Friday Update

Friday Update 6-14-19

June 09, 2019

Let’s start this issue of Friday Update off with a special request by a long-standing Network Faithful who is probably sipping’ a latte in beautiful Portland, Oregon right about now, grooving to the fantastic John Legend singing his rendition of Bridge Over Troubled Water. Oh, Martha, with this selection, you have provided a balm for the weary soul. For the rest of ya’s, give yourself the gift of three minutes and forty-four seconds to immerse yourself in the beauty that is John Legend. I promise you won’t regret it. Experience the video with all of your senses and then get to readin’ Friday Update, cuz we got work to do!

To Thrive, American Children Need a Stronger Safety Net 
To close class gaps in opportunity and outcomes, Melissa Kearney, Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institute, argues America needs a new social contract built on a more complete social insurance system for children, improved educational institutions, and stronger families.

The Supplemental Poverty Measure: 2017 
Since the publication of the first official U.S. poverty estimates, researchers and policymakers have continued to discuss the best approach to measure income and poverty in the United States. Beginning in 2011, the Census Bureau began publishing the Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM), which extends the official poverty measure by taking account of many of the government programs designed to assist low-income families and individuals that are not included in the official poverty measure. This report presents updated estimates of the prevalence of poverty in the United States.

Take Action: Urge Congress to Raise the Budget Caps!
The House of Representatives has begun the work of approving FY 2020 appropriations bills, and there has been some real progress. For example, a $2.4 billion increase in child care funding (up 45 percent from this year); enough funding to fully renew rent subsidies for the 3.4 million households now served plus 9,000 new rental vouchers for homeless veterans and very poor families with children; and 7-8 percent increases for K-12 education for poor children and for special education funding. These advances have been approved in committee and are likely to be enacted by the full House. But instead of steps forward, human needs programs will face severe cuts if Congress does not change the law that sets harsh limits on appropriations for the next two years. To protect vital services and meet needs, the Coalition on Human Needs is encouraging fellow national organizations to sign on to a letter urging Congress to raise the budget caps. Please share this post with the leadership of the national organizations that you belong to and tell them to sign on. The deadline for signing is Monday, June 24. To read and sign the letter, click here.

Become a Sponsor for the 33rd Annual Research and Policy Conference on Child, Adolescent, and Young Adult Behavioral Health 
Participating as a Sponsor at the 33rd Annual Children’s Mental Health Research & Policy Conference is an excellent opportunity for organizations to receive marketing exposure in addition to gathering knowledge and networking with key researchers, administrators, policymakers, family members, youth, clinicians, and other stakeholders. Check out the details here.

Dear Conservative Friend 
Re-sharing one of our most popular posts from the past year. Liza Long, aka, the Anarchist Soccer Mom, shares an open letter to someone she unfriended on Facebook as a result of differences of opinion about the decision by the Trump administration to separate children seeking asylum from their families at the border.

2019 Janet Reno Forum on Innovations in Juvenile Justice Reform – July 16, 2019 
Throughout the country, juvenile justice staff and partners have made significant progress advancing approaches that improve outcomes for youth, families, and communities. Notable developments include the proliferation of actuarial tools to inform decision-making, reductions in the use of detention for low-risk youth, implementation of evidence-based programs, and the application of brain and adolescent development science to everyday practice. Despite these advancements, many jurisdictions continue to struggle to shape a holistic, fair, and effective juvenile justice system from top to bottom—one that supports youth and families throughout every stage of the process.

The 2019 Janet Reno Forum seeks to answer the question: what exactly does the ideal juvenile justice system look like and how do we get there? The Center for Juvenile Justice Reform has put together an exciting, thought-provoking event that will feature experts from around the U.S. discussing guiding principles and strategies for building the ideal juvenile justice system. Looks like a good one, Network Faithful!

All of Us Research Program Launches Data Browser, Offering Preview of Landmark Health Database 
NIH’s All of Us Research Program has announced the beta release of its interactive Data Browser to provide a first look at the data that participants are sharing for health research. Participants, researchers, and other members of the public may use the online tool to learn more about the All of Us participant community and explore summary data. Later, researchers will be able to request access to the data for use in a wide range of studies that may lead to more customized ways to prevent and treat disease.

The Case for School-Based Mindfulness Programs 
We know the world is a stressful place. Our children deal with tremendous amounts of stress from mental health issues, challenging home environments, food insecurity, peer pressure, test anxiety, fear of failure, the list goes on and on. So, what are we doing to help them cope? Where are they learning the skills to deal with life’s stressors successfully? Increasingly the answer is in school with Mindfulness programs.

Stress During Pregnancy May Increase Child’s Risk of Depression in Adolescence 
Maternal stress during pregnancy may influence fetal brain development in ways that increase the risk of depression by early adolescence, suggests a small NIH-funded study. The researchers found that by age 7, children born to women who reported feeling high levels of stress during pregnancy were more likely to have thinning in the cortex—the outermost layer of nerve tissue in the brain. At age 12, these children were more likely to report symptoms of depression than children whose mothers did not report high stress levels during pregnancy.

Destigmatizing Mental Health in Asian American and Pacific Islander Communities 
In this blog post, SAMHSA’s Office of Behavioral Health Equity discusses the stigma associated with mental health problems in Asian and Pacific Islander communities and the work of the U.S. Public Health Service’s Asian Pacific American Officers Committee and the Cambodian Family organization, which have successfully engaged these communities to learn about mental health.

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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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