Friday Update

Friday Update 9-28-18

September 28, 2018

Greetings faithful readers. Be sure to check out the two reports on the state of community health care in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria in this issue of Friday Update. In honor of our fellow citizens in Puerto Rico, let’s start off with some Bomba, one of the traditional musical styles of Puerto Rico. Enjoy some Bomba, and then get to readin’ Friday Update, cuz we got work to do!

Most important reads for this week


Keynote Speakers Announced for the 32nd Annual Research & Policy Conference on Child, Adolescent, and Young Adult Behavioral Health
Okay, Network Faithful, pop quiz. What does the First Lady of New York City, Chirlane McCray; Youth ERA Founder Martin Rafferty; Virginia Tech Shooting Survivor, Lisa Hamp; Trauma Researcher Sarah Lowe; California Youth Justice Initiative Director, Attorney Frankie Guzman; and Senior Advisor in the Office of Planning and Innovation at SAMHSA, Larke Huang, have in common? (Whew, that was quite the sentence!) They are all keynote speakers at the Tampa Conference. And guess what? We are still adding a few more keynote speakers! Details on additional keynotes will be announced soon, but for now, check out the amazing lineup and get yourself registered to attend. The Tampa Conference is one conference you do not want to miss!

32nd Annual Research & Policy Conference on Child, Adolescent, and Young Adult Behavioral Health Call for Proposals Closes October 26th!
The 32nd Annual Research & Policy Conference on Child, Adolescent, and Young Adult Behavioral Health will take place March 3-6, 2019 at the Hilton Tampa Downtown Hotel. You know you want to be a part of the conference program, and we want you to be a part of it as well! The deadline for turning in your proposal is October 26th, so get to writin’!

The Lasting Effects of Family Separations, as Seen Through the Eyes of a 13-Year-Old
Alejandro and his mom journeyed for days without eating, stuck in a putrid bus with 65 strangers stuffed “all on top of each other.” Then they reached the US, where they say their nightmare really began.

Alternative Facts, Fake Truths, and Mental Health: Are You Kidding Me?
Be sure to read Lisa Lambert’s latest post. Per usual, Lisa peels the onion two or three more layers than anyone else. She writes, “Not long ago, I saw someone I know on a national television show. She has a brother with schizophrenia, and yet she talked about alternative facts as if they were a thing. A real live, acceptable, incontrovertible thing. I looked at the television screen dumbfounded. Yet, it’s easy to let terms like “alternative facts” or “fake” or “fake news” slip by us with an eye roll or shake of the head. Or let them weasel their way into our vocabulary, like the person I saw on television.”

Meet the Children’s Mental Health Network Graduate School Interns!
We are so excited to have three interns coming on board to help the CMHNetwork take a deep dive look into three issues of high relevance to us. Aniya Bess-Rosa will be looking at the impact of immigration reform on the mental health of children and families. Rachel Lettieri is investigating national efforts to improve quality standards in residential care, both licensed programs, and unlicensed programs. And finally, Melissa Sirola is taking a deep-dive look into how mindfulness impacts the mental health and wellbeing of children. Welcome interns!

One Year after Hurricanes Irma and Maria, Challenges Remain, Particularly in Mental Health
One year after Hurricanes Irma and Maria made landfall, recovery has progressed slowly and unevenly in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The territories’ health care systems continue to face capacity, infrastructure, and financial challenges even as health needs have increased, especially in mental health, according to two new reports from the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Bazelon Files Complaint Against the District of Columbia for Unnecessarily Institutionalizing Hundreds of Children with Mental Health Disabilities
On August 14, the Judge David L. Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law, along with Disability Rights DC at University Legal Services, the protection and advocacy agency for the District of Columbia, the National Center for Youth Law, and the law firm Schulte Roth & Zabel, filed a class action lawsuit against the District of Columbia. The suit challenges the widespread failures of D.C.’s children’s mental health system to provide federally required intensive community-based services for children in their own homes, schools, and elsewhere in the community.

Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Trauma and Violence Prevention
The Begun Center for Violence Prevention Research and Education at Case Western Reserve University is inviting applications for a postdoctoral fellowship in trauma and violence prevention.

Jason Lang and Christian Connell Publish Two Articles on Child Trauma in the Journal of Traumatic Stress
The Child Health and Development Institute’s (CHDI)Jason Lang, together with Christian Connell of Penn State University, co-authored two articles on child trauma in the July 2018 edition of the Journal of Traumatic Stress. Check it out!

Jed Foundation and Transitions ACR White Paper Identifies Mental Health Needs Among College Graduates Entering the Workforce
In partnership with the University of Massachusetts Medical School Transitions to Adulthood Center for Research (Transitions ACR), The Jed Foundation (JED), a leading nonprofit organization whose mission is to protect emotional health and prevent suicide among teens and young adults, released a white paper, College to Career: Supporting Mental Health. This analyzes the challenges to emotional wellbeing faced by young adults during the college-to-career transition based on extensive surveys and literature review. The paper also offers strategic recommendations for colleges and employers looking to support young adults and improve outcomes during this critical transition.

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About the Author

Scott Bryant-Comstock

Scott has worked in the mental health field for over 30 years in a variety of roles, including therapist, trainer, mental health board chair, state level mental health official and national consultant, trainer and facilitator. Over the course of his career, Scott has incorporated learnings from policy-makers, families, providers and community leaders throughout the United States into a focused approach to improving services and supports for youth with emotional challenges and their families. Scott is the founder, President & CEO of the Children’s Mental Health Network.

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