Friday Update 6-7-19

Oh man, Network faithful – you are in for a treat with our featured video of the week. Let’s start this issue of Friday Update off with British singer-songwriter Rumer and Daryl Hall, who give us their spin on the Gil Scott-Heron classic ‘Be Thankful for What You’ve Got.’ Yep, sound advice. We should all be thankful for what we got. Get your musical inspiration on and then get to reading’ Friday Update, cuz we got work to do!

Most important reads for the week

Get Ready to Write Your Proposal for 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 2nd. 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!

A Mother Responds to Childhood Trauma and a Family Begins to Heal
I am pleased to share with you a poignant Morning Zen Post written a while back by a mother with a mental illness who, after reading many Morning Zen posts on childhood trauma, decided to write a Zen post of her own. In this post, the mom reflects on her mental breakdown and the high likelihood of trauma that it caused for her daughter. When the mom submitted her Zen post, she told me I could not print it without the permission of her daughter. Her daughter’s response to our request for consent will touch you and remind you that humanity wins in the end.

Policies That Dismantle Racism and Sexism in Health Care May Reduce Black Infant and Maternal Mortality
Another great read from Child Trends – The disproportionately high rates of Black infant and maternal mortality in the United States—compared to rates for non-Hispanic white infants and women—necessitate a systemic and philosophical shift to prioritize Black women’s health. Black women have unique health needs resulting from their experiences with both racism and sexism, and their health must be supported holistically—before, during, and after pregnancy—so they and their infants can live full, healthy lives.

Mississippi Says Mental Health Care With No ‘Gaps’ is ‘Unattainable’
The federal government is accusing the state of Mississippi of violating the Olmstead US Supreme Court decision, which found that “unjustified” confinement in a mental hospital violates the Americans with Disabilities Act. The state of Mississippi is arguing that the federal government is illegally trying to force a fundamental alteration of Mississippi’s mental health system and that Mississippi is not required to provide any particular standard of care. Even though there are many examples of successful mental health programming in Mississippi, this underlying defense strategy gives me a chill. We will watch this case closely.

Trump Administration To Deprive Migrant Kids In Shelters Of English Lessons, Legal Aid
Immigrant advocates say the government is using child welfare rights as a political lever to secure more funding. The move could be illegal ― immigrant children in custody must be taught English five days a week and have at least one hour of recreation time per day, under the terms of the 1997 Flores court settlement. But immigrant rights advocates fear the Trump administration is using child welfare rights as a political bargaining chip to secure funds from Congress.

Doctors Concerned About ‘Irreparable Harm’ To Separated Migrant Children
It’s been a year since this article was first published, and our knowledge of the atrocities taking place at the U.S. Mexico border has increased significantly. A worthy re-read and essential reminder to mental health advocates about the trauma taking place amid the border crisis and the resulting long-term damage to children and families.

Proposed Health Care Rights law Rollback Would Jeopardize Affordable Insurance Coverage for Gender-Affirming Care and Gut Protections for Transgender People in the Health Care System
Katelyn Burns reviews a Trump administration proposal that would essentially allow health-care providers to discriminate based on gender identity. Burns includes several cited references that advocates will find useful.

What Were You Thinking? Brain Development in Young Adults
During the transitions to adulthood, young adults with mental health conditions struggle more than their typically-developing counterparts. Studies have shown that adolescents and young adults with mental health conditions are delayed in all areas of psychosocial development except sexuality. This tip sheet offers ways to work with young adults with mental health conditions and make this transition process easier.

The Power of Parenting: How to Help Your Child After a Parent or Caregiver Dies
The National Child Traumatic Stress Network recently released The Power of Parenting: How to Help Your Child After a Parent or Caregiver Dies. This fact sheet draws from experiences of bereaved caregivers, researchers, and mental health professionals. It offers guidance on how to talk to your child after a parent or caregiver dies including, how to face new fears, how to take care of yourself, how to hold on to the old while embracing the new, how to create comforting connections, as well as how to seek additional support for children.

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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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