[mentalhealth-l] ENEWS: March, 2009 (Vol. 13 #6)

SMHP smhp at ucla.edu
Fri Feb 27 14:56:57 PST 2009


March, 2009 (Vol. 13 #6)

ENEWS is one of the many resources provided by the School Mental 
Health Project/ Center for Mental Health in Schools at UCLA.  This 
electronic newsletter is sent 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 national Center offers, see 

We encourage you to forward this to others.
If you have been forwarded this ENEWS
and want to sign up to receive it directly,
please let us know.  Contact smhp at ucla.edu



**Emerging Issue
 >Is it possible to make budget cuts and still provide a safety net 
for students?
    Will the stimulus offset the damage?
**News from around the country

**Recent publications relevant to
 >Child and adolescent mental and physical health
 >School, family, & community
 >Policy, systems, law, ethics, finances & statistics
**This month's focus for schools to address barriers to learning
 >March - Reducing Stress: Preventing Burnout
**Other helpful Internet resources

**Links to
 >Upcoming initiatives, conferences & workshops
 >Upcoming and archived webcasts and online professional development
 >Calls for grant proposals, presentations & papers
 >Training and job opportunities
**UCLA Center update

**Comments, requests, information, questions from the field

Emerging Issue
 >Is it possible to make budget cuts and still provide a safety net 
for students?
    Will the stimulus offset the damage?
We have received a range of responses to the policy notes we sent out 
last week about:
Balancing Cut-backs at Schools is Essential to Ensuring Equity of Opportunity
Some indicated it was timely and useful to share with those making 
decisions about reductions in programs and personnel (e.g., Planning 
to share it at a forum for dropout  prevention).  For others, the 
current situation is just so dire that they think there is no 
possibility for developing equity of opportunity in many schools. 
(e.g., There was not enough money before the economic downturn, and 
now resources are reduced while problems for families escalate. Time 
for mutiny!! The fiscal crisis schools are facing is well beyond a 
balancing act. All things are going to have to be cut and students 
are going to suffer. There is no alternative to that conclusion.)

Still others think this is a matter that needs to be reflected in the 
multiple documents, coalitions, and conferences focusing on 
innovation in education that intend to provide guidance for setting 
priorities (i.e. the Broader, Bolder Approach to Education; 21st 
century skills). And, still others see the concern for balance as a 
matter of great relevance with respect to the eventual 
reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.

What strategies are being used in your locale to at least maintain 
enough student and learning supports to continue to reduce truancy 
and dropouts, close the achievement gap, reduce inappropriate 
referrals for special assistance and special education, and counter 
the school to prison pipeline? How will the stimulus package help in 
this respect?  Let us know so we can share the information with 
others. Ltaylor at ucla.edu



States probably will cut an estimated 18.5% of spending over the next 
three years, an $80 billion drop that could eliminate 574,000 
publically funded jobs.  The projection could actually be worse than 
predicted, because it doesnt include dropping local funding, which 
was too difficult to track. 2/11/09.

Education Secretary Arne Duncan would have $5 billion under the 
stimulus bill to back new approaches to improve schools. The Race to 
the Top Fund, as Duncan calls it, is part of about $100 billion the 
bill would channel to public schools, universities and early 
childhood education programs nationwide, helping stave off teacher 
layoffs, keep class sizes in check and jump-start efforts to revamp 
aging schools. 2/14/09

To support parents trying to help their kids cope, school districts 
are stepping in. One sponsored a parent seminar that featured an 
expert in student stress. Another hosted an open house for parents to 
meet with financial advisers and mental health experts. The idea was 
sparked by social workers and counselors who noticed that many 
students were grappling with a laid-off parent and having to cut back 
on expensive extracurricular activities. 2/11/09

The economic plunge has generated a growing wave of children 
nationwide who are sleeping in shelters, motels, spare bedrooms or 
even the family van as their parents seek to keep them in school. 
Educators are scrambling to help, with extra tutoring, clothes, food 
and cab fare. The children are often scared, stressed or embarrassed. 
School, often the first safety net for struggling families, are 
emerging as a key anchor for homeless youth. 2/8/09


Washington DC Schools Chancellor proposed to revise the Districts 
student behavior code. The changes would move away from out-of-school 
suspensions as the disciplinary method of choice and toward 
counseling, peer influence and more options for keeping suspended 
students in school. Out of school suspensions put students behind in 
their work and increase the likelihood that they will become truant 
or drop out. This revision comes against a backdrop of increased 
concern about violence and mayhem in schools.  1/25/09. 

Mayors have taken control of school systems in recent years in some 
of the nations largest cities  New York, Chicago, Boston and 
Washington among them  and in some cases, the results have been 
heralded as a shot in the arm, in terms of both finances and 
education.  But the track record on mayoral takeovers  or any form of 
running schools other than an elected School Board  remains 
complicated and mixed according to several research efforts, 
including the new one by the Public Policy Forum, a Milwaukee policy 
research organization. 2/15/09 Journal Sentinel

Two judges appeared in federal court in Scranton, PA, to plead guilty 
to wire fraud and income tax fraud for taking more than $2.6 million 
in kickbacks to send teenagers to two privately run youth detention 
centers. A senior judge appointed by the State Supreme Court will 
determine what should be done with the estimated 5,000 juveniles who 
have been sentenced by these judges since the scheme started in 
2003.  Many of them were first-time offenders and some remain in 
detention. It raised concerns about whether juveniles should be 
required to have counsel either before or during their appearances in 
court and whether juvenile courts should be open to the public or 
child advocates. 2/13/09. 

As technology has played a bigger role in our lives, our skills in 
critical thinking and analysis have declined, while our visual skills 
have improved, according to a UCLA researcher. Reading for pleasure, 
which has declined among young people in recent decades, enhances 
thinking and engages the imagination in a way that visual media such 
as video games and television do not.

The fact is that we are not just in an economic crisis; we are in an 
educational crisis.  We have to educate ourselves to a better economy.

Note: Each week the Center highlights newsworthy stories online at 

Also access other news stories relevant to improving addressing 
barriers to learning through links at 


**RECENT PUBLICATIONS ( In Print and on the Web)

Child, adolescent, young adult mental and physical health

 >Preventing mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders among young 
people: Progress and possibilities (2009) M. OConnell, T. Boat, K. 
Warner (Eds).  The National Academies Press 

 >Childhood mistreatment and adolescent and young adult depression 
(2009) J. Fletcher. Social Science & Medicine. 

 >Joint development of bullying and victimization in adolescence: 
Relations to delinquency and self-harm (2008) E. Barker, et al., 
Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 47(9) 1030-1028. Http://www.jaacap.com

 >Continuing of aggression from childhood to early adulthood as a 
predictor of life outcomes: Implications for the adolescent-limited 
and life-course-persistent models. (2009). L. Huesmann, et al., 
Aggressive Behavior, (ePub) http://www.interscience.wiley.com/jpages/0096-140x

 >Psychological impact of disasters on children: Review of assessment 
and interventions. (2009) N. Kar.  World Journal of Pediatrics, 5(1) 
5-11. Http://www.wjpch.com/

 >A cluster randomized controlled trial of child-focused psychiatric 
consultation and a school-systems-focused intervention to reduce 
aggression. (2009) P. Fonagy, et al., Journal of Child Psychology and 

School, Family, & Community

 >Community violence: A meta-analysis on the effect of exposure and 
mental health outcomes of children and adolescents (2009) P. Fowler, 
et al., Developmental Psychopathology, 21(1) 227-59. 

 >Does parenting mediate the effects of exposure to violence on 
violent behavior? An ecological-transactional model of community 
violence.  (2009) R. Spano, et al., Journal of Adolescence 

 >Hostile school climates: Explaining differential risk of student 
exposure to disruptive learning environments in high school (2008) C. 
Lleras.  Journal of School Violence, 7(3) 105-135. 

 >Creating schools of peace and nonviolence in a time of war and 
violence (2009) T. Cavanagh.  Journal of School Violence, 8(1) 64-80. 

 >Teacher preference, peer rejection, and student aggression: A 
prospective study of transactional influence and independent 
contributions to emotional adjustment and grades (2008) S. Mercer & 
M. Derosier.  Journal of School Psychology, 46(6) 661-85.

 >Bullying and aggression on the school bus: School bus drivers 
observations and suggestions (2008) E. deLara.  Journal of School 
Violence, 7(3) 48-70. 

 >How well-prepared are schools to meet disasters?: School shootings 
require response of nontraditional resources (2008) K. Henning & M. 
Smithey, NASA School Nurse, 23(1) 13-14. 

Policy, systems, law, ethics, finances & statistics

 >Projections of state budget shortfalls on K-12 public education 
spending and job loss (2009) M. Roza.  Center on Reinventing Public 
Education. Http://www.crpe.org/cs/crpe/view/csr_pubs/266

 >Developing a citywide youth violence prevention plan: Perceptions 
of various stakeholders (2008) B. Payne & D. Button.  International 
Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology, (ePub) 

 >After-school programs in public elementary schools (2009) National 
Center for Education Statistics. 

 >Do theories of crime or violence explain race differences in 
delinquency? (2008) R. Felson, et al., Social Science Research, 37(2) 624-41.

 >Course credit accrual and dropping out of high school, by student 
characteristics.  (2009) National Center for Education Statistics. 

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 
130 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

Some kids are living in communities that have such a pre-determinant 
affect on their health and well-being that it sets them on a negative 
trajectory for the rest of their lives.  It cant be stressed enough 
that the current economic downturn is only going to widen the gaps in 
health disparities.  Things are going to get much worse.

Brian Smedley


 > March - Reducing Stress: Preventing Burnout

In the course of a regular school year, this is a time of mounting 
stress. With the economic downturn stress is exacerbated.

Draconian school budget cuts, real and rumored, effect everyone. Some 
districts are initiating mid-year reductions in force; many are 
sending warning notes (pink slips) to a wide range of staff to let 
them know that their employment for the next year is uncertain. Add 
to that annual accountability achievement testing. (One district 
website homepage features a countdown of days until the annual 
achievement tests and provides strategies on how students can 
prepare.) Moreover, for some students, lack of success in the first 
semester has discouraged them from starting the new semester with the 
motivation to succeed. So, along with all the other stressors, staff 
must worry about what can be done for students who arent ready to 
move on, but who shouldnt be held back. And there is so much more 
with which to cope.

The following resources are meant as aids as school leaders address 
stress of staff, students, and familes.
 >Start with the online clearinghouse Quick Find topic Burnout Prevention

 >Visit the American Psychological Associations The Road to 
Resilience - http://www.apahelpcenter.org/

Included in their 10 ways to build resilience are:
 >>Avoid seeing crises as insurmountable problems...you can change 
how you interpret and respond to these events
 >>Accept that change is a part of living...accepting circumstances 
that cannot be changed can help you focus on circumstances that you can alter
 >>Take decisive actions. Act on adverse situations as much as you can.
 >>Look for opportunities for self-discovery...Many people who have 
experienced tragedies and hardship have reported better 
relationships, greater sense of strength even while feeling 
vulnerable, greater sense of self worth...
 >>Nurture a positive view of yourself. Developing confidence in your 
ability to solve problems and trusting your instincts helps build resilience.
 >>Keep things in perspective.  Even when facing very painful events, 
try to consider the stressful situation in a broader context and keep 
a long-term perspective.
 >>Make connections. ... Accepting help and support from those who 
care about you and will listen to you strengthens 
resilience...Assisting others in their time of need also can benefit the helper

 >Also, see our online clearinghouse Quick Find topic: Resilience
Clearly, it is essential to do as much as possible to minimize the 
impact of stress on students, staff, and families. If you have ideas 
about what to do, let us know so we can share them widely. Ltaylor at ucla.edu

Note: It is important to anticipate major concerns that arise with 
regularity over the course of the school year.  These provide natural 
opportunities to strengthen support for learning.  For a calendar of 
monthly concerns and themes, see Ideas for Enhancing Support at Your 
School this Month on the Centers homepage at http://smhp.psych.ucla.edu

I am a product of your work.  I wouldnt be here if it werent for the 
public schools that nurtured me and helped me along.  And I am 
committed, as well as my husband, to ensuring that more kids like us 
and kinds around this country, regardless of their race, their 
income, their status, the property values in their neighborhoods, get 
access to an outstanding education.
                                                         Michelle Obama


 >Evidence-based strategies for reducing the impact of childrens 
exposure to violence. Safe Start Center. 
35-39  http://www.safestartcenter.org/pdf/safestartbooklet.pdf

 >Ready by 21 Initiative.  The Forum for Youth 
Investment  http://www.forumforyouthinvestment.org/readyby21

 >Mental health problems in early childhood can impair learning and 
behavior for life National Scientific Council on the Developing Child 
at Harvard University

 >A place to grown and learn: A citywide approach to building and 
sustaining out-of-school time learning opportunities. National League of Cities

 >Children and Trauma Update for Mental Health Professionals. 
American Psychological Association Task Force on Post Traumatic 
Stress Disorder in Children and 
Adolescents.  http://www.apa.org/pi/cyf/child-trauma/update.html

 >Health insurance and access to care for children and adolescents. 
Knowledge Path  http://www.mchlibrary.info/knowledgepaths/kp_insurance.html

 >Developing family, friend, and neighbor care initiatives and 
policies: Tips from experts.  National Womens Law Center

 >Association for the Study and Development of 
Community  http://www.communityscience.com/

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

I dont know anything about computers.  I dont even know how often to 
change the oil.
                                                                 Buzz Nutley
 >Upcoming Initiatives, Conferences & Workshops

 >Calls for Grant Proposals, Presentations & Papers

 >Training and Job Opportunities

 >Upcoming/Archived Webcasts

Note: Information on each of these is updated on an ongoing basis on 
our website.  Just click on the indicated URL or on Whats New on our 
website at http://smhp.psych.ucla.edu.  If you would like to add 
information on these, please send it to ltaylor at ucla.edu



 >Whats New -- Go to the Centers homepage and click on the Whats New icon.

There you will be able to access the latest Center:
 >Reports, Resources, Updates, & Announcements
 >Quarterly Newsletter
 >Relevant News Items from Around the Country
 >Weekly Practitioner Exchange
 >Monthly electronic newsletter (ENEWS)
 >Hot Topics & Issues
 >Information about conferences, webcasts, grants, job announcements

 >Overview of the Centers Work and Impact for the Year 2008
We are preparing a yearly update of our Evaluation Impact Report (see 
the data accrued tthrough 2007 at 
http://smhp.psych.ucla.edu/pdfdocs/evaluation/impactevalrept.pdf )

We would appreciate any information you can provide related to the 
Centers impact that should be integrated into this years report. 
(Thanks to all who already have provided feedback.).  Email comments 
to ltaylor at ucla.edu
 >Making the Case for Student and Learning Supports in a Time of 
Budget Cutting
See the new Policy Notes: Balancing Cut-backs at Schools is Essential 
to Ensuring Equity of 
Opportunity  http://smhp.psych.ucla.edu/pdfdocs/cut-backs.pdf
And, let us know if you need any resources for making the case.  If 
we dont having something developed, we will see what we can do to 
meet your particular situation. Send your request to ltaylor at ucla.edu
 >Rebuilding for Learning Initiative (our collaboration with 
Scholastic, Inc.)
For more information on this, see 

This month, we had an introductory meeting with the Chief State 
School Officers and the American Association for Schools 
Administrators and have begun exploring ways to work with them to 
strengthen the focus on learning supports of education 
leaders.  Follow up activities with work groups of state teams are in 
the planning stages. Let us know if you are interested in this 
initiative. Contact:  ltaylor at ucla.edu
Note: We continually update the resources on our website. A 
convenient way to access information is through the Quick Find online 
clearinghouse. Alphabetized by topics, you can access information on 
over 130 topics relevant to addressing barriers to learning. Each 
includes links to Center Resources, online reports, other centers 
focusing on the topic, and relevant publications. Go to 
http://smhp.psych.ucla.edu and click on Quick Find. If you would like 
to add a resource, let us know. Ltaylor at ucla.eduFor 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 at the 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, the Center for School Mental Health at 
http://csmh.umaryland.edu or contact Mark Weist, Director, CSMH, 
University of Maryland at Baltimore, Department of Psychiatry, 737 W. 
Lombard St. 4th Floor, Baltimore, MD 21202. Toll Free (888) 706-0980. 
Email: csmh at psych.umaryland.edu
On his turn in the spotlight, Pat Quinn, the new Governor of Illinois 
                 You want to know my philosophy? One day a peacock.
                         The next day a feather 

 >I wanted to let you know of a project that I am currently involved 
with that I think can be of great help to school aged children in 
helping them to understand and express emotional. Emotes are a series 
of characters designed to help kids increase their emotional 
vocabulary through interactive play. The colorful characters, from 
Abash (the embarrassed) to Boom (the angry), each represent a 
different emotion. Written by a licensed psychotherapist, the Emotes 
picture books explore a range of emotional and developmental 
challenges including temper tantrums, bullying, fears, and healthy 
habits. Vinyl figurines and plush play therapy toys also allow 
children to externalize and interact with their feelings. In 
addition, an Emotions Display Case allows children to select and 
highlight the emotion with which they currently identify--fostering 
emotional expression and dialogue. Interactive games, short videos 
and lesson plans for educators can also be found online at 


See below for source identifying information
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 http://smhp.psych.ucla.edu

For more information about the Center or about ENEWS, contact Center 
Coordinator Perry Nelson or Center Co-Directors Howard Adelman and 
Linda Taylor at:
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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