Subject: NCSMH Newsletter - August 2019

NCSMH Newsletter
-August 2019-
The National Center for School Mental Health at the University of Maryland School of Medicine is funded 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.

It's Back to School season! The National Center for School Mental Health team wishes you a relaxing end to your summer and a rejuvenating transition to the 2019-2020 school year!
In this edition, you can find...
  • Information on the 2019 Annual Conference on Advancing School Mental Health-including extended poster applications!
  • Back-to-School Resources
  • Resources for meeting the needs of culturally diverse youth
  • School Mental Health Spotlight
  • Access to the National School Mental Health Curriculum
  • Resources, Reports, and Journal Articles
  • Policy Announcements & Funding Opportunities

The new school year often brings a range of emotions for students, educators, and school mental health service providers. While some individuals may be buzzing with the excitement of new beginnings, others may experience stress related to the change in routine and increasing demands or feel down because the last few days of summer are slipping away. While September is an undeniably busy time, the new school year also offers an excellent opportunity to implement new strategies to support school mental health. This issue features several resources focused on school mental health practice considerations for the new school year, including a back to school toolkit with information for students and educators to increase their understanding of mental health related topics, a guide for creating LGBTQ+ inclusive environments, and a tip sheet for parents to facilitate their child’s transition into the new school year.
The 2019 Annual Conference on Advancing School Mental Health will take place November 7-9 in Austin, TX!
Visit our website for more information, or contact Sylvia McCree-Huntley at or 410-706-0981. 

Registration is open-we hope to see you there! #ASMH2019

Want to present but missed the deadline? 
Poster applications are open until September 15!
July-Minority Mental Health Awareness Month

In case you missed it, July was Minority Mental Health Awareness Month. First established in 2008, July has been a time to recognize and learn about issues of mental health and substance use, destigmatize mental illness, and enhance public awareness of mental illness among affected minority groups across the U.S. Youth from minority communities are disproportionally likely to have reduced access to mental health services and experience poorer quality of care. Schools are an excellent place to provide support and services to minority youth and their families. The National Association of School Psychologists has a collection of resources to support social justice and cultural competence within the school system. Additionally, the Southern Poverty Law Center provides a range of classroom and professional development training resources through their Teaching Tolerance website, including The Social Justice Standards Guide.
School Mental Health Quality Improvement Spotlight

SAMHSA Highlights the SHAPE System in Guide for States and Schools!
Together with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has created a bulletin offering guidance to states and schools on how to address mental health and substance use issues in schools. The bulletin highlights the School Health Assessment and Performance Evaluation system (SHAPE) as an example of how schools self-assess the quality of their comprehensive school mental health systems (CSMHS). Check out more of what they have to say below:

SHAPE also provides schools and community partners with a “blue print” to inform ongoing planning and implementation in building their CSMHS based best practices and quality indicators. The SHAPE system can also help CSMHSs identify needed services, such as global screening, wellness education, psychotherapy and counseling, access to medication when indicated, and case management. The SHAPE system also addresses factors that can facilitate the expansion of the mental health and substance treatment workforce within and outside of schools in order to support the provision of school-based mental health and substance related services. The National Center for School Mental Health (NCSMH) at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, a sub-recipient of a Health Resources and Services (HRSA) grant to support the Collaborative Improvement and Innovation Network on School-Based Health Services (CoIIN-SBHS) project, also supports the SHAPE system, which it offers at NO COST to all schools and school districts nationally that are interested in improving and strengthening their school mental health and substance related services.

Access SHAPE for yourself or your school for free now!

National School Mental 
Health Curriculum: 
Guidance and Best Practices for 
States, Districts, and Schools

The Mental Health Technology Transfer Center (MHTTC) Network and the National Center for School Mental Health developed a curriculum to help states, districts, and schools plan, implement, and evaluate high-quality comprehensive school mental health services. The curriculum includes manuals, slide decks, checklists, examples, and so much more. Now available for free online!
Call for Proposals
Training Institutes 2020!

The call for proposals for the 2020 Training Institutes, #WhatCouldBe: Bolder Systems & Brighter Futures for Children, Youth, Young Adults & their Families is now open

Mental Health America created a tool kit to facilitate involvement in their Minority Mental Health Month #DepthofMyIdentity campaign, which focuses on the complexity of intersecting identities and the impact on mental health, including resiliency. 

Understanding the Needs of Unaccompanied Children
The National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) developed a webinar and related resources learn how to be responsive to the developmental, cultural, and linguistic needs of youth traumatically separated from their parents. Additionally, NCTSN developed a factsheet for school personnel teaching military children.

Addressing Race and Trauma in the Classroom
The NCTSN developed a resource guide intended to help educators understand how they might address the interplay of race and trauma and its effects on students in the classroom. The guide outlines recommendations for educators and offers a list of supplemental resources. It should be implemented in accordance with individual school policies and procedures.

Addressing Mental Health Needs Among African American College Males
The National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities and Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., launched Brother, You’re on My Mind: Changing the National Dialogue Regarding Mental Health Among African American Men to educate young African American college men on the effects of depression and stress and to encourage seeking help for mental health problems.

Each August, Mental Health America releases a Back to School Toolkit with information for students and educators to increase their understanding of topics such as trauma, emotional literacy, coping skills, and tips for parents. The goal of this resource is to equip young people, educators, and parents with the information needed to recognize the early warning signs of mental health conditions and facilitate students in gaining access to help and support as soon as possible. 

The National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) developed a tip sheet that can be used to support parents in helping their children adjust to the new school year. This resource offers helpful suggestions for re-establishing routines before the school year begins, surviving the first week of school, overcoming anxiety, and extra-curricular activities. NASP also has an additional tip sheet about parental involvement in homework activities.

The Chicago Parent Program, an evidence-based program to strengthen parenting and reduce problem behaviors in young child, created a Routines for School Days handout for both English- and Spanish-speaking families to improve attending school regularly and on time. 

The National Sleep Foundation provides a brief handout on the top seven tips for helping kids transition back to their school schedule after a holiday break. 

The Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network released a handout that highlights the new school year as an opportunity to take steps make classroom and schools a safer, more inclusive place for LGBTQ+ students. The handout offers several links to useful resources, such as recognizing Ally Week, creating and sustaining a successful Gender and Sexuality Alliance at your school, and much more.

Children's Eye Health and Safety Awareness Month
Did you know?
  • Vision disorders can negatively impact a babies’ ability to bond with their parent/caregiver, their ability to explore the world by reaching and grasping, and also impede development of fine and gross motor skills.
  • One in every 4 school-age children and 1 in every 17 preschool-aged children have some form of vision problem requiring treatment.
  • 24% of teens with correctable vision have the wrong prescription and this rises to about 33% for Mexican-American and African-American teens.
  • 80% of all blindness and vision impairment is either preventable or treatable.
Across the country, as children and parents are gearing up for the back to school, remember that healthy vision is critical to academic and social success. As a child grows, an untreated eye disease or condition becomes more difficult to correct. These can worsen and lead to other serious problems as well as affect reading ability, focus, classroom behavior, and social adjustment in school. Vision problems that can affect children include amblyopia, (“lazy eye”), strabismus, (“crossed eyes”), and the most common forms of refractive error: myopia (nearsightedness) and hyperopia (farsightedness) and astigmatism. Prevent Blindness recommends vision screening and eye care when indicated.

Prevent Blindness, in partnership with the National Optometric Association, celebrates Children’s Eye Health and Safety Awareness Month each August to educate parents and caregivers on the steps that should be taken to ensure that their children are provided with the best opportunity to have a successful school year through healthy vision. In celebration of its 10th anniversary, the National Center for Children’s Vision and Eye Health at Prevent Blindness is offering the newly revised “Guide to Vision Health for Your Newborn, Infant, and Toddler.” This no-cost comprehensive resource offers information on a variety of topics, including common milestones for visual development, how to help your baby’s vision to develop, warning signs of possible vision problems, and more. The earlier a vision disorder can be identified and treated, the stronger start to learning and development a child will have.

2019 KIDS COUNT Data Book: State Trends in Child Well-Being
Lisa M. Hamilton
Publishing Organization: The Annie E. Casey Foundation
The 30th edition of the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s KIDS COUNT® Data Book begins by exploring how America’s child population — and the American childhood experience — has changed since 1990. And there’s some good news to share: Of the 16 areas of child well-being tracked across four domains — health, education, family and community and economic well-being — 11 have improved since the Foundation published its first Data Book 30 editions ago. The rest of the 2019 Data Book — including the latest national trends and state rankings — rely on a shorter review window: 2010 to 2017. The data reveal, in the United States today, more parents are financially stable and living without burdensome housing costs. More teens are graduating from high school and delaying parenthood. And access to children’s health insurance has increased compared to just seven years ago. But it is not all good news. The risk of babies being born at a low weight continues to rise, racial inequities remain systemic and stubbornly persistent and 12% of kids across the country are still growing up in areas of concentrated poverty. Locally, New Hampshire has claimed the No. 1 spot in overall child well-being, followed by Massachusetts and Iowa. Mississippi, Louisiana and New Mexico sit at the other end of this list — and among familiar company. In fact, save for California and Alaska, the lowest 18 ranked states call Appalachia, the South or the Southwest home.

Masho, S. W., Zirkle, K. W., Wheeler, D. C., Sullivan, T., & Farrell, A. D. (2019). Spatial analysis of the impact of a school-level youth violence prevention program on violent crime incidents in the community, Prevention Science, Advance online publication.
This study investigated the effect of a school-based violence prevention program on community rates of violence for youth aged 10 to 18 in three urban communities with high rates of crime and poverty. We evaluated the impact of the Olweus Bully Prevention Program (OBPP) combined with a family intervention using a multiple baseline design in which we randomized the order and timing of intervention activities across three schools. Outcomes were police reports of violent crime incidents involving offenders aged 10 to 18 years (N = 2859 incidents) across a 6-year period. We used Bayesian hierarchical regression modeling to estimate the reduction of youth violence in the census blocks of the intervention middle school zones. Models controlled for percent female head-of-household, median household income, and percent renter-occupied housing units. Block groups within the attendance zones of schools receiving the intervention had a reduced risk of violence compared with those that did not (relative risk = 0.83, 95% credible interval = 0.71, 0.99). Our findings suggest that the school-level intervention was associated with a significant reduction in community-level youth violence. Public health professionals, program planners, and policy-makers should be aware of the potential community-wide benefit of school-level interventions.

Camacho, D., & Parham, B. (2019). Urban teacher challenges: What they are and what we can learn from them, Teaching and Teacher Education, 85, 160-174.
Teachers in urban schools confront significant and unique workplace challenges which put them at high risk for chronic stress, burnout, and attrition when unaddressed via training or support. The current mixed methods study investigated the challenging classroom situations reported by 164 predominantly White and female urban teachers in the United States, the prevalence of these challenges, and factors that predicted their prevalence. Results revealed the most prevalent types of teacher challenges were student misbehavior, aggressive student behavior, student motivation, lack of effective consequences, and behavioral health problems. Approximately half of teachers reported aggressive student behavior as a challenge and a majority related multiple challenges in the situations they confronted. Additionally, classroom discipline-related concern and middle school grade level taught predicted, respectively, a greater likelihood of challenges pertaining to student misbehavior and lack of effective consequences, and student motivation and behavioral health problems. These findings suggest that urban teachers find multiple aspects of student behavior challenging, commonly experience extreme student behavior, and that various factors impact the presence of these challenges. Implications for how to best support teachers on an individual, classroom, and organizational-level are discussed.

Swift, L. E., Orapallo, A., Kanine, R. M., Mautone, J. A., Bevans, K. B., & Eiraldi, R. (2019). The self-report coping measure in an urban school sample: Factor structure and coping differences, School Mental Health: A Multidisciplinary Research and Practice Journal, Advance online publication.
There are numerous tools available to assess coping strategies used by children and adolescents. Many of the existing measures are widely used within diverse settings, often outside of the populations within which the measures were developed. Given the varying use of coping strategies among different populations, there is a need to ascertain the validity and reliability of measurement tools used within particular settings. The current study examines the initial psychometrics of the Self-Report Coping Measure (SRCM), originally developed by Causey and Dubow (J Clin Child Adolesc Psychol 21(1): 47–59, 1992), and investigates the psychometric properties of the SRCM in a school-based, low-income, minority urban sample within six elementary schools. Students in 3rd through 8th grade (N = 298) completed the SRCM as part of a larger implementation trial. Confirmatory factor analysis was utilized to assess for fit with four previously validated models of coping factor structure. None provided adequate fit. Consequently, we conducted exploratory analyses, which suggested a three-factor solution with 28 items. Evaluation of convergent validity via correlations with subscales on the Teacher Report Form provided initial support for the validity of the scale. We then examined coping strategy use descriptively in this low-income, school-based population. No differences were found by race/ethnicity or gender; however, children in higher grade levels were less likely to use coping strategies across all factors, including both adaptive and maladaptive strategies. Implications and limitations for use of the SRCM in a low-income, minority school-based population are discussed.

Reinke, W. M., Wojtalewicz, D., Gibson, N., Garzona, M., Splett, J. W., & Raborn, A. (2019). Teacher recognition, concern, and referral of children's internalizing and externalizing behavior problems, School Mental Health, 11(2), 228.
Identifying youth with mental health concerns and connecting them to effective intervention is important because poor mental health is related to lower educational achievements, substance abuse, violence, compromised health, and reduced life satisfaction. This study examined the ability of teachers (n=153) to accurately identify mental health concerns among elementary children using vignettes scenarios depicting children with severe and moderate externalizing or internalizing behavior problems. Teachers were asked to rate the seriousness of the problem, their concern for the child’s well-being, and whether they felt the student needed school-based or community mental health services. Findings indicated that teachers can accurately identify students with severe externalizing and internalizing problems. However, they were less accurate and less likely to think students with moderate or subclinical symptoms needed services. Additionally, teachers perceived externalizing problems to be more serious and more concerning, than internalizing problems. In most cases, teachers’ concern for the child’s well-being, but not their perceived seriousness of the problem, predicted endorsement of referral to school and/ or community-based mental health professionals, even when controlling for the child’s gender. Implications for practice and future research areas are discussed.

2019 Guidance On Addressing Mental Health And Substance Use Issues In Schools
Elinore McCance-Katz, M.D., Ph.D. and Calder Lynch
Publishing Organizations: Center for Medicaid & Chip Services/Centers of Medicare & Medicaid Services; Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
Together, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issues a Joint Informational Bulletin to provide states, schools, and school systems with information about addressing mental health and substance use issues in schools. Specifically, this guidance includes examples of approaches for mental health and SUD1 related treatment services in schools and summarizes best practice models to facilitate implementation of quality, evidence-based comprehensive mental health and SUD related services for students.

How Well Do State Legislatures Focus on Improving School Efforts to Address Barriers to Learning and Teaching & Re-engage Disconnected Students?
The UCLA Center for Mental Health in Schools & Student/Learning Supports reviewed state legislation and plans for addressing barriers to learning and teaching and re-engagement. Analysis of both previous and new state legislation found “long standing marginalization and fragmentation of student and learning supports in school improvement policy and practice.”


Trauma Recovery Demonstration Grant Program
The Trauma Recovery Demonstration Grant Program provides competitive grants to State educational agencies (SEAs) to support model programs that enable a student from a low-income family (as defined in this notice) who has experienced trauma that negatively affects the student's educational experience to access the trauma-specific mental-health services from the provider that best meets the student's needs.
Deadline: August 14, 2019
Estimated Available Funds: $5,000,000
Estimated Range of Awards: $500,000 to $1,500,000 per year.
Estimated Average Size of Awards: $1,000,000
Estimated Number of Awards: 4-10
Project Period: Up to 60 months

Technical Assistance and Dissemination to Improve Services and Results for Children with Disabilities Program
The purpose of the Technical Assistance and Dissemination to Improve Services and Results for Children with Disabilities program is to promote academic achievement and to improve results for children with disabilities by providing TA, supporting model demonstration projects, disseminating useful information, and implementing activities that are supported by scientifically based research. the Department seeks to make one-year awards to State educational agencies (SEAs) to assist them in conducting a comprehensive review of local, State, and Federal IDEA Part B requirements that result in administrative burdens. This review must not affect children's civil rights, procedural safeguards, and right to receive a free appropriate public education (FAPE). The Department anticipates that, at the end of the one-year project period, grantees will have developed a plan to reduce administrative burdens resulting from State or local statutory or regulatory requirements, policies, procedures, or practices that exceed IDEA Part B statutory or regulatory requirements. The plan would also identify administrative burdens resulting from Federal IDEA Part B statutory or regulatory requirements for which the State could seek a waiver in accordance with section 609 of IDEA.
Deadline: August 14, 2019
Estimated Available Funds: $1,500,000
Estimated Range of Awards: Not exceeding $150,000 per year.
Estimated Average Size of Awards: $1,000,000
Estimated Number of Awards: 10
Project Period: Up to 12 months

Education Research and Special Education Research Grant Programs
In awarding these grants, the Institute of Education Sciences (Institute) intends to provide national leadership in expanding knowledge and understanding of (1) developmental and school readiness outcomes for infants and toddlers with or at risk for a disability, (2) education outcomes for all learners from early childhood education through postsecondary and adult education, and (3) employment and wage outcomes when relevant (such as for those engaged in career and technical, postsecondary, or adult education. The Institute will conduct eight research competitions in FY 2020 through two of its centers: The Institute's National Center for Education Research (NCER) will hold a total of five competitions--one competition in each of the following areas: Education research; education research training; education research and development centers; statistical and research methodology in education; and systematic replication in education. The Institute's National Center for Special Education Research (NCSER) will hold a total of three competitions--one competition in each of the following areas: Special education research; special education research training, and systematic replication in special education.
Deadline: August 29, 2019
Estimated Available Funds: Varies
Estimated Range of Awards: $100,000 to $920,000
Estimated Average Size of Awards: Varies
Estimated Number of Awards: Varies
Project Period: Up to 5 years

National Center for School Mental Health, 737 W. Lombard St., Room 406, Baltimore, MD 21201, United States
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