Subject: Center for School Mental Health newsletter - July 2018

CSMH newsletter 
July 2018
As schools, districts and states across the country are critically evaluating ways to improve their comprehensive school mental health systems, we at the Center for School Mental Health remain committed to partnering with stakeholders at every level in the effort to promote 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:
  • The SHAPE System- a free, interactive, online system designed to support schools, districts and states in assessing their current comprehensive school mental health systems, identifying gaps, and engaging in strategic planning for quality improvement and sustainability.  
  • Youth Suicide Prevention Resources
  • A Framework for Safe and Successful Schools
  • A resource guide: Children with Traumatic Separation: Information for Professionals
  • Updates from the latest school mental health research.
  • Two funding opportunities from the Department of Justice for the STOP School Violence Act Program. 
Thank you for your ongoing dedication to improving learning and promoting success for America's youth through comprehensive school mental health.
REGISTER for the 2018 Annual Conference on Advancing School Mental Health TODAY!
The 2018 Annual Conference on Advancing School Mental Health will be hosted October 11-13, 2018 at the Red Rocks Casino, Resort, and Spa in Las Vegas, Nevada. The theme of the conference is School Mental Health - A Sure Bet for Student Success!

The conference features 150+ conference sessions, workshops, and symposia, as well as networking opportunities with leaders and peers in the school mental health field.

Keynote Speakers

  • Dr. David Osher, Vice President and Institute Fellow, American Institutes for Research
  • Dr. Michael Lindsey, Director, McSilver Institute for Poverty Policy and Research, New York University

Please visit our website for more details

NEW! Nominate an Outstanding Individual for thSchool Mental Health Research Award 
We are seeking nominations for the first annual School Mental Health Research Award. This award, being offered by the Center for School Mental Health and Center for Intervention Research in Schools, is for an individual who has published research that has made important contributions to research and practice. 

Along with the primary consideration of impact, we will also secondarily consider other typical research indices (e.g., h-index, funding, quantity). 

The winner will receive the award and be asked to give an invited address at the 7th Annual School Mental Health Research Summit (October 10th, 2018) and will be recognized at the 2018 Advancing School Mental Health Conference (October 11th-13th, 2018), both being held in Las Vegas, NV. 

If you wish to nominate someone for this award, please submit a brief nomination summary (less than one page) and a copy of their CV (if accessible).

Nominations must be submitted by July 31, 2018.
Join Us for a Webinar on Supporting Students Experiencing Early Psychosis in Middle School and High School
Although psychosis typically emerges in late adolescence or early adulthood, some individuals begin to experience psychosis or other early serious mental illness while still in middle school or high school. This webinar will describe strategies to:
  • Identify and support students with psychosis in schools
  • Provide educational accommodations and modifications to facilitate school success
  • Understand and address safety concerns
  • Partner across students, families, and community mental health providers to support treatment and recovery for students experiencing psychosis. 
Presenters include:

Jason Schiffman, Ph.D., Professor, University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC). 

Sharon Hoover, Ph.D., Associate Professor, University of Maryland School of Medicine and Co-Director, National Center for School Mental Health. 

Webinar Information:

Date: August 21, 2018
Time: 2:00-300 pm (EDT)
School Mental Health Quality Improvement Spotlight

The Massachusetts School Mental Health Consortium is comprised of Massachusetts school districts committed to improving the mental health services and supports available to students across the Commonwealth. MASMHC member districts recognize the growing needs of their student populations relative to mental illness and substance use and seek creative solutions to enhance prevention efforts, reduce wait time for therapeutic services, and increase the quality and sustainability of school mental health services and supports. Through shared learning, collaboration, and consultation, member districts actively engage in efforts to improve the well-being of students in order to support their future success. Member district participate in monthly meetings and use the SHAPE system to complete free needs assessments of their comprehensive school mental health system quality and sustainability.

The MASMHC members use the SHAPE customized reports and strategic planning tools to: 
  • Understand the common needs of member districts related to school mental health; 
  • Foster the use of common language and framework and; 
  • Support action planning and access to free resources 
The MASMHC was launched in January 2018 by Methuen Public Schools with leadership from their Director of Guidance, John Crocker, M.Ed. MASMHC continues to harness significant momentum in Massachusetts to advance high quality school mental health with over 60 districts currently participating in MASMHC and rapid continued membership growth. MASMHC also continues to grow partnerships and secure sponsorship from local, state, and national organizations to augment the access to resources and professional development for students across the Commonwealth. The CSMH commends MASMHC for their innovative work and dedication to advancing high quality school mental health services and supports for students across the state. For more information on MASMHC click here.  Follow MASMHC on Twitter: @MassSMHC

Massachusetts is one of 12 states (i.e., Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Indiana, North Carolina, New Hampshire, New York City, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming) in the National Coalition for the State Advancement of School Mental Health driving statewide adoption of the National School Mental Health Performance Measures. This National Coalition is hosted by the CSMH as a part of the School Health Services National Quality Initiative.

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


The SHAPE System

The SHAPE System is a free, interactive, online system designed to help schools, districts and states assess their school mental health systems, identify gaps, and engage in strategic planning for quality improvement and sustainability. Schools and school districts can use SHAPE to:

  • Document their service array and multi-tiered services and supports;
  • Advance a data-driven mental health team process including access to free customized reports and strategic team planning resources (access a sample school mental health profile report here);
  • Access targeted resources to help advance school mental health quality and sustainability;
  • Achieve SHAPE Recognition to increase opportunities for federal, state and local grant funding;
Other SHAPE features include:
  • The Screening and Assessment Library allows users to search instruments appropriate for use in school mental health by student age, language, cost, and other key features. 
  • The Trauma Responsive Schools Implementation Assessment (TRS-IA) is an evidence-informed self-assessment that can be completed by schools or districts in under 20 minutes to identify areas of strength and need in their trauma responsive programming and policies.
COMING SOON! State dashboard for state education and behavioral health leadership to view comprehensive school mental health system progress in schools and districts.
Preventing Youth Suicide: Brief Facts and Tips
Youth suicide is a serious problem, but is preventable if the right people know the warning signs and how to get help. These resources provide information on warning signs and prevention measures for youth suicide.
A Framework for Safe and Successful Schools
The American School Counselor Association (ASCA), National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP), National Association of School Psychologists (NASP), National Association of School Resource Officers (NASRO), National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP), and School Social Work Association of America (SSWAA) released A Framework for Safe and Successful Schools, their joint recommendations for improved school safety and access to mental health services for students. Within the Framework, the education groups emphasize the importance of establishing policies and practices that are comprehensive, integrated, and multitiered; facilitate interdisciplinary collaboration across school teams and among school and community providers; make most effective use of school personnel; and are sustainable.
Children with Traumatic Separation: Information for Professionals
The relationship with a parent or primary caregiver is critical to a child’s sense of self, safety, and trust. However, many children experience the loss of a caregiver, either permanently due to death, or for varying amounts of time due to other circumstances. Children may develop post-traumatic responses when separated from their caregiver. The National Child Traumatic Stress Network has created a resource with information and suggestions for helping children who experience traumatic separation from a caregiver.
13 Reasons Why Toolkit
Following the Netflix release of 13 Reasons Why in 2017, many mental health, suicide prevention, and education experts from around the world expressed a common concern about the series’ graphic content and portrayal of difficult issues facing youth. Resources and tools to address these concerns were quickly and widely disseminated in an effort to help parents, educators, clinical professionals and other adults engage in conversations with youth about the themes found in the show. In advance of the release of season 2, SAVE (Suicide Awareness Voices of Education) brought together a group of 75 leading experts in mental health, suicide prevention and education as well as healthcare professionals to develop tools to help encourage positive responses to the series. The toolkit has information for viewers, families, teachers, clinicians, and media sources planning to cover the show. For more information you can read a statement from Suicide Awareness Voices of Education (SAVE).

Talking to Children about Violence: Tips for Parents and Teachers

High profile acts of violence, particularly in schools, can confuse and frighten children who may feel in danger or worry that their friends or loved-ones are at risk. This infographic and companion handout offers suggestions on talking to children about violence.

Comprehensive Community Mental Health Services for Children with Serious Emotional Disturbances Program: Report to Congress 2016
This report from SAMHSA provides a detailed overview of data from the Comprehensive Community Mental Health Services for Children with Serious Emotional Disturbances program. The report presents findings indicating that the systems of care approach is effective in improving the lives of children, youth and young adults with serious mental health conditions.

The Relationship between Social Media Use and Mental Health Concerns
This Child Mind report explores recent research investigating the relationship between social media use and mental health concerns. The report also offers recommendations for promoting healthy social media use. 

50 years after the Kerner Commission’s Report, Racial and Ethnic Discrimination Still Holds Children Back
Fifty years after the release of The National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders Report, “The Kerner Commission’s Report,” Child Trends’ President Carol Emig reflects on how much has changed and how much remains to be done to realize the Commission’s call for “common opportunity for all.” Emig notes that while the lives of many children today are better than the lives of children 50 years ago, serious racial and ethnic inequities persist and work remains to address discrimination that often has deep and overlooked historical roots. Such work will take place in a demographic, economic, and policy landscape far different than the America of 50 years ago. Contributing to a volume marking Kerner’s 50th anniversary, Emig reviews the major changes in the child and youth field since 1968 and suggests research-based health, early childhood, and education recommendations to move us closer to common opportunity.


Overcoming the research to practice gap: A randomized trial with two brief homework and organization interventions for students with ADHD as implemented by school mental health providers
Authors: Langberg, J.M., Dvorsky, M. R., Molitor, S. J., Bourchtein, E., Eddy, L. D., Smith, Z. R., Oddo, L. E., & Eadeh, H.M.
Journal: Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology
Year: 2018
Abstract/Summary: Objective: To evaluate the effectiveness of two brief school-based interventions targeting the homework problems of adolescents with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)—the Homework, Organization, and Planning Skills (HOPS) intervention and the Completing Homework by Improving Efficiency and Focus (CHIEF) intervention, as implemented by school mental health providers during the school day. A secondary goal was to use moderator analyses to identify student characteristics that may differentially predict intervention response. Method: Two-hundred and eighty middle school students with ADHD were randomized to the HOPS or CHIEF interventions or to waitlist, and parent and teacher ratings were collected pre, post, and at a 6-month follow-up. Results: Both interventions were implemented with fidelity by school mental health providers. Participants were pulled from elective periods and sessions averaged less than 20 min. Participants in HOPS and CHIEF demonstrated significantly greater improvements in comparison with waitlist on parent ratings of homework problems and organizational skills and effect sizes were large. HOPS participants also demonstrated moderate effect size improvements on materials management and organized action behaviors according to teachers. HOPS participants made significantly greater improvements in parent- and teacher-rated use of organized actions in comparison with CHIEF, but not on measures of homework problems. Moderation analyses revealed that participants with more severe psychopathology and behavioral dysregulation did significantly better with the HOPS intervention as compared to the CHIEF intervention. Conclusions: Brief school-based interventions implemented by school providers can be effective. This type of service delivery model may facilitate overcoming the oft cited research-to-practice gap.

School mental health promotion and intervention: Experiences from four nations
Authors: Weist, M. D., Bruns, E. J., Whitaker, K., Wei, Y., Kutcher, S., Larsen, T., Holsen, I., Cooper, J. L., Geroski, A., & Short, K. H.
Journal: School Psychology International
Year: 2017
Abstract/Summary: All around the world, partnerships among schools and other youth-serving systems are promoting more comprehensive school-based mental health services. This article describes the development of international networks for school mental health (SMH) including the International Alliance for Child and Adolescent Mental Health and Schools (INTERCAMHS) and the more recent School Mental Health International Leadership Exchange (SMHILE). In conjunction with World Conferences on Mental Health Promotion, SMHILE has held pre-conference and planning meetings and has identified five critical themes for the advancement of global SMH: 1) Cross-sector collaboration in building systems of care; 2) meaningful youth and family engagement; 3) workforce development and mental health literacy; 4) implementation of evidence-based practices; and 5) ongoing monitoring and quality assurance. In this article we provide general background on SMH in four nations, two showing strong progress (the United States and Canada), one showing moderate progress (Norway), and one beginning the work (Liberia). Following general background for each country, actions in relation to the SMHILE themes are reviewed. The article concludes with plans and ideas for future global collaboration towards advancement of the SMH field.

Getting “SMART” about implementing multi-tiered systems of support to promote school mental health
Authors: August, G. J., Piehler, T. F., Millar, F. G.
Journal: Journal of School Psychology
Year: 2017
Summary/Abstract: With the growing adoption and implementation of multi-tiered systems of support (MTSS) in school settings, there is increasing need for rigorous evaluations of adaptive-sequential interventions. That is, MTSS specify universal, selected, and indicated interventions to be delivered at each tier of support, yet few investigations have empirically examined the continuum of supports that are provided to students both within and across tiers. This need is compounded by a variety of prevention approaches that have been developed with distinct theoretical foundations (e.g., Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports, Social-Emotional Learning) that are available within and across tiers. As evidence-based interventions continue to flourish, school-based practitioners greatly need evaluations regarding optimal treatment sequencing. To this end, we describe adaptive treatment strategies as a natural fit within the MTSS framework. Specifically, sequential multiple assignment randomized trials (SMART) offer a promising empirical approach to rigorously develop and compare adaptive treatment regimens within this framework.

Prevalence of parent-reported ADHD diagnosis and associated treatment among U.S. children and adolescents, 2016
Authors: Danielson, M. L., Bitsko, R. H., Ghandour, R. M., Holbrook, J. R., Kogan, M. D., & Blumberg, S. J.
Journal: Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology
Year: 2018
Abstract/Summary: The purpose of this study is to estimate the national prevalence of parent-reported attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) diagnosis and treatment among U.S. children 2–17 years of age using the 2016 National Survey of Children’s Health (NSCH). The NSCH is a nationally representative, cross-sectional survey of parents regarding their children’s health that underwent a redesign before the 2016 data collection. It included indicators of lifetime receipt of an ADHD diagnosis by a health care provider, whether the child currently had ADHD, and receipt of medication and behavioral treatment for ADHD. Weighted prevalence estimates were calculated overall and by demographic and clinical subgroups (n = 45,736). In 2016, an estimated 6.1 million U.S. children 2–17 years of age (9.4%) had ever received an ADHD diagnosis. Of these, 5.4 million currently had ADHD, which was 89.4% of children ever diagnosed with ADHD and 8.4% of all U.S. children 2–17 years of age. The study also found that children living in rural areas were more likely to have ever received an ADHD diagnosis compared with children living in urban or suburban areas. Also, children with ADHD living in rural areas are less likely to receive behavioral treatment in the past year for their ADHD compared with children living in urban or sub
urban areas. Additional research could further explain rural and urban disparities related to ADHD. Of children with current ADHD, almost two thirds (62.0%) were taking medication and slightly less than half (46.7%) had received behavioral treatment for ADHD in the past year; nearly one fourth (23.0%) had received neither treatment. Similar to estimates from previous surveys, there is a large population of U.S. children and adolescents who have been diagnosed with ADHD by a healthcare provider. Many, but not all, of these children received treatment that appears to be consistent with professional guidelines, though the survey questions are limited in detail about specific treatment types received. The redesigned NSCH can be used to annually monitor diagnosis and treatment patterns for this highly prevalent and high-impact neurodevelopmental disorder.

Funding Announcement: STOP School Violence Act Program

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), Office of Justice Programs (OJP), Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) is seeking applications for funding under the Student, Teachers, and Officers Preventing (STOP) School Violence Act Program. This program furthers the Department’s mission by supporting and assisting state, local, and tribal jurisdictions in improving efforts to reduce violent crime through the creation of school safety training and mental health programs for school personnel and students as they relate to violence in schools. Specifically, the BJA program will address: (1) training school personnel and educating students to prevent student violence; (2) development and operation of anonymous reporting systems concerning threats of school violence, including mobile telephone applications, hotlines, and websites; and (3) development and operation of school threat assessment and crisis intervention teams that may include coordination with law enforcement agencies and school personnel. Eligible applicants for these solicitations are limited to states, units of local government, and federally recognized Indian tribes. Application deadline: July 23, 2018.


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