Friday Update

Friday Update 10-11-19

October 11, 2019

Greetings, faithful readers. So much helpful information in this issue of Friday Update. Conference news, brain news, and a bunch of other tips and tools you can use to get you through the week. Let’s start with the Del McCoury Band singing the Buffalo Springfield classic, “For What It’s Worth.” Such an appropriate tune for the times we are living in today. Who woulda thunk it? Enjoy the tune and then get to readin’ Friday Update, cuz we got work to do!

Important Tampa Conference Alert: Call for Proposals Extended to Tuesday
We have received numerous requests for an extension to get presentation proposals polished for the 33rd Annual Research and Policy Conference on Child, Adolescent, and Young Adult Behavioral Health. Therefore, we are extending the Call for Proposals deadline through Tuesday, October 15th, at 5 pm ET. That gives you four extra days (the glorious weekend and a bit into the workweek) to get your proposal just right. But don’t delay! Get on it, Network faithful. The conference is going to be amazing!

Premier of the Documentary Film ‘Broken Places’ and Q & A With Daniella Rin Hoover at the Tampa Pre-Conference!
Film producer, Roger Weisberg, has chronicled the lives of children and families growing up in adversity. BROKEN PLACES is Weisberg’s 33rd documentary, and poses the complex question of why some children are severely damaged by early adversity while others are able to thrive. To help answer this question, Weisberg dug into 40 years of his film archives to update a few of the stories of children growing up in difficult circumstances that he filmed decades ago. It turns out that some of these children were so scarred by abuse and neglect that they are now in mental institutions, correctional facilities, or drug rehabilitation centers. A few died prematurely. However, there are others who managed to overcome comparable childhood stress and are now healthy, self-sufficient adults. Viewers are given a unique time-lapse perspective, witnessing how a few of these troubled children evolved into the adults they are today. After viewing the film, Daniella Rin Hoover, who has been featured in the 2004 documentary, Aging Out, and in the current documentary, Broken Places, will lead a question and answer session with attendees.

Tampa Pre-Conference Featuring Latest Information on Transforming Residential Interventions
Residential interventions serving youth and families are changing dramatically. Over the past 14 years, the National Building Bridges Initiative has brought together providers, families, and youth, along with local, state and national advocacy leaders, to develop a practice framework that connects and aligns residential programs and their oversight agencies with communities and with emerging evidence and science. This collaborative approach has yielded significant innovation, transformation, and improved outcomes. This pre-conference session will present the practice pillars of the BBI framework and significant trends that have developed over the past decade. The session will also be the first public release of the second book on residential interventions: Transforming Residential Interventions: Practical Strategies and Future Directions.

Man, and that’s just the pre-conference sessions!

Keynote Speakers Confirmed for the Tampa Conference
Yep, we are pretty darned excited that David Williams, Chair of the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Sandra Gasca-Gonzalez Vice President, Center for Systems Innovation, Annie E. Casey Foundation, and Gary Blau, Executive Director of The Hackett Center for Mental Health, are confirmed as keynote speakers. And guess what? We are getting ready to announce a final plenary session that you are going to love! More keynote announcements are coming in the next few weeks. Check out the details and register, already!

A Nation Burned Out: The Neurobiology of Finding Grace Under Pressure
It seems like wherever you go in this country, most people you encounter are emotionally exhausted. Interestingly, emotional exhaustion appears to be the hallmark characteristic of burnout, which may be why, on the surface, burnout and depression look very similar. In this Morning Zen post, Laurie Ellington shares insights from the fields of modern neuroscience, mind-body research, and the psychophysiology of stress resilience that help us explore ways to navigate the current toxic social climate that pervades America.

Issue Brief Shows Evidence-Based Children’s Mental Health Treatments are Improving Outcomes; Reducing Disparities in CT
CHDI’s latest Issue Brief, “Better than Usual (Care): EBTs Improve Outcomes and Reduce Disparities for Children of Color,” explores data from more than 46,000 children who received mental health treatment in Connecticut and outlines findings related to child outcomes (behavior problem severity) by race and ethnicity. The data suggest that EBTs result in greater improvement than usual care (“standard”) treatment while also reducing or eliminating disparities in outcomes for children of color. As always, CHDI is setting an example for other research/practice organizations to follow!

The Kindness Curriculum
Another gem from our colleagues at Child Trends
Research from the Center for Healthy Minds at the University of Wisconsin indicates that children could benefit from teaching curricula that focus on kindness in the classroom. Children in classrooms that used the mindfulness-based kindness curriculum had better grades and attention spans, and showed a higher level of social competence, compared to children in classrooms that did not use the curriculum. The curriculum focuses in part on helping children learn to identify and respond to emotions in appropriate ways.

Informed Immigrant
In the wake of the 2016 presidential election, millions of undocumented immigrants faced increased uncertainty and anxiety about their futures in the United States. Immigrant-serving organizations across the country received a sudden spike in demand for help. Immigrant rights leaders, service providers, lawyers, and technologists from across the country banded together, pooled hundreds of resources, and collected a list of more than 1,000 organizations offering on-the-ground legal support, healthcare services, and more to undocumented families. The creators of Informed Immigration listened to the questions from undocumented friends, partners, family members, and coworkers. They sought answers and resources and compiled them into one easy-to-access online resource. Since then, Informed Immigrant has become both a digital hub and offline network offering the most up-to-date and accessible information and guidance for the undocumented immigrant community.

There’s More to Young Adult Unemployment Than Mental Health: What Else to Look For
The unemployment rate of young adults living with serious mental health conditions (SMHCs) is extremely high when compared to young adults with other disabilities and even worse when compared to young adults without disabilities. But traditionally employment research has focused on only mental health conditions related to employment, and that’s just part of the story. Another great Research Brief from our colleagues at iSPARC.

Behind the Asterisk*: Perspectives on Young Adult Mental Health from “Small and Hard-to-Reach” Communities
Nia West-Bey & Marlen Mendoza from CLASP recently released a report titled Behind the Asterisk*: Perspectives on Young Adult Mental Health from “Small and Hard-to-Reach” Communities. Behind the Asterisk* describes findings from focus groups in “small and hard-to-reach” white rural; Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI); and, urban Native American communities, along with a diverse group of young adults experiencing homelessness. These communities are often relegated to an “asterisk” in research and excluded from national policy discourse because their numbers are too small to be considered reliable or are hard to reach using typical research methods. This report brings these often-overlooked young people whose experiences are largely left out of policy discussions to the forefront. Learn more about CLASP here.

Mindful Schools Helps Children Deal with Toxic Stress
In this Morning Zen post, Melissa Sirola takes an in-depth look at the Mindful Schools program in California. Mindful Schools presents a curriculum for teaching mindfulness that is a framework, presenting the fundamentals, so educators understand the basics of mindfulness and the movement to introduce it in school-based settings. Such a great program. Replicate it in a school near you!

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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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