CMHC Presents: Lunch & Learn
The COVID-19 Pandemic pushed us to find new, innovative ways to engage with the public about children’s behavioral health. Our Lunch & Learns are hour-long webinars where everyone is encouraged to bring lunch and a willingness to learn about the state of children’s behavioral health in Massachusetts.
Adolescent Substance Use & Return to School
On Wednesday, September 29th, 2021, the Campaign was joined by Dr. Kevin Simon, and Alex Heinz, LICSW, MPH to discuss adolescent substance use. After a year and a half of disruptions, isolation, and loss, adolescents may experience a number of mixed emotions, including excitement, stress, and grief. Shortly after the pandemic began, more than 25% of high school students reported worsened emotional and mental health. While families, schools, and communities supported youth, research has found adolescents are also reporting increasing rates of substance use.
A Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week Spotlight on Infant and Early Childhood
Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week (CMHAW), May 2nd-8th, 2021, was an opportunity for communities to come together to talk about about the importance of children’s mental health and what we can do to address inequity, discrimination, and lack of awareness. This past CMHAW, we spotlighted infant and early childhood mental health, defined as the social and emotional well-being of children ages birth to six, developed in the context of their earliest nurturing caregiving relationships. Our community came together to watch the first episode of The Raising of America and engage in discussion.
This discussion was not recorded, but due to enthusiastic interest, we will offer a screening of the second episode of The Raising of America in the fall. Interested? Sign up here.
CHILDREN’S BEHAVIORAL HEALTH IN THE STATE BUDGET
On Wednesday February 3rd, we hosted our Lunch & Learn: Children’s Behavioral Health in the state budget! The FY21 Budget passed just a few months ago, and we’re already preparing our priorities for FY22. Join members of the Children’s Mental Health Campaign team to hear about important programs funded through the state budget, and learn about how you can take action to support them!
ACCESSING EARLY EDUCATION SPECIAL EDUCATION SERVICES
On October 15th, 2020, the Children’s Mental Health Campaign hosted its third Lunch & Learn, featuring Marisol Garcia, Director and Managing Attorney of the Mental Health Advocacy Program for Kids at Health Law Advocates, and Aditi Subramaniam, LMHC, R-DMT, IECMH-E® Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Partnership Manager at MSPCC. This training focused on accessing Early Childhood Special Education Services from school districts and navigating barriers created by remote learning systems and COVID-19. The training articulates the current Department of Public Health and Department of Early Education and Care policies and highlights the tools developed by MHAP for Kids to track the services that young children are receiving, monitor regressions, and note any new concerns. This training will also provide advocacy tips regarding pending assessments and team meetings.
- Early Intervention Factsheet
- Sample letter to request priority for in-person learning (downloads as Word doc)
- Sample letter to school district regarding EI evaluations (downloads as Word doc)
NAVIGATING SPECIAL EDUCATION AS WE RETURN TO SCHOOL
On September 17th, 2020, the Children’s Mental Health Campaign, in partnership with MHAP for Kids, hosted its second Zoom Lunch & Learn, a training on how to navigate special education services as children transition back to school, led by Marisol Garcia, Director/Managing Attorney for the MHAP for Kids Program at Health Law Advocates. The training articulates the current Department of Education and Department of Elementary and Secondary Education guidance to school districts, as well as how to advocate for special education services during these changing times.
NAVIGATING SPECIAL EDUCATION DURING COVID-19
On May 19th, 2020, the Children’s Mental Health Campaign, in partnership with MHAP for Kids, hosted its first Zoom Lunch & Learn, a training on how to navigate special education services during the COVID-19 pandemic, led by Marisol Garcia, Director/Managing Attorney for the MHAP for Kids Program at Health Law Advocates. The training highlighted how to navigate the remote special education system and how to prepare for re-entry to school. The training also articulated the current Department of Education and Department of Elementary and Secondary Education guidance to school districts. Marisol introduced the toolkit developed by MHAP for Kids and published by the ABA Children’s Rights Committee that lays out how to track students’ remote learning and regressions and advocate for needed services, both now and when schools re-open.
On February 17th, 2021, the Campaign partnered with Boston Children’s Hospital for a discussion on the behavioral health boarding crisis in Massachusetts. Behavioral health boarding results in children waiting for days and weeks in emergency departments and medical units, due to a lack of acute behavioral health placement options. This session will cover the effects of behavioral health boarding on children and families, Boston Children’s response, and current state and advocacy efforts to address the crisis in the context of the ongoing pandemic.
Read the Q&A responses from the panel HERE.
On May 21st, 2020, The Children’s Mental Health Campaign joined the team at Boston Children’s Hospital for a discussion about the importance of children’s mental health, during COVID-19 and beyond. Panelists addressed the children’s mental health policy landscape, looked back at the progress that has been made, and looked ahead at where we can go from here.
For panelist bios and a list of answered questions, click HERE.