Subject: Center for School Mental Health newsletter - April 2018

CSMH newsletter 
April 2018
At the Center for School Mental Health we are dedicated to the promotion of mental health, positive school climate, and safety in our nation's schools.

This edition of our newsletter contains resources and research to advance that ongoing work, including:
  • A resource guide providing caregivers with tips and strategies on how to answer questions children may have after witnessing or learning about a tragedy.
  • A report from the Bureau of Justice Statistics and National Center for Education Statistics on school crime and safety from student and school staff perspectives. 
  • Updates from the latest school mental health research, including the cost effectiveness of implementing social-emotional learning programs in schools. 
  • Two funding opportunities from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to increase awareness of mental health issues, provide training to school personnel, and improve access to behavioral health services. 
Mark Your Calendars for the 2018 Annual Conference on Advancing School Mental Health!
The 2018 Annual Conference on Advancing School Mental Health will be held October 11-13, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada at the Red Rock Casino, Resort, and Spa. The theme of the conference is School Mental Health - A Sure Bet for Student Success! 

The registration deadline for Early Bird rates is June 30, 2018. 

Please visit our website for more details
The Opioid Crisis and K-12 Schools: Impact and Response
A national webinar hosted by
the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Safe and Healthy Students
and its National Center on Safe Supportive Learning Environments.

This webinar will provide details on how the opioid crisis affects students and families along with insights into practices and policies that can help address the opioid crisis in schools.

It is designed for State-, district-, and building-level administrators, teachers, and specialized instructional support personnel interested in effective support of students and families impacted by the opioid crisis.

Webinar Information

Date: Thursday, April 26, 2018

Time: 3:00 – 4:15 p.m. Eastern 

Children's Mental Health Matters Week
Children's Mental Health Matters Week is May 7-13, 2018.

In recognition of Children's Mental Health Awareness Week, the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) is hosting a Twitter chat to discuss teen depression. 

The chat will take place Thursday, May 3, 2018, from 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET. NIMH experts will be available to answer questions live.

To ask questions, you must have a Twitter account and include the hashtag #NIMHchats in every tweet. Follow @NIMHgov for updates and to join in on the conversation. Learn more. 

Additional resources about Children's Mental Health Awareness Week can be found here
School Mental Health Quality Improvement Spotlight

Seneca Family of Agencies and Education for Change Public Schools (Seneca/EFC) are innovating ways to bring the science of mental health screening and data-driven decision making to actual school mental health practice in Oakland, California. This school mental health system significantly increased their screening data collection effort by assigning care coordinators to this task and providing feedback to school staff and administrators about student strengths and needs, resulting in 2,278 students screened so far this school year. Seneca/EFC also surveyed clinician-reported barriers and successes to using screening data and is currently training and supporting clinicians’ ability to integrate these data into decision-making and collaborative service planning with the school team. Mental health screening and data-driven decision making are two key domains of school mental health quality that in practice can be challenging to implement. Seneca/EFC is a pioneer in these domains by supporting clinicians’ use of data and using clinician feedback to inform system improvements!

To learn more about how your school or district team can self-assess your screening and data –driven decision making practices and access free resources about these topics, 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

Talking to Children About Terrorists Attacks and School and Community Shootings in the News
This resource from the National Center for School Crisis and Bereavement helps caregivers promote resilience with youth who have experienced or been exposed to news coverage of a violent community tragedy. It includes answers to the question of "Why should I talk about this with my children?" and gives tips for answering questions children may have following witnessing or learning about a community or national tragedy.

Mental Health Wellness Coping Statement Cards
The Now Is the Time Technical Assistance Center (NITT-TA) has developed cards to help non-clinicians, including parents, caregivers, school, and community members, to provide coping strategies for young people who are experiencing emotional distress. They include coping statements to respond to anxiety, fear, feeling overwhelmed, panic, and other emotions.

Guidelines for Adolescent Depression in Primary Care (GLAD-PC): Part I. Practice Preparation, Identification, Assessment, and Initial Management
The American Academy of Pediatrics has updated its guidelines to help primary care doctors assess and treat depression in teenagers. The practice preparation, identification, assessment, and initial management section of the guidelines include recommendations for (1) the preparation of the PC practice for improved care of adolescents with depression; (2) annual universal screening of youth 12 and over at health maintenance visits; (3) the identification of depression in youth who are at high risk; (4) systematic assessment procedures by using reliable depression scales, patient and caregiver interviews, and Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition criteria; (5) patient and family psychoeducation; (6) the establishment of relevant links in the community, and (7) the establishment of a safety plan.

Disaster Technical Assistance Center Supplemental Research Bulletin; Mass Violence and Behavioral Health
This bulletin developed by SAMHSA’s Disaster Technical Assistance Center, describes how mass violence affects the behavioral health of adult, adolescent, and child survivors or witnesses of a mass violence incident. It illustrates the phases of response experienced by survivors, provides information on immediate and long-term interventions, and addresses the effects of media exposure following a mass violence incident. Public health, behavioral health, and emergency management professionals can use this resource to improve disaster behavioral health preparedness plans.

New Report on Adolescent Drug Use
Monitoring the Future (MTF) is a long-term national study of substance use and related factors among U.S. adolescents, college students, and adult high school graduates through age 55. It is conducted annually and supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse. MTF findings identify emerging substance use problems, track substance use trends, and inform national policy and intervention strategies.

Indicators of School Crime and Safety
This annual report, produced jointly by the Bureau of Justice Statistics and National Center for Education Statistics, presents data on school crime and safety from the perspectives of students, teachers, and principals. It contains 23 indicators of school crime and safety, including violent deaths; nonfatal student and teacher victimization; school environment; fights, weapons, and illegal substances; fear and avoidance; discipline, safety, and security measures; and campus safety and security. Data sources include the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS), the School Crime Supplement (SCS) to the NCVS, the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS), the School Survey on Crime and Safety (SSOCS), and the School and Staffing Survey (SASS).

2017 Children's Mental Health Report
This report from Child Mind Institute focuses on adolescence as a significant risk period for developing mental health disorders. Issues explored in this report include smartphones and social media, substance use and abuse, anxiety and depression, ADHD, psychotic episodes and schizophrenia, suicide and self-harm, unique challenges in adolescent mental health care, and evidence-based educational and therapeutic approaches for adolescence.

At What Cost? Examining the Cost Effectiveness of a Universal Social-Emotional Learning Program
Authors: Hunter, L. J., DiPerna, J.C., Hart, S. C., & Crowley, M.
Journal: School Psychology Quarterly
Year: 2018
Abstract/Summary: Although implementation of universal social–emotional learning programs is becoming more common in schools, few studies have examined the cost-effectiveness of such programs. As such, the purpose of this article is two fold. First, we provide an overview of cost-effectiveness methods for school-based programs, and second, we share results of a cost-effectiveness analysis (CEA) of a universal social–emotional learning (SEL) program, the Social Skills Improvement System—Classwide Intervention Program (SSIS-CIP; Elliott & Gresham, 2007). Specifically, we compared the cost-effectiveness of SSIS-CIP implementation across first- and second-grade classrooms, and results indicated that second grade is the more cost-effective option for implementing the SSIS-CIP. Several considerations are discussed regarding cost-effectiveness analysis of universal 
SEL programs as well as the importance of using CEA results to inform programming decisions.

Are Teachers Ready? Preservice Teacher Knowledge of Classroom Management and ADHD
Authors: Poznanski, B., Hart, K. C., & Cramer, E.
Journal: School Mental Health
Year: 2018
Abstract/Summary: It is well documented that teachers feel unprepared to handle classroom management challenges in their classrooms. This lack of preparedness in classroom management, specifically for students with mental health concerns, is one of the leading reasons for teacher attrition. Yet, little is known about what teachers know about classroom management strategies and children’s mental health difficulties upon entering the classroom. The present study seeks to understand preservice teachers’ knowledge of classroom management strategies and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in the United States. Participants were preservice teachers (n = 107; 95.3% female; 75.4% Hispanic) about to enter their student teaching internship. Teachers’ accurate knowledge of classroom management strategies, accurate knowledge of ADHD, misperceptions of ADHD, and lack of knowledge of ADHD were investigated and related to teacher characteristics (i.e., hours of professional development) and sense of efficacy. Teacher knowledge of classroom management strategies, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and sense of efficacy were evaluated using self-report measures. Overall, preservice teachers achieved 60.7% accuracy on the measure of classroom management strategies and 49% accuracy on the knowledge of ADHD measure. There were no associations between teachers’ knowledge of ADHD or classroom management strategies and teacher efficacy or characteristics. The results of this study reveal large gaps in preservice teachers’ knowledge of ADHD and classroom management strategies. Implications for teacher training programs are discussed.

School-Based Suicide Prevention: A Framework for Evidence-Based Practice
Authors: Singer, J. B., Erbacher, T. A., & Rosen, P.
Journal: School Mental Health
Year: 2018
Abstract/Summary: Suicide is the second leading cause of death among youth aged 10–25 years, and approximately one in six adolescents reported serious suicidal ideation in the past year (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC] in Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System (WISQARS)., 2017). Schools are a unique environment in which to identify and respond to youth suicide risk, yet the research base for school-based suicide prevention programs is limited due to challenges with implementation and evaluation. The purpose of this article is to review best practice approaches and existing empirical support for school-based suicide prevention and to present a framework for how these efforts can be embedded within multi-tiered systems of support (MTSS). In line with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration [SAMHSA] (Preventing suicide: a toolkit for high schools. ( content//SMA12-4669/SMA12-4669.pdf, 2012) framework for suicide prevention in schools, the article overviews existing programs for student education, staff training, and screening, noting where these programs may be situated across tiers of intervention. This is followed by a review of school-related outcomes of existing suicide prevention programs, which highlights the limitations of existing research. Because there are only two school-based prevention programs with evidence for reducing suicide risk in students, the authors encourage school staff to implement best practice recommendations in collaboration with school mental health professionals who can provide ongoing evaluation of program effectiveness, as well as with researchers who are able to design and conduct outcome studies addressing the limitations of current research. Findings also underscore the need for greater integration of suicide prevention programming with existing school initiatives such as MTSS, which aligns with a growing focus in the field of suicide prevention on “upstream approaches.”

Mental Health Stigma Prevention: Pilot Testing a Novel, Language Arts Curriculum‐Based Approach for Youth
Authors: Weisman, H. L., Kia-Keating, M., Lippincott, A., Taylor, Z., & Zheng, J.
Journal: Journal of School Health
Year: 2016
Abstract/Summary: BACKGROUND: Researchers have emphasized the importance of integrating mental health education with academic curriculum. The focus of the current studies was Mental Health Matters (MHM), a mental health curriculum that is integrated with English language arts. It is taught by trained community member volunteers and aims to increase knowledge and decrease stigma toward individuals with mental health disorders. METHODS: In Study 1, 142 sixth graders participated in MHM and completed pre‐ and post program measures of mental health knowledge, stigma, and program acceptability. Teachers also completed ratings of acceptability. Study 2 (N = 120 seventh graders) compared participants who had participated in MHM the previous year with those who had not using the same measures. RESULTS: Sixth grade students and teachers rated the program as highly acceptable. Participants significantly increased their knowledge and decreased their levels of stigma. Seventh graders who had participated in MHM had significantly more mental health knowledge than peers who had not, but there were no differences in stigma. CONCLUSIONS: The model appears to be acceptable to students and teachers. Future research is needed to assess the long‐term effectiveness of integrating mental health education with other academic curriculum such as language arts or science.

Exploring provider use of a digital implementation support system for school mental health: A pilot study
Authors: Livet, M., Yannayon, M., Sheppard, K., Kocher, K., Upright, J., & McMillen, J.
Journal: Administration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research
Year: 2018
Abstract/Summary: This pilot study explored provider use of an online system, Centervention, to support the delivery of empirically supported school-based mental health interventions (ESIs); and associations between components of this system [resources, training, technical assistance (TA), feedback loops], implementation indicators, and student outcomes. Multilevel modeling data were collected from 39 providers implementing ESIs with 758 students. Training, TA, and progress monitoring predicted ESI adherence, and perceived value of resources and TA influenced student responsiveness. Greater adherence was predictive of better socio-emotional outcomes. Interviews with 15 providers illuminated how they used these four Centervention support strategies. Implications for digital implementation support research are discussed.

The relationships between school climate and adolescent mental health and wellbeing: A systematic literature review
Authors: Aldridge, J. M., & McChesney, K.
Journal: International Journal of Educational Research
Year: 2018
Abstract/Summary: Promoting adolescent mental health is a global priority, and schools have an important role to play. This systematic mixed- methods literature review examined relationships between the psychosocial school climate and adolescents’ mental health, mapping the scope and quality of recent research. Forty-eight relevant primary studies published in 2000–2017 were identified and analysed. These studies highlight associations between the school climate and student mental health, although the lack of experimental and longitudinal studies precludes causal claims. Future research directions include: further investigation of the roles of school safety and the psychosocial academic environment on adolescent mental health; greater consistency in the conceptualisation of both school climate and mental health; and clarification of the influence of demographic variables on individual students’ experiences.

Healthy Transitions: Improving Life Trajectories for Youth and Young Adults with Serious Mental Disorders Program
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS), is accepting applications for fiscal year (FY) 2018 Healthy Transitions: Improving Life Trajectories for Youth and Young Adults With Serious Mental Disorders Program grants (Short Title: Healthy Transitions). The purpose of this program is to improve access to treatment and support services for youth and young adults, ages 16-25, who have a serious emotional disturbance (SED) or a serious mental illness (SMI), hereafter referred to as serious mental disorders. Applications are due May 14, 2018.

Youth Violence Prevention Interventions that Incorporate Racism/Discrimination Prevention (R01-Clinical Trial Required)
The initiative supports research to develop and test youth violence prevention interventions that incorporate racism/discrimination prevention strategies for one or more health disparity populations. The target age range includes middle school to high school-aged youth, corresponding to an approximate age range of 11 to 18. The National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) intends to commit $3,500,000 in FY2018 to fund 4-5 awards. Eligible applicants include independent school districts, and are expected to work across multiple organizations. Letter of intent due April 25, 2018 and application due May 25, 2018.

Project AWARE (Advancing Wellness and Resiliency in Education) State Education Agency Grants
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS) is accepting applications for fiscal year 2018 Project AWARE (Advancing Wellness and Resilience in Education) - State Education Agency (SEA) grants (Short Title: AWARE-SEA). The purpose of this program is to build or expand the capacity of State Educational Agencies, in partnership with State Mental Health Agencies (SMHAs) overseeing school-aged youth and local education agencies (LEAS), to: (1) increase awareness of mental health issues among school-aged youth; (2) provide training for school personnel and other adults who interact with school-aged youth to detect and respond to mental health issues; and (3) connect school-aged youth, who may have behavioral health issues (including serious emotional disturbance [SED] or serious mental illness [SMI]), and their families to needed services. There will be up to 23 AWARE grants awarded, and these offer up to $1,800,000/year to State Education Agencies for up to 5 years. States that have already received AWARE funding are not eligible to apply. Applications are due June 4, 2018.

Mental Health Awareness Training Grants
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS) is accepting applications for fiscal year 2018 Mental Health Awareness Training grants (Short Title: MHAT). The purpose of this program is to: (1) train individuals (e.g., school personnel, emergency first responders, law enforcement, veterans, armed services members and their families) to recognize the signs and symptoms of mental disorders, particularly serious mental illness (SMI) and/or serious emotional disturbance (SED); (2) establish linkages with school- and/or community-based mental health agencies to refer individuals with the signs or symptoms of mental illness to appropriate services; (3) train emergency services personnel, veterans, law enforcement, fire department personnel, and others to identify persons with a mental disorder and employ crisis de-escalation techniques; and (4) educate individuals about resources that are available in the community for individuals with a mental disorder. It is expected that this program will prepare and train others on how to appropriately and safely respond to individuals with mental disorders, particularly individuals with SMI and/or SED. There will be up to 126 MHAT grants awarded, up to $125,000/year for up to 3 years. Applications are due June 8, 2018.


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