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What's New

Rhode Island's Child Death Review Team Releases Issue Brief on Youth Suicide
According to a new Issue Brief from Rhode Island's Child Death Review Team, suicide is the third leading cause of death in youth ages 15-24, both nationally and in Rhode Island. From 2005-2010, 77 young people, ages 13-24, died by suicide in Rhode Island. For every one of the completed suicides in this age group there are approximately 100-200 suicide attempts.

Mentally Ill People Are Sent to Jail More Often Than Hospital
On average, a seriously mentally ill person in the USA is three times more likely to be incarcerated than hospitalized, a report concludes. In no state was a seriously mentally ill person—someone with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, for example—less likely to be incarcerated than hospitalized, the report by the National Sheriffs' Association and the Treatment Advocacy Center found.

Children's Mental Health Awarness Day
May 6, 2010: Today marks the 5th anniversary of Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day, a day to promote awareness of the mental health needs of children and their families in Rhode Island and across the nation. This year, the focus is on the mental health needs of young children ages birth to eight. Rhode Island KIDS COUNT’s Issue Brief on children’s behavioral health focuses on how psychiatric hospitalizations fit into the larger continuum of care of behavioral health services for children.

Children's Mental Health: What Every Policymaker Should Know
April 27, 2010: Policymakers, advocates, and parents will benefit from this comprehensive guide to children's mental health problems from the National Center for Children in Poverty (NCCP). The current state of the mental health service delivery system does not sufficiently meet the needs of children and youth, and most who are in need of mental health services are not able to access them. Learn more when you read Children's Mental Health: What Every Policymaker Should Know.

 Public Health Framework for Children's Mental Health
March 15, 2010: A Public Health Approach to Children's Mental Health: A Conceptual Document presents a framework that communities can use to strengthen the mental health and resilience of children. The report includes background information and justification for the public health approach to children's mental health, as well as strategies to put the public mental health intervention framework into action. Click to access the report here.

Rules Issued Requiring Parity in Treatment of Mental, Substance Use Disorders
February 12, 2010: The U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS), Labor, and the Treasury have jointly issued new rules providing parity for consumers enrolled in group health plans who need treatment for mental and substance use disorders. The new rules prohibit group health insurance plans- typically offered by employers- from restricting access to care by limiting benefits and requiring higher patient costs than those that apply to general medical benefits. These rules implement the Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 (MHPAEA). MHPAEA greatly expands the 1996 Mental Health Parity Act.

Rhode Island Kids Count TV Show Spotlights Children's Mental and Behavioral Health
February 5, 2010 - Watch the Rhode Island Kids Count cable television show featuring Cathy Ciano, Executive Director, Parent Support Network of Rhode Island and Elizabeth Earls, President and CEO, Rhode Island Council of Community Mental Health Organizations about mental health services and supports for children and families in Rhode Island.

Psychiatric Hospitalizations and the Continuum of Care
January 21, 2010 - A new Rhode Island Kids Count Issue Brief provides new information on the nearly 1,696 hospitalizations of children under age 18 with a primary diagnosis of a mental disorder at Rhode Island hospitals. The Children’s Behavioral Health: Psychiatric Hospitalizations and the Continuum of Care Issue Brief provides recommendations on how psychiatric hospitalizations fit into the larger continuum of behavioral health services for children. For more information, view pictures from the event and the press release.

Policy Brief on Early Childhood Mental Health
December 18, 2009: A new policy brief, Integrating Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation with the Pyramid Model, disccuses early childhood mental health consulatation and how it can assist in the implementation of the Pyramid Model for social emotional development. The brief also addresses potential policy issues occuring as administrators attempt to incorporate these approaches at state and local levels. The brief is published by the Technical Assistance Center on Social Emotional Intervention for Young Children.

Caring Across Communities
November 13, 2009: Immigrant and refugee children experience unique mental health challenges. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has launched a national program to reduce emotional and behavioral health problems among school children in low-income immigrant and refugee families. The program, Caring Across Communities, awards grants to 15 communities across the nation to work to bring school connected mental health services to children in need View an overview of Caring Across Communities, the context for its development, fact sheets and stories from the field. Click here to access the kit.

Majority of Adolescents Suffering from Depression Episodes Did Not Receive Treatment in the Past Year
October 29, 2009: A new report reveals tha 8.2% (2 million) youth aged 12 to 17 experienced at least one major depressive episode during the past year. Only about two-fifts (38.9%) of these adolescents received treatment during this period according to the report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Adolescents without health insurance were less than half as likely to get treatment as those with Medicaid/CHIP or private health insurance coverage. Access the report here.

Improving Medicaid Managed Care for Youth with Serious Behavioral Health Needs
October 29, 2009: A new toolkit shares lessons from the Collaborative on Improving Managed Care Quality for Youth with Serious Behavioral Health Needs. This was created as a resource for state Medicaid health plans, state purchasers and families of youth with serious behavioral health needs. The toolkit presents: promising practices tested by participating plans to improve care for children and youth. Access the toolkit here.

Risks and Barriers to Effective Treatment Faced by Children with Socio-Emotional Problems
October 2, 2009: A new brief examines the prevalence of socio-emotional problems in early childhood and which family and enviornmental factors are associated with increased risk for these problems. Children in foster care, Black children, and children of parents with mental illness are more likely to develop socio-emotional problems, yet these children are less likely to recive treatment. The brief includes policy recommendations for improving care in these populations. Click to access Socio-Emotional Development in Early Childhood: What Every Policymaker Should Know.

Brief Examines Difficulties Experienced by Youth with Depression and Anxiety
September 8, 2009: The transition to adulthood can be especially challenging when young adults experience mental health problems. This fact sheet from the Urban Institute examines several adolescent risk behaviors and young adult outcomes among youth with depression/anxiety at ages 18 and 19. Click here to access the fact sheet.

Partnering with Parents and Families to Support Immigrant and Refugee Children at School
July 27, 2009: This paper outlines model programs that engage communities and community organizations to build effective and easily-accessible mental health services for children and youth. Addressing issues such as partnering with immigrant families to support mental health; offering school-based mental health services, and the changing face of American classrooms, the report gives a comprehensive overview to these issues. Click to access the report Partnering with Parents and Families to Support Immigrant and Refugee Children at School.

National Children's Mental Health Awareness Day 2009
May 7, 2009: Today is National Children's Mental Health Awareness Day. Between 4.5 and 6.3 million children in the United States face Mental Health challenges. View the US Department of Health and Human Services report on how community-based systems of care can help children and youth do better in school and in their communities.

Respite Care Bill Put Families First
April 14, 2009 - Congressman Jim Langevin announced today $2.5 million in funding for the Lifespan Respite Care program at the Parent Support Network of Rhode Island in Johnston. The Lifespan Respite Care Act, which was originally signed into law in December 2006, was finally funded in January as part of H.R. 1105 – the FY 2009 Omnibus Appropriations Act.

Release of 2009 Rhode Island Kids Count Factbook
April 6, 2009 - Rhode Island KIDS COUNT released its annual publication on the well-being of children and families in RI, the 2009 Rhode Island Kids Count Factbook. The Factbook reports on 63 indicators of child well-being across five subjects: Family and Community, Economic Well-Being, Health, Safety, and Education.

New Report on Mental Health and Early Childhood
February 4, 2009: The foundations of many mental health problems that endure through adulthood are established early in life, according to a new report from the National Scientific Council on the Developing Child. The report found that risk factor such as persistant poverty, threatening neighborhoods, and poor child care conditions elevate the risk of serious mental health problems. Young children need appropriate help to prevent emotional difficulties early in life from becoming more serious disorders over time. Click here to access the report Mental Health Problems in Early Childhood Can Impair Learning and Behavior for Life.

Bryant Speaks About Behavioral Health Care 
January 6, 2009 - Elizabeth Burke Bryant, Executive Director of Rhode Island Kids Count participated in a panel on behavioral health as part of a luncheon sponsored by Neighborhood Health Plan of RI and Beacon Health Strategies. Elizabeth urged support for a continum of community services that would allow children to recieve treatment at appropriate levels of care in their communities. For information, read Identifying the Value of Medicaid Managed Care and the Children's Mental Health Indicator.

Unclaimed Children Revisited
December 12, 2008: A report released by the National Center on Children in Poverty (NCCP) explores issues related to children's mental health in the report Unclaimed Children Revisited: The Status of Children's Mental Health Policy in the United States. The report documents and assesses how well child mental health policies in the 50 states and three territories respond to children and youth with mental health problems, those at risk, and their families. View the report and executive summary.  

Dr. Gregory Fritz Dicusses Shortage of Mental Health Service Providers in RI
August 25, 2008 - Dr. Gregory Fritz, Academic Director at Bradley Hospital and a member of Rhode Island KIDS COUNT's Board of Directors, spoke with the Providence Business News about the shortage of mental health service providers, its impact on children, and what can be done. Read the article, Five Questions With: Dr. Gregory Fritz.

New Report About Mental Health Resources for Immigrant Children Available
August 6, 2008 - The report, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation through the national program Caring Across Communities: Addressing Mental Health Needs of Diverse Children and Youth, provides a summary of the mental health needs of immigrant and refugee children. The report also outlines important issues to consider when determining the quality of assessment measures and conducting comprehensive assessments.

America's Children2008 Report on Key National Indicators of Child Well-Being Available Online
July 14, 2008 - The newly released America's Children in Brief: Key National Indicators of Well-Being, 2008 profiles the status of the nation's children and youth, presenting up-to-date federal statistics on a variety of issues in one convenient reference. According to the report, math and reading scores of fourth and eighth graders have increased, but also shows that the teen birth rate and the proportion of infants born at low birthweight have also risen.

Helping States Improve Quality of Care for Kids in Medicaid Managed Care
July 10, 2008 - In a new report, Monitoring and Assessing the Use of External Quality Review Organizations to Improve Services for Young Children: A Toolkit for State Medicaid Agencies, a team of researchers show state Medicaid officials how they can work with external quality review organizations to evaluate and improve the quality of preventive and developmental services delivered to children enrolled in Medicaid managed care plans.

Report Inspires Legislation to Address Young Adults With Mental Illness
July 2, 2008 - Following a release of a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report finding that at least 2.4 million young adults aged between 18-26 had a serious mental illness in 2006, legislation has been introduced that would authorize state grants for the development of statewide coordination of mental health services for young adults. The GAO report, Young Adults With Serious Mental Illness, further shows that 90% of those identified had more than one mental disorder and faced significant challenges in completing high school. GAO authors detail that access to available programs is often times difficult due to the number of provided services in the area; lack of stable employment; lack of adequate housing; and costs associated with mental health treatment all result in disrupting the continuity of services needed for treatment.

New RI Parent's Guide to Children's Mental Health
May 19, 2008 - The newly released Rhode Island Parents’ Guide to Children’s Mental Health is a one-stop resource for parents who have questions about children’s mental health issues or need guidance on how to navigate the mental health care system.

New Data on Adolescent Mental Health
One in five adolescents experience significant symptoms of emotional distress and nearly one in ten are emotionally impaired according to the report, Mental Health of Adolescents: A National Profile, 2008, by The National Adolescent Health Information Center. The report presents national data on various measures of adolescent mental health.

Bulletin Focuses on Mental Health Needs in Juvenile Justice
The Research & Training Center on Family Support and Children's Mental Health has published the latest edition of "Focal Point." The Summer 2006 issue describes the need for, and provides examples of, new strategies for meeting the mental health needs of children and adolescents involved with the juvenile justice system.

Articles include:
-Corrections: New Strategies for Meeting the Mental Health Needs of Youth in Juvenile Justice
-A Blueprint for Change: Improving the System Response to Youth with Mental Health Needs Involved with the Juvenile Justice System 

The Impact of Maternal Depression on Young Children
Maternal depression is a significant risk factor that affects the well-being and school readiness of young children. This report presents the importance of addressing maternal depression as part of initiatives to ensure that young children enter school ready to succeed.