[mentalhealth-l] ENEWS: December, 2004 (vol. 9 #3)
mentalhealth-l at lists.ucla.edu
mentalhealth-l at lists.ucla.edu
Wed Dec 1 14:30:31 PST 2004
ENEWS: A Monthly Forum for Sharing and Interchange
December, 2004 (vol. 9 #3)
Source: UCLA School Mental Health Project/
Center for Mental Health in Schools
ENEWS is one of many resource our Center offers to those concerned with
enhancing policies, programs, and practices related to addressing barriers
to student learning and to promoting mental health in schools. For more on
what our federally supported Center can provide,
Feel Free to Forward This to Anyone
WHAT'S HERE THIS MONTH
>Legislators' concerns about mental health screening
**News from Around the Country
**This Month's Focus for Schools to Address Barriers to Learning
>December Re-engaging Students: Using a student's time off in
ways that pay off!
**Recent publications Relevant to
>Children's Mental and Physical Health
>Family, School & Community
>Policy, Systems, Law, Ethics, Finances & Statistics
**Upcoming Initiatives, Conferences & Workshops
**Calls for Grant Proposals, Presentations & Papers
**Updates from the two National Centers focusing on Mental Health in Schools
**Other Helpful Resources
**Training & Job opportunities (including fellowships and scholarships)
**Comments/Requests/Information/Questions from the Field
To post messages to ENEWS, E-mail them to ltaylor at ucla.edu
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>>>>Legislators' concerns about mental health screening
On a regular basis, legislators at federal and state levels express concern
about some facet of the agenda for mental health in schools. A current
focus is on screening to identify mental health and psychosocial problems.
The issue was highlighted recently in Psychiatric News (published by the
American Psychiatric Association) in an online article entitled: "Plan to
Detect Depression Alarms Some Lawmakers":
As with most such debates, those in favor emphasize the benefits (e.g., "By
screening for depression we can identify problems early, and we can also
prevent some suicides."). Those against a given practice stress the costs.
For example, in the article cited above, it is suggested that "Opposition
... appears to stem from concern about government overreach ... and from
public anxiety about the use of medications in children...." A state
legislator is quoted as saying: "We want all of our citizens to have access
to mental health services, but the idea that we are going to run everyone
through some screening system with who knows what kind of values applied to
them is unacceptable." As the pros and cons are argued, few take the time
to lay out a cost-benefit analysis.
What do you think about screening for depression in schools? What would
you say to a legislator about the pros and cons of schools implementing
such screening for all students?
Send your comments to ltaylor at ucla.edu.
Here's the position of one leader in the mental health field:
"No one is concerned about screening kids and medicating them for diabetes.
But having a public health conversation around prevention of psychiatric
disorders is not quite digestible yet."
**NEWS FROM AROUND THE COUNTRY
*SUICIDE PREVENTION BILL BECOMES LAW
On October 21, 2004, President Bush signed the S. 2634 the Garrett Lee
Smith Memorial Act to amend the Public Health Service Act to support the
planning, implementation, and evaluation of organized activities involving
statewide youth suicide early intervention and prevention strategies, to
authorize grants to institutions of higher education to reduce student
mental and behavioral health problems. Http://thomas.loc.gov
*GRANT TO SUPPORT SUICIDE PREVENTION HOTLINE
SAMHSA announced a grant to the Mental Health Association to New York City
to manage a toll-free national suicide prevention hotline network of local
crisis centers that can link callers to local emergency, mental health and
social services. http://www.samhsa.gov
*CALIFORNIA PASSES MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES ACT
Proposition 63, passed in the November election, provides funding to
counties to expand and develop innovative, integrated mental health
services, and expand prevention and early intervention programs.
*EDUCATION DEPARTMENT CLAIMS FAILING TEACHERS WILL FAIL AS TUTORS
"A new tutoring program for 37,000 students by Chicago public school
teachers should never have started because it will likely have teachers in
failing schools tutoring kids, a federal official said.... Schools CEO vows
to carry on with the program as is. The feds want him to shift the nearly
37,000 students to private tutors, who are more expensive. If he did that,
only about 9,000 of the 37,000 could be served.... The Illinois State Board
of Education plans to ask the feds for a one-year exemption for Chicago and
10 other districts...." (Chicago Sun-Times, 10/21/04)
*COPS IN SCHOOLS
"The U.S. Department of Justice Office of Community Oriented Policing
Services has announced grants to add additional School Resource Officers to
the nation's schools. These grants are being awarded to 73 law enforcement
agencies in 30 states. Some SROs support the education process by
contributing to classes on state and local law, health classes about
substance abuse, and driver education instruction. SROs in some communities
also monitor and mentor troubled students, serve as coaches, and remain
on-duty during school sponsored extra-curricular activities."
*MORE HIGH SCHOOLS TRY INCENTIVES TO BOOST ATTENDANCE: SOME SEE BRIBERY'
AS WRONG APPROACH
"There used to be pats on the back, or pizza parties, but not it's prepaid
credit cards and new-car lotteries. What's next in the effort to get
student to go to class? ... Nationwide, schools are turning to incentives
in the face of the federal No Child Left Behind education law that requires
every school to report truancy figures. Attendance is a factor that helps
determine whether schools go on the needs improvement' list, which can
force them to let students transfer and lose some government
funding...." Associated Press, 10/24/04 http://www.boston.com
Here's another perspective on the attendance problem:
"Truancy efforts aren't going to make much difference if instruction isn't
good and if kids don't perceive it to be useful. It doesn't make a lot of
sense to bring in all these students if you haven't addressed the deeper
Each week the Center highlights a newsworthy story online at
Also, access other news stories relevant to mental health in schools
through the links at http://smhp.psych.ucla.edu/whatsnew/linkstolatest.htm
**MONTHLY FOCUS FOR SCHOOLS TO ADDRESS BARRIERS TO LEARNING
December Re-engaging Students: Using a student's time off in ways that
By December, school staff and students know that for some students "it
isn't working." Since giving up is no option, we need to focus on
re-engagement. December is a time for mid-course corrections to turn this
all a around. A time to think how we might do things differently to get
the results we want. Ideas for support staff and teachers on turning things
around before winter break, enrichment opportunities during winter break,
with plans on how to follow up immediately after students return to school,
see http://smhp.psych.ucla.edu and click on Ideas for Enhancing Support at
Your School This Month and scroll down to December. There you will see
strategies for understanding why some students are not engaged in classroom
learning, changes that might be made in the classroom, strategies for
strengthening relationships, and more.
Also see the newly posted Fact Sheet online "About School Engagement and
This analysis of the research provides a strong evidence base for
addressing school engagement.
See the overview of monthly themes to anticipate and plan most effective
use of resources for prevention. Http://smhp.psych.ucla.edu/pdfdocs/rhythms.pdf
Teacher-to-student: "I know you like recess and lunch best,
but there must be something else about school you like."
**RECENT PUBLICATIONS (IN PRINT AND ON THE WEB)
*CHILDREN'S MENTAL AND PHYSICAL HEALTH
>Predictors for emotionally distressed adolescents to receive mental
health care (2004) C. Kodjo & P. Auinger, Journal of Adolescent Health,
>Adolescent risk taking: When and how to intervene (2004) D. Husted & N.
Shapira, Psychiatry Online, 3(10)
>Anxiety prevention programs for youth: Practical and theoretical
considerations (2004) G. Ginsburg, Clinical Psychology: Science and
Practice 11(4) 430-434.
>Youth violence perpetration: What protects? What predicts? Findings
from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (2004) Journal of
Adolescent Health, 35(5) 424-433.
>Youth violence: Opportunities for intervention (2004) C. Irwin, Journal
of Adolescent Health, 35(5) 347-349.
>Preventing violence and related health-risking social behaviors in
adolescents (2004) L. Chan, et al., Agency for Healthcare Research and
>It's not what you say, it's how many different ways you can say it: Links
between divergent peer resistance skills and delinquency a year later
(2004) J. Wright, et al, Journal of Adolescent Health, 35(5) 380-391.
>Evidence-based treatments in child abuse and neglect (2004) M. Chaffin &
B. Friedrich, Children and Youth Services Review, 26(11) 1097-1113.
>An exploration of the relationship between youth assets and engagement in
risky sexual behaviors (2004) A. Evans, et al, Journal of Adolescent
Health, 35(5) 434-440.
>Mental Health Treatment for Youth in the Juvenile Justice System: A
Compendium of Promising Practices." (2004) National Mental Health
>Inhalant abuse and dependence among adolescents in the United States
(2004) L. Wu, et al, Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent
Psychiatry 43(10) 1206-1214.
>Risk factors for eating disorders (2004) C. Wiseman, et al, Eating
Disorders, 12(4) 315-320.
>Recovery-oriented professionals: Helping relationships in mental health
services (2004) M Borg & K. Kristiansen, Journal of Mental Health, 13(5)
*FAMILY, SCHOOL & COMMUNITY
>Students' perceptions of school safety (2004) A. Kitsantas, et al, The
Journal of Early Adolescence, 24(4) 412-430.
>Attachment, friendship, and psychosocial functioning in early adolescence
(2004) K. Dwyer, et al, The Journal of Early Adolescence, 24(4) 326-356.
>The provider system for children's mental health: Workforce capacity and
effective treatment (2004) J. Koppelman. National Health Policy Forum.
>The crucial role of the vanishing school nurse (2004) J. Halterman,
Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, 158(11) 1091-2.
>Perceived family support, negative mood regulation expectancies, coping,
and adolescent alcohol use: Evidence of mediation and moderation effects
(2004) S. Catanzaro & J. Laurent, Addictive Behaviors, 29(9) 1779-1797.
>Are family meal patterns associated with disordered eating behaviors
among adolescents? (D. Neumark-Sztainer, et al, Journal of Adolescent
Health, 35(5) 350-359.
>Overcoming barriers to school reentry: Fact Sheet (2004) C. Roy-Stevens.
Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention
>Implementing school-based substance abuse interventions: Methodological
dilemmas and recommended solutions (2004) E. Wagner, et al, Addiction,
*POLICY, SYSTEMS, LAW, ETHICS, FINANCES & STATISTICS
>Achieving successful dissemination of empirically supported
psychotherapies: A synthesis of dissemination theory (2004) S. Stirman, et
al, Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice 11(4) 343-359.
>A public health perspective on the transport of evidence-based practices
(2004) S. Schoenwald & S. Henggeler, Clinical Psychology: Science and
Practice, 11(4) 360-363.
>Four considerations for dissemination of intervention innovations (2004)
B. Chorpita & B. Nakamura, Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, 11(4)
>Violence in the family: Policy and practice disparities in the treatment
of children (2004) A. Cowan & I Schwartz, Children and Youth Services
Review, 26(11) 1067-1080.
>A Two-tiered Education System (2004) D. Perkins-Gough, Educational
Leadership, 62(3) 87-88.
>Vouchers and public policy: when ideology trumps evidence (2004) H. Levin
& C. Belfield, National Center for the Study of Privatization in Education,
>Educational attainment of high school dropouts 8 years later (2004)
National Center for Educational Statistics.
>Dropout rates in the United States: 2001 (2004) National Center for
Educational Statistics. http://nces.ed.gov/pubsearch/pubsinfo.asp?pubid=2005046
>Indicators of child, family, and community connections (2004) L. Lippman,
U. S. Department of Health and Human
>Creating the capacity for change (2004) T. Kolderie, Center for Policy
>Measuring youth outcomes from alcohol and drug treatment (2004) S. Brown,
Addiction, 99(2) 38-46.
>Expanding the Research of Education Reforms (2004) T. Glennon, et al,
>Exceptional returns: Economic, fiscal, and social benefits of investment
in early childhood development (2004) R. Lynch, Economic Policy Institute
>Advances in child welfare: Innovations in child protection, adoptions and
foster care (2004) D. Lindsey & I. Schwartz, Children and Youth Services
Review, 26(11) 999-1005.
Note: the Quick Find online Clearinghouse on our website at
http://smhp.psych.ucla.edu is updated regularly with new reports and
publications such as those listed above. Currently there are over 100
alphabetized topic pages with direct links to relevant Center materials and
to other online resources and related centers. Let us know about
publications and reports that should be included in this dedicated online
clearinghouse. ltaylor at ucla.edu
"Middle grades present a tremendous test for even the best prepared and
most highly motivated students. Imagine the challenges for underprepared
students. And if they get off course in middle school, what are the odds
that they can be rescued in high school? History shows, they become lost
and they stay lost."
**UPCOMING INITIATIVES, CONFERENCES, WORKSHOPS
>National Truancy Prevention Conference, 12/6-8, Washington, DC.
>Federation of Families for Children' Mental Health, 12/10-12, Washington,
>Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of American National Leadership Forum,
1/11-13, Washington, DC. Http://cadca.org/
>Society for Social Work and Research, 1/13-16, Miami, FL,
>How to measure, monitor, manage & evaluate the effectiveness of your
grants to generate results, 2/1-3, Washington,
>At-Risk Youth National Forum, 2/20-23, Myrtle Beach, SC,
>National Afterschool Association, 2/24-26, San Antonio, TX.
>National Forum - Community Schools: The Time is Now!, 3/9-11, Chicago,
>Children, Youth, and Families at Risk, 5/25-27, Boston,
For more conference announcements, refer to our website conference section
If you want to list your conference, please email ltaylor at ucla.edu
"We just missed the school bus."
"Don't worry, I heard the Principal say no child will be
**CALLS FOR GRANT PROPOSALS, PRESENTATIONS & PAPERS
**See the electronic storefront for Federal Grants at http://www.grants.gov
**If you want to Surf the Internet for Funds, go to the Quick Find topic
page on Financing and Funding at http://smhp.psych.ucla.edu/qf/p1404_02.htm
A few sites and grants of particular interest:
>U. S. Department of Education. See http://www.ed.gov
>>Research on Education Finance, Leadership and Management
(84.305E) Deadline 12/16/04.
>>Field Initiated Evaluation of Education Innovations (84.305F)
>Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
>>State Adolescent Substance Abuse Treatment Coordination (TI
05-006) Deadline 1/12/05
>Center for Disease Control and Prevention (http://www.cdc.gov)
>>Grants for Violence-Related Injury Prevention Research: Youth violence,
suicidal behavior, child maltreatment, intimate partner violence, and
sexual violence (CE05-012) Letter of Intent Due 12/6/04.
>>Cooperative agreement program for the National Academic Centers of
Excellence on Youth Violence Prevention (CE05-018) Letter of Intent Due
>>Conference Support Program, Letter of Intent Due 2/3/05.
>Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Service Administration,
Maternal and Child Health Programs.
>>State Agency Partnerships for Promoting Child and Adolescent Mental
Health, Application available 2/1/05, deadline 4/1/05.
>>Service expansion for mental health and substance abuse, and oral health
in programs funded under the Health Centers Consolidation Act of 1996
(HRSA-05-103) Deadline 1/7/05.
>>School Mental Health Program and Policy Analysis Centers (HRSA-05-034)
"Why does history repeat itself?"
"Because we weren't listening the first time!"
**UPDATES FROM THE TWO NATIONAL CENTERS FOCUSING ON MENTAL HEALTH IN SCHOOLS
^ ^ ^ Updates from our Center at UCLA
>New Directions for Student Support Initiative
The Connecticut Summit on November 9th added a 6th state to the national
network of key education leaders working to move learning supports into the
mainstream of school improvement. It is encouraging to see the burgeoning
interest and effort for new directions for student support. The various
pioneering and trailblazing efforts across the country are increasing
clarity about the type of systemic changes that are required to
succeed. Plans for Summits in New York in March and Iowa in April are
underway. Education leaders in New York and Iowa are urged to contact us if
they want to attend (participation is limited to 60-70 invitees). Those in
other states interested in having a statewide summit should contact --
ltaylor at ucla.edu
For more information on the initiative, see our website
> A Few Resources for Creating Readiness for New Directions for Student
To begin with:
>>See the brief concept papers, talking points, Q & A after reviewing
these resources, feel free to download, adapt, and share online at
>>Also see the documents developed for the Outreach Campaign - online at
>>Also helpful may be "Where's it Happening? New Directions for Student
Support" - online at
>>In outreaching to school board members to enhance their readiness, see
"Restructuring Boards of Education to Enhance Schools' Effectiveness in
Addressing Barriers to Student Learning" - online at
To enhance momentum when a school or district is ready to move, the various
resources listed above still may be helpful, and additional specific tools
are listed below:
>>See "About Infrastructure Mechanisms for a Comprehensive Learning
Support Component." It has ideas for leadership, resource coordination, and
working with a feeder pattern to improve learning support. Download at -
>>To build on the brief concept papers, see "New Directions for Student
Support" (a bit longer concept paper) - online at
>>For specific aids, see "Resource Aids for Rethinking Student Support to
Enable Students to Learn and Schools to Teach" - (a tool kit that also
includes a copy of the above concept paper) - online at
>>One of the tools in the Resource Aids tool kit is the "Guidelines for a
Student Support Component" - online separately online
>>The above Guidelines have a supporting document outlining rationale and
research- online at --
>>With respect to policy, see the "Example of Legislation for a
Comprehensive Student Support Component" http://smhp.psych.ucla.edu
"Summits: Example of Legislation"
The Center has a variety of ways (materials, TA, training) to help in your
efforts to move in new directions for student support. (Most of the
Center's resources are available at no cost and others require only
reimbursement of Center costs). As a starting point, see the resources
listed above and then go to the Center website to see the extensive list of
Center materials, Quick Finds, etc. http://smhp.psych.edu/
AND, be certain to let us know if we can provide additional resources or
assistance as you move forward.
*****As always, we would like to hear more from you about what local
schools and districts are doing to strengthen learning support (e.g.,
please share any policy statements for a learning support component;
infrastructure designs for pursuing such a component; comprehensive
learning support frameworks and any related guidelines, standards,
accountability indices, leadership job descriptions, etc.). Examples of
what others are sharing about their new directions are compiled into a
document entitled "Where's it Happening? New Directions for Student
Support" which is updated regularly as we receive detailed descriptions
from other places. It is online at
http://smhp.psych.ucla.edu/pdfdocs/wheresithappening/overview.pdf. And, of
course, at each statewide summit, we highlight where its happening in the
>>On the Online Clearinghouse Quick Find -- New topic: "Involving
http://smhp.psych.ucla.edu/qf/stakeholders.htm Includes links to relevant
Center produced materials, links to other online documents, and to Centers
focusing on this topic. If you know of materials that should be added,
please let us know. (Ltaylor at ucla.edu)
For more information on the Center's activities contact:
Howard Adelman and Linda Taylor, Co-Directors
SCHOOL MENTAL HEALTH PROJECT/
CENTER FOR MENTAL HEALTH IN SCHOOLS
UCLA Department of Psychology
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1563
Phone (310) 825-3634; Toll Free (866) 846-4843; Fax (310) 206-8716
Email: smhp at ucla.edu
For more information go to the Center website at http://smhp.psych.ucla.edu
^ ^ ^ FOR UPDATES FROM OUR SISTER CENTER "Center for School Mental
Health Assistance," see their revised website at http://csmha.umaryland.edu
for resources and information. Or contact Mark Weist, Director, CSMHA,
University of Maryland at Baltimore, Department of Psychiatry. Note that
CSMHA has a new address: 737 W Lombard St., 4th Floor, Baltimore, MD
21201. Tool free Phone: 888-706-0980. Email csmh at umpsy.umaryland.edu.
How many members of a collaborative does it take to change a lightbulb?
>14 to share similar experiences
>7 to caution about the dangers
>27 to point out errors in process
>6 to argue whether it's "lightbulb" or "light bulb"
>1 to take leadership for action
**OTHER HELPFUL RESOURCES
*Mental Health/Substance Abuse/Health
>Identifying and treating attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: A
resource for school and Home, US Department of Education at
>Adolescent Treatment Admissions, 1992-2002, Substance Abuse and Mental
Health Services Administration at http://oas.samhsa.gov/2k4/youthTX/youthTX.cfm
>Alcohol Dependence or Abuse and Age at First Use at
>Child and Adolescent Depression and Anxiety Tool Kit, Center for Children
with Special Needs at http://www.cshcn.org/resources/mentalhealthtoolkit.cfm
>Building a bridge from birth to school: Improving developmental and
behavioral health services for young children, The Commonwealth Fund, at
>The U.S. Surgeon General's Family History Initiative's "My Family Health
Portrait" at http://www.hhs.gov/familyhistory
>A Family Guide to keeping youth mentally healthy & drug Free at
>Children's Health Topics: Behavioral/Mental Health, American Academy of
Pediatrics, at http://www.nassembly.org/fspc/
>Put downs & comeback: How to respond to a discouraged kid,
>Ohio State Board of Education Anti-harassment/bullying policy,
>National PTA resources on bullying, http://www.pta.org/bullying/index.asp
>"The Cool Spot," National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
website for middle school students, http://www.thecoolspot.gov
*Parents, Schools, Communities
>Teacher Working Conditions Toolkit at
>Council of Urban Boards of Education at http://www.nsba.org.
>National Center for School Engagement at http://www.truancyprevention.org
>Help to Prevent Bullying, School Social Work Association of America
Resolution, at http://www.sswaa.org
>Medicaid in the schools resource guide online, Healthier School New
Mexico, at http://www.healthierschools.org/mits/mitsman1.html
>Family Strengthening Policy Center, at http://www.nassembly.org/fspc/
>National Clearinghouse for Comprehensive School Reform at
>Annenberg Institute for School Reform at http://www.annenberginstitute.org
>Framework for supporting human resources systems in school districts, at
>High School survey of student engagement, http://www.iub.edu/~nsse/hssse/
>A guide for professionals serving youth with educational and career
>New Traditions: options for rural high school excellence,
>Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Model Programs
>State Juvenile Justice profiles, http://www.ncjj.org/stateprofiles/
>All students reaching the top: Strategies for closing academic
achievement gaps, http://www.ncrel.org/gap/studies/allstudents.pdf
>Children born in 2001: first results from the base year of the early
childhood longitudinal study,
>Urban Parks as partners in youth development,
Note: for access to a wide range of relevant websites, see our Gateway to a
World of Resources at http://smhp.psych.ucla.edu
**TRAINING AND JOB OPPORTUNITIES
The University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Institute for Social
Capital. For information contact DirectorISC at uncc.edu.
Annenberg Institute for School Reform, Brown University, RI. See
Center for Excellence in Family Studies, Human Development & Family
Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison. For information see
Interdisciplinary research in Children, Youth, and Families at Texas A&M
University, College Station, TX. See http://cyf.tamu.edu.
Department of Psychology, Michigan State University, East Lansing,
MI. Research in community building and systems change to reduce
educational economic disparities in Battle Creek, MI. See
University of Illinois, Department of Human and Community Development,
Urbana, IL. See http://www.aces.uiuc.edu/~hcd/
Department of Counseling at Indiana State University, Terre Haute, IN. See
Professor or Associate Professor of Public Health Education, School of
Health and Human Performance, University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
For more information on employment opportunities, see
http://smhp.psych.ucla.edu. Go to contents, scroll down to
jobs. Following the listing of current openings, you will see links to
HRSA, SAMHSA, and other relevant job sites.
"My teacher says I'm an underachiever, but I think she's an overexpecter!"
**Comments/Requests/Info/Questions from the field
>From The Mental Health Association of Greater Chicago
http://www.mentalhealthchicago.org/programs.php "Our publication The
Mental Health Handbook for Teachers and Counselors and the Adolescent
Mental Health Handbook have now been published. Info about the Handbooks,
and evaluations are on our website."
>"I just read the paper Connected by 25: Improving the Life Changes of
the Country's Most Vulnerable 14-24 Year Olds.' http://www.hewlet.org/ I
think it emphatically portrays what we face if schools (and other societal
institutions ) do not make progress in addressing barriers to learning."
>Here are some of the responses we received related to last month's
Emerging Issue on "Policing in schools experiencing frequent violence:"
>>"While nobody suggests being alarmist or overreactive, we must have
reasonable security measures to create a secure environment in which
education, prevention and intervention services can be safely and
effectively delivered. Unfortunately, too many adults (including
professionals in this field) argue for a "prevention only" OR "security
only" approach. Why can't we have prevention AND security, instead of an
>> "[I] can certainly understand and appreciate the points of view that
were recorded in today's listserv. I'd like to share some emotional and
some otherwise rational views on the topic.
When I consider extreme measures,' and I think policing in schools
qualifies as such, I consider the case of any adolescent, other youth, or
adult who has expressed inclinations towards suicide. Most of us have
experienced this urgency within our families or among our friends or within
the families and among the friends of others, maybe even strangers. No
matter how we become connected to the suicidal, there can be only one first
response: to ensure the physical safety of that person. I don't think we're
allowed to let it be someone else's problem or the problem of that person
alone. And, I don't think we're allowed to wait until some more obvious
behavior or an attempt at suicide. After we ensure the person's physical
safety, we can address the trauma, the causal factors, the
none-of-our-business charges, and all of the other stuff that will
challenge us to take the same first response the next time."
"Some school settings are as dire as the potential suicide, where the
victim is not necessarily the precipitator. But, even the precipitator
isn't autonomous or independent or without stresses. So, in the case of
policing in schools experiencing frequent violence,' I'm inclined to say
that's a legitimate first response. However, although it might not be
logical or make sense, schools experiencing frequent violence' might be a
more complicated matter than suicide. Accordingly, as well as with suicide,
policing in schools' cannot be a stand alone strategy. Indeed, in the
context of strategy, policing in schools' is tactical, meaning short term,
not permanent. (If permanent, the school shouldn't be a school.)"
"Something rational (re: practical), in the form of questions:
(1) How frequent is the violence to warrant policing? [This is criterion 1.]
(2) What are the policing resources (even if we assume that budgetary and
other resources are sufficient) needed to provide policing services to all
schools that meet criterion 1?
(3) If we don't have sufficient policing resources to police all of the
schools that meet criterion 1, how do we distribute them? [social justice]
(4) How long do we police the schools? When will policing succeed?
(5) What are the contingency tactics? [I imagine that these might be
(6) What are the consequences for human development?
Countless dissertations could be prepared in response to this emerging
issue. So, I'll end here with a semi-final statement. Schools must have
strategic plans, and they must actively plan strategically. The plans must
be comprehensive, and they must be anticipatory. Our schools and our
society have evolved beyond the condition that making-it-up-as-we-go-along
And, my final statement here, policing in schools' is a lot like zero
tolerance' policy: both have been misinterpreted from good intentions and
both represent the things we do when we don't have a plan."
Note: The emerging issues and responses are online on the Center website at
http://smhp.psych.ucla.edu. Click on Net Exchange. If you want to add
your response to any of the issues or practitioner concerns, send them to
ltaylor at ucla.edu
THIS IS THE END OF THIS ISSUE OF ENEWS
Below is a brief description of our Center at UCLA For more see our website at
Who Are We?
Under the auspices of the School Mental Health Project in the Department of
Psychology at UCLA we established a Center for Mental Health in Schools
in1995. The Project and Center are co-directed by Howard Adelman and Linda
Taylor. The UCLA Center is one of two national centers funded in
October,1995, by the Office of Adolescent Health, Maternal and Child Health
Bureau(Title V, Social Security Act), Health Resources and Services
Administration(Project #U93MC00175). Both Centers were refunded in October,
2000, for a 5year cycle with Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services
Administration's Center for Mental Health Services joining HRSA as a
co-funder. As sister Centers, the Center at UCLA and the one at the
University of Maryland provide support (training and technical assistance)
for mental health and psychosocial concerns in schools.
Our group at UCLA approaches mental health concerns from the broad
perspective of addressing barriers to learning and promoting healthy
development. Activities include gathering and disseminating information,
materials, development, direct assistance, facilitating networking and
exchanges of ideas, and strategic efforts to advance the field. We
demonstrate the catalytic use of technical assistance, internet
publications, resource materials, and local, state, regional, and national
meetings to stimulate interest in program and systemic change.
Specific attention is given to policies and strategies that can (a) counter
fragmentation and enhance collaboration between school and community
programs, and (b) counter the marginalization of mental health in schools.
Center staff are involved in policy and program analyses, model development
and implementation, and capacity building. We focus on interventions and
range from systems for healthy development and problem prevention through
treatment for severe problems and stress the importance of school
improvement and systemic change. There is an emphasis on enhancing
collaborative activity that braids together school and community resources.
The Center works to enhance network building for program expansion and
systemic change and does catalytic training to stimulate interest in such
activity. We connect with major initiatives of foundations, associations,
governmental, and school and mental health departments.
Evaluations indicate the Center has had considerable impact in
strengthening the network of professionals advancing the field of mental
health in schools and in changing policies and practices.
For more information about the Center or about ENEWS, contact Center
Coordinator Perry Nelson or Center Co-Directors Howard Adelman and Linda
UCLA School Mental Health Project/Center for Mental Health in Schools
Box 951563, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1563
Phone (310) 825-3634; Toll Free (866) 846-4843; Fax (310) 206-8716
email: smhp at ucla.edu; Website: http://smhp.psych.ucla.edu
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