Subject: Center for School Mental Health newsletter - October 2017

CSMH newsletter
October 2017
The Center for School Mental Health team was thrilled to welcome over 1,100 school mental health leaders to the 22nd Annual Conference on Advancing School Mental Health earlier this month! We are pleased to share some highlights from that event below and hope you will plan to join us for the 23rd Annual Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada in fall 2018 (dates TBA). 

In addition to conference highlights, this edition of our newsletter contains resources and reports, grant opportunities, and the latest research to support your school mental health work, including:
  • Several practical resources for supporting students through trauma 
  • Recent findings on crime and violence in U.S. public schools
  • The latest research on school mental health, including interventions for youth who have experienced a natural disaster
  • Funding opportunities from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health
22nd Annual Conference on Advancing School Mental Health Highlights
Keynote speakers
We were honored to welcome two exceptional leaders in education and mental health as our keynote speakers.

On Thursday, Dr. Freeman Hrabowski, president of University of Maryland Baltimore County, energized attendees with his address on "Creating a Climate of Success for All Students". He reminded attendees that "If a child is great at math but has no sense of self or suffers from trauma, we haven't done our job."

On Friday, Dr. Tamar Mendelson, professor at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, presented inspiring examples of students who have benefited from mindfulness programs during her address "Mindfulness in Schools". She assured attendees that, even in the face of significant challenges, "Our youth are not damaged. They are incredible and strong and smart and resilient."
2017 Awardees
Each year, the Center recognizes exemplary leaders in school mental health with our annual awards.

The York County Youth Mental Health Alliance was the recipient of the 2017 Youth and Family Partnership Award for their work to encourage collaboration and ensure that youth are always driving school mental health efforts. This video highlights the Alliance members' leadership and passion for supporting student mental health and declaring "the silence ends here".

Dr. Trina Anglin, chief of the Adolescent Health Branch of the Maternal and Child Health Bureau at HRSA, was the recipient of our 2017 Juanita Cunningham Evans Memorial Award. Dr. Anglin has dedicated decades of her career to supporting the health, mental health, and safety of young people and her guidance and leadership over the years have been foundational to the advancement of comprehensive school mental health across the U.S.
A session with SAMHSA and HRSA
In September 2017, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) along with the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) and other federal partners gathered to consider strategies to drive the scaling up of comprehensive school mental health at the local, state, and federal levels.

The Center for School Mental Health was proud to collaborate with federal and national leaders to offer attendees the opportunity to provide feedback on initial recommendations and to suggest additional strategies that could be considered to advance comprehensive school mental health systems. The input generated during this session will be used by the expert panel and leadership team to further refine recommendations and best practice strategies for moving forward.

Materials from the conference session are available for your review (see below). Future opportunities for public comment will be shared broadly in the coming months through the newsletter and listserv.

CoIIN at the Annual Conference
Congratulations to the National Quality Initiative School Mental Health Collaborative on Improvement and Innovation Network (CoIIN) sites for their engaging and informative presentations at this year’s conference. Teams from Baltimore City, Emporia, Fairport/Rochester, Methuen, Minneapolis, Novato, Pelham, SAU-7, and Santa Monica/Malibu Unified School District presented.
School Mental Health Youth Leadership Day
The Center for School Mental Health, in collaboration with the School Based Health Alliance and National Organization for Youth Safety, led a successful youth leadership day for junior and senior high school students in the greater D.C. region. School mental health youth leaders had the opportunity to participate in youth advocacy training, attend selected conference sessions, and network with one another and conference participants. The youth and adult leaders are working together to plan next steps to continue this valuable opportunity at local and state levels.
School Mental Health Quality Improvement Spotlight

The Indiana Department of Education, in partnership with the Indiana Division of Mental Health and Addiction and Indiana University School Mental Health Initiative, has achieved rapid adoption of the National School Mental Health Census and Performance Measures. In less than 90 days, 46 schools and 38 districts across Indiana have been counted in the National School Mental Health Census and 15 school or district teams have completed the National School Mental Health Performance Measures. We applaud the state of Indiana for their strong commitment to school mental health and rapid success with School Health Assessment and Performance Evaluation (SHAPE) adoption in only a few short months. They accomplished this by leveraging collaborative partnerships at the state level to provide materials, guidance, support and technical assistance – including site visits - to local schools and districts.

Indiana is one of 8 states (i.e., Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Indiana, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, and Wyoming) in the National Coalition for the State Advancement of School Mental Health driving statewide adoption of school mental health performance measures. This National Coalition is hosted by our Center as a part of the School Health Services National Quality Initiative. To learn more about how your school, district or state can be counted in the National School Mental Health Census, 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

Understanding Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: Get the Facts
October is ADHD Awareness Month. It is important for youth and caregivers of youth diagnosed with ADHD to be knowledgeable about the condition so that they may make informed decisions about their treatment. Please see two resources for youth and caregivers about ADHD developed by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

Information for caregivers:
Information for youth:

Increasing Physical Education and Physical Activity: A Framework for Schools

It is important for children to have opportunities for physical activity throughout their day. The CDC’s National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion created a framework to help schools plan and organize physical education and activity, before, during, and after school, which can help improve their overall health.

Coping with Trauma
Given the recent natural disasters and traumatic events occurring across the country, the following resources may be particularly useful:
  • Supporting Students Experiencing Childhood Trauma: Tips for Parents and Educators. This web resource, developed by the National Association of School Psychologists, offers information to caregivers and educators regarding trauma risk factors, warning signs that mental health support may be necessary, and the potential impact of trauma on education. Specific strategies are provided for adult caregivers and school-based professionals to use with youth who have experienced trauma.
  • Talking to Children about the Shooting. This two page web resource developed by The National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) provides guidance to adults for having conversations with children after a shooting. The document includes guidance on monitoring media exposure, common reactions, and modeling coping.
  • Recommended Books for Children Coping with Loss or Trauma. Books can be valuable tool to aid children who have experienced trauma or loss understand and cope with their feelings in a developmentally appropriate way. This resource provides a list of books recommended by grief and crisis experts who work with children, including picture books and general storybooks.

Crime, Violence, Discipline, and Safety in U.S. Public Schools: Findings from the School Survey on Crime and Safety: 2015-16
This report presents findings on crime and violence in U.S. public schools from the perspective of schools, using data from the 2015–16 School Survey on Crime and Safety (SSOCS). Developed and managed by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) within the Institute of Education Sciences of the U.S. Department of Education and supported by the National Institute of Justice of the U.S. Department of Justice, SSOCS asks public school principals about the prevalence of violent and serious violent crimes in their schools. Portions of this survey also focus on school security measures, disciplinary problems and actions, school security staff, the availability of mental health services in schools, and the programs and policies implemented to prevent and reduce crime in schools.

View the report:
Advancing Best Practices in Behavioral Health for Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Boys and Men
SAMHSA Office of Behavioral Health Equity (OBHE), the Asian American Psychological Association, and the Okura Mental Health Leadership Foundation collaborated to publish a report summarizing best practices and expert consensus on culturally appropriate approaches, treatment modalities, and effective tools in working with boys and men who identify with the Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) population. The brief highlights seven strategies critical to service provision and four strategies to consider in policy and practice development addressing behavioral health for AANHPI boys and men. The report highlights that providing effective services for AANHPI boys and men requires bringing together cultural, ethnic, racial and gender-specific knowledge and practice to an understanding of behavioral health. It draws upon and requires integrating clinical, service, system and social justice perspectives and interventions. The report provides some guideposts for this work and a compilation of programs that have demonstrated effective and innovative work with this population.

View the report:

Antidepressant Use Among Persons Aged 12 and Over: United States, 2011 - 2014
Antidepressants are one of the three most commonly used therapeutic drug classes in the United States. While the majority of antidepressants are taken to treat depression, antidepressants can also be taken to treat other conditions, like anxiety disorders. This National Center for Health Statistics Data Brief provides the most recent estimates of antidepressant use in the U.S. noninstitutionalized population, including prevalence of use by age, sex, race and Hispanic origin, and length of use. This report also describes trends in the prevalence of antidepressant use from 1999–2002 to 2011–2014.

View the report:

Scope, Scale, and Dose of the World’s Largest School-Based Mental Health Programs
Authors: Murphy, M.J., Abel, Madelaine, R., Hoover, S., Jellinek, M., & Fazel, M.
Journal: Harvard Review of Psychiatry
Year: 2017
Abstract/Summary: Untreated mental health problems are among the most disabling, persistent, and costly health conditions. Because they often begin in childhood and continue into adulthood, there has been growing interest in preventive mental health programs for children. In recent years, several such programs have been implemented at regional, state, or national scale, and although many experimental studies have documented positive outcomes of individual programs, this article represents the first attempt to systematically compare the largest programs in terms of scope, scale, and dose. The school-based mental health programs discussed in this review appear to have reached more than 27 million children over the last decade, and many of these programs have collected systematic outcomes data. The role that such programs can play in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) is a secondary focus of this article. Until recently, wide-scaled, preventive, mental health interventions for children have been studied almost exclusively in high-income countries even though around 80% of the global population of children reside in LMICs. Since a number of programs are now operating on a large scale in LMICs, it has become possible to consider child mental health programs from a more global perspective. With both the increasing diversity of countries represented and the growing scale of programs, data sets of increasing quality and size are opening up new opportunities to assess the degree to which preventive interventions for child mental health, delivered at scale, can play a role in improving health and other life outcomes.
Schools and Natural Disaster Recovery: The Unique and Vital Role That Teachers and Education Professionals Play in Ensuring the Mental Health of Students Following Natural Disasters
Authors: Le Brocque, R., De Young, Alexandra, Montague, G., Pocock, S., March, S., Triggell, N., Rabaa, C., & Kenardy, J.
Journal: Journal of Psychologists and Counsellors in Schools
Year: 2017
Abstract/Summary: There is growing evidence that children are vulnerable to poor psychological outcomes following exposure to a range of potentially traumatic events. Teachers are in a unique and well-placed position to provide vital support to children following potentially traumatic events and to also provide a vital role in helping to identify children who may be experiencing ongoing psychosocial difficulties. We present a review of mental health trauma resources available for use in educational settings within Australia and New Zealand, with a primary focus on post-disaster resources. We describe the design, development, and dissemination of our resources and training package, Childhood Trauma Reactions: A Guide for Educators from Preschool to Year 12, and present data on how these resources were received. Trauma-informed practices within the school and classroom will enable better outcomes in the immediate post-trauma environment and beyond for all children. Our model focuses on: (1) increasing awareness and understanding of children's post-trauma reactions, (2) exploring effective strategies for teachers within the classroom, and (3) developing policy and procedures for the identification and referral of children who may be at risk. More funding is required to help distribute training and resources and to make mental health following trauma a higher priority.
A Skill Set for Supporting Displaced Children in Psychological Recovery After Disasters
Authors: Pfefferbaum, B., Jacobs, A.K., Jones, R.T., Reyes, G., & Wyche, K.F.
Journal: Child and Family Disaster Psychiatry
Year: 2017
Abstract/Summary: Helping children, adolescents, and families displaced following a natural disaster is a daunting task made more challenging by the relatively small research base to inform services and interventions. This paper describes the current literature pertaining to intervention practices used with displaced youth. Where gaps in the literature exist, we pull from the more general research on relocation and post-disaster intervention to assist practitioners in tailoring their efforts. Specifically discussed are ways to enhance youth resilience, to help youth build new social connections and adjust to change and uncertainty while coping with trauma-related symptoms, and to meet needs through the systems in which children are embedded. The need for focused attention to cultural factors is discussed with an emphasis on collaborating with culture brokers.
The Mental Health Consequences of Mass Shootings
Authors: Lowe, S. R. & Galea, S.
Journal: Trauma, Violence, & Abuse
Year: 2017
Abstract/Summary: Mass shooting episodes have increased over recent decades and received substantial media coverage. Despite the potentially widespread and increasing mental health impact of mass shootings, no efforts to our knowledge have been made to review the empirical literature on this topic. We identified 49 peer-reviewed articles, comprised of 27 independent samples in the aftermath of 15 mass shooting incidents. Based on our review, we concluded that mass shootings are associated with a variety of adverse psychological outcomes in survivors and members of affected communities. Less is known about the psychological effects of mass shootings on indirectly exposed populations; however, there is evidence that such events lead to at least short-term increases in fears and declines in perceived safety. A variety of risk factors for adverse psychological outcomes have been identified, including demographic and pre-incident characteristics (e.g., female gender and pre-incident psychological symptoms), event exposure (e.g., greater proximity to the attack and acquaintance with the deceased), and fewer psychosocial resources (e.g., emotion regulation difficulties and lower social support). Further research that draws on pre-incident and longitudinal data will yield important insights into the processes that exacerbate or sustain post-incident psychological symptoms over time and provide important information for crisis preparedness and post-incident mental health interventions.

Mental Health Family Navigator to Promote Early Access, Engagement, and Coordination of Needed Mental Health Services for Children and Adolescents
The Department of Health and Human Services, National Institute of Health, National Institute of Mental Health have two companion funding opportunities to address pilot studies and implementation of family navigator models designed to promote early access, engagement, and coordination of mental health treatment and services for children and adolescents who are experiencing early symptoms of mental health problems. The NIMH defines a family navigator model as a healthcare professional or paraprofessional whose role is to deploy a set of strategies designed to rapidly engage youth and families in needed treatment and services, work closely with the family and other involved treatment and service providers to optimize care and monitor the trajectory of mental health symptoms and outcomes over time. The deadlines for applications are in early January 2018.

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. Application package is available January 11, 2018. The deadline for applications is March 1, 2018. Please refer to the award notice for eligibility criteria and more information.

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