Friday Update

Friday Update 2-21-20

February 21, 2020

Greetings, faithful readers. Thanks to Friday Update aficionado, “CrossFit,” for sharing a most powerful video. Sit yourself down and watch Yello Pain, rapping his song, “My Vote Don’t Count.” I’m serious, Network faithful. Do you want to be an effective advocate? Then watch this video. And then share it with at least ten people. No excuses! Okay, sermon over. Enjoy the tune, get inspired by the tune, and then share the tune with others. And then, get to readin’ Friday Update, cuz we got work to do!

Most Important Reads of the Week

Tampa Conference Early Registration Ends Soon!
The Tampa Conference is almost here! Be sure to register by February 28 to take advantage of the early-bird registration. Save $50.00!

Residential Interventions: A Framework for Transformation as Part of Community Systems of Care
Speaking of the Tampa Conference, let’s shout out to one of our fabulous (free to conference registered participants) pre-conference sessions, taking place on Sunday, March 15. Join Bob Lieberman and a cast of All-Stars, as they present the practice pillars of the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) framework and significant trends that have developed over the past decade. The session will also be the first public release of the second BBI book on residential interventions: Transforming Residential Interventions: Practical Strategies and Future Directions. Oh man, the gifts keep on giving!

The Political Determinants of Health
I am excited to share the news that CMHNetwork Advisory Council member, Daniel Dawes, has just announced that Johns Hopkins University Press will be publishing his new book, The Political Determinants of Health, which presents a novel, non-partisan, multidisciplinary framework for addressing the systemic barriers that prevent the U.S. from becoming what it could be: the healthiest nation in the world.

Lack of Psychiatric Evaluations for Children and Adolescents With Mental Health Complaints in Emergency Rooms
A recent study found that one-half of children and adolescents with a mental health complaint boarded in an urban emergency department at least 24 hours did not receive a formal psychiatric evaluation or treatment recommendations. Not good!

Reflections on Policy, Process and the ISMICC
Great Morning Zen post from one of our star interns!
“I am one of the new interns working for the Children’s Mental Health Network, and the topic I chose to research and learn more about is the Interdepartmental Serious Mental Illness Coordinating Committee (ISMICC). More specifically, I want to understand how policy influences the work of this committee. Before this internship, I was not familiar with how policy is developed and implemented at the federal level, and I feel I have only scratched the surface as I delve into my research.”

More Youth Suicide Found in Poor Communities Across U.S.
A recent study found that higher county-level poverty is associated with increased youth suicide rates among children 5-19 years old in the United States in 2007-2016. Children and adolescents from counties where 20 percent or more of the population lives below the federal poverty level were 37 percent more likely to die by suicide, compared to communities with the lowest poverty concentration. Youth suicide by firearms was 87 percent more likely in areas with the highest poverty levels.

Are School Districts the Nations Adolescent Mental Health Care Providers?
Student mental health is a top-of-mind issue for every school district in the country. Recent surveys show superintendents in every state identify “adolescents in crisis” as a top-three concern in their schools, and serious mental-health-related crises now affect more than a third of adolescents in America. The number of students in crisis reflects worsening trends: rates of anxiety, depression, and suicide are on the rise among teens of all demographics and household income levels. While some question if the statistics merely indicate an increase in reporting, the prevalence of suicide and self-harm suggests that we are truly seeing a growing number of students experiencing crises.

Maternal Obesity Linked to ADHD and Behavioral Problems in Children, NIH Study Suggests
Maternal obesity may increase a child’s risk for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), according to an analysis by researchers from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), part of the National Institutes of Health. The researchers found that mothers — but not fathers — who were overweight or obese before pregnancy were more likely to report that their children had been diagnosed with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or to have symptoms of hyperactivity, inattentiveness or impulsiveness at ages 7 to 8 years old.

Addressing Disparities: Advancing Mental Health Care for All Americans
Mental health disparities are significant and easily documented. In this Director’s Message, Dr. Gordon discusses NIMH-funded research that aims to close the gap, ensuring that improved mental health care meets the needs of all Americans.

Ensuring Young Children Receive Mental Health Services: Barriers to Billing and Proposed Solutions
Oh man, I love it when CHDI releases another Issue Brief. They are consistently excellent, and this one is no different. Enjoy the read!
The foundation for mental health is laid in infancy and early childhood, but getting help when needed can be difficult for children under five. Fortunately, awareness of the importance of infant and early childhood mental health is growing, and the number of interventions to support young children at risk is expanding. Unfortunately, access to these services is often limited by current reimbursement regulations that require a diagnosis of a disorder, making it difficult to deliver mental health interventions to very young children who may not meet criteria. The result is that when parents indicate a need for mental health services, children ages 3-5 are less likely to receive them than their older peers.

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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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