Friday Update

Friday Update 12-21-18

December 20, 2018

Hey Network faithful, do you feel it? I do. Yep, a change is gonna come. Let’s start off this edition of Friday Update with Brian Owens and his father, Thomas Owens, rendition of the Sam Cooke classic, A Change is Gonna Come.” Feel the change bubbling up, get motivated to take action, and then get to readin’ Friday Update, cuz we got work to do!

Most important reads for this week

A Mother Relies on Her “Connections” to Navigate the Complexities of In-Patient Hospitalization for a Child in Crisis. But What If Those Connections Did Not Exist?
Linda Callejas is a mother with “connections” in the behavioral health care field. When her child went into crisis and needed in-patient hospitalization, trusted colleagues were available and ready to help her navigate the process. But what if she was a mother without connections? Read Linda’s thoughtful essay describing her journey and reminding us of the importance of human connection, especially for those without “connections.”

Make Your Year-End Tax Deductible Donation to the Children’s Mental Health Network Today!
Go to our home page and click on the box in the upper right corner that says “Give Now.” Everything the Network does is due to contributions from our readers, and all donations go toward the production of Friday Update and the maintenance of our website. As a reminder, I don’t take a salary, so you can rest assured that 100% of your contribution goes toward finding the most current information, resources and opinion pieces that are shaping the landscape in children’s mental health. If you agree with me that now, more than ever, we need this forum for the exchange of ideas and information, please consider making a year-end donation so that we can keep Friday Update coming your way. Thank you!

“Into Light” – How Four Teens Use Mindfulness to Battle Depression
These four high school students used their mindfulness practice to battle their experiences of depression. They learned to take pauses to breathe, make friends with the present moment, reflect on and connect to themselves, feel gratitude, cultivate creativity, and discover freedom from their critical inner voice. “Into Light” was created by Mindful Schools graduate and filmmaker, Julie Bayer Salzman. Excellent work!

Supporting Mental Health and Cultivating Strong Relationships Are Essential Elements of Healthy Schools
A new report from Child Trends finds that educators, students, and state-level policymakers across the United States view supporting mental health and cultivating interpersonal relationships as critical but overlooked elements necessary to building healthy schools. The study makes a strong case for investments in mental health and relationship-building initiatives as part of state and local efforts to improve school health.

The Power of Parenting: How to Help Your Child After a Parent or Caregiver Dies
The National Child Traumatic Stress Network recently released The Power of Parenting: How to Help Your Child After a Parent or Caregiver Dies. This fact sheet, co-sponsored by New York Life, draws from experiences of bereaved caregivers, researchers, and mental health professionals. It offers guidance on how to talk to your child after a parent or caregiver dies including, how to face new fears, how to take care of yourself, how to hold on to the old while embracing the new, how to create comforting connections, as well as how to seek additional support for children.

Johns Hopkins receives $1.6M to expand services in East Baltimore for survivors of violence
Congratulations to long-time system-of-care advocate Phillip Leaf and his colleagues at Johns Hopkins. A recent grant of $1.6 million from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation to the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health will foster collaboration with the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions and community partners to implement and expand services in East Baltimore for survivors of violence. The initiative is a response to the community’s request to provide survivors of violence and other traumas with more support and services that promote healing.

Five Findings Providing New Answers in Mental Health Research
Decades of research into physical illnesses like cancer and HIV have shown us that science has the power to truly transform lives. But what about mental health? MQ: Transforming Mental Health Through Research, is funding some of the world’s leading researchers, to find the answers and treatments people desperately need. In this post, they share 5 recent findings from MQ-funded researchers which could transform mental health – shifting us towards a world where we approach mental illness with more clarity, more certainty, and more compassion.

Wraparound for Older Youth and Young Adults: Providers’ Views on Whether and How to Adapt Wraparound
A new report prepared by staff from the National Wraparound Initiative, the National Wraparound Implementation Center and the Pathways Research and Training Center looks at the ways that providers are adapting Wraparound when working with older youth and young adults. The report includes quotes from qualitative interviews with Wraparound providers.

Ensuring Healthy Development for All Youth Through the Power of Prevention
Be sure to check out the special issue of the Journal of the Society for Social Work and Research called Ensuring Healthy Development for All Youth Through the Power of Prevention. The issue was guest edited by Valerie Shapiro and Kimberly Bender, members of the National Prevention Science Coalition’s Steering Committee, and includes articles describing intervention research, implementation research, methodological innovations, and commentaries that further collective thinking and action for taking tested and effective preventive interventions to scale.

Selection of Winning Proposals for the “Tampa Conference” Completed. What an Amazing Lineup. Register today!

We are so close to announcing the complete draft agenda for the 32nd Annual Research and Policy Conference on Child, Adolescent, and Young Adult Behavioral Health. This year, we smashed our record of proposal submissions that we set in 2017. Congratulations to the winners!

Pre-Conference Presentations Announced for the Tampa Conference!

Pack your bags for Tampa! We have two pre-conference sessions scheduled for Sunday, March 3rd, that are open to all registered conference participants. Check them out and make plans to come to Tampa early and get your learnin’ on!

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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.

In 2019, I had a full-blown Kundalini awakening. That experience has clarified many of the questions about purpose, focus, and mission that I have had my entire life. And heck, I want to share those learnings with you!

I encourage you to listen to the Optimistic Advocate podcast, with new episodes every Monday through Friday. Episodes always give you something to chew on as you move through the day. Insights from me, always a bit of poetry, and inspiring homework for you, as we move together on this beautiful journey of creating harmony with the universe. As a bonus, periodically, we post a long-form interview with inspiring advocates who help individuals and families make positive changes in their lives in communities across the globe. Remember to stay optimistic and listen to the universe (It’s speaking through you, I promise.).

Choose the podcast player of your choice and subscribe!

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