Friday Update

Friday Update 5-8-20

May 08, 2020

Hey Network faithful, let’s get this issue of Friday Update started with a Tiny Desk Concert featuring Khalid. For some reason this clip spoke to me, reminding me of the power, genius, and humanity of the younger generation who are getting ready to guide the mother ship earth. Even with all of the wackiness taking place right now, I have such faith in the generations coming up. Can’t wait for you guys to get in charge! Enjoy Khalid, and as always, treat yourself to the entire performance. It’s just a bit over 13 minutes, and you deserve to treat yourself. But remember, when you finish, I need you to reorient yourself to the task at hand and get to readin’ Friday Update, cuz we got work to do!

Most Important News of the Week

SAMHSA’s Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day – Did we miss something?
Oh well, some days you’re in, and some days you’re out. Or when it comes to children and families and SAMHSA, it might be more like some years you’re in, and some years you’re out. It appears that children and families are “out” in the SAMHSA world, as SAMHSA canceled Child Mental Health Awareness Day this year. Now that Gary Blau is no longer at SAMHSA, there is not much of a voice at the senior levels of SAMHSA advocating on behalf of children and families. Gonna be a long winter, folks. Oh wait, SAMHSA did hold National Older Adults Mental Health Awareness day (for the third year in a row). And, as an “older adult,” I think that is pretty cool. Dang, if we could get the youngin’s back in the mix, we’d be doin’ great…

History Lesson
Let’s not despair too much about SAMHSA canceling a celebration of children’s mental health. Children’s Mental Health Awareness “Day / Week /Month” has been around longer than SAMHSA has been in existence and will continue long after SAMHSA morphs into whatever is next in the federal government adventure. Stay strong, Network faithful!

Enter to Win $50 in a Photo Contest for May is Mental Health Awareness Month!
The Mental Health Experienced & Years Of Understanding (MHE & YOU) Advisory Council at iSPARC / Transitions ACR has launched a photo contest on their Facebook page for May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Check out this campaign and support it! I love their message to the world – We know that this has been a tough time for many people, us included, so we’re hoping that this contest can bring some light and joy to people’s lives. We may be physically distant, but we can still be a community. There will be six winners, each winning $50.

Join Ohio and Strive For 5 – And Thank You New York for Sharing the Idea!
Big time props to the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services for fully endorsing and adopting the Strive for Five challenge developed in New York. You are encouraged to reach out, connect, and comfort each other while we all work our way through the COVID-19 crisis and social distancing. Peer-to-peer support has great power in helping to calm anxiety and fear. By reaching out via phone, text, email, or even a hand-written note, you can help. The challenge is simple: find five people in your life and check-in with them every day for the next 30-days. Watch the video from Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services’ Director Lori Criss, and get inspired to do something similar in your community!

CLASP Celebrates Mental Health Awareness Month
May is Mental Health Awareness Month. CLASP’s mental health work centers on systems and policy change with an explicit focus on how race and ethnicity affect a person’s interactions with systems and services. Throughout the month, CLASP will be exploring the role of historical and cultural trauma, the importance of lived experience, how to create more equitable access to mental health resources, and the importance of access to a full continuum of mental health care. Join CLASP in reimagining what the mental and behavioral health systems could look like to better serve people living in households with low income.

Better Training Through Technology
Oh man, the silver fox is at it again. John VanDenBerg has teamed up with his daughter, Rain, and the two of them have produced a timely piece on how to adapt your training approach in the time of the pandemic. It’s a family dynasty! Good training is more important than ever before, and the way training is done may never be the same again. The COVID-19 crisis has accelerated these changes, but shifts in training methods have been coming for years.

Update on the Tampa Conference Presentations
Thanks to all who have requested to have the Network host a webinar for presentations initially scheduled for the 2020 Tampa Conference. We will be reaching out to you in the next few weeks with a master schedule. Pick a spot on the calendar, and we will start putting the wheels in motion. If you were scheduled to present at the Tampa conference and missed the announcement, the CMHNetwork would be happy to organize a Zoom webinar for you to share your work with a broader audience, should you not have the capability in house to do so.

My Thai Food Diary
Here is a little Quarantine Love for ya
Okay, admit it. You have been in quarantine for over a month now, and the Kraft Macaroni and Cheese for dinner is getting just a wee bit old. Well, lucky for you, Network faithful @khobkhuncook (which translates to “Thank you, cook”), from Bangkok, Thailand, is sharing her homemade Thai recipes on Instagram. I can tell you from first-hand experience, her creations are amazing. Follow her on Instagram, stock up on some ginger and chili spice, and get to cookin’!

Serving on a Gun Violence Task Force – Reflections of a CMHNetwork Graduate Student Intern
Let’s all give a big shout out to Nekesha Nash, who is about to graduate with her master’s degree and is closing out her internship with the Network. In this Morning Zen post, Nekesha shares her reflections about her time on the Youth Era Gun Violence Task Force. Congratulations, Nekesha!

Confronting Rural America’s Health Care Crisis
The rapid spread of the new coronavirus has awakened the nation to the dire access problems that have long plagued rural communities and has underscored the need for immediate change. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the fragility of the rural health care system, in which hundreds of hospitals have already closed or are at imminent risk of folding. The pandemic now threatens to heap additional financial pressures onto these hospitals, leaving millions in fear that they won’t receive care. COVID-19 prompted a flurry of legislative and regulatory action in early 2020, marking the first important steps in addressing access to care through telehealth. Some of these actions align with recommendations in this report. However, these measures were generally limited to temporary fixes, while the problems need long-term attention.

Study to Determine Incidence of Novel Coronavirus Infection in U.S. Children Begins
A study to help determine the rate of novel coronavirus infection in children and their family members in the United States has begun enrolling participants. The study, called Human Epidemiology and Response to SARS-CoV-2 (HEROS), also will help determine what percentage of children infected with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, develop symptoms of the disease. In addition, the HEROS study will examine whether rates of SARS-CoV-2 infection differ between children who have asthma or other allergic conditions and children who do not. The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, is sponsoring and funding the HEROS study.

The Optimistic Advocate
Give yourself 45 minutes to listen to my new podcast, and in this episode, get inside the mind of Martin Rafferty, CEO of Youth Era. It’s a beautiful place.​​​

Racial toll of virus grows even starker as more data emerges
As a clearer picture emerges of COVID-19’s decidedly deadly toll on black Americans, leaders are demanding a reckoning of the systemic policies they say have made many African Americans far more vulnerable to the virus, including inequity in access to health care and economic opportunity.

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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.

In addition to my role with the CMHNetwork, I host The Optimistic Advocate Podcast, a weekly interview show where I explore how innovative people find ways to improve mental health for themselves, others, and the community at-large.

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