Friday Update

Friday Update 4-6-18

April 06, 2018


Friday Update 4-6-18

Greetings faithful readers. I know it is tempting to retreat to binge-watching five seasons of your favorite cable tv series in the midst of the radical and constant changes taking place in the world of mental health. And at certain points, it is probably healthy to do so. But don’t stay there Network faithful. We need your voices to ring loud and clear about developments in the children’s mental health arena, regardless of your point of view. The key is to keep the dialogue going. For this issue of Friday Update, I’m feelin’ Andra Day and Common’s hit song, Stand Up For SomethingEnjoy the video, get inspired, and then get to readin’ Friday Update, cuz we got work to do!

And it all means nothing
If you don’t stand for something
You can’t just talk the talk
You got to walk that walk, yes you do
It all means nothing
If you don’t stand up for something
And I stand up for you

Most important reads for this week

Assistant Secretary at SAMHSA Brings Technical Assistance “In-House”
Two short weeks ago, Dr. Elinore F. McCance-Katz, Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use, SAMHSA, posted a blog sharing her thoughts about SAMHSA’s use of contractors to provide technical assistance to grantees. Dr. McCance-Katz declared that SAMHSA would “no longer continue a contractor-driven approach to grantee-specific TA.” Read this important analysis of the Assistant Secretary’s blog post and take action!

UPDATE: On Wednesday of this week, word began to spread that several technical assistance contracts with external providers were abruptly cut. Our phones have been understandably ringing off the hook from people in grant communities trying to figure out what is going on. If you have a story to tell about your experiences with technical assistance, good or bad, send me an email at I am preparing an update on developments for the next issue of Friday Update.

Timber! The Assistant Secretary for Mental Health & Substance Use Decides to Do Some Clearcutting
In the latest issue of Advocacy Tales, Scott tries to make sense of recent decisions to discontinue SAMHSA evaluation and technical assistance contracts.

Suicide: The Ripple Effect
We are most excited to see the growing awareness across the globe about the Kevin Hines / Greg Dicharry production of Suicide: The Ripple Effect, which chronicles Kevin’s journey into despair, attempted suicide and recovery. Learn how you can help support the promotion of this film and even host a viewing! With your support, we can draw more attention to this devastating health crisis while helping people find the support they need to #BeHereTomorrow.

National Council Offers 2018-2019 Trauma-Sensitive Schools Learning Community
The National Council for Behavioral Health is accepting applications for the 2018-2019 Trauma-Sensitive Schools Learning Community. This one-of-a-kind opportunity connects leadership from schools from across the nation as they implement, sustain and spread trauma-sensitive approaches to promote a fundamental change in education culture. Looks like a great opportunity, Network faithful. Applications to participate in the Learning Community are due by May 4, 2018. Not a school, but know one that might be interested? Pass this opportunity along!

Hubs Help Native American Communities Address Youth Suicide
Three collaborative research hubs funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) are exploring the factors behind the high suicide rates among American Indian (AI) and Alaska Native (AN) youth, and designing and testing approaches to preventing suicide. In each hub, research centers and tribal or urban AI/AN leaders and organizations are working together to provide information on which to base effective, community-based, and culturally sensitive preventive approaches that are suitable for use in low-resource settings.

The Trouble With Third Culture Kids
Have you ever heard of third culture kids? This is a population that many of us in children’s mental health don’t know about, and we need to start learning. Third culture kids have significant challenges accessing mental health services, but one amazing individual is doing something about it. Read one of the most popular Morning Zen posts ever. Nina’s post has touched lives all across the globe.

Brain Network for Social Understanding Develops in Early Childhood
A new NIH-funded study reveals that a network of brain areas involved in interpreting other people’s states of mind has started developing by age three. The findings provide insight into the development of social understanding and may lead to insights into conditions that involve difficulty with social interactions.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in Schools: A Tiered Approach to Youth Mental Health Services
In recent years, many U.S. schools have implemented tiered models of support to address a range of student needs, both academic and behavioral, while cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) has simultaneously gained popularity as an effective means of supporting the mental health needs of students. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in Schools provides school-based practitioners with the necessary skills to determine students’ mental health needs; establish a tiered, CBT-based system of supports; select appropriate programs at Tiers 1, 2, and 3; deliver CBT using various formats to students who are at risk or demonstrating problems; progress monitor multiple tiers of service; and work collaboratively with teachers, administrators, and families. The author, Linda Raffaele Mendez, led a stirring pre-conference session at the recent Research and Policy Conference in Tampa Conference. Good read, Network faithful!

Coming Together for Action: An Interdisciplinary Conference on Behavioral Health, Social Justice, and  Healthier Communities
The Global Alliance for Behavioral Health and Social Justice (formerly the American Orthopsychiatric Association) is accepting abstracts for presentations at the 2018 Coming Together for Action Conference in Denver, Colorado. Deadline for submission is April 30th. Additional bonus! All authors whose submissions are accepted will have the opportunity to submit papers for possible inclusion in the American Journal of Orthopsychiatry.

Social Emotional Learning in Elementary School: Preparation for Success
Interesting report from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Penn State making a case for elementary schools adopting effective Social Emotional Learning (SEL) programs to ensure student success, and encouragement for policymakers to create policies and guidelines that support SEL goals. This report is a good tool to put in your advocacy arsenal when you need to make a case for SEL!

Is Friday Update workin’ for ya? 
We love feedback so let us know how we can improve the website to better meet your needs. Contact us here. Thanks again to so many of you who are spreading the word. We are indeed a collective voice and appreciate your support. 

scottScott Bryant-Comstock
President & CEO


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