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May 2022 Connect with us Facebook Twitter Sign up  |  Archive  |  Advertise
Editor's e-Note
Let’s talk common sense. Where do today’s youth spend a great deal of time? Hint: The answer is not on social media.

Rather, the answer is old school. In fact, the correct response is school itself. That’s why it’s vital that mental health services be readily available throughout the education system.

This month’s E-News Exclusive details research that illustrates how school mental health services can help curb the current mental health crisis.

We welcome your comments at Visit our website at, like our Facebook page, and follow us on Twitter.

— Lee DeOrio, editorial director
e-News Exclusive
Study: Use of School Mental Health Services Rose Just Before Pandemic

Months after the American Academy of Pediatrics declared a national emergency in child and mental health, Emory University researchers have found that use of school mental health services increased among key adolescent groups in the year before COVID-19 struck compared with previous years in the United States. The study offers critical insights about the importance of school mental health services in alleviating the growing youth mental health crisis.

In a study published in JAMA Pediatrics, the research team—a collaboration between Emory and Harvard University—saw the use of school mental health services jump by almost 14% among students in 2019, the year after the 2018 school shooting in Parkland, Florida. The upswing in usage was most pronounced among non-Hispanic Black adolescents and adolescents from low-income families.

Using a national database to examine mental health trends over a decade (2009 to 2019), the researchers sampled more than 170,000 adolescents (12 to 17 years) who participated in the national survey and found a distinct uptick in the use of school mental health services in 2019.

Janet Cummings, PhD, the study’s senior author and an associate professor of health policy and management at Emory’s Rollins School of Public Health, says the odds of receiving any school mental health service were greater in 2019 than at any other point during the study period. She also notes that the findings underscore the need for such services, especially now.

“Given that less than half of youth with a mental health disorder receive any services, an increase in the use of school mental health services likely means that more kids who need help are getting connected to care,” Cummings says.

Full story »
Industry Insight
Findhelp and GA Foods Launch Nationwide Partnership to Address Food Insecurity

The social care network findhelp recently announced a new partnership with GA Foods, a national nutrition fulfillment platform for at-risk populations. The partnership will address food insecurity nationwide by providing an easy way for findhelp customers to order and deliver medically tailored meals and nutritious meal kits to the people they serve.

"This is a great step forward for our customers addressing food insecurity. Many organizations using the findhelp platform are already innovators in the social determinants of health space, and this partnership allows them to more seamlessly connect those in need directly to resources that can provide healthy and nutritious food," says Kristi Kempe, vice president of partnerships at findhelp. “We are thrilled that GA Foods and findhelp's core values are aligned to help those experiencing food insecurity receive the dignity of a response when they’re looking for help, and to reduce the hurdles of accessing healthy food. We're excited to continue to innovate with GA Foods to support our customers and the people they serve."

Read more »
Products & Services
New Toolkit Establishes Peer Services for Overdose Response

Overdose death in the United States has increased at an alarming rate since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, with more than 100,000 deaths reported during the 12-month period ending in April 2021. Despite rising rates of overdose, substance use and related harms are preventable. Peer support services are a valuable component of overdose response programs to help link individuals at risk of overdose to evidence-based treatment and services.

Local and state health departments are well suited to integrate peer support services into their overdose response and linkage to care initiatives, but unique planning and implementation considerations must be addressed.

To help public health practitioners implement and enhance peer support services, the National Council for Mental Wellbeing, with support from the CDC, developed Establishing Peer Support Services for Overdose Response: A Toolkit for Health Departments, a technical assistance tool informed by real-world experience.

Peer support services are a valuable component of a growing number of overdose response and linkage to care initiatives that can be implemented and supported by local and state health departments. This toolkit is for local and state health departments and community partners who are exploring opportunities to implement or enhance peer support services within overdose response and linkage to care initiatives. This toolkit provides information, resources, tools, actionable steps, and real-world examples informed by the latest research, subject matter experts, and experiences from diverse settings across the country.

— Source: National Council for Mental Wellbeing
In this e-Newsletter
Recently in Social Work Today
Youth Mental Health & Homelessness
Innovative ideas and a renewed focus hold promise for curtailing a longstanding, persistent problem. Read more »

Infant Mental Health in Hospital Social Work Practice
Parental reflective functioning is a key component to children and parents maintaining a healthy relationship. Read more »
Other News
AI Must Be Developed Responsibly to Improve Mental Health Outcomes
The use of AI in mental health care is growing, but these tools still need work in order to be successful, according to Fast Company.

Increasing the Use of ICD-10 Z Codes May Help Address Social Needs in Primary Care
Poor health outcomes are often related to unmet social needs. Collecting and analyzing data through ICD-10 Z codes could provide more insight into this area, according to Healio.
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