[mentalhealth-l] ENEWS: May, 2007 (Vol. 11 #8)
mentalhealth-l at lists.ucla.edu
mentalhealth-l at lists.ucla.edu
Tue May 1 08:09:55 PDT 2007
ENEWS: A Monthly Forum for Sharing and Interchange
May, 2007 (Vol. 11 #8)
Source: UCLA School Mental Health Project/
Center for Mental Health in Schools
ENEWS is one of the many resources 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, see
Feel Free to Forward this to Anyone
WHAT'S HERE THIS MONTH
>Response to Intervention
**News from around the country
**Recent publications relevant to
>Children's mental and physical health
>Family, school & community
>Policy, systems, law, ethics, finances & statistics
**This month's focus for schools to address barriers to learning
>May Time to help students and families plan successful
transitions to a new grade or a new school
**Other helpful internet resources
**Upcoming initiatives, conferences & workshops
**Calls for grant proposals, presentations & papers
**UCLA Center Activities and Resources Update
**Training & job opportunities
**Comments, requests, information, questions from the field
>Re: the Virginia Tech Tragedy
>Re: Last months emerging issue
To post messages to ENEWS, email them to ltaylor at ucla.edu
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>Response to Intervention (RtI)
By now, most people working in and with schools have heard about "Response
to Intervention."* However, there are considerable differences in how the
concept is being discussed by school policy makers and practitioners. With
respect to operationalizing the process, two extremes can be identified.
One mainly stresses the introduction of better (i.e., evidence-based)
instruction and using the new findings as an indication of whether or not a
disability has to be assessed. This defines the problem simply as a
teaching deficit. At the other extreme, the emphasis is on proceeding in
stages beginning with personalized instruction designed to enhance a better
match with the learner's current motivation and capabilities and, as
necessary, sequencing on in a hierarchical way to (a) develop missing
learning and performance prerequisites and/or (b) provide needed
specialized interventions that can address other existing barriers to
learning (both external and internal barriers).
>How is the term being used in schools in your locale?
>Which approach are you advocating and why?
Send your comments, ideas, suggestions, concerns to ltaylor at ucla.edu
*See the Center Online Clearinghouse Quick Find topic on Response to
Intervention for examples of various views of the concept; go to
**NEWS FROM AROUND THE COUNTRY
A CHALLENGE TO ZERO TOLERANCE POLICIES IN TEXAS
"Students from some Texas school districts are far more likely to end up in
alternative schools or other disciplinary programs, especially if those
students are minorities or have learning disabilities.... Children in
Disciplinary Alternative Education Programs have five times the dropout
rate of mainstream disciplinary programs." 4/9/07 Houston Chronicle.
RESPONDING TO DISPARITIES IN SPECIAL ED IN WISCONSIN
"School districts that have been identified by the Wisconsin Department of
Public Instruction as having a significant disproportionality' of
minorities in special education [25 last year] are required to draft plans
addressing the issue. In addition, those districts are required to spend
15% of their federal special education dollars on so-called early
intervention efforts.... That comes to hundreds of thousands of dollars for
many of the large school systems." 3/29/07 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
MISSISSIPPI WORKS TO COMBAT HIGH STUDENT DROPOUT RATE
"Until now, each school district has dealt with dropouts in its own way,
but that's in flux after the Mississippi Department of Education approved a
plan in March to cut the state's 26.6 percent dropout rate in half by 2013.
The plan includes 15 strategies that have been proven effective."
49/07 Clarion Ledger. http://www.clarionledger.com
MANY DIAGNOSES OF DEPRESSION MAY BE MISGUIDED, STUDY SAYS
"About one in four people who appear to be depressed are in fact struggling
with the normal mental fallout from a recent emotional blow.... Larger
and larger numbers of people are reporting symptoms on these checklists,
and there's no way to know whether we're finding normal sadness responses
or real depression.' said the study's lead author." See 4/3/07 Archives of
General Psychiatry. New York Times.
N.C. SCHOOLS OVERRUN WITH MENTAL HEALTH OPTIONS
"Some school districts are taking steps to shield students from the mostly
private, for-profit mental health companies that are lining up to send
mental health aides into public schools. The surge in private companies
interested in serving students struggling emotionally and mentally began
last year when North Carolina privatized the service." 3/28/07. Associated
LEGISLATIVE PANEL IN MAINE CALLS FOR CUTBACK IN NUMBER OF DISTRICTS
"A panel of legislators formed with a goal of slashing school
administration costs without directly impacting students wants Maine's 290
districts reduced to 80 by July 1, 2008.... The savings are projected to
come from administrative savings, special education, building and
facilities maintenance, and transportation." 4/10/07. Kennebec Journal.
Each week the Center highlights a newsworthy story online at
Also access other news stories relevant to mental health in schools through
links at http://smhp.psych.ucla.edu/whatsnew/linkstolatest.htm
"We make 85 percent of our policy decisions on anecdotes: My grandmother
lives next door to a guy who does three things, and he's terrific, and I
think we should do these three things statewide.' And depending on the
popularity of that legislator, often that becomes state law with state
resources behind him. That's not a particularly strategic way to make
Governor Kathleen Sebelius
**RECENT PUBLICATIONS (IN PRINT AND ON THE WEB)
*Children's Mental and Physical Health
>Stability in bullying and victimization and its association with social
adjustment in childhood and adolescence (2007) R. Scholte, et al., Journal
of Abnormal Child Psychology , ePub. Http://www.springerlink.com
>Academic performance and substance use: Findings from a state survey of
public high school students (2007) R. Cox, et al., Journal of School
Health, 77(3) 109-115. http://www.ashaweb.org/
>Psychological determinants of risk taking by children: An integrative
model and implications for interventions (2007) B. Morrongiello & J.
Lasenby-Lessard, Injury Prevention 13(1) 20-25. http://www.injuryprevention.com
> Do antidepressants reduce suicide rates? (2007) D. Safer & J. Zito,
Public Health ePub.
>Prospective associations between delinquency and suicidal behaviors in a
nationally representative sample. (2007) M. Thompson, et al., Journal of
Adolescent Health, 40(3) 232-237.
>Risk factors predictive of the problem behavior of children at risk for
emotional and behavioral disorders (2007) R. Nelson, et al., Exceptional
Children, 73(3) 367-379.
*Family, School & Community
>In California, Senate Bill 288, a "Comprehensive Pupil Learning Support
System," passed through the Education Committee and will move on to the
Appropriations Committee to determine if funding will be allocated.
>After Katrina: Shared challenges for rebuilding communities (2007) C. De
Vita, Urban Institute. http://www.urban.org/url.cfm?id=311440
>Job stressors, personality and burnout in primary school teachers (2007)
C. Kokkinos, British Journal of Educational Psychology, 77(1) 229-242.
>Fear of school violence and the ameliorative effects of student social
capital. (2007) V. Sacco & M. Nakhaie, Journal of School Violence, 6(1)
>Preparing for disaster: A way of developing community relationships.
(2007) G. Wise, Disaster Management Response, 5(1) 14-17.
>Health status among internally displaced persons in Louisiana and
Mississippi Travel Trailer Parks (2007) R. Larrance, et al., (2007) Annals
of Emergency Medicine. http://www.sciencedirect.com/
>A progressive plan for building collaborative relationships with parents
from diverse backgrounds (2007) R. Matuszny, et al., Teaching Exceptional
Children, 39 (4) 24-31.
>Indicators of school readiness for RTI: A self-assessment tool (2006)
Colorado Department of Education.
>Response to Intervention: Examining classroom behavior support in second
grade (2007) S. Fairbanks, et al., Exceptional Children, 73(3) 288-310.
*Policy, Systems, Law, Ethics, Finances & Statistics
>State estimates of substance use from the 2004-2005 national surveys on
drug use and health.
>Youthbuild Program: Analysis of outcome data needed to determine
long-term benefits (2007) U. S. Government Accountability Office.
>The economic costs of child poverty (2007) Testimony to Congress:
> Urban Institute. http://www.urban.org/url.cfm?ID=901032
> National Center for Children in Poverty.
>Timing and duration of student participation in special education in the
(2007) National Center for Education Statistics.
>Juvenile offenders and victims 2006 national report (2007) Office of
Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.
Note: The Quick Find online clearinghouse 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 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
"A prime function of a leader is to keep hope alive."
John W. Gardner
**MONTHLY FOCUS FOR SCHOOLS TO ADDRESS BARRIERS TO LEARNING
>>May Theme Time to help students and families plan successful
transitions to a new grade or a new school
Transitions are risky opportunities. From the grade-to-grade change, the
move to middle school and to high school, planning for after high school
all call for well-conceived programs to prepare students and families and
to follow-up to ensure the transition has been successful. Interventions to
enable successful transitions make a significant difference in how
motivationally ready and able students are to benefit from the next step in
Programs need to include plans that
>provide closure and appreciation related to what the student is leaving
>enhance articulation between the old and the new so students feel connected
>welcome newcomers and ensure they have the type of social support that
facilitates positive acceptance and adjustment in the new setting
>assess transition success and implement timely corrective interventions
when transitions are not successful
Planning for transitions is a great opportunity to involved students. For
>For those who are moving, what do they say would help them feel more
confident in the move to a new school?
>For those at a school, what do they wish had been in place when they made
>How would they like to be involved in welcoming students who are new to
For a range of resources related to facilitating transitions, see the
online clearinghouse Quick Find on "Transition Programs/Grade
Articulation/Welcome" at http://smhp.psych.ucla.edu/qf/p2101_01.htm You
will see Center resources, including a self-study of ideas for
strengthening transition programs. You will also see links to other online
resources and centers focused on this topic.
Note: For more on anticipating natural opportunities for addressing
barriers to learning and teaching and promoting healthy development over
the course of the school year, see "Ideas for Enhancing Support at School
this Month" at http://smhp.psych.ucla.edu
"Setting an example is not the main means of influencing another. It is the
**OTHER HELPFUL INTERNET RESOURCES
>>Success in the Middle: A policymaker's guide to achieving quality middle
>>Impacts of a summer learning program http://www.urban.org/url.cfm?ID=411350
>>Understanding recent changes in child poverty
>>2005 National Survey on Drug Use & Health (2007)
>>Medicaid: Health promotion and disease prevention for school
>>Tools for promoting education success and reducing delinquency.
>Assessing the Mental Health of Adolescents.
>Assessing Substance Use and Abuse among Adolescents
>>Data Trends: The effectiveness of strength-based treatment for youth
with emotional or behavioral disorders.
>>Toward more effective use of research in state policymaking.
>>Measuring youth program quality: A guide to assessment tools
>>An overview of selected data on children in vulnerable
>>National Center for School Crisis and
>>Virginia Youth Violence
Note: For a wide range of relevant websites, see our Gateway to a World of
Resources at http://smhp.psych.ucla.edu/gateway/gateway_sites.htm
**A FEW UPCOMING INITIATIVES, CONFERENCES AND WORKSHOPS
Below is just a small sample. For additional and ongoing information about
conferences, refer to our website Conferences section at
>School Readiness and Success: Improving Children's Social and Emotional
Date: May 17 -- Time: 1 - 2 p.m. EDT -- Location: Online Register
>Tutor/Mentor Conference, May 17-18, Chicago, IL.
>Building n Family Strengths Conference: Research in support of children
and their families, May 31-June2, Portland,
>Office of University-School Partnerships, Arizona State University:
Community and Education" June 1-2,
Tempe, AZ. Http://www.asu.edu/ssc/summerinstituteoncommunity/secondsummer.htm
>National Center for Victims of Crime: Advancing practice, policy, and
research, June 18-20, Washington, DC. Http://www.ncvc.org
>International Society for Child Indicators, June 26-28, Chicago, IL.
>Education Commission of the States: National Form on Education Policy,
July 10-13, Philadelphia, PA. Http://www.ecs.org
>Sustainable, Schoolwide Social and Emotional Learning Implementation
Workshops, August 6-7, Chicago, IL. http://www.casel.org
>Communities In Schools: Leadership for Change: A Nation without Dropouts,
October 31- November 4, Atlanta, GA. Http://www.cisnationalconference.com/
Note: If you want to list your conference, please email information to
ltaylor at ucla.edu
"Some people have a way with words, others not have way."
**CALLS FOR GRANT PROPOSALS, PRESENTATIONS & PAPERS
Below is just a sample. If you want to Surf the Internet for Funds, go to
http://smhp.psych.ucla.edu. Click on Quick Find, scroll down Center
Responses to Financing and Funding. You will find links to funding sources
and to Quick Training Aid on Financing Strategies to Address Barriers to
For updated info on federal grants, see the electronic storefront at
There you can double check due dates and access applications
A Few Examples of Current Grant Opportunities
>U. S. Department of Education (http://www.ed.gov)
>>Center on Response to Intervention (CFDA 84.326E. Deadline May 4, 2007
>>Technical Assistance Center for Evidence-based Practices to Improve the
Social-Emotional Development of Young Children with or at-risk of
disabilities (CFDA 84.326B) Deadline May 7, 2007
>>Technical Assistance and Dissemination to Improve Services and Results
for Children with Disabilities Program (CFDA 84.326B) Deadline May 7, 2007
>>Grants for the Integration of Schools and Mental Health Systems (CFDA
84.215M) Deadline May 15, 2007
>>Readiness and Emergency Management for Schools Grant Program. (CFDA
84.184E) Due May 21, 2007
>>Mentoring Programs. (CFDA 84.184) Due May 23, 2007
>National Institute of Mental Health with the Center for Mental Health
Services, SAMHSA. (Due 6/5, 10/5)
>>Early Identification and Treatment of Mental Disorders in Children and
>>Effectiveness, Practice, And Implementation In CMHS' Comprehensive
Community Mental Health Services Program for Children and their Families
Service Sites. http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PA-07-091.html
>>Reducing Mental Illness Stigma And Discrimination.
>>Refining and Testing Mental Health Interventions and Services for Youth
with Mental Illness who are Transitioning to Adulthood
>>Research on the Reduction and Prevention of Suicidality
>>Research on Rural Mental Health and Drug Abuse Disorders
>Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration
>>National Child Traumatic Stress Initiative, Community Treatment and
Services Center Grants. (SM-07-011. Due date May 18,
>>Drug Free Communities Support Mentoring Programs. Due May 11, 2007
>>Knowledge Dissemination Conference Grants. Applications due on the
recurring dates of January 31 and October 31 each year.
"Warning: Dates on calendar are closer than they appear."
** UCLA CENTER ACTIVITIES AND RESOURCES UPDATE
>New Center Policy & Practice Analysis Brief
>>Youth Gangs and Schools
>New Quick Find
>Leadership Institutes for New Directions for Student Support
>>New Orleans on May 7
>Responding to tragedies such as occurred at Virginia Tech After every
school shooting, we are asked about how schools should assess students who
may be a threat. See "Assessing Whether a Student Might Commit a Violent
Act" http://smhp.psych.ucla.edu/pdfdocs/shootings.pdf for a brief
The number of visits and downloads to our website related to crisis
response provides an indication of the degree to which Center users sought
out resources in the aftermath of the campus shooting at Virginia Tech.
Between Monday (4/16) and Thursday (4/19), there were 6,263 distinct users
(Monday = 1,806, Tuesday = 2,442, Wednesday = 3,147, Thursday = 3,240.
With respect to downloads of specific resources between Monday and
>Violence Prevention and Safe Schools = 1297 downloads
>Responding to Crisis at a School = 1175
>Conduct and Behavior Problems: Intervention and Resources for School Aged
Youth = 1078
>Assessing Whether a Student Might Commit a Violent Act = 945
>Common Psychosocial Problems of School Aged Youth = 930
>Screening/Assessing Students: Indicators and Tools = 827
>Social and Interpersonal Problems Related to School Aged Youth = 700
>School Interventions to Prevent Youth Suicide = 661
Note: For more information on the UCLA Center for Mental Health in Schools,
go to the website at http://smhp.psych.ucla.edu or 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
Check out our sister center, Center for School Mental Health Analysis and
Action, at http://csmha.umaryland.edu or contact Mark Weist, Director,
CSMHA, University of Maryland at Baltimore, Department of Psychiatry, 737
W. Lombard St. 4th floor, Baltimore, MD 21202. Toll free phone:
888-706-0980. Email csmh at umpsy.umaryland.edu
"First things first, but not necessarily in that order."
**TRAINING AND JOB OPPORTUNITIES
Note: For info on employment opportunities, see
Following the list of current openings, you will see links to HRSA, SAMHSA,
and other relevant job sites.
Below are a few opportunities that have been brought directly to our
attention this month:
After school evaluation research positions at Northwestern University,
Evanston, IL. Contact Bart Hirsch at bhirsch at northwestern.edu
The Division of Prevention and Community Research, Department of
Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine has re-opened its search for
applications to a two-year postdoctoral fellowship as part of the
NIDA-funded reach training program on the prevention of substance abuse.
Contact Jacob Tebes at jacob.tebes at yale.edu
<Clinical and Research>
The Community Schools Program at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia,
PA has several positions: Therapist for school-based group intervention,
clinical coordinator position, research coordinator position. Contact
Stephen Leff at leff at email.chop.edu
ETR Associates is searching for a Senior Research Administrator. Position
is in Scotts Valley, CA. See full description at http://www.etr.org.
"All I ask is the chance to prove that money can't make me happy."
**COMMENTS, REQUESTS, INFO, QUESTIONS FROM THE FIELD
(1) Regarding the Virginia Tech Tragedy
"As a licensed Clinical and School Psychologist who has worked with
children and adolescents in treatment facilities and schools for 17 years,
I have a very specific concern regarding what contributes to outbreaks of
violence. Since the advent of administratively managed mental health
benefits, children and adolescents identified as a risk to self and others
are not getting the treatment they need. The desire to cut costs in health
care is directly impacting the lives of the mentally ill and those who are
in their environment. We are well aware in Colorado that the students
involved in the Columbine shootings were known to mental health but were
not receiving regular care. Similarly, the Virginia Tech student had been
known to mental health providers. I have personally witnessed how children
who do not receive the appropriate mental health treatment turn to
violence. Many children who I saw prematurely discharged from mental health
facilities, due to pressures from Insurance Companies, later committed
violent crimes. They finally get the treatment they need in correctional
facilities. These crimes could be prevented. We will not make any dent in
assisting our schools with recovery from these crimes unless we contribute
to their prevention."
"Perhaps you could ask what colleagues are doing in schools of an
EDUCATIONAL nature to help students develop and use healthy and safe coping
skills to deal with their anger, stress, sadness and sense of powerlessness
when they experience everyday emotionally wounding events. There are
education programs around the world addressing these issues. Neither
schools, the media or mental health professionals seem to take the lead in
rallying public opinion to consider "primary prevention" opportunities
today that work in the classroom. This is particularly critical when a
national tragedy of mass murder occurs on a school or college campus.
Public response becomes preoccupied with searching to place blame rather
than train and mobilize emotional health educators to introduce in
classrooms proven, proactive student coping skills education programs."
"I hesitate to comment in such a terrible time lest I seem unsympathetic,
but it seems us outsiders' from England that a key issue in all this is
the US gun laws. Over here when a young person as disturbed as that goes on
the rampage they knife one person- it happens repeatedly and is terrible
but relatively contained. Over with you one person can shoot scores. The
underlying problem of disturbed individuals is the same, and will always be
with us probably, but the means of destruction at your disposal amplify the
problem in a hideous way but gun law feels like an issue your society
is not seriously confronting."
(2) Regarding last months Emerging Issue: Engagement (and Re-engagement of
all stakeholders in Enhancing Student/Learning Supports
"... From my perspective I think we must focus our efforts on building the
capacity of the school district to develop and manage comprehensive systems
of learning supports. I believe that the focus of this work must remain on
schools. A focus on schools and their intrinsic motivation, developing
schools capacity to lead reforms seems central. I find that student support
staff, special education and counseling staff are so mired in compliance
and crisis that staff simply lack the knowledge needed to conceive of and
implement best practices in the area of school based mental health.
Generally, this is why there are so many agencies trying to help from the
outside in, and also why these efforts falter. I see no problems with
school leaders deciding to use a collaborative structure to accomplish
their objectives, but to be full partners in such efforts, school leaders
(3) We were asked to share the following:
"Readergirlz (www.readergirlz.com) is a new online book community
celebrating gutsy girls in life and literature. Their mission is to get
teen girls to read, reflect deeply, and reach outand be tomorrow''s
history. Not only will the four readergirlz foundersyoung adult novelists
Dia Calhoun, Lorie Ann Grover, Janet Lee Carey, and Justina Chen Headley,
feature a different young adult novel each month, they will also feature a
community service project related to that novel. For the months of April
and May, readergirlz will be focusing on books surrounding mental health
and body health issues.
In April, readergirlz will showcase Lorie Ann Grover's young adult novel On
Pointe (Simon and Shuster 2004A Bank Street College Best Children's Book
of the Year). As a ballerina, Lorie Ann was exposed to the harsh realities
of dance, including eating disorders among the students. Her novel in verse
shares the broad difficulties and pressures that teens often
faceincluding how in some cases anorexia can even be ignored or
encouraged by parents. This novel is sure to raise pertinent discussions.
On Pointe is a wonderful tool for eating disorder bibliotherapy.
In May, for National Mental Health Month, readergirlz will feature Dia
Calhoun's young adult novel The Phoenix Dance (Farrar Straus & Giroux
2005A New York Public Library Book for the Teen Age), which is a
retelling of the Twelve Dancing Princesses fairy tale. Her main character
is bipolar and comes to terms with her condition and treatment. Dia writes
from her own experience as a woman who lives with bipolar illness. For the
community service project related to the book, readergirlz will highlight
NAMI's Take Action page where teen girls can get involved with StigmaBusters.
Girls can dialogue with both Dia and Lorie Ann by dropping by
http://groups.myspace.com/readergirlz or by writing to them at
divas at readergirlz.com. Or for a group session, send e-mail to
divas at readergirlz.com to schedule a forum meeting. Full Issues centering
around each novel, can be found at www.readergirlz.com under Current Issue
Thank you so much for helping us to reach more girls about these important
THIS IS THE END OF THIS ISSUE OF ENEWS See below for source identifying
Who Are We? Under the auspices of the School Mental Health Project in the
Department of Psychology at UCLA, the national Center for Mental Health in
Schools was established in 1995. The Project and Center are co-directed by
Howard Adelman and Linda Taylor. The UCLA Center is one of two national
centers first 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, U.S. Dept. of Health & Human
Services (Project #U45MC00175). In open competition, both Centers were
refunded in 2000 for a second 5 year cycle with the Substance Abuse and
Mental Health Services Administration's Center for Mental Health Services
joining HRSA as a co-funder. In 2005 after open competition, both Centers
were funded for a third five year cycle. (In this cycle, SAMHSA joined HRSA
as a co-funder only for the first year.) As sister Centers, the Center at
UCLA and the one at the University of Maryland focus on advancing efforts
to enhance how schools address mental health and psychosocial concerns. A
description and evaluation of the Center's work and impact is available at
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
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