Friday Update 5-31-19

Let’s start this issue of Friday Update off with Amos Lee, singing his soulful rendition of the classic Sam Cooke song, A Change is Gonna Come. Cuz a change is gonna come. Just gotta stay strong and focused, Network faithful! Enjoy the tune and then get to reading’ Friday Update, cuz we got work to do!

Most important reads for the week

For Best Results, Engagement Comes First
One of the most challenging parts of working with youth is finding ways to authentically engage with them when working under time constraints. For this reason, Youth ERA – a national nonprofit specializing in peer-delivered services and youth empowerment – created the Youth Engagement Kits. The kits are designed to build rapport, develop trust, identify goals, and increase engagement during the first initial meetings between a youth and provider.

New Details About the 2020 Tampa Conference!
Save the dates for the 33rd Annual Research & Policy Conference on Child, Adolescent, and Young Adult Behavioral Health: March 15 – 18, 2020 in Tampa, FL! The Call for Proposals online submission portal opens August 5th. Plenty of time to peruse the website and study the priority tracks offered this year. Sharpen your pencils and get ready to write a fantastic proposal! ​​

Latino Students in North Philadelphia Photograph Barriers to Healthy Living
Mounds of trash on the sidewalk. Used hypodermic needles strewn around parks. Memorials to kids who died from gun violence posted on streets. That’s what Latino high school students in North Philadelphia walk past in their neighborhoods every day. So when researchers asked them to take pictures of what prevents them from being healthy, the answers seemed obvious to many. “I don’t feel safe when my community is dirty,” one student wrote in a caption for a photo of trash strewn across the street. The project was part of an initiative by the Philadelphia Collaborative for Health Equity and Thomas Jefferson University to assess health disparities affecting Latinos living in North Philadelphia east of Broad Street. Wonderful project and great read!

Forward Promise: Partnering with Systems to Disrupt Dehumanization
Traumatic experiences have become an almost routine part of everyday life for boys and young men of color. Research shows that they are more likely to experience pervasive and chronic discrimination, neglect, racism, violence, and poverty. What’s more troubling is that the systems charged with protecting these young men (health care, mental health, criminal justice, education, employment, juvenile justice and social services) have generally failed to help them heal in healthy ways that are also relevant to their culture. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is looking to award $1 million to strengthen partnerships between community-based organizations that ground their programs for boys and young men in culturally responsive methods and models, and their systems partners. Deadline for application is June 6th, so get on it!

Focal Point Summer Edition Now Available
The 2019 issue of Focal Point highlights evaluations of transition programs that incorporate innovative approaches to services. Ten articles featuring programs from around the country report successful outcomes from sites using a wide variety of program approaches. The majority of the programs represented are Healthy Transition grantees, and two other innovative practice models are also included.

Older Youth in Foster Care Need Support to Make a Successful Transition to Adulthood
Great read from our colleagues at Child Trends!
“Although fewer older youth entered the child welfare system than in prior years, their experiences in foster care warrant attention because adolescence is a period of major brain development in which youth learn the decision-making and coping skills needed to become healthy and productive adults. Normal adolescent development involves increased risk-taking and self-discovery, but a lack of (or disconnection from) parents and supportive adults who could help them navigate this turbulent period may make it harder for older youth in care to successfully transition into adulthood.”​​

Release of “13 Reasons Why” Associated with Increase in Youth Suicide Rates
The Netflix show “13 Reasons Why” was associated with a 28.9 percent increase in suicide rates among youth ages 10 to 17 in the United States (U.S.) in the month (April 2017) following the show’s release, after accounting for ongoing trends in suicide rates, according to a NIMH-funded study conducted by researchers at NIMH, and several universities and hospitals. The number of deaths by suicide recorded in April 2017 was greater than the number seen in any single month during the five years examined by the researchers. The findings highlight the necessity of using best practices when portraying suicide in popular entertainment and the media.

Inpatient Stays Involving Mental and Substance Use Disorders, 2016
This Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project Statistical Brief presents statistics from the 2016 National Inpatient Sample on inpatient stays involving mental and substance use disorders at community hospitals among patients aged 5 years or older.

Meeting the Needs of ALL Families
The Family-Run Executive Director Leadership Association (FREDLA) recently released a resource guide for families and providers that highlights the rich diversity and unique needs of today’s families. Meeting the Needs of ALL Families is designed to remind all of us that each family is unique, leaving its members to be the only ones to define it – in their way, from their culture, and through their truth.

Supportive Parenting can Reduce Child’s Anxiety
The latest issue of NIH Research Matters highlights studies of interventions designed to promote supportive parenting practices to reduce childhood anxiety.

Prenatal and Early Childhood Brain Development: The HEALthy Brain and Child Development Study
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) Director Dr. Nora Volkow describes an ambitious new longitudinal study – The HEALthy Brain and Child Development (HBCD) study. The HBCD study aims to better understand the impact of early exposure to opioids, other substances, and social stressors on brain development in children.

Associations Between Public E-Cigarette Use and Tobacco-Related Social Norms Among Youth
The Center for Disease Control Office on Smoking and Health released the article Associations Between Public E-Cigarette Use and Tobacco-Related Social Norms Among Youth in their Tobacco Control journal. To assess associations between public e-cigarette use and tobacco-related social norms among youth, this study analyzed data from the 2016-2017 National Youth Tobacco Surveys, a school-based survey of U.S. students in grades 6 through 12.
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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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