Subject: NCSMH Newsletter - April 2020

NCSMH Newsletter
April 2020
The National Center for School Mental Health at the University of Maryland School of Medicine is funded in part by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Maternal and Child Health Bureau to advance school mental health programs and policies to promote success for America’s youth.
As the National Center for School Mental Health, we are here to help students and their families, schools, districts, and states cope with the current changes in all our lives and school systems related to the global pandemic. Below we offer some curated resources to support school mental health systems as you navigate school closures, distance learning, and increasing mental health needs. We acknowledge that many people may be overloaded with the number and frequency of resources coming out each day, and are hoping to support you in vetting and organizing resources by audience.

In this stressful time, we most want to highlight the importance of being compassionate, patient, and proud of the tremendous changes and innovations that you as educators, students, and families have accomplished. We hope that you are able to find ways to keep yourself, your family, and the students you serve optimistic that even though we may be physically apart, we will get through this together.
-The NCSMH team
The NCSMH has compiled resources to support school staff, students, families, and mental health providers during COVID-19. Visit our website to learn more. Below are a few of the resources from our COVID-19 Resource page.

Schools are sending many updates and messages, sometimes daily. Below is sample language for schools to use when communicating with your school community.
We are working to engage learners in new ways. We recognize that this is a significant change for everyone in how we operate. Transitions and changes, even under the best of circumstances, can be stressful. We are here to support you and work through this transition time together.

#COVIBOOK: Supporting and Reassuring Children Around the World
Author, Manuela Molina created a short book to provide information, support, and reassurance to children regarding COVID-19. The book invites families, educators and mental health professionals to discuss the full range of emotions arising from the current situation. The resource does not aim to be a source of scientific information, but rather a tool for discussion. The author recommends printing the material so children can draw on it. The book is available for free download in 20 languages, including Spanish and English.

Talking with Children: Tips for Caregivers, Parents and Teachers During Infectious Disease Outbreaks
This fact sheet developed by the Substance Use and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) provides parents, caregivers, and teachers with strategies for helping children manage their stress during an infectious disease outbreak. It describes potential reactions among youth and the support adults can provide to help them.

Preparing for Infectious Disease Epidemics: Brief Tips for School Mental Health Professionals
Schools should be prepared for local or community-wide infectious disease outbreaks. In this document, The National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) offers guidance for school-employed professionals who are asked to help students and school staff members cope with the mental health challenges generated by this stressor. 

Telemental Health 101: Training Webinar
This 47 minute training, conducted by Jennifer Cox, LCSW-C, Director of the University of Maryland School Mental Health Program, provides an overview to help prepare school mental health clinicians to use telemental health to provide services and supports to students and families.

Interim Guidance for Administrators of US Childcare Programs and K-12 Schools
The CDC provides administrators of US Childcare Programs and K-12 Schools with advice on how to handle COVID-19.

Resources for children on COVID-19 and staying healthy from Child Trends. 
ChildTrends has compiled a range of resources for children related to COVID-19, including videos, games, and activities. These include:
The resources listed here are a sample of the resources found on our COVID-19 resources page, which is updated regularly.

On March 6, 2020, the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act was signed into law. This statute gives the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) the authority to waive geographic and originating site telehealth reimbursement restrictions for mental health services overall, during certain emergency periods. For the duration of this emergency declaration, HHS has indicated that it will waive HIPAA penalties for using non-HIPAA compliant videoconferencing software, allowing for popular solutions, such as Skype (basic) and FaceTime to be used to conduct telehealth sessions via video. The Office of Civil Rights has also released further guidance about this.
Given the increased need for telemedicine and telephone encounters with patients, the American Psychiatric Association would like to help you to advocate for these services to be covered by private insurance and Medicaid for when patients are unable to come into the office for their regular appointments. You can use this sample letter to send to the private insurers and Medicaid Directors that provide coverage to your patients and students. Please let APA know if you receive a response.


This notice announces the opportunity to apply for funding under the Telehealth Network Grant Program (TNGP). The funding opportunity is aimed towards promoting rural Tele-emergency services with an emphasis on tele-stroke, tele-behavioral health, and Tele-Emergency Medical Services (Tele-EMS). This will be achieved by enhancing telehealth networks to deliver 24-hour Emergency Department (ED) consultation services via telehealth to rural providers without emergency care specialists. Tele-emergency is defined as “an electronic, two-way, audio/visual communication service between a central emergency healthcare center (Tele-emergency hub) and a distant hospital emergency department (ED) (remote ED) designed to provide real-time emergency care consultation.”1 These services may include assessment of patients upon admission to the ED, interpretation of patient symptoms and clinical tests or data, supervision of providers administering treatment or pharmaceuticals, or coordination of patient transfer from the local ED. The overarching goals for the Telehealth Network Grant Program are to: Expand access to, coordinate, and improve the quality of health care services; improve and expand the training of health care providers; and expand and improve the quality of health information available to health care providers, and patients and their families, for decision-making.
Deadline: 06/15/2020
Eligibility: Eligible applicants include rural or urban nonprofit entities that will provide direct clinical services through a telehealth network. Each entity participating in the networks may be a nonprofit or for-profit entity. Faith-based, community-based organizations and tribal organizations are eligible to apply. Services must be provided to rural areas, although the applicant can be located in an urban area.

GrantWatch has compiled a variety of state-level funding opportunities for community, school, nonprofit and other local agencies for needs related to COVID-19.
The 2020 Annual Conference on Advancing School Mental Health has not been cancelled at this time. However, given the frequent changes in best practices for health, and the uncertainty of the pandemic timeline, we are monitoring the situation closely. If you submitted a proposal, we plan to notify you by May 15.
National Center for School Mental Health, 737 W. Lombard St., Room 406, Baltimore, MD 21201, United States
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