Subject: NCSMH Newsletter - October 2019

NCSMH Newsletter
-October 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.

The school year is in full swing! The National Center for School Mental Health team wishes you a productive and empowering autumn.
In this edition, you can find...
  • Resources for Suicide Prevention Month, National Bullying Prevention Month, and Hispanic Heritage Month
  • Information on the 2019 Annual Conference on Advancing School Mental Health
  • A report offering guidance on comprehensive school mental health systems
  • Recent journal articles, policy announcements, funding opportunities, and more!
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.

Want to see more of the city? Lear about the Austin Tour:
November 7th 6-9pm!

Online registration is open until 12pm noon EST Friday, 10/25. 

On-site registration will be available. We hope to see you there! #ASMH2019 #schoolmentalhealth
National Bullying Prevention Month
October is National Bullying Prevention Month, and STOMP Out Bullying! has a calendar of anti-bullying activities, challenges, and ideas for kids and schools. With cyberbullying on the rise, check out the free resources for schools from the anti-cyberbullying organization, the Cybersmile Foundation.

Hispanic Heritage Month
September 15 to October 15 was Hispanic Heritage Month. The celebration starts in the middle of the month because the 15th marks the independence days of five Latin American counties: Costa Risa, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. Mexico, Chile, and Belize have their independence days shortly thereafter, on the 16th, 18th, and 21st. The National Alliance on Mental Illness has numerous resources, including Compartiendo Esperanza, a 90-minute program to increase mental health awareness in Latinx communities. Additional resources for teaching about National Hispanic Heritage Month can be found on The Library of Congress’ website.

Suicide Prevention Month
September was Suicide Prevention Month. The Suicide Prevention Resource Center developed a brief 2-page resource to learn about, engage, and support those in crisis. Their website also offers other resources and programs, including an online course in prevention suicide and other trainings, toolkits, and factsheets, including school resources.
School Mental Health Quality Improvement Spotlight

Collaborative Innovation and Improvement Networks (CoIIN) Launch!

The National Center for School Mental Health (NCSMH), in partnership with the School-Based Health Alliance, kicked off its National Quality Initiative on School Health Services September 23rd-24th in Columbia, Maryland. The NCSMH and SBHA hosted state leaders in health, behavioral health and education from nine states (Arizona, Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Ohio, Rhode Island, Wisconsin) and the District of Columbia. These ten states will participate in a 12-month intensive learning collaborative, called a Collaborative Improvement and Innovation Network, to improve health in school-based health centers and comprehensive school mental health systems. Read about the launch!

Congratulations to Dr. Sharon Hoover!
The NCSMH would like to extend congratulations to our Co-Director, Dr. Sharon Hoover, who was recently awarded the Sydney Berman Award by the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP). This award is given each year to one recipient for their contributions to the school-based study or interventions for learning disorders or mental illness. Dr. Hoover spoke at the AACAP convention about opportunities for child psychiatry in school mental health, and recognized champions of school mental health and successes in the field over recent decades.

Trauma-Sensitive Schools Training Package
The Trauma-Sensitive Schools Training Package offers school and district administrators and staff a framework and roadmap for adopting a trauma-sensitive approach school- or districtwide. The Training Package includes a variety of resources for educating school staff about trauma and trauma-sensitive practices and for providing school leaders with a step-by-step process for implementing a universal, trauma-informed approach using package materials. School and district leaders are encouraged to begin by reviewing the Implementation Guide for an overview of the package components and their intended use.

K-12 Toolkit for Mental Health Promotion and Suicide Prevention
This Toolkit was created by the Health Care Alliance for Response to Adolescent Depression (HEARD) in 2013 (updated in 2017), in response to a need for schools to promote student mental health and wellbeing, to prevent suicide and, in particular, how to respond after a suicide loss. The Toolkit convenes national best practices from SAMHSA, the NCSMH, and other organizations. It serves as a resource to fulfill California law AB 2246, The Pupil Suicide Prevention Act (2016), which requires that all public schools serving students in grades 7-12 have a Pupil Suicide Prevention Policy. This document has been updated to reflect both this need and this policy requirement. The tools and resources provided in this updated Toolkit are meant to complement what schools may already have in place and to help initiate the implementation of a Pupil Suicide Prevention Policy. You can access a webinar introducing the toolkit and how to use it for mental health promotion, crisis intervention, and post-intervention. The Toolkit is available for download on the HEARD Alliance website here. Please contact Jessica Gonzalez at if you have any questions pertaining to this webinar.


This report offers collective insight and guidance to local communities and states to advance comprehensive school mental health systems. Contents were informed by examination of national best practices and performance standards, local and state exemplars, and recommendations provided by federal/national, state, local and private leaders. This resource synthesizes the knowledge and guidance of over 75 experts nationally. A partnership of national school mental health leaders and organizations has contributed to the development of this document on school mental health systems, including: Bainum Family Foundation, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Human Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Center for Health and Health Care in Schools at George Washington University, Child Health and Child Development Institute of Connecticut, National Association of State Directors of Special Education, National Center for School Mental Health, School-Based Health Alliance. Ultimately, this resource is a foundational document in the field to help guide local, state, and national efforts to strengthen school mental health efforts and to start to understand and bring consensus to the quality domains of school mental health.

Incorporating Students’ Voice: Their Perspectives on How Schools Are and Should Be
The Massachusetts Advocates for Children (MAC), through its Education Law Clinic at Harvard Law School, partnered with the Department of Public Health (DPH) Primary Violence Prevention and Youth-At-Risk Grant Program recently completed this report from eight “Listening and Learning Sessions” with 73 secondary students in urban public schools. They asked students, What do you need in order to do well in school? What could your school do differently to help you do well? and How should your schools be assessed? The report includes lessons from the field, a listening and learning session protocol, as well as example brainstorming worksheets to elicit student feedback in your schools and districts.

Trauma and Learning Policy Initiative (TLPI): Trauma-Sensitive Schools Descriptive Study
To help educators understand how to create and sustain safe and supportive school climates and cultures, the Trauma and Learning Policy Initiative (TLPI), a joint program of Massachusetts Advocates for Children and Harvard Law School, developed an inquiry-based process (IBP) for creating trauma-sensitive schools. This was implemented by educators in four elementary and one middle-high school over the course of two school years.
The purpose of this study is to understand and describe how these schools implemented the IBP to create trauma-sensitive, safe and supportive learning environments. The findings suggest that a process-based whole-school, trauma sensitive approach which sets conditions for educators to use inquiry to identify challenges and solutions through a trauma-sensitive lens, can help change school culture and create conditions for teaching and learning, which should ultimately lead to improved student outcomes. They also suggest that context and readiness are important variables.

Bartlett, J. D., & Smith, S. (2019). The role of early care and education in addressing early childhood trauma. American Journal of Community Psychology. Advance online publication. 10.1002/ajcp.12380
Young children's experience of trauma is associated with a wide range of adverse events and circumstances, including abuse and neglect, domestic violence, loss of a parent, and community violence. Policymakers and practitioners are increasingly aware that trauma during the first few years of life is especially widespread, and there is growing interest in new ways to support these young children and their families. Many young children who experience trauma attend early care and education (ECE) programs, and these settings offer important opportunities to promote their well‐being. This paper examines strategies currently being implemented in ECE to address early childhood trauma. The paper first examines research on how trauma affects young children's development, ECE environments, and society. We then describe the unique needs of young, traumatized children and features of trauma‐informed care that can address their needs, along with emerging interventions and supports that can be incorporated into or linked with ECE settings as part of a trauma‐informed approach. We conclude with a discussion of future directions for ECE and trauma research, policy, and practice, bearing in mind both the promise of new approaches and a limited evidence base to date.

Burić, I., Slišković, A., & Penezić, Z. (2019). Understanding teacher well-being: a cross-lagged analysis of burnout, negative student-related emotions, psychopathological symptoms, and resilience. Educational Psychology, 1-20. Advance online publication. doi:10.1080/01443410.2019.1577952
This study is aimed at testing the reciprocal relationships between teacher burnout, psychopathological symptoms, and negative student-related emotions, and to explore the protective role of resilience in these aspects of teachers’ psychological well-being. A study based on a two-wave panel design was conducted among 941 school teachers at two points in time with a time lag of approximately 6 months. Structural equation modelling was employed to investigate the cross-lagged relations between study variables across time. The obtained results highlighted the adverse effect of burnout in predicting teachers’ subsequent emotions and psychopathological symptoms. Teachers with higher burnout levels assessed at Time 1, also had higher levels of negative emotions towards their students and more psychopathological symptoms than at Time 2. Finally, the higher levels of perceived resilience predicted lower levels of negative emotions, burnout, and psychopathological symptoms, but only when assessed at the same time point.

Herrenkohl, T. I., Hong, S., & Verbrugge, B. (2019). Trauma‐informed programs based in schools linking concepts to practices and assessing the evidence. American Journal of Community Psychology. Advance online publication. doi:10.1002/ajcp.12362
Changing practices within schools so that vulnerable and traumatized children are better understood and more compassionately served is a goal shared by many school professionals, yet schools remain poorly equipped to address the needs of these children. Any number of school‐based programs have the potential to benefit children with an elevated risk for academic difficulties and mental health disorders, although questions remain as to which programs are most promising, effective, and sustainable. Questions also remain about which programs best serve diverse populations and which have potential to reach the largest number of children, including those who do not outwardly manifest behaviors consistent with an underlying disorder but nonetheless require support. In this review, we take stock of existing programs used in schools to address the social, emotional, and academic needs of children with trauma histories. We summarize components of a various trauma‐focused programs, categorized as: (a) individual and group‐based approaches, (b) classroom‐based approaches, and (c) school‐wide approaches. For each category, we review and comment on the state and quality of research findings and provide illustrative examples from the literature to show how programs address trauma in the school context. Findings of the review suggest that empirical evidence currently favors individual and group‐based approaches, although classroom‐based and school‐wide programs may be better positioned for integration, access to services, and sustainability. Implications and recommendations center on future research, practice, and policy.

McWayne, C. M., & Melzi, G. (2014). Validation of a culture-contextualized measure of family engagement in the early learning of low-income Latino children. Journal of Family Psychology, 28(2), 260-266. doi:10.1037/a0036167
Current tools used to measure family engagement have been developed primarily with monolingual English-speaking European American families and thus might not accurately capture the engagement behaviors unique to other ethnic and linguistic groups. The present study builds upon prior mixed-methods research, involving a total of 763 Latino parents, which employed an emic approach to understand family engagement conceptualizations for a pan-Latino population and to develop a new measure for use with this heterogeneous group. In this follow-up study, we examined, with an additional 463 Latino caregivers, the construct validity of a revised 43-item measure across 2 language versions: Parental Engagement of Families from Latino Backgrounds (PEFL-English) and Participación Educativa de Familias Latinas (PEFL-Spanish). The 4 dimensions of family engagement empirically identified in the prior development study were confirmed with this multicity, independent sample of low-income Latino families. Family engagement dimensions demonstrated relations with recency of immigration, home language, employment, education, and caregiver age, as well as caregiver-reported levels of social support. Findings are discussed with respect to future directions for early childhood research and practice. It is noteworthy that endorsement levels differed across the four engagement dimensions. For example, parents reported higher levels of educational activities at home relative to levels of school participation.

Noret, N., Hunter, S. C., & Rasmussen, S. (2019). The role of perceived social support in the relationship between being bullied and mental health difficulties in adolescents. School Mental Health, 1-13.
The aim of the study was to test the relationship between experiences of being bullied, cyberbullied, and mental health difficulties, and whether these relationships are moderated by perceived social support and gender. Data were collected from 3737 year 8 pupils (aged 12 and 13 years; 50.1% male) using an online questionnaire. Measures of bullying victimization, perceived social support, and mental health difficulties were included in the online questionnaire. Moderation analyses were conducted to test whether the relationships between being bullied, cyberbullied, and mental health difficulties were moderated by perceived social support and gender. Four models were estimated, each assessing a different source of perceived social support (from family, friends and peers, professional sources, and the perception of having no support). Results of these analyses indicated that across all four models being bullied was significantly associated with mental health difficulties, and being cyberbullied was only significantly associated with poorer mental health difficulties in girls in one of the models. The different sources of perceived social support did not moderate the relationship between experiences of being bullied or cyberbullied and mental health difficulties for either boys or girls. However, significant associations were found between a perceived lack of support, perceived social support from friends and family, and mental health difficulties in girls, but not in boys. The results contribute to a complex body of research findings exploring the role of perceived social support in the relationship between experiences of being bullied and mental health difficulties.

Wang, C., Barlis, J., Do, K. A., Chen, J., & Alami, S. (2019). Barriers to Mental Health Help Seeking at School for Asian–and Latinx–American Adolescents. School Mental Health, 1-13.
Adolescents are most likely to receive mental health services in schools compared to other settings; however, few studies have examined barriers to mental health help seeking at school for ethnic minority adolescents. The current mixed-methods study utilized surveys and semi-structured interviews to explore the mental health literacy (MHL), stigma toward mental illness, and perceived barriers toward help seeking at middle or high schools among 55 adolescents (81.8% female; 50.0% Asian–American, 44.6% Latinx–American, 5.4% Asian/Latinx bi-racial; M age = 17.13 years, SD = 2.33). Participants’ MHL was assessed using case vignettes that depicted adolescents with symptoms of depression or bulimia. Overall, 83.9% of participants correctly recognized depression and 57.1% correctly recognized bulimia from the vignettes. Stigma correlated with perceived helpfulness of the formal service providers (r = − .37, p < .01). Qualitative analysis of participant interviews revealed important knowledge, attitudinal, and practical barriers that inhibit Asian– and Latinx–American adolescents from seeking help for mental health problems at school. The current work has implications to assist school personnel and mental health providers in understanding and reducing barriers to help seeking for Asian– and Latinx–American adolescents.


Building Capacity for Safe and Successful Schools: 2019 GW/NASP Public Policy Institute Recap
The National Association of School Psychologists partners annually with the George Washington University Graduate School of Education and Human Development to offer Public Policy Institute (PPI) programming to graduate students, school psychologists, school counselors, teachers, and principals. This year’s PPI took place between July 15 – July 19, 2019.Attendees spent the week building their advocacy skills and learning about education and school safety policy from national experts in the field, culminating in a Capitol Hill lobby day experience. Overall, attendees met with over 100 congressional representatives in 32 states. Additionally, advocates from 43 states sent nearly 800 letters to the Hill using NASP’s Advocacy Action Center, urging representatives to support a comprehensive approach to school safety and climate.

A Peace Plan for a Safer America
The Student-led gun control group, March for Our Lives recently published a new policy agenda directed at reducing gun violence over the next decade. The document proposes six steps for the federal administration to take to address gun violence in the US, including changing gun ownership standards. A key action identified in the policy agenda is, “Generate Community-Based Solutions,” which includes recommendations to fund targeted interventions addressing the intersectional dimensions of gun violence, mental and behavioral health services, and suicide prevention programs.

Trauma-Informed Schools Act of 2019
Vice Chair of the House Democratic Caucus Congresswoman Katherine Clark (D-MA-5), Congressman Mike Quigley (D-IL-5) and Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA-1) introduced the Trauma-Informed Schools Act of 2019, legislation that will define “trauma-informed practices” for the first time ever in federal education law. This bill would also align key federal funding sources to invest in teacher professional development, after school programs, and charter schools, with a goal of providing educators the training and resources they need to utilize trauma-informed care
The Mental Health Services for Students Act of 2019
This bipartisan bill is sponsored by Rep. Grace F. Napolitano (D-Calif.) that seeks to increase the access to evidence-based, comprehensive mental health programs for youth based in local schools and communities. The bill would provide competitive grants to implement and build upon this model that Congresswoman Grace Napolitano, Bill Sponsor, has already implemented in her district with positively reported outcomes. Funds for the comprehensive school-based mental health programs can be used to develop and implement evidence-based afterschool programs to support students exposed to trauma or violence. Ultimately, the bill would expand upon the supports already provided by youth-serving programs, through encouraging the implementation of best practices related to education, physical health, mental health and trauma-informed care, social services, and training for families and community members.


Advancing State and Urban Maternal and Child Health (MCH)
HRSA-20-044 | Maternal & Child Health Bureau
Application Deadline: 11/15/2019
Projected Award Date: 05/01/2020
Estimated Award Amount: N/A
Estimated Number of Awards: N/A
The purpose of this program is to strengthen state and urban MCH programs’ capacity to deliver quality public health and health care services to improve MCH outcomes, with an emphasis on innovation, collaboration, impact, and effectiveness. Through this program, one recipient will support state Title V MCH leaders, including children with special health care needs (CSHCN) leaders (Focus area 1) and one recipient will support urban MCH leaders (Focus area 2) across the country to achieve national impact by each addressing the following four core functions: 1) Evidence-Based Practice and Data-Driven Programming: Identifying and implementing evidence-based and informed practices, evaluating programs, and assuring data-driven decision-making; 2) Current and Emerging Public Health Issues and Threats: Responding quickly to current and emerging MCH-related public health issues; 3) Collaboration and Coordination: Collaborating with state and local partners to ensure optimal alignment with state Title V priorities and to identify areas of common need, interest, and effort; and 4) Leadership and Workforce: Developing and assuring a highly skilled MCH workforce. This program may also support state and urban efforts to advance priorities for the MCH population related to maternal mortality, infant mortality, mental health, substance use disorders, and childhood obesity. For purposes of this notice of funding opportunity (NOFO), urban MCH leaders are defined as leaders of MCH programs in any city or county health department having jurisdiction over one or more areas with populations of 100,000 or larger.

Additional Eligibility
Any domestic public or private entity, including an Indian tribe or tribal organization (as those terms are defined at 25 U.S.C. 450b) is eligible to apply. See 42 CFR § 51a.3(a). Domestic faith-based and community-based organizations are also eligible to apply.

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