Friday Update 4-5-19

Greetings faithful readers. I thought it best to start this edition of Friday Update with some honest reflection on a recurring thematic email I keep getting from readers. Every week or so, I hear from someone who asks, “How do you keep going in the midst of all of the negativity coming from Washington, DC?” It ain’t easy, and more important, I don’t have an easy answer. Like most of you, some days it’s good, and some days it’s just plain tough. One surefire way for me to pick myself up when I’m feeling like avoiding the news cycle and binge-watching Breaking Bad instead is through music. Here is an oldie but a goodie advocacy tune that will get you right and ready for the battle ahead. Enjoy “The River” sung by Garth Brooks. I’ve included the lyrics. I encourage you to read them, especially those of you who have been letting me know your advocacy legs are getting heavy. Enjoy the tune and the lyrics, and then get to readin’ Friday Update, cuz we got work to do!

Most important reads for this week

Technical Assistance Materials Available on Early Intervention in Psychosis
During the last five years, the Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS) and the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) have supported the development of Coordinated Specialty Care programs for persons experiencing a first episode of psychosis. In support of these programs Congress increased the mental health block grant by 10% and earmarked these new monies for first episode psychosis programs. As part of the implementation effort, CMHS contracted with the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors (NASMHPD to develop a suite of technical assistance materials that are available on the NASMHPD website. Read Dr. David Shern’s review of some of the technical assistance materials that might be of particular interest to CMHNetwork readers. Thanks, David!

Effectively Employing Young Adult Peer Providers: A Toolkit
Hey Network faithful, another great resource from our colleagues at the Learning & Working Center Transitions RTC is now available. Effectively Employing Young Adult Peer Providers: A Toolkit was developed for provider organizations that employ or want to employ young adult peer providers. It discusses the factors that promote the success of young adult peers within a provider organization. Excellent resource!

Family Separation Has Scarred These Kids For Life
One year after President Trump’s zero-tolerance immigration policy, Angelina Chapin, a reporter from the HuffPost, spoke to families who say their children are withdrawn, depressed and self-harming. This article is a heartbreaking but essential read for all children’s mental health advocates.

Low-Barrier Access to Mental Health Service for Youth and Young Adults: What Works with What We’ve Got
Kristin Thorpe, Youth Engagement Specialist at Youth MOVE National, will be leading a webinar on Tuesday, April 30th, that will explore low-barrier services for young adults of transition age experiencing or at risk for behavioral health challenges. Presenters will discuss how low-barrier services can improve engagement and will identify strategies for integrating low-barrier policies and practices into organizational standards.

The PAX Good Behavior Game (PAX GBG) Credited with Lowering Crime Rate in Albuquerque
Props to our Senior Science Advisor, Dr. Dennis Embry, for the recent news feature on the impact the PAX Good Behavior Game (PAX GBG) is having on the community of Albuquerque, New Mexico. Local leaders are crediting PAX GBT for contributing to a lowered crime rate. The PAX Good Behavior Game® is a powerful evidence-based practice, consisting of proven instructional and behavioral health strategies used daily by teachers and students in the classroom. This universal preventive approach not only improves classroom behavior and academics but also provides a lifetime of benefits for every child by improving self-regulation and co-regulation with peers. Since 1999, PAX Good Behavior Game has been used in thousands of classrooms, in 38 states, Canada, Ireland, Estonia, Sweden, and Australia. Keep up the good work, Dennis! You can learn more about PAX GBG here.

Mindful Schools Helps Children Deal with Toxic Stress
CMHNetwork Intern extraordinaire, 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!

Divided We Fall
Divided We Fall is a television docu-series created to match the challenges Americans are now experiencing in our political and public discourse. The producers were inspired to prove on camera: despite deep divisions, Americans are hungry to connect and bridge the divides. Americans want to talk with and listen to each other. Americans want the core of our democratic experiment– “We the People” to succeed. Over 48 hours on set, twelve individuals faced a series of topics and exercises regarding what it means to be an American, the challenges facing our country, and their ideas for achieving a “more perfect union.” The participants include an equal number of men and women and an equal number that strongly approve and disapprove of President Trump. Sign up here to be notified when it launches.

NIH Study Shows Many Preteens Screen Positive for Suicide Risk During ER Visits
In a recent National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) study, researchers explored how often preteens seen in emergency room (ER) settings screened positive for suicide risk using two screening tools. In this study, nearly one-third of youth ages 10-12 years old screened positive for suicide risk, including those with only physical health concerns. The results highlight the importance of screening children as young as 10 for suicide risk in ER settings.

Children and Mental Health Brochure Available in Spanish
A Spanish version of NIMH’s Children and Mental Health brochure is now available online. This brochure on children’s mental health includes information on when to seek help, steps for parents, evaluation, treatment, choosing a mental health professional, working with a school, resources, and clinical trials.

Injury Prevention in American Indian and Alaska Native Communities Web Page
The CDC National Center for Injury Prevention and Control has launched a new web page – Injury Prevention in American Indian and Alaska Native Communities. The page brings together all of the center’s current resources and information on injury prevention work in tribal communities.

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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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