet. The tip sheet clears up some common misunderstandings about mental health conditions and to share strategies to talk about mental health more accurately and helpfully!

Raise awareness about mental disorders and the importance of mental health research. Use these free education and outreach materials in your community and online to spread the word. Don’t forget to use the hashtag #shareNIMH in your social media posts. Check back often for new topics and resources and sign up to receive the Discover NIMH enewsletter to learn about new materials, including tools you can share during upcoming health observances.

Early Childhood Is Critical to Health Equity
This report is the second in a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) series on health equity. An Executive Summary is also available. The series aims to assist those working in public health, health care, and other fields that powerfully shape health—such as education, child care, housing, and community development—to build a world in which everyone can be as healthy as possible.

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About the Author

Scott Bryant-Comstock

My passion is helping to shape policy and practice in children’s mental health. 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 for the exchange of ideas on how to continually improve children’s mental health research, policy and practice.

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