Subject: Center for School Mental Health newsletter - January 2018

CSMH newsletter 
January 2018
Happy New Year from the Center for School Mental Health team! This edition of our newsletter includes resources and research to support you in your work as you plan for the year ahead, including:
  • An upcoming free webinar on school mental health screening, hosted by the Center for School Mental Health
  • A bullying prevention change package recently released by HRSA
  • Updates from the latest school mental health research, including on mental health professional development for educators
  • A healthy schools funding opportunity from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
We look forward to continuing to support school mental health systems across the country in 2018!
Now accepting proposals for the 2018 Annual Conference on Advancing School Mental Health!
The Center for School Mental Health is now accepting presentation proposals for the 2018 Annual Conference on Advancing School Mental Health! 

The conference will be hosted from October 11-13, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Presentation options include conference sessions, workshops, symposia, and posters. Presenters receive discounted registration to attend the conference.

The submission deadline is February 5, 2018We hope you will consider submitting a proposal to present at this year's conference!
Free Webinar on School Mental Health Screening
Mark your calendars for our upcoming webinar: School Mental Health Screening: Lessons from the Field. Whether wondering if school mental health screening is feasible in your system or if you're looking for specific tools to get started, this webinar will share ideas for starting small on your screening goals. 

All attendees will also receive a digital copy of the Center for School Mental Health's Screening Playbook Guide.

Date: Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Time: 3:00-4:00 pm Eastern

Dial: 1-844-279-4239
Participant code: 3121 5880 1136
School Mental Health Technical Assistance Opportunity for States
Last month, the Center for School Mental Health released a Request for Proposals (RFP) inviting new states to join our National Coalition for the State Advancement of School Mental Health (NCSA-SMH). Participating states receive funding to send two team members to the 2018 Annual Conference on Advancing School Mental Health and ongoing technical assistance in using The SHAPE System to assess and improve their systems' quality and sustainability. 

The application deadline is January 22, 2018.
School Mental Health Quality Improvement Spotlight

District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) has taken on high quality school mental health in a large, urban school district that employs 266 school social workers and psychologists to serve over 48,000 students in 113 schools. Through collaborative conversations and districtwide data collection from their front-line school mental health providers, DCPS developed a Workload Analysis that includes recommendations for school administrators and teams to optimize social work and psychology service delivery time in the school building. Most recently, DCPS is expanding school mental health offerings by advancing social-emotional learning (SEL) curricula in classrooms and adopting district SEL core competencies for students and adults alike. We applaud them for mastering the art of incremental, collaborative, innovative methods to produce very durable quality improvements across their entire district! This is reflected in their School Mental Health Quality Assessment which shows substantial growth nearing “Mastery” in Resource Mapping, Teaming, and Data-Driven Decision Making since January 2017. To learn more about how your school or district can access the School Mental Health Quality Assessment and achieve Gold Level SHAPE Recognition like DCPS, please visit

Do you know a school mental health leader or team that we should feature in our School Mental Health Quality Improvement Spotlight? Send us your suggestions at

Holiday Stress
The holidays are often a time of enjoyment and relaxation with family and friends, but for many individuals, it can bring up painful memories and negative feelings that can be long-lasting. The National Child Traumatic Stress Network has provided a list of resources for individuals experiencing stress during the holidays that include traumatic grief education materials for caregivers, pediatricians and nurses, school personnel, and mental health professionals.

Podcast Series: Family and Youth Engagement to Keep Kids in School
The National Center for Mental Health and Juvenile Justice (with support from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention's School-Justice Partnership Program) has produced a short podcast series highlighting the value of authentic family and youth engagement in School-Justice Partnership work. The series shares successful strategies and offers family and youth perspectives on engagement. Episode 2 also includes insights from CSMH National Quality Initiative collaborator Dr. Cecilia Singh. The podcast is available on iTunes, Stitcher, or Soundcloud.

Assessing Prevention Capacity and Implementing Change
The Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration released the Assessing Prevention Capacity and Implementing Change: An evidence-informed and evidence-based Bullying Prevention Capacity Assessment and Change Package. This resource was created to help State Health Departments (SHDs) and others working to prevent bullying to assess the current capacity to address bullying and to determine where there may be gaps and needs. The bullying prevention Change Package provides guidance to SHDs in determining bullying prevention strategies and enhancing partnerships to support bullying prevention efforts in schools, health care settings, communities, and with families and caregivers. The strategies and programs included in the Change Package support actions with regard to: training and dissemination on bullying prevention information and evidence-based programs; partnerships across agencies and other entities; and facilitating the identification, reporting, and response to bullying incidents.

Disrupting School-Justice Pathways for Youth with Behavioral Health Needs
This bulletin was developed by the National Center for Mental Health and Juvenile Justice and National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges and outlines the steps needed to implement a School Responder Model to increase school attendance and decrease court visits for youth with behavioral health needs.

NTCSN Fire Resource: Trinka and Sam and the Big Fire
The National Child Traumatic Stress Network released a children’s story book called “Trinka and Sam and the Big Fire,” developed to help young children and their families talk about feelings and worries related to fires. In the story, Trinka and Sam, two young mice, are worried after they experienced a fire that damaged their community. The story can be used by parents, educators or child practitioners to guide conversations about feelings, thoughts, and questions about fires. The story is available in English and Spanish versions.

2016 School Health Profiles: Characteristics of Health Programs among Secondary Schools
The CDC division of Adolescent and School Health (DASH) released the 2016 School Health Profiles results, which include a comprehensive report, fact sheet, and maps on survey findings related to school health policies across the U.S. The Profiles is a system of surveys assessing school health policies and practices in states, large urban school districts, and territories. Profiles surveys are conducted biennially by education and health agencies among middle and high school principals and health education teachers. The results suggests improvements in connecting youth to sexual health services and education. However, the results demonstrate that a small percentage of schools teach key HIV, STD, and pregnancy prevention. The report also highlights key resource needs to support improvement, including professional development for educators, full-time school nurses, and efforts to enhance the safety of LGBTQ youth.

Multi-Site Family Study on Incarceration, Parenting, and Partnering: Program Impacts Technical Report
The Office of Family Assistance (OFA) within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Administration for Children and Families (ACF), funded 12 programs to support healthy relationships between incarcerated fathers, their partners, and children from 2006-2011. This report presents findings from the Multi-site Family Study on Incarceration, Parenting, and Partnering (MFS-IP), the national evaluation of this initiative.

Youth Homelessness in America Report
This report summarizes the results of a study by the Voices of Youth Count that surveyed youth and young adults between 13 and 25 about their experiences with homelessness during a 12-month period. Youth homelessness is captured broadly, ranging from couch-surfing to sleeping on the streets, in cars or in shelters. Results showed that 1 in 10 young adults and 1 in 30 adolescents endure some form of homelessness in a year. Findings also demonstrated that particular subpopulations are at higher risk for homelessness, with the highest risk among youth with less than a high school diploma or GED, unmarried parenting youth, and youth reporting annual household income of less than $24,000. The report also includes recommendations for prevent and intervene on youth and young adult homelessness.

Supporting You in Supporting Youth: Preliminary Results of a National Survey of Training Needs of Transition Aged Youth Service Providers
This report outlines the preliminary findings of a National Survey of Training Needs of Transition Aged Youth Service Providers conducted by the Pathways Transition Training Partnership and Youth MOVE National that surveyed service providers who work with young people with mental health needs. Service providers were invited to answer questions based on their perceived needs for training to support transition aged youth and young adults and underserved populations, suggestions for training to meet their needs, and perceptions of barriers to training.

Expanding the Cultural Adaptation Framework for Population Level Impact
Author: Gonzales, N.A.
Journal: Prevention Science
Year: 2017
Abstract/Summary: Attention to cultural diversity and cultural adaptation of evidence-based interventions (EBIs) has been a longstanding priority in prevention science. However, EBIs for diverse populations present several challenges for broad dissemination and population impact. The five papers in this special issue underscore some of these challenges and offer new ways of thinking and recommendations for the next generation of type 2 translation research. This commentary underscores three broad recommendations, including the need for a more expanded conceptualization and empirical understanding of the core tension between fidelity and adaptation; greater focus on the systems of care that deliver EBIs to culturally diverse populations, including increased attention to such issues as access and engagement; and greater flexibility in strategies to adapt and evaluate interventions within and across communities and settings that serve diverse populations. By offering exemplars and suggestions to address these challenges, these papers collectively help to realign research on cultural adaptation with its ultimate goal of reducing health disparities by ensuring greater access, impact, and equity of prevention services in a dynamic, multicultural society. However, other fundamental challenges remain unaddressed, including the need to reduce inequalities that exist in the health, education, social service, and justice systems that will ultimately support broad diffusion of EBIs for diverse populations.

Childhood Bullying, Paranoid Thinking and the Misappraisal of Social Threat: Trouble at School
Authors: Jack, A.H. & Egan, V.
Journal: School Mental Health
Year: 2017
Abstract/Summary: Experiences of bullying predict the development of paranoia in school-age adolescents. While many instances of psychotic phenomena are transitory, maintained victimization can lead to increasingly distressing paranoid thinking. Furthermore, paranoid thinkers perceive threat in neutral social stimuli and are vigilant for environmental risk. The present paper investigated the association between different forms of bullying and paranoid thinking, and the extent to which school-age paranoid thinkers overestimate threat in interpersonal situations. Two hundred and thirty participants, aged between eleven and fourteen, were recruited from one secondary school in the UK. Participants completed a series of questionnaires hosted on the Bristol Online Survey tool. All data were collected in a classroom setting in quiet and standardized conditions. A significant and positive relationship was found between experiences of bullying and paranoid thinking: greater severity of bullying predicted more distressing paranoid thinking. Further, paranoid thinking mediated the relationship between bullying and overestimation of threat in neutral social stimuli. Exposure to bullying is associated with distressing paranoid thinking and subsequent misappraisal of threat. As paranoid thinkers experience real and overestimated threat, the phenomena may persist.

Educator Perceptions of Preparedness and Professional Development for Implementation of Evidence-Based Practices Within a Multi-tiered System of Supports
Authors: Romer, N., Green, A.L., & Cox, K.E.
Journal: School Mental Health
Year: 2017
Abstract/Summary: A multi-tiered system of supports provides a framework for high-quality implementation of evidence-based mental health practices by educators so that all students have access to a continuum of mental health supports based on need. The purpose of this study was to use survey data to examine 700 educators’ perceptions of professional development and preparedness to implement mental health interventions within a multi-tiered system of supports. Descriptive analyses provided information about educator preparedness and access to training, resources, and coaching to support implementation of evidence-based mental health practices across tiers of supports. Further analyses revealed that access to training, resources, and coaching predicted preparedness to provide and assess mental health supports. Educators’ perceptions of student access to school and community mental health supports were predicted by access to training, resources, and coaching, and support for evidence-based practices. Perceived preparedness to provide mental health supports predicted whether or not educators reported talking with students about social or emotional concerns. Implications of the findings for professional development practices and policies within multi-tiered system of school-based mental health supports are discussed. 

The Student Check-Up: Effects of Paraprofessional-delivered Motivational Interviewing on Academic Outcomes
Authors: Lee, E.R., McQuillin, S., Terry, J., Cebada, M., & Strait, J.E.
Journal: Advances in School Mental Health Promotion
Year: 2017
Abstract/Summary: Paraprofessionals and school volunteers increase the number of youth who receive academic and mental health interventions by providing services that were traditionally reserved for professional staff. However, the promise of these low-cost, high-volume non-professional services is tempered by the lack of experimental evidence documenting their effectiveness. In this study, we trained non-professionals to provide a brief school-based Motivational Interviewing (MI) intervention called the Student Check-Up (SCU) to middle school-students. In contrast with previous studies, we found no significant differences between treatment and control groups in post-treatment academic grades. However, following the SCU, participants randomly assigned to the treatment group rated the importance of in-class participation and academic effort self-efficacy significantly higher than those in the control group. Based on these results, we provide recommendations for improving the effectiveness of paraprofessionals’ use of the SCU and for improving future research methodology in this area.


America’s Promise Healthy School Fund
The America’s Promise Healthy School Fund is part of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Together for Healthy and Successful Schools initiative. The award will grant funds to organizations and school districts that are working to create healthier school environments through youth and family engagement, cross-sector collaboration, and broader policy and systemic change. The deadline for applications is January 22, 2018 at 8:00 pm EST. Please refer to the fund's website for more information.

Institute of Education Sciences (IES): Low-Cost, Short-Duration Evaluation of Education Interventions
The IES is awarding grants to provide national leadership in expanding fundamental knowledge and understanding of (1) developmental and school readiness outcomes for infants and toddlers with or at risk for a disability and (2) education outcomes for all students from early childhood education through postsecondary and adult education. The grant programs are designed to provide interested individuals and the general public with reliable and valid information about education practices that support learning and improve academic achievement and access to education opportunities for all students. Interested individuals include parents, educators, students, researchers, and policymakers. The deadline for applications is March 1, 2018. Please refer to the award notice for eligibility criteria and more information.

NTCSN Intimate Partner Violence and Child Trauma Policy Brief
The National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NTCSN) released a policy brief on Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) and Child Trauma, which provides policymakers with an overview of intimate partner violence and its relation to child trauma. The policy brief provides information about the consequences for children exposed to IPV and how these challenges can be addressed by policymakers and other stakeholders. The brief also describes how the NCTSN serves as a resource to professionals, policymakers, and the public.


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